Decluttering Before a Move

Decluttering Before a Move

If you are planning a move, you need to “bite the bullet” sooner rather than later to purge your unwanted, unworn, unused, and unloved belongings, to assist in decluttering before a move.

This exercise is absolutely necessary to save you time and money when you do move. It’s easy to see why: the more stuff you move, the more it costs to move it. The bonus can be that you can recoup some money with a yard or estate sale.

Getting Motivated to Declutter

Decluttering is a task best approached in small steps.  It can be emotional and overwhelming – especially if you are decluttering a home that you’ve lived in for many years.  People often say they have a feeling of freedom when they have decluttered … they are no longer bogged down by material things they have no more use for.

Start Decluttering Before a Move Now.

Begin the process early. You don’t even have to wait to plan a move. It is a good idea to purge often to stay in control. Beginning early – three, six, or even twelve months before you move – makes the process less  stressful  and more enjoyable.

Where do you begin?

Start with the rooms you use the lease. Do you have a spare bedroom or a recreation room that isn’t being used much? A basement or attic that needs lots of time to review? Start there.  You can not only dispose of the things you don’t want, you can begin to pack up the things you want to take with you. Don’t start with memorabilia, though. Save that for when you’ve had a bit of practice decluttering so you can move through it more efficiently.

Make Six Piles for Decluttering.

Separate your sorted items into different piles:

  1. Number One is for the items you want to KEEP and MOVE.
  2. The second pile is for the things to plan to offer to FAMILY members;
  3. the third is the one for DONATIONS.
  4. You may have some items that you feel have monetary value, so these are the ones that you might SELL.
  5. Put the YARD SALE items in another pile… the SELL pile is for more valuable items.
  6. The last pile is for items that will be TRASH.

There are also other creative ways to help you with decluttering before a move. Find out what works best for you!

The Closets

We all have items in our closets that no longer fit (I just need to lose 5 lbs. and I can wear that!) or clothing that we loved but really has gone out of style. Purge these first.  Be sure the clothing you plan to MOVE will actually fit in the closet space in your new home.

Trips Down Memory Lane

It is unavoidable to not walk down memory lane while decluttering before a move.  It’s OK to go through things and remember where and when. But bring yourself back to the present so that you can achieve your timeline goals. Set a timer for an hour and when it goes off.  Close the box and move on.

Get the Kids Involved

Moving can be traumatic to children. Involve them in the process of decluttering before a move, so they feel a sense of ownership. Let them help you and then give them age-appropriate responsibilities for decluttering their belongings. Once they have made piles, you can review to give the final approval. Letting them decide on toys or games they no longer play with that can be donated to the less fortunate is a special lesson they learn during this process. You can work side-by-side with younger children to help them decide in which pile each item should go.

Put it on Your Calendar.

Schedule a dedicated time each week for decluttering before a move. One to three hours of purging time will help you move the process to completion more efficiently. Not scheduling is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, as procrastination creeps in and it is easy to get distracted away to another task. Turn off the phone; no TV; no visitors… just a period of dedicated decluttering. You’ll be surprised at the progress you make!

Rent a Portable Moving and Storage Container.

As you are decluttering these units can be very helpful to store packed boxes or furniture in rooms you aren’t using. If you are staging your home for sale, a portable storage container is invaluable. The unit can stay in your driveway until you are ready to move.

Go Through Everything.

Decluttering can be a long process. It is important to go through everything … every closet ; cabinet or dresser drawer; storage bin; closet. Take everything out and assess every item of clothing, kitchen gadget, appliance, and tool. Better to do it now then to move it and just toss it later.

Change is difficult, but it can be exciting. Take it one step-at-a- time and you’ll be ready for your move when the time comes.

Download our helpful Moving and Packing guides and if you have questions about your upcoming move, call Ayer Moving and Storage at (800) 233-6683 or email one of their Relocation Specialists.

Top Ten Reasons for Moving

Top Ten Reasons for Moving

“Being the owner of a moving and storage company and a NorthAmerican Van Lines Agent that had its start in 1951, I’ve heard a lot of reasons why people move from one location to another,” said Karen Strickland, President of Ayer Moving and Storage.

Some reasons for moving are because parents may need to uproot their families because of a new job. Others need a larger home or desire a better neighborhood. In fact, according to the US Census Bureau, between 2012 and 2013, about 36 million Americans moved to a new home.

Traditionally, the average American will move about 11 times in their lifetime. What are the reasons for moving that often? Why would someone choose to move that many times? Here is a list of the top 10 reasons:

To change jobs and relocate to a new area

Many people move every few years due to a change in employment – the industry, position, or type of company.  Some may have been transferred by their employer to another corporate location.

To seek out a new school district

Those with school-age children may seek out a new or different school district, which is an important deciding factor when selecting a new home.

Needing more or less space

When the family grows or the number of square feet in the home no longer meets the homeowners needs, it may be time to move. If the children have grown and moved away, it may be time to downsize to a smaller home or condo or apartment.

A change of scenery

Perhaps the home, itself, is fine, but the homeowners want to change where they live. It may be that they no longer want to experience the long, cold winters. Or the summer heat has become unbearable.  Others may want to be closer to shopping, public transportation, entertainment venues, or beaches.

A change in lifestyle or relationships

A marriage, divorce, remarriage, illness, or death may necessitate a move to another home. If a loved one needs caregiving, a move to a relative’s home or to a senior living community may be required.

A change from renter to home buyer (or vice-versa)

Some people who have been renting are ready to purchase a home. Others who have been homeowners are ready to scale back and leave maintenance and lawn care behind.

A change from the city to the suburbs (or vice-versa)

City apartment dwellers may want to live in a home in the suburbs with a backyard in a quiet neighborhood with less traffic and congestion.  Others may be looking for nearby shopping, theaters, restaurants, pubs, and the nightlife typical of life in the city.

To benefit from the equity in the current home

Today real estate prices are high and many decide to move in order to sell at a high price and cash in on the built-up equity in the home. They may use this equity to buy in an area with a lower cost-of-living or purchase a less expensive condo.

Changes in Migration

In late 2020, research showed that Americans were moving at the lowest rate since the Census Bureau began tracking mobility and migration in 1947. There were a variety of reasons for this slowing … from the population aging to younger people not moving because of the high cost of living and starting families later than prior generations.

Because of financial challenges

When job loss, furloughs, or other financial challenges occur, homeowners, rather than falling behind on payments or risk foreclosure, may sell their homes and relocate to smaller, more affordable homes.

The impact of CoVID-19

 According to a July 2020 Pew Research study,  20% of the adults in the US said they moved, had someone move in with them, or knew someone who moved as a result of the Pandemic. The reasons were:

They were no longer able to afford their rent or mortgage payments.
They felt unsafe in their city or town.
Their college and/or college housing closed.
They lost their jobs.
Financially-independent individuals moved from densely-populated cities into suburbs and countryside.

No matter the reasons for moving, it is clear that Americans continue to be “on the move.” If you have questions about your upcoming move, call Ayer Moving and Storage at (800) 233-6683 or email one of their Relocation Specialists.

Successful Move Hacks

Successful Move Hacks

It’s a known fact that moving is one of the most stressful events in life. According to Verified Movers, the average American family moves 11 times in their lifetime!  Whether your family is below or above that average, these successful move hacks will help you reduce the stress the next time you move.

Getting Prepared for a Successful Move

Start early. Don’t wait for the last few weeks prior to moving day to do what needs to be done.

Set a moving budget and seek out movers to compare services and scheduling.

Take advantage of an online moving cost calculator ( which will give you a heads-up for what to expect in cost.

Call your utility companies to advise them of your moving date. Get this out of the way so you won’t forget to do it later!

Plan the packing supplies you will need, including specialty boxes for mattresses, framed artwork, electronic devices, and tableware.

Getting Decluttered for a Successful Move

Organize your belongings in three categories: What to move, what to offer to other family members or sell, what to donate to charity, and what to toss.

  • Start with the closets. Don’t take it with you if it is out of style, doesn’t fit, or you haven’t worn it in a year.
  • Ask yourself if you would buy an item again. If not, you don’t need to move it.
  • Call charities to make donation pick up arrangements.
  • Consider short-term storage to stage your home for sale or to hold items you are not yet sure you want to move.

Getting Packed

The most time-consuming part of the moving process is the actual packing. You may want to consider hiring the mover to pack things safely and securely for you or you may want to divide the task with them to save money. In either case, follow these time saving tips when packing:

Don’t empty dresser drawers.

You can leave your decluttered drawers in the dresser if they are not too heavy. If weight is an issue, take the drawer out and wrap it in shipping plastic wrap.

Leaving hanging clothes on hangers.

Obtain wardrobe boxes from your mover so you can easily rehang your clothes from box to closet when you reach your new home.

Use linens and towels as packing materials.

Wrap fragile items in paper or bubble wrap and cushion them with sheets or towels. Wrap linens around hard to wrap items, like lamps and vases.

Use pots.

Save space by filling large pots and other sealable containers with small kitchen items, like spice jars and gadgets.

Prevent spills.

Wrap a small piece of plastic wrap to secure the lids of lotions, liquid soap, shampoo … or put them in a plastic zip lock bag.

Pack suitcases.

Useful for packing items that may not easily be transported in boxes, suitcases with wheels can be used for books or large serving dishes.

Color code boxes with stickers, one color designated for each room.

It’s also helpful to tape a list to the box, indicating what’s inside, so you don’t have to open multiple boxes when hunting for something. A photo of the inside contents is also helpful for a general idea of what’s inside.

Take helpful photos.

Take a picture of the back of your TV or the connections for any electronic device. While still plugged in, a photo can show which cable goes where so you’ll remember how to set it up in your new home.

A Necessary Bag is necessary.

Pack a small bag with the items you’ll need to access during the move and immediately upon arrival at your new place: important documents, medications, jewelry, basic toiletries, a change of clothes, and a favorite toy for each of the kids. Take this bag with you.

The goal is to be fully packed the day before the move. When the movers arrive, you want to be free to focus on overseeing the loading process, not scurrying around with last-minute packing.

Getting on the Road

Plan for the children and pets on moving day. Can they stay with friends or family to keep them entertained and safe? Arrange for them and for family pets to give you piece of mind where they are concerned.

Once ready to leave, have a few essentials for the road trip. Pack a cooler and stock it with water bottles and quick snacks.

Getting Unpacked from your Successful Move

The task of unpacking can seem overwhelming. You won’t procrastinate with these guidelines:

Start with the kitchen.

Getting the kitchen up and running is an accomplishment which allows you to focus on the easier to unpack rooms

The bedrooms are next.

Get the beds set up and made up so when you are ready for bed, the beds will be ready for you.

Establish a deadline.

Make a plan for unpacking each room by a certain date. Scheduling a house-warming party or a casual get-together gives you a goal for getting it done.

Recycle boxes immediately.

As soon as a box is emptied, break it down and recycle it or offer it to other soon-to-be-movers.

Play music while unpacking!

The TV can be a distraction, so opt for music to entertain yourself and the children while putting things in place.

Don’t stress over trying to get everything unpacked right away. Do what you can when you can and it will get done. Give the children tasks they can handle. Take breaks; order take-out food. Take time to enjoy your new home as it is taking shape.

Follow these moving hacks and you’ll make things easier on yourself and have less stress in the process.

If you have questions about making your next successful move, or what happens before, during, or after a move, call the Relocation Specialists at Ayer Moving and Storage at (800) 233-6683 or email.

Stress-Free Packing for a Move

Stress-Free Packing for a Move

Stress-free packing for a move is part science, part art … there are right ways and wrong ways to pack dishes, electronic devices, books, and artwork.  There are specialty boxes and packing materials recommended for this precise activity.  The order in which you pack is essential.

There is also an order to packing that can help make moving as stress-free as possible. Before you even begin to pack, you should take inventory of your belongings. Take a walk through your home with notebook and pen in hand. Bring a cup of coffee or your favorite drink with you. This can take time.

As you go through the inventory process, note the items you will NOT be taking with you. Whatever you no longer use, things that have been in the back of the closet for years, clothes that no longer fit, hobbies or sports you no longer participate in … these are all categories for the decluttering process. It is senseless (and costly) to pack and move items that you won’t be using in your new home.  Sort these unwanted items into four categories: give to family or friends, sell, donate, or trash. 

Clean and dust items before packing them so you don’t have to do this when unpacking … when you are most eager to set up your new home. Now onto packing.

What Comes First? Stress-Free Packing for a Move

Start with the least used room.

Perhaps this room is the garage, basement, attic, or spare bedroom. Determine which room in your home is the least used and begin the packing process there.

Pack items that are in storage.

Organize and pack the items you have in a storage room in your home. First check for items you may no longer need or want. Towels and sheets in your linen closet can be packed, except for one set of each to put in your “open me first” box. See below.

Pack the most difficult room.

While this room may be used often, like a children’s playroom, you don’t want to save it for last, as you may be all tired out by the time you get to it. You want to give it the attention it deserves and not rush the process just because it is the last one on your list. If it is the children’s playroom, don’t pack it up entirely; leave some of the favorite toys and games out and save a box for these items to pack just before moving day. If it is a bedroom, don’t pack all your clothing! Pack what you don’t think you’ll need until after the move and keep a box handy for last-minute bedroom items to pack just before the big day.

Pack out of season items.

If you’ve already tackled the attic or basement, then you may have gotten to the holiday décor. If there are items that are only used seasonally, pack them now as you won’t need them until you are in your new location.

Books, music, and décor come next.

Items hanging on the wall that are purely aesthetic can be packed early on in the process. Artwork, wall décor, and knick-knacks fall into this category. (See our blog on how to pack art.) Books, magazines, and music also are in this group … only be sure to go through them to toss or give away magazines already read. Do the same with no longer playable music tapes, CDs, video games, or DVDs. Unwanted books can be donated to your local library.  Moving books that you have read or will probably never read is expensive – they are heavy and your move expenses are based on weight! 

Shoes and Jewelry

Leave out the shoes and jewelry you most often wear and pack the rest. See our blog on how best to pack your shoes.


Begin packing the rest of the rooms, using the same process.  First pack those items that are non-essential, things not needed day to day. Then, pack the rest of the items, leaving out the absolute essential items you will need as soon as you get to your new home.

Stress-Free Packing for a Move: Packing Up Essential Items

If you’ve packed up most of your non-essential items, you can begin packing those items you will need as soon as you are at your new location and move in. 

Kitchen essentials

Not everything in your kitchen is needed every day. You can go without many things for a week or two. You can cook most meals using just one skillet, one pot, and a spatula.  Most of everything else can be packed now.

Keep your coffee maker on hand until the last day, but you can pack your air fryer, instant-pot, and waffle maker! Use disposable plates, bowls and plastic knives, forks, and spoons so that you can pack up your dishes and utensils now.

Pack up non-perishable food in your pantry that you won’t expire any time soon. Try to consume as much as possible between now and your move. Consider donating canned goods and other non-perishables to a local food pantry and pack up the remaining pantry items the last day before your move.

Office Supplies

Set aside everything you might need for personal, business, or school work between now and your move. Pack up any office supplies you have left. Important documents can be packed and taken with you.

Electronic devices and media players

When your move is just a few days away, pack these devices and be sure to document how everything is plugged in … what attached to where … take a photo with your camera or attach labels to the cords to give instructions when you are setting up the office at your new home. You also want to wrap everything securely for a safe journey. See our blog on how to pack electronic devices.

Toiletries and cleaning supplies

Set aside those things you use on a daily basis. Check expiration dates and toss those that are old, almost empty, or any you haven’t used in months. Pack these items in plastic zip-bags to prevent leakage. Pack your hairdryer and curling iron with them. Since this is one of the last boxes you will be packing, it should be readily accessible when you arrive in your new home.

At this point your move is probably about a week or less away, so you will need to prioritize these items in order of importance. But first … you’ll need to pack a box of items you’ll need right away in your new home.

“Open me first!” Box for Stress-Free Packing for a Move

An “open me first” box includes all of the items you might need during your first day/night in your new home. Packed in a box or suitcase, these items may include:

A change of clothes
Extra towels
Favorite electronic devices
Important documents
Expensive jewelry
Toilet paper
Hand soap
Paper towels and a cleaning spray for immediate use in your new home, if necessary

The essentials box includes what you decide you will need. A good idea is to pack it sooner rather than later, and be sure to label it and keep it open and easily accessible until you are going out the door for the last time. Take it with you in the car if you can, so that it is with you when you arrive at your new destination.

Packing in a logical order avoids the risk of packing everything at the last minute, which. only ensures that your things will be damaged or misplaced. Give yourself as much time as you need to complete the packing process to be ready when the moving van arrives!

If you have questions about packing for your upcoming move, call Ayer Moving and Storage at (800) 233-6683 or email one of their Relocation Specialists. Download our packing guide: Secrets from the Packing Professionals at Ayer Moving and Storage.

Five Reasons Why You Need a COW

Five Reasons Why You Need a COW

You can probably think of more, but here are five reasons why you need a COW – a storage Container on Wheels, that is. A COW provides a portable storage solution when you need to store or move belongings across town or across the country.

Five Reasons Why You Need a COW

1. COWs are Convenient

Five Reasons Why You Need a COW A Container on Wheels can be easily transported from one location to another. You can park one in your driveway or keep one in your backyard or in a commercial parking lot.

A COW can be delivered to your door and positioned where you need it. You can keep your COW for as long as you need it, with daily, weekly, or monthly rates available.

COWs can be unloaded and reloaded when you need to do so and can be hitched to a moving truck and hauled away. You can access the COW when you want without having to drive to a storage warehouse.


2. Short-Term Storage

A COW is a cost-efficient option for those who need extra storage for a fixed time   period. 

If you are selling your home, for example, you will want to “stage” it by removing clutter or excess furniture so that the home shows most favorably when the realtor brings in prospective buyers.

If you are beginning a remodeling project, a COW is ideal for storing furnishings while the project is on-going.

If you have a business or commercial enterprise, a COW can help store overflow inventory or excess materials during peak seasons.

Five Reasons Why You Need a COW

3. Peace of Mind

Your rented COW can be kept on your property and locked securely when you are not using it. COWs are durable and made of steel, secure from environmental or weather damage. They are safe against pests and animals, dirt and debris. They have polyurethane casters that won’t mark the driveway or property. In addition, storage units have translucent roofing to provide natural light for greater visibility.

4. Available Locally

All COWs are owned by local moving and storage companies. Ayer Moving and Storage has several COWs on the premises available for rental. As a COWs dealership, Ayer Moving is ready to assist in helping you design the perfect storage option.

5. Sized to Meet Your Needs

COWs come in 16-foot long units. They are 80-inches wide and 8 feet tall including the casters. They fit inside a standard parking space and can be placed on several different surfaces. This size is the ideal solution for many temporary storage situations. There are more reasons why you need a COW, but these are a good place to start!

If you have questions about renting a COW or any other storage solutions, call Ayer Moving and Storage at (800) 233-6683 or email one of their Relocation Specialists.

Ayer Moving and Storage Joins AMSA ProMovers

Ayer Moving and Storage Joins AMSA ProMovers

Ayer Moving and Storage is proud to announce that they have been designated a part of the AMSA ProMovers by the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA). In December 2020, AMSA was absorbed by the American Trucking Association.

AMSA ProMovers is a certification program that assists consumers in locating reputable, professional movers, who have agreed to abide by high standards. ProMovers provide information and assistance with everything from finding a mover, getting an estimate, and helping consumers with packing tips and understanding the valuation and insurance practices.

Ayer Moving and Storage Joins AMSA ProMovers

AMSA ProMovers: Only those with high standards

The AMSA’s Code of Ethics stipulates that members “stand united in our sincere beliefs that honest, ethical, efficient, and quality services to the public are the ultimate goals of this organization.”

It is their goal to consistently offer and provide the most efficient and reliable moving and storage services available, while adhering strictly to a policy of truth, honesty, integrity, and fairness in all business transactions.

“The ProMover program promotes ethical principles and practices in the moving and storage industry and works to mitigate unethical practices by awarding the certification to those companies who have proven themselves, while at the same time separating professional movers from rogue operators masquerading as legitimate movers.” –

AMSA ProMovers must pass a rigorous review of professional business standards in order to quality as a ProMover.

Most importantly, this program offers consumers an identifiable means of separating reputable, professional movers from the rest. When you see the ProMover logo, you know that your moving company has been highly vetted.

Karen Strickland, president of Ayer Moving and Storage, said, “The ProMover seal represents nationally recognized, industry-wide standards of conduct for professional movers. We are proud to display the ProMover seal and to abide by their ethical and professional standards, and understand that the ProMover Certification Program is restricted to only those companies who exhibit the highest standards of performance, regulatory compliance, and customer service. We are honored to be among the best.”

If you need assistance with an upcoming move or have questions about what to do before, during, or after a move, call Ayer Moving and Storage at (800) 233-6683 or email our Relocation Specialists.


Packing Picture Frames and Mirrors for Your Move

Packing Picture Frames and Mirrors for Your Move

Having the proper materials is key for keeping your pictures and mirrors safe during a move. Before you start packing picture frames and mirrors, determine which of the following supplies you will need: 

  • Packing paper (unprinted newsprint paper)
  • Packing tape 
  • A permanent marker 
  • Bubble wrap  
  • Picture/mirror boxes  
  • Small moving boxes 
  • Cardboard tubes 
  • Artist’s or painter’s tape 
  • Flat foam or cardboard sheets 
  • Glassine, acid-free, or archival paper 
  • Photo boxes or albums 

Packing Picture Frames and Mirrors: Some Guidelines                           

  1.   Using the artist’s or painter’s tape, create an “X” across the glass. This will help keep the glass intact during transit. 
  2.   Cut a piece of cardboard or foam board slightly larger than the frame, place it in front of and behind the glass and secure it with packing tape. 
  3.   Wrap the entire piece in two or more sheets of packing paper and tape loose ends. 
  4.   Add a layer of bubble wrap for additional padding and security. Secure with packing tape. 
  5.   Cushion the bottom of a picture/mirror box with packing paper, and then slide the object into the box. Keep in mind, large items should be boxed individually in specialty boxes. Smaller mirrors and framed pictures can be wrapped and boxed together. Stack these items vertically and do not lay them flat. 
  6.   Fill extra space with more paper to prevent shifting. 
  7.   Tape and label the box “fragile” on all sides. 

Specialty picture/mirror boxes are available from your mover. 

Packing and moving canvases

The best way to pack a canvas will depend on if it’s stretched across a wooden frame or rolled.

For stretched canvases:  

  1.   Cover the canvas with glassine, acid-free or archival paper. 
  2.   Tape a sheet of foam or cardboard to the back of the canvas. 
  3.   Put the canvas into a plastic gallery wrap bag (available at art supply stores) to protect it from moisture. 
  4.   Wrap the entire canvas with two layers of bubble wrap and secure it with tape.
  5.   Sandwich the canvas between two sheets of foam boards or cardboard and use the packing tape to bind the pieces together. 
  6.   Line a picture/mirror box with padded paper and slide the canvas into the box, filling empty spaces with more paper.
  7.   Tape and label the box.  

For rolled canvases:

  1.   Lay the canvas between two sheets of glassine, acid-free or archival paper (painted side down). 
  2.   Loosely roll the canvas and paper (rolling too tight can cause damage).
  3.   Roll with Bubble Wrap.
  4.   Slide the canvas into a cardboard tube. 
  5.   Place the end caps on and seal them with packing tape. 
  6.   Label the tube.

More Helpful Tips for Packing Picture Frames and Mirrors

Keep these tips in mind when packing mirrors, wall art, and picture frames:

  • Don’t exceed 40 lbs. per box.  
  • Only use unprinted newsprint paper because the ink could cause damage. 
  • Don’t use packing peanuts for padding. They create static and can be difficult to remove from glass. 
  • Wash your hands or wear cotton gloves before handling any photos or canvases. The oil from your hands can create smudges and damage the quality of the items. 
  • Load boxed frames on their side. Never lay them flat because the pressure can crack the glass. 

If you have questions about packing mirrors and pictures or what happens before, during, or after a move, call the Relocation Specialists at Ayer Moving and Storage at (800) 233-6683 or email.

Pack your Shoes Properly for a Move

Pack your Shoes Properly for a Move

Don’t just toss them in a box – Pack your Shoes Properly!

It is tempting to toss your collection of bulky shoes and boots of various shapes and sizes – into a big box … and deal with it later. However, this risks damage and makes them difficult to unpack.  If you have the shoe boxes, pack your shoes in their boxes. If not, use unprinted newsprint paper to wrap them individually. Be sure to let them air out for a couple of days after wearing them before packing them. 

Here are some tips to help pack your shoes so they arrive in good condition when they reach your new destination: 

  1. Prior to packing, fill the toes of each shoe with a sock or crumpled packing paper. 
  2. Pack heavy shoes on the bottom of the moving box. You want to balance out the weight so that the box is easier … and safer to carry.
  3. If you have an expensive pair of heels that you want to be sure to protect, wrap them individually in packing paper and place them in a plastic shoe bin.
  4. If using shoe boxes, remove each shoe and wrap it in packing paper and place them back in the box. Fit them on their sides into a moving box that has been lined with crumpled paper. Fill in empty spaces with more crumpled paper.
  5. For shoes without boxes, wrap one and then the other as a pair and tape to close. Fit these in a packing box lined with crumpled paper with other shoes and fill empty spaces with more crumpled paper.
  6. Keep sneakers paired by tying their laces together. Then you won’t waste time looking for the sneaker’s mate when you are unpacking.
  7. Keep shoes fresh with tea bags. Put unused tea bags in each shoe to eliminate odors. If you have shoes with an obvious unpleasant smell, put them in the freezer, which will kill latent bacteria.
  8. Pack a few essential or favorite pairs of shoes in a separate box.  You’ll want easy access to two or three favorite pairs of shoes that you want to wear before you get all of the shoes unpacked. Pack flats, a couple of shoes for work, and perhaps one pair of dress shoes in this go-to box and label it so you can locate it easily.
  9. Pack out of season shoes separately so you don’t waste time unpacking shoes that you won’t be wearing for months. You won’t be looking for those muck-luks in the summer so wait to unpack them until winter is looming.
  10. It may seem obvious but be sure to tape each moving box securely and label it appropriately. 

Another obvious observation:

Chances are, you have shoes in your closet that you haven’t worn in years. Instead of packing shoes that won’t be worn, pack them up and donate them to those less fortunate. Soles4souls is a non-profit organization that receives shoe and clothing donations from individuals and distributes them to various programs around the world. Another option is Goodwill. If they are not in good condition, contact your recycling center to ask how to recycle them properly. 


If you have questions about what happens before, during, or after a move, call the Relocation Specialists at Ayer Moving and Storage at  (800) 233-6683 or email.

What to Purge Before You Pack

What to Purge Before You Pack

We all know the adage: “You Can’t Take it With You,” but when moving, you actually need to know what you shouldn’t take with you.  One of the first steps in moving is to know what to purge from your household of unwanted and unused items. After all, it is costly to move things to your new home that you rarely or never use or need. Here are some things to think twice about before you wrap and pack.

What to Purge: Electronics

Look for electronics that are either out of date or just no longer used. Tablets, phones, chargers, laptops, cables, cables, and more cables … these can be donated to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore if they are not older than five years old and still working. If they are no longer serviceable, drop them off at an electronics or metal recycler.

DVDs and CDs

My kids tell me that DVDs and CDs are OUT! You no longer really need them as we have entered the streaming media age where anything you want to watch or listen to can be uploaded to an electronic device. If you really want to play your videos and music on a DVD/CD player, cull from your collection only your favorites and sell or donate the rest.

What to Purge: Miscellaneous Items

Books and Magazines

Most of us who love to read are guilty of having way too many books on hand. Some of them we’ve already read, but just don’t want to part with them. All your books and magazines can be borrowed from a library near your new home, so you don’t need to take them with you.  Take only your favorites or valuable first editions.

Outgrown Children’s Toys

Do you have Cabbage Patch Dolls, Lego sets, and stuffed Animals packed away in boxes under the beds? A great way for children to help get ready for a move (and feel part of the process) is for them to go through unused games and toys and select those that can be donated to a local charity or women’s and children’s shelter.

What to Purge: Bathroom Belongings

Lotions and Notions

Pare down bathroom and beauty products by tossing near empty shampoo, conditioner, hand and body lotion, and perfume bottles. The same goes for products that are old and past their expiration dates. Go through your makeup and soaps and repeat the process.

Expired Medications

You’ll need to dispose properly of old prescriptions no longer needed and expired medications. If you have unused pain killers in your bathroom cabinet, call your local police department and ask they accept them for disposal. Also, the FDA provides a guide on how to responsibly trash meds.

What to Purge: Kitchen Pantry

Think about donating non-perishable foods to a local food pantry. Canned goods, cereal, unopened boxes of rice, pasta, and more will be willingly and gratefully accepted and given to those in need. Only items that haven’t passed their expiration dates qualify. You’ll be helping the less fortunate and saving money by not paying to move these items.

Select the best frying pans and pots and put the duplicates aside. Decide just how many saucepans you really need and that goes for spatulas, slotted spoons, and paring knives. Check that shelf of small appliances and determine if you will need/want the electric donut maker or scone pan. You can sell gently used appliances and kitchenware through Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist or donate locally.

Coffee Mugs

How many coffee mugs does one family need? We accumulate coffee mugs with pithy sayings or cute animal pictures, and they sit unused most of the time. My favorite mug gets used, washed, and used again without seeing the inside of the cabinet. Again, donate or sell your overflow mugs at your moving yard sale!

What to Purge: No Longer Worn Clothing

Clothing takes up a lot of room in your moving boxes or dresser drawers. Ask yourself these questions about each piece before deciding to take it with you:  Have I worn this in the last year? Does it fit? Is it still fashionable? Is it in good condition? There are many places that welcome used clothing, including Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and local thrift stores.

If you need further guidance on what to purge for your next move, consult the relocation specialists at Ayer Moving and Storage by email ( or call 800-233-6683.

Preparing Children for a Move

Preparing Children for a Move

Saying Goodbye to Your Home Isn’t Easy, Especially for Children

There is no denying it. Moving is difficult for everyone, but especially for children who don’t feel in control of the situation. So what can you do when preparing children for a move? Here are some tips to help make your move go smoothly.

Let the children know what is going on.

If you try to keep it a secret, they will know something is “up,” and will feel left out. It’s best to tell toddlers about a month ahead of time. Show consideration by telling older children sooner, giving them more time to emotionally prepare.  Remind younger children about the move often in an exciting, yet natural way. Point out something in a store and mention that a particular item “would look nice in your new room when we move.”  Reassure them that their toys and pets will be coming along.

Keep them involved in the moving process.

Write the date of the move on a wall calendar and the date that you will all begin the packing process in preparing children for a move. Let the children pack up their rooms, as appropriate for their age, and let them make labels and decorate their boxes with crayons or markers. Work together to create a floor plan for their new rooms.

Familiarize the children with the new house and area. 

If the children haven’t seen the new house, take pictures or video so they can become familiar with their new surroundings. Depending on age, the kids may like taking photos of their current home to document the move. When they get to their new home, they can take photos to send to their friends. Get a map of the area where you are moving. Mark several places of interest and where the new home and school will be. Discuss the local places you’ll visit once you get settled in your new home.

Let them make some decisions.

When preparing preparing children for a move, allow them decision-making power so they feel a bit more in control of the situation. Let them pick out the paint color for their room, wall décor, new bedding, or a rug. They will love getting to make their own selections and they will be more excited about the move. Older children can be asked their opinions about home décor as well, or if mature, accompany you when you are looking at homes with a realtor.

Celebrate the move with a going-away party!

Create some lasting memories in your current home with a party to mark this momentous occasion. Have the children help plan the event and create the invitations. A stuffed toy on which friends can write a special message or an address book for friends to enter their contact info are great ways to maintain connections. Give out bags to all guests with self-addressed, stamped cards for the kids’ friends to send. 

Don’t plan the gathering too close to your departure date. A party the day before the move can become a sad event. Plan to get together a week or two before the move, so that no one feels they are seeing each other for the last time before moving day.

Saying Goodbye. It is OK to be upset.

Allow your children to be sad or angry about the move. It won’t last forever. Some experts say it takes about six months for a child to completely acclimate to a new lifestyle (some adults, too!)

Plan to stay in touch with friends.

Discuss with your children how they can maintain their relationships by using social media, video calls, texts, and written communication. If you will be able to visit your old hometown, pick a date that you can be sure to keep and mark it on the calendar.

Connect with your new location.

Check out Scouting, music or dance lessons, martial arts or gymnastics, religious communities, children’s museums, zoos, parks, library, and recreation center.  Discuss these with the children and learn what activities they might be interested in exploring in their new community.

Ask family and friends for help with babysitting. 

Depending on your kids’ ages, you may want and need them to be occupied elsewhere when you are searching for your new home or packing in preparation for your move. Help is invaluable on these days and on moving day itself. 

Explain what’s going to happen on moving day. Kids like to know what’s in store for them and talking through the details of the day will let them know what to expect and what is expected of them. Pack a moving day kit for each child with some of their favorite toys, coloring books, an electronic device loaded with movies and games they can play. Don’t forget bottled water and a snack or two. 

Stay positive.

It is important for you (and your children) to keep a positive outlook about the move. Don’t compare your old community with the new in a negative way. It will be easier for your children to adjust if you are adjusting well, too.

Children will experience the move easier and will be more excited about it when you employ some or all of these tips to include them in your upcoming move. 

If you have questions about a stress-free move, call the relocation specialists at Ayer Moving and Storage at 800-233-6683.