Pre-pandemic, Renesting offered three levels of service: Pick-Up, Delivery, and Renest. Sadly, to date, we have been unable to resume our delivery or Renest services. We are not sending volunteers to our clients’ homes in an effort to observe social distancing. While we are so glad to be able to serve clients through our pick-up service, we have been missing the monthly Renests!
We hope that telling you about the Renesting process will send good vibes into the universe and manifest a swift return of our ability to serve.
The first step in a Renest is the site visit. Two staff members visit the client’s dwelling about a week before the scheduled service. The site visit helps us gather useful information about the client. Like their favorite color, materials, or styles. It also gives us an opportunity to look for things like narrow doorways, the number of windows that need curtains, or how many lamps it will take to light up their living room etc. Most importantly, we tell the client the key phrase. If during their service they feel uncomfortable or if they want to take over the unpacking, all they have to say is, “I’ve got it from here.”
Equipped with the information gathered on the site visit, volunteers pull items from the warehouse shelves for our movers to load. Before heading to the client’s dwelling, volunteers gather the tools they will need to successfully complete the Renest.
The most important tool is the knowledge of the key phrase. We make sure all our volunteers know to listen for it and to leave the dwelling when it’s heard. It’s one of the main ways we respect our clients.
Volunteers also use a hand-drawn outline of the dwelling to narrow down what furniture to pull and how many lamps to grab. Noel will often sketch the outline on the back of the client’s application during the site visit. She’ll mentally plan out where a dining table will go or the best place to put a sofa to see the TV. It is especially helpful in efficiency apartments with limited electrical outlets!
Obviously, a toolbox, tape measure, step ladder, and picture hangers/ command strips are all also essential during a Renest. They aid the volunteers in putting together bed frames, hanging curtains, moving furniture, putting up pictures, and overall making the house a home.
The final tools needed are a potted houseplant and a welcome home card. These items are left on the dining table or kitchen counter as a final touch of home. The card welcomes clients to their new dwelling and thanks them for giving us the opportunity to serve.
Volunteers are able to create an environment of respect and gratitude when properly equipped with all of the above. We never want our clients to be uncomfortable in their own space and that’s why these tools are so important to the process of Renesting.
To see more before and after pictures from Renests, check out our blog post How to Turn a House into a Home!