End those hoarding blues

September 28, 2010 Agencies
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“Are you a hoarder?”

This is a question frequently put to Lisa Oshlack, owner of Moving On, who cheerfully tackles the onerous task of sorting, packing, transporting and recycling peoples’ belongings when they move house or pass on.

Lisa Oshlack

It’s a job that calls for real heart. Lisa Oshlack, a finalist in the recent Telstra Business Women of the Year awards, and her husband, Josh help their clients during massive emotional transitions and periods of vulnerability. Their projects include:

  1. 1. Vacating and brightening up deceased estates in preparation for the property’s sale
  2. 2. Gently helping the elderly relocate from their family homes to their new residences
  3. 3. Assisting busy, young families move house by packing, transporting and meticulously unpacking their belongings.

Profiled by ABC TV

Founded in 2005, and instantly hailed by the ABC as “the only service in Australia of its kind”, Moving On started when a long-serving, Sydney-based accountant called on Lisa with a dilemma: “Lisa, I need to vacate a deceased estate in 48 hours before the property goes on sale. Can you help?”

The accountant needed the house cleared and scrubbed for inspection, its contents sorted for recycling and charity donations, and an interior designer commissioned for a bold makeover. He couldn’t find anyone who could project-manage the complete solution.

A former wedding planner, Lisa was well-known for her innate ability to declutter, sort, tidy, organise and coordinate. She took one look at the job, baulked at its size and then simply got it done. Efficiently and on time. And Moving On was born.

The elderly / The ageing population

Compassionate, caring, empathetic, patient and organised – these are just some of the words people use to describe Lisa and her army of helpers.

She gently helps the elderly make the emotional transition from their established family homes to new aged-care residences, often taking calls from 90-something former clients who would like to know where she has stored their favourite book – or a special box of chocolates – months after the job is done

The planet

Living by the motto “as little to landfill as possible”, the team at Moving On meticulously separates paper, plastic, metal, steel, white goods, mattresses and food that stands within its use-by date for recycling and charity use. “It costs us more in time, but we live by our environmental and community values,” Lisa says.

The community

Other initiatives by Moving On include:

  • ♣ Supplying the Redfern Aboriginal Centre with free furniture and clothes
  • ♣ Contributing to The Salvation Army’s charity shops and Oasis youth support network
  • ♣ Donating to the St Vincent de Paul Society, which supports the homeless with its annual Winter Appeal
  • ♣ Working with the National Council for Jewish Women, whose services include rape crisis centres
  • ♣ Giving books and magazines to schools such as Rose Bay Primary School in Sydney’s east
  • ♣ Supplying women’s shelter across Sydney with emergency clothing and bedding
  • ♣ Giving food to charities who fee the homeless.

Lisa, who says she isn’t a “hoarder” but that she was always tidy, explains that some of the more bizarre requests in her work include physically transporting houses from one part of Australia to another. A way to help people move on in the future, perhaps? Not yet, she says, but let’s not rule it out.

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