My name is Margaret Valentine, and I was born on Feb. 6, 1948, in Huntington Sta., Long Island. New York. I completed high school in 1966, and worked as an Operating Room Tech. for the next 6 years.
In 1972 my sister Elizabeth and I formed a commercial/domestic cleaning service. The business grew quickly. Soon we added catering to the mix, doing small parties for our costumers.
After my younger sisters death in 1979, the family moved to Connecticut. We needed a complete change. Elizabeth and I re-established our business and watched It grow again. By the mid 80's we moved out of cleaning into full time food service. The last 15 years of our business has been spent as a Corporate Caterers for two prominent Medical Manufacturers. We retired in Sept. of 2009.
Even though we had phased out the cleaning , we never forgot our customers. As they grew older, their children would call us to help downsize the homestead so that mom could move to a Senior Condo, or dad could move in with his daughter. Elizabeth and I where happy to help.
When we retired in 2009, we thought life would slow down and be a bit boring. We were so wrong. Our greatest challenge came through an old family friend. Elizabeth had taken the job of being the Executor for her Living Trust many years ago. In November of 2009, Dot had been hospitalized for over-medicating herself. Her Dementia was starting to cause complications. Her doctor would not let her live alone any longer. It was decided that she should go to an Assisted Living Facility to get the supervision she needed. The task of downsizing and selling Dot's house fell to Elizabeth and myself. What we didn't know was that Dementia had turned a perfectly organized person into a hoarder and pack rat. It took us a long time to downsize and sell her house.
In 2015, when things grew quiet again, I thought I might dabble in something that I had always wanted to do. I have enjoyed writing for a very long time but, never had the time to get serious about it. I thought I might try my hand at writing a book about our experience with The Dot Project. By the third day of writing, the book had taken on a life of it's own. It shifted from a story to a "How To Manuel" on methodically organizing and downsizing a home. The book covers all the steps from setting up the medical/legal aspects to the final sale. I only wish that I could have had this book when Elizabeth and I where doing Dot's house. It would have saved us a lot of time and stress.
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