Kate Grondin knows how tough life’s transitions can be, whether it is moving from the family home to assisted living, downsizing because of an empty nest or a divorce, or cleaning out a loved one’s possessions after their death. A former medical social worker at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where part of her job was discharge planning, she founded Home Transition Resource (hometr.net) in Andover in 2008. The company addresses all the particulars of a move. The mission is to make the transition well coordinated, less stressful, less costly, more efficient, and a positive experience. We talked with Grondin, 54.
Q. What led to the founding of the company?
A.My 83-year-old parents needed to pare down their possessions in a house they had lived in for 60 years. They had a lot of books and I helped them catalog them so they could sell them. It was overwhelming for my dad, who had formed the book collection over his lifetime. During the project he got to look at all the books again and it became an enjoyable process. I thought, ‘Wow, my parents can’t be only ones in this position.’
Q. First client?
A.It started with me helping a client move to Brooksby Village [a retirement community in Peabody]. I cleaned the closets and helped get the house on the market. It just grew from there.
A.I have an operations manager in Andover and managers in both Dedham and Boston. I have 16 employees who work out of their homes. They are everywhere: Newburyport, Swampscott, etc.
A. I started out specializing in older adults. And we work with a lot of senior communities. Then other people found out [about the company] and we move everybody now.
Q. Unusual tasks?
A. We moved a doctor once who had a real skeleton, and we had to build a box and put it in storage.
Q. You offer organizational services. Do you work with hoarders?
A.To a point. On a scale of 1 to 5, we would work with a 2 or 3 on the scale. Otherwise, we would refer that out.
A. Average job is $3,000 to $5,000.
A. The growth over the past six years has been phenomenal, and I see it continuing to grow. I love what I do. It’s great to meet people and hear their stories. It enriches all our lives.