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How Done & Done Home helps move entire households

Done & Done Home is a business devoted to helping families and households organize their homes, clean up, and, also, move from one house to another, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Ann Lightfoot, Done & Done Home Co-Founder, joins The Final Round to discuss the details of her business and how the coronavirus has changed the housing and moving industries.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Welcome back to "The Final Round." Well, the coronavirus pandemic is causing many people to rethink their living situations and has prompted some to move out of big cities and buy properties in the suburbs. So here with more on that and more on moving during a pandemic, we have Ann Lightfoot. She's the co-founder of Done & Done Home.

And Ann, it's great to have you on the show. We know your company helps clients pack up and move. And from my understanding, I don't even think the clients have to be in the home. So talk to us just about what you're hearing from clients and needs of your clients over the past six months and really what demand's been like for your service.

ANN LIGHTFOOT: So we were closed for the first 12 or 15 weeks of the quarantine, and then we opened up not really knowing what it would be about. So they, you know, grew up in the Midwest, and they spent the quarantine with parents and in-laws and things and they have young families. And they decided, like, hey, we're going to do this. We're working from home.

So we've been doing their moves remotely. We do a lot of it, you know, sort of decluttering with them via FaceTime, and then we just pack it all up. And then there are people who are moving, just giving up apartments. So they're breaking leases, storing the entire content of the apartment, and then deciding-- you know, leaving it up to later. They'll say, like, we'll come back later and figure out what we're going to do.

SEANA SMITH: Well, Ann, it's interesting. So talk to us just about how this works because I was pretty intrigued when the owners don't even have to be there. And as someone with a child, I mean, there's so much stuff in an apartment. So how exactly does that work?

ANN LIGHTFOOT: So people are fascinated. We've always done moves this way, and not many people take us up on it. People have a sense of, you know, wanting to control the situation. But now, many more people are. So if, in fact, they don't need to make decisions-- you know, some people say, no, everything that's in our apartment, we will use in the future. So we took what we needed to go in quarantine and somewhere else, and so just pack it all up. So they aren't there. We pack it all up. They-- you know, if we have questions for them, we just call them and show them what we're doing and ask them questions.

And then for people who really don't want to move things that they don't want, again, with technology, it's been very easy, right? We're just showing them through. We have piles of things and go, like, OK, quick, yes or no? You want it? You don't want it? Donate, keep, store-- what's going to happen here? And we make all the decisions, color-code with tape, and then the movers come in and pack it up.

JEN ROGERS: Gosh, that sounds so much better than when I move. But Ann, we keep hearing, like, everyone's leaving New York, like just-- people are just going. Is your phone ringing off the hook? Like, have you ever been this busy? I mean, I want some color because if you pick up the paper, that's the story that we're hearing. Is that actually what you're seeing on the ground?

ANN LIGHTFOOT: Well, we were this busy during-- after Marie Kondo's television show came out, and people were like, yes, I want that. So we were that busy then with an entirely different sort of work because it was organizing. So it was very different than the move. So we've always done moves, but now, that's primarily what we're doing. No one really has the patience for, like, organizing their pantry at this point. That's not happening.

RICK NEWMAN: Hey guys, you know we all need? We all need Ann to come into our homes and throw away the crap that we're afraid to throw away ourselves, that-- you know that stuff we think we might need someday? My-- Ann, my-- I have a question about human nature.

I mean, why are-- why do people have such a hard time organizing? Do you have any insight into this? I mean, why do people tolerate clutter the way they do? Why does it take a TV show to get people to organize their lives?

ANN LIGHTFOOT: I would say that it's two different things. One is that stuff is infused with meaning. And even though it is really just a dress, someone will say, oh, I was wearing that when I got engaged. And I'm like, yeah, I know because I can see the picture right there. But they want to keep the things that are the sort of path of their life. They want to hold onto things.

And so part of that is completely understandable. And my daughter and I run the business together, and we always have a thing where we say, is this reasonable or unreasonable? And sometimes it's full of emotion, but it's still completely unreasonable, right? When you can't fit things in your New York apartment and it's impacting your life in a negative way, it's unreasonable.

RICK NEWMAN: So you tolerate no emotion?

ANN LIGHTFOOT: You know what? I am a holder-oner of certain things. As you can see from where I'm sitting, I'm a book person. I can't-- I have a hard time getting rid of books. And so what I work with people who are also book holder-oners, we're not as fast as we might because I'm like, oh, oh, I love this one, you know, that kind of thing. So it just depends. But in families, no matter how minimalist a couple may be, one is always more a holder-oner than the other, and it's super stressful between couples.

JEN ROGERS: You know what we really need is Ann to go to our office, where we all left six months ago, and throw out everything before we go back. So Ann, you do move-ins as well.


JEN ROGERS: Is anyone moving to New York, or are people moving in New York? Who are those folks?

ANN LIGHTFOOT: So interesting-- there are people who were planning to move anyway within New York, and they are moving. There are New Yorkers who took advantage of the time of being away from their homes, who got organized on their renovations. So when the workers weren't working, they were stalled. But then they went forward as soon as they could in whenever that was, May or June.

And so those New Yorkers, are-- we're moving them back into homes that have been renovated. So we've been doing some of that. I haven't had anybody coming from somewhere else moving into New York. That hasn't happened.

SEANA SMITH: That's interesting. Yeah, I guess it's not attracting a lot of out-of-towners at this point. But Ann Lightfoot, I wish I could bring you into my apartment because in my marriage, I'm the one who has a hard time throwing some things away. But Ann Lightfoot, co-founder of Done & Done Home, great to have you on this show. Have a great weekend.

ANN LIGHTFOOT: Thanks for having me.