Handled With Care specialises in the coordination of bespoke relocations, downsizing and estate clearing. Founded by Sara Meadows and Tanya Nassau in 2012, Handled With Care provides a unique service for their clients. With backgrounds in social work and psychology, the premise behind Sara and Tanya creating Handled With Care was to fulfil a missing gap in our community.
When clients come to Handled With Care it is often because their move is not straightforward, not merely in a practical sense, but in an emotional capacity. Life, like mosaics, is made of pieces from here and there, from moments, from dreams and souvenirs. Possessions picked up upon the way, making up the pieces, can hold a lot of meaning. Whether it is your child’s artwork or a cherished piece of clothing you saved months for in your youth, there can be a lot of emotional labour involved when preparing to move into your next stage of life, or clearing out an estate of a loved one.
"Thank you Handled With Care for all your help and guidance during this difficult process. It definitely made things easier for our family and made an overwhelming task seem much more manageable.
Fiona – Property clear, Caulfield
This is when Handled With Care gets involved. As part of their service they’re able to help you part with pre-loved belongings, distribute unwanted items, clear out properties, hire removalists and help with packing and unpacking. Taking out the stress of organising all these elements, Handled With Care provides an essential service for people at such a stressful and trying time.
One of the most memorable stories shared by Sara and Tanya of their clients, was one of an old european woman moving to aged care. When Sara and Tanya arrived she was huddled up against a tiny gas heater, always careful not to spend. Having had a tough life she had been lonely in recent years and was extremely apprehensive about the move. With her son being interstate there was no one around her to directly support her transition. By the time Sara and Tanya had helped her go through each item in her home, deciding what she could take with her, they had a strong connection. To this day Sara remembers the look on her face when saying goodbye for the last time, waving and smiling from her new home. Something that could not have happened without Handled With Care.
"Thank you so much for all your hard and productive work, for your honesty and for being so conscientious in finding all the hidden treasures. It has been tougher than we expected, packing up a house with all its memories and reflection of the lives spent among its walls. Your kindness, thoughtfulness and sensitivity has been very much appreciated.”
Anonymous – Cleared estate, St Kilda East
The material impact that Tanya and Sara have made on the lives of their clients is undeniable. Families or individuals may be unable to handle downsizing or estate clearing for a number of reasons. For many, this phase in a loved one's life hits right when they themselves are in the ‘sandwich generation.’ According to Sara this refers to the phase of life where you are juggling supporting children and precious grandchildren, while also looking after your own parents.
“We treat our clients like we treat our family. The work we do is work family would be doing, but the reality is this can’t always happen. Life is busy, the ‘sandwich generation’ is helping all around them and sometimes they need help themselves, they need someone to treat the situation as they would, with the same type of respect.”
A major difficulty experienced by many during these times is what to do with the pre-loved belongings that cannot come with them on their next phase of life. While Handled With Care has partnered with an array of charities to find a solution to this problem, most recently they have partnered with the Magical Getaway Foundation. When asked why they continue to work with grassroot charities such as ourselves they replied:
“We have such an appreciation of how many people without accolades are doing amazing work and we are very privileged to support these foundations and organisations.”
“There are so many belongings that people don’t need, like beds, which can’t always be donated to bigger charities. We can rehome these items that are in good condition, going to someone who has never had a bed to sleep on, where we can facilitate that it is amazing.”
In May 2021, Handled With Care made an extremely generous donation to the Magical Getaway Foundation’s Trash to Treasure initiative, and were instrumental in the success of the event. Looking towards the future Handled With Care has agreed to collaborate further with MGF in order to initiate an art campaign from artist and Handled With Care client Michelle Marks!
We would like to thank Handled With Care and acknowledge the important work that they do! We look forward to working with them in the future.