10 Ways to Support Local Businesses During a Pandemic

10 Ways to Support Local Businesses During a Pandemic

Support Local Businesses During a Pandemic.

Small businesses have had to endure a lot since the beginning of the pandemic known as Covid-19.  Retail stores, restaurants, hair and nail salons, and recreational venues were closed and now that they are allowed to open, have to limit the number of patrons to conform to social distancing rules. Some businesses can’t hire staff because some people are afraid they will get sick if they go back to work.

When we support local business, we are supporting the local economy. Now is the time to help small businesses who need our patronage now more than ever. Here are some ways to do just that.

Support Local Businesses by Shopping Local

Look first to your local retailers – hardware stores, pharmacies, groceries, shoe stores, clothing boutiques, liquor stores. Don a mask and visit the stores for what you need. Check to see if they offer online selling with pickup or delivery service.

You can find local businesses to support by visiting your local Chambers of Commerce.

Some local chambers in our Area include:

North Central MA Chamber of Commerce

Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce

Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce

Worcester Area Chamber of Commerce

Support Local Businesses by Shopping locally online

Whether it is a retail store, supermarket, or restaurant, you can order online and then arrange for pick up or delivery.

To shop small local eEommerce stores visit over 2592 all over America on PRIVY.com

Support Local Businesses by Purchasing Gift Cards

Buy now and plan to use your gift cards later or for an online purchase. Your purchase helps keep cash flowing and doors open.

Buy Local Gift Cards from the North Central MA Region Today!

Support Local Businesses by Being a Generous Tipper

Wait staff depend on tips as their hourly rate is lower than you think. When there are fewer customers, the daily or weekly take-home takes a hit. Be generous and apply a larger than normal percentage to your tab for a tip.

Become a Discount Shopper Locally

If you haven’t yet discovered the joy of getting a bargain, be on the lookout for small businesses that are offering steep discounts to boost revenue. Purchase larger than normal quantities of sale items and you’ll be helping to keep a small business in business.

Order Local Restaurant Fare for Take Out

Preparing three meals a day at home can be a daunting task. Take a break and order take out for curb service or home delivery. Many restaurants are offering a limited menu at discounted pricing. You can order direct or through a food delivery service like UberEats.com or DoorDash.com. If the weather is nice and your favorite restaurant has outside table service, consider going out to eat.

Support Local Businesses and your Experiences on Social Media

Give your favorite stores and restaurants a “high five” by posting a review on social media. Whether you like standard review sites like yelp.com or reviews on the business Facebook page or if you enjoy snapping a photo of your food or purchase, the business will appreciate and benefit from the free exposure.

Keep Up Your Local Memberships if You Can

Even if you can’t attend the gym or class that was cancelled or live performance that didn’t happen, consider donating the cost to the business. If you had season tickets and half the season was cancelled, donate the unused portion rather than request a refund. These small donations will go a long way to ensuring a business or not-for-profit will be there next season when things are hopefully back to normal.

Many local businesses play it very “close to the vest” and will not be able to withstand several months with no or little revenue. Selecting one or more of the tips above, will not only be appreciated and remembered, it might be the difference between an OPEN or CLOSED sign in the months to come.

Storage Options for You Even During COVID-19

Storage Options for You Even During COVID-19

Storage Options for You Even During COVID-19. These are challenging times and if you need a solution for storing household belongings now during COVID-19, you want to be sure that precautions are being taken for your safety when dealing with your storage facility.

Storage Options with Safety First in Mind

This global Pandemic has spawned creative and practical ways to deal with and expand upon the CDC guidelines for safety. At Ayer Moving and Storage your health and safety and the safety of our employees are our highest priority. We screen our moving crew for symptoms. We have hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes on board all our trucks. We have increased our daily cleaning procedures for shared, high-touch surfaces on our trucks, equipment, in our storage, dispatch, and office areas. No-contact arrangements are made by phone so there is no need to go into the office. We also complete a short COVID-19 questionnaire prior to every job.

Everyone involved is required to wear a mask whether in the warehouse or storage unit and it is now the norm to maintain social distancing of six feet or more. In addition, we only use “clean” pens and are liberal in the use of disinfectant spray and/or wipes.

Reasons Why You May Need a Storage Options as a Solution


You may not have extra space at home to store household items you want and need, but don’t use very often, including seasonal clothing, outgrown toys, electronics, furniture, or valuable artwork.

You’ll need extra storage when your college student is home and dorm furnishings and décor need a place temporarily. The same is true for Military service members who require short- or long-term storage.

Business or household paperwork or tax records that you are required by law to keep for years can be safely stored in a storage unit.

Do you have a sports car or antique vehicle that you want to safely store over the winter months? Or perhaps you have an RV that you need to move out of your driveway or backyard.

Out of season recreational vehicles – a boat, ATV, jet-ski, or motorcycle can be put away in a storage facility.

If you are selling your home and need to remove furnishings to stage it properly or if you have sold your home, but are not yet ready to move to your new house, a storage facility is the ideal solution.

Types of Storage Options Available

Storage Options for You Even During COVID-19 Warehouse StorageA temperature-controlled warehouse is perfect for long- or short-term storage. Your belongings can be picked up at your home and loaded onto a truck that will deliver them to the warehouse. There everything is packed into crates or loaded onto shelves. Ayer Moving and Storage offers 20,000 sq. ft. of warehouse where you can store a little or a lot.

 

Storage Options for You Even During COVID-19 Self-Storage UnitsThese handy units come in various sizes and are available for monthly rentals. You bring your belongings to the unit store them inside yourself. You can bring in additional items and/or remove some when you need them. You supply your own lock so you, alone, have a key to your unit and can access it according to the facility’s schedule and hours of operation. You can cover your belongings with thick sheets of plastic, or bubble wrap and use plywood or boards to place between layers of stacked items.

 

 

Storage Options for You Even During COVID-19 Containers on Wheels – Ayer Moving and Storage offers COWs (Containers on Wheels) for temporary or long-term storage on your property or ours. COWs are lockable and weatherproof, steel-constructed containers that we deliver to your driveway. Ideal for use in-between moves or if you are doing renovation and need a place for furnishings until the job is complete. Available in 8’ or 16’ containers and can be rented daily, weekly, or monthly.

If you are planning a local do-it-yourself move, you can pack up your COW and when you are ready to move, we’ll load it onto our truck and deliver it to your new home.

For more information about storage options at Ayer Moving and Storage, call 800-233-MOVE or email. (info@ayermoving.com)

Cleaning Tips for both Moving In and Moving Out of Your Home

Cleaning Tips for both Moving In and Moving Out of Your Home

Cleaning Tips for Moving and Out of your Home. When getting ready to sell your home, you’ll want to be sure that it shows well once it is listed for sale. Your moving house cleaning should be as methodical as purging and packing and can be accomplished in conjunction with these other tasks.

These are areas that you need to focus on so that once your household is packed and loaded on the moving van, you won’t have a lot of last-minute cleaning chores to complete. We’ve put together some tips that use common baking soda and/or vinegar as cleaning agents that will leave your home clean and fresh without the need for harsh chemicals.

Cleaning Tips for Moving Out

Kitchen

Buyers look closely at the kitchen and every appliance and countertop in it. Kitchens are very important to prospective buyers and need to be cleaned carefully before and after the sale.

Stovetop and Oven.

Brush off any debris with a brush and sprinkle the surface with baking soda. Then spray with hydrogen peroxide. Wipe clean with a sponge and cool water after the solution sits for several minutes. Your oven can be cleaned with a paste you make from equal parts baking soda and water. Let this sit overnight and then wipe the paste away with a damp cloth. If there is residue of baking soda, spray with vinegar, which will make the paste fizz up. You should be able to wipe it away easily. If your oven has a self-cleaning option, use it to remove burned-on food. Don’t forget to clean exhaust fans.

Drawers and Cabinets.

Remove drawer and shelf liners and sprinkle surfaces with a little baking soda, wiping with a damp sponge. Stains or caked-on foods on cabinet doors can be removed with Murphy’s Oil Soap, an all-natural cleaner.

Refrigerator.

When ready to move, clear out everything and spray all surfaces inside and out with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Wipe with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly with a clean towel. Defrost the freezer, if needed, and clean in the same manner as the refrigerator. Move the appliance out a bit and clean behind, under, and around it. Last minute: unplug the unit and leave the door ajar.

Dishwasher.

Clean by using a recommended product while running the dishwasher. Repair or replace any broken utensil holders or racks.

Countertops.

Fill a spray bottle with water and white vinegar (equal parts). Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil and wipe down the counters.

Sink.

Use the same solution you mixed up for the counters and wipe out the sink. If you have a garbage disposal, pour ½ cup baking soda into the disposal drain, followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. Let the solution soak for a few minutes. Then rinse with water while turning on the disposal for a few seconds.

Flooring.

Sweep floors, being sure to go under appliances. Then do a quick mop with warm water. If floors need a more thorough cleaning, use a product recommended for your specific flooring. When selling the home, floors need to sparkle. When moving, a quick sweep and mop is sufficient.

Bathrooms

Shower and Tub.

Here again, the baking soda and water paste will do the trick to clean out soap and dirt residue. Apply the paste, scrub the surfaces, and then follow with a spritz of vinegar until it fizzes. Scrub again when the fizzing stops. Finish with a final rinse with water.

Sinks.

Sprinkle baking soda onto the sink and rub it in with a soft cloth. Then rinse with cool water.

Mirrors.

Mix 1part vinegar and 4 parts water to wipe all mirrors and fixtures.

Toilets.

Pour a mixture of ½ cup vinegar and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Let it sit for 30 minutes and then scrub with a toilet brush.

Floors.

Sweep and mop with a solution of ¼ cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon of dish soap, and 2 gallons water. Use a towel to wipe down floors with this mixture.

Living Areas

Walls.

Remove any nails or screws and plaster the holes using spackling paste with a putty knife. When dry, lightly sand and touch up paint. Remove any scuff marks with a Magic Eraser. Cover a broom with a towel and wipe the walls from ceiling to baseboard to catch any cobwebs. Don’t forget to dust and wipe windowsills clean too.

Doors.

Wipe down doors and knobs with a few drops of dish soap in water. You can add ½ cup vinegar (to 3 cups of water) and mix in a few drops of dish soap and essential oil.

Light Fixtures, Ceiling Fans, Switches, Outlets. Dust and use a microfiber cloth sprayed with your cleaning solution (see Doors).

Vents.

Use a vacuum attachment to vacuum up any dust, dog hair or dirt. Wipe with the microfiber cloth and the same spray used to clean light fixtures.

Drapes.

Use an upholstery brush and crevice tool to vacuum drapery to rid it of dust and dirt. If more cleaning is needed, consider dry cleaning and re-installing.

Carpet Stains.

Use 1part vinegar mixed with 2 parts water. Dip a rag in the mixture and then place it over the stain. Heat an iron to the steam setting and iron on top of the rag for about 30 seconds. If the stain doesn’t come up, you may need a commercial carpet stain remover.

Garage.

Clean any ceiling fans, lighting fixtures, and any built-in shelving or cabinets. Vacuum or sweep out the area. Clean garage floor stains by scrubbing with a stiff brush, detergent, and degreaser. Be sure to leave the garage completely empty unless other arrangements have been made with the buyers.

If you’ve taken care of all this beforehand, when the movers have loaded the van, you can do a quick dusting, vacuum, and mop to greet the new owners with a clean home.

Cleaning Tips for Moving In

Once you are on the road to your new home, you can turn your attention to what needs to be done to make it ready to welcome you and your family in comfort. The amount of cleaning you’ll need to do will depend on whether your new home is a newly built house or one that is a resale.

Kitchen

Cabinets, Drawers, Counters. Wipe down all surfaces with a disinfectant spray and add lining where desired.

Dishwasher.

Pour a cup of white vinegar into a dishwasher-safe container and place it on the top rack of your dishwasher while running it through one cycle.

Refrigerator and Stove.

Remove all stove-top grills and refrigerator shelves and drawers. Soak them for an hour in a tub of warm, soapy water. Remove, dry, and put back in place. Prevent odors in the refrigerator by placing an open box of baking soda or a tray of fresh or used coffee grounds in the back corner. Replace every two- to four-weeks.
Bathroom
Toilets. If desired, replace toilet seats and covers to ensure a clean, fresh start. Otherwise, wipe down surfaces with a disinfectant. Do the same for all other surfaces.

Sweep, dust, vacuum, and/or mop as needed throughout the home to your satisfaction.

Hopefully, the former owners of your new home have done as good a job cleaning before they left as you did. Now that you’ve done your move-in cleaning, you are ready to celebrate being in your new home and are ready to tackle the next job: unpacking!

How to Make Your Cross-Country Move Less Stressful

How to Make Your Cross-Country Move Less Stressful

You don’t need to be told that the more things you take with you, the more work you’ll have to do and the more expensive it will be. Therefore, the first tip to make your cross-country move less stressful is to reduce and declutter!

Downsize to De-stress

Attack one room at a time and use a sticky note to label items you use every day, those you use less frequently, and those you hardly ever use.

For those items you seldom or never use (or wear), make three piles: Items to sell; items to give away; and items to discard.

Check the condition of everything. If you are thinking of moving a five-year-old couch that has seen better days, you might consider donating it to a charitable organization and purchasing a new one once you are settled.

Consider having a yard sale or listing your items on your local Facebook Marketplace, or freecycle, OfferUp, Letgo, or Ebay.  For those items that are to be discarded, think about renting a dumpster through a company like BinThereDumpThat. They will deliver a household-sized dumpster to your driveway and pick it up when you have finished your cleanout.

Organize to a Fault

Use a moving checklist which gives you a detailed description and timeline for what you need to do to prepare for your move and tips for during and after your move.

Make an inventory of everything you are shipping to your new home, room by room. Your mover will also make an inventory, but it is prudent to have your own to compare.

Use technology to assist in making your inventory list easier. Check out the app from MoveAdvisor-Home Inventory, which gives you a detailed digital map of your home into which you can place all the furnishings you are planning to move. Sortly allows you to create a virtual inventory of all your items.

Timing is Everything

Speak with your moving company about the best time to undertake a cross-country move with regards to peak and off-peak seasons. Mid-month, mid-week, and off season moves will mean better scheduling to meet your needs and lower costs.

Be sure to consult the weather predictions a few days before your move is to begin. If bad weather is in store, you and your mover can prepare a back-up plan.

Begin Planning Early

Once you’ve decided to move, begin to interview prospective movers who are experienced in long-distance moving. You want to be sure to ask for a free, no-obligation quote that includes an in-home visit (adhering to current Covid-19 precautions) or a detailed telephone quote. You will need to be prepared at that point to know precisely what you are moving and communicate that to your prospective mover. Remember to discuss the different options regarding insurance and ask about the travel arrangements. Will there be an overnight stop along the way? What if there are delays?

Packing – Who and with What?

You have options regarding the packing procedure for your move. You can do it all. You can have your mover do all the packing … or you can split the process by doing the clothing and household items and have your mover pack electronics, art, and items that need special care.

Your mover has many types and sizes of moving boxes available and may even have used ones to sell at a discounted rate. There are some items that can be shipped in grocery or department store boxes but be wary of using boxes that are inappropriate in size or weight that will not protect your items adequately. There are specialty boxes for lamps, dinnerware, electronics, wall art, and TVs as well as wardrobe boxes in which you can hang clothing.

You can also purchase unprinted newsprint paper from your mover or stationery store … paper that won’t soil your items like used newspaper will. You can also use towels and linens to wrap fragile items.

Label each box with the room and a summary of what is in the box. Make a copy to put IN the box as well as one to tape onto the box.

For a detailed guide to packing that you can download, visit our website.

Coordinate Your Travel

You will need to plan your travel arrangements to mesh with your mover so that you, your family, and your household arrive at your destination together. Consider where you will stay until your mover arrives. What will be the ETA of the truck and how long will it take to unload? If you are traveling with pets, children, or seniors, what special considerations are necessary? A pet-friendly hotel? A sitter to keep the children occupied while the movers are loading and/or unloading? A caretaker and comfortable waiting space with food and water?

Ask Questions

An experienced long-distance mover will have the answers to your questions. Don’t be afraid to depend on their expertise if you have concerns. The best way to alleviate stress is to have confidence in your mover who is your partner in this very important and exciting venture.

Related Blog Post: Cleaning Tips for Moving In and Out of Your Home!

How to Make Your Cross-Country Move Less Stressful

7 Ways to Feel at Home in Your New Apartment

7 Ways to Feel at Home in Your New Apartment

Moving into your own apartment can be very exciting … your new space is a blank canvas that you can make yours by simply adding one element:  PERSONALITY!

You want to make it yours; to add the sparkle that is a reflection of you; to transform your apartment into a home. The Danish call it HYGGE, pronounced “hue-guh,” meaning cozy, comfortable, and contented.

Here are some steps you can take to convert your generic white-walled residence into your very own personal haven.

  1. Clean it! Before you do anything else, a deep clean is in order. Give yourself a fresh start by scrubbing away the remnants of the past tenants. The bonus is that while cleaning you’ll get familiar with every nook and cranny of your new apartment and it will begin to feel familiar.
  2. Paint it! If permissible, select a wall color that is more “you.” Without spending a lot of money, you can change the look and feel of your space with just a coat or two of paint. You can simply paint an accent wall or change the entire color scheme of the apartment to suit your personality.
  3. Light it! The right lighting design can turn a drab space into a comfortable and functional one. Lighting should be planned for function so that you have the appropriate amount and type of light for the area. Where will you relax with a book? Will you have a specific area for your computer work? What color bulbs are best for the bedroom? Visit lighting stores and ask the experts or do a bit of research on the Internet.
  4. Decorate it! Bring out the knick-knacks, throw pillows, and wall art that you treasure and find the best space to display them. Sentimental items like a hand-crocheted blanket, a favorite photo or painting, or a souvenir from your travels will instantly bring your apartment to life and give it a dose of hygge.
  5. Hang it! It’s important to bring a sense of privacy to your new home. Bare widows need to be dressed to give your apartment a feeling of completeness. Whether you choose curtains, drapes, or simply valences depends on your style. The object is to create unity with your furniture and décor.
  6. Frame it! Unpack photos of friends and family. Put some on a bookshelf or use magnets to affix them to your refrigerator. Create a montage of photos on an accent wall. Nothing makes a house a home faster than some familiar faces.
  7. Throw it! Invite friends and family over for drinks and a bite to eat. Planning a party will get your kitchen in order and will get you emotionally connected to your new apartment. Your place will feel warm and cozy when filled with those you love. A party of this type, you know, is called a “house-warming” for this very reason.

Follow these guidelines and your new apartment will feel cozy and comfortable in no time!

Ayer Moving and Storage has resources to help you with your move and our Relocation Specialists can give you tips on saving money. Call us at (800) 233-6683 or visit our website for more information.

A Baker’s Dozen Tips for Saving Money on Your Move

A Baker’s Dozen Tips for Saving Money on Your Move

No doubt about it.  Moving can be expensive. There are many tips for saving money when you move, but some come with a caution. You may be saving some dollars, but you could also be risking the safety of your belongings and bringing more work and stress on yourself in the bargain. Consider these money-saving tips and the adverse consequences that may occur.

Get a Moving Quote.

Call two or three movers and invite them to come to your home to prepare a moving estimate. When professional movers see your home and the items you want to take with you, your estimate will include all the necessary charges and you won’t be low-balled or be greeted with an unpleasant surprise when the move is complete. This will enable movers to see that there are narrow stairs to the third floor, or you have a piano that needs special attention. They will record each piece of furniture to be moved and its approximate weight so your estimate will be as accurate as possible. Only then will you be able to compare one mover with another.

Be Organized.

Take advantage of moving guides available from your mover so you don’t overlook crucial steps in the moving process. You’ll want to pay special attention to the timeline of what to do when, as the process can involve more time than you might think, especially if you haven’t moved before. You can request free moving and packing guides from Ayer Moving and Storage.

Inventory Prior to the Move.

Don’t wait until you are ready to pack. See if members of your family or friends want anything you really don’t need. Sell items at a yard sale. Dispose of things that are no longer useful. Donate items to charities and if you itemize on your tax return, take a deduction for their value.

Be Flexible with the Moving Date.

Movers are typically slow in the winter months or in the middle of the week or month. You may be able to save a bit by being flexible. (The months of July and August are peak times for moving companies and they are usually booked way in advance.)

Do Your Own Packing.

You can find many tips for packing your own possessions, including collectibles, antiques, electronics, and clothing online. Keep in mind that professional packers know the precise ways in which to pack and have the appropriate packing materials on hand, including bubble wrap, plain newsprint, and special sized boxes. Compare the costs and the time involved before you decide to do it yourself.

Free Moving Boxes.

Sturdy boxes are available free from liquor stores, university bookstores, and supermarkets (find out when they typically flatten boxes or incinerate them so you can pick them up beforehand!)  Moving companies also sell used packing boxes and specialty boxes for wall art, dishes, and wardrobes.

Go online.

Purchase plain (inkless) newsprint and bubble wrap from discount stores like Staples or Amazon. Or check out used packing materials on Facebook Marketplace or Craig’s List. (When your move is complete you can list your used packing materials for sale!)

Consider Sharing the Packing.

You may want to pack certain things yourself but leave the large furniture and special items like artwork, computers, dishes, and collectibles to the professionals.

Pack Like Russian Dolls.

Conserve space by packing small items inside larger items to save on moving boxes. Don’t overpack, though, as you run the risk of heavy boxes being dropped or bursting under the strain.

Use Linens to Pack.

Make use of towels and blankets to wrap around fragile items and to cushion items against each other.

Solicit Friends for Moving Day.

Ask friends and neighbors to help you load the moving truck and treat them to pizza and libations (after the job is done)! Be sure to plan who is to do what and how you want the loading to be accomplished. Otherwise, you risk having boxes loaded incorrectly which can result in crushing or breaking your treasures.

Rent a COW.

A Container on Wheels (COW) is a portable storage unit that can be loaded in your driveway and then hitched to your local mover’s truck to go to your new home.

Rent a truck, Load, and Drive It.

 

This can save you a bundle, but you may not be ready or able to take on this huge task. Ask your local mover if you can rent a truck from them, along with a crew to load it. Then you can drive to your new location on your own. (You’ll need to arrange for help on the other end!)

Don’t skimp on moving insurance coverage. You’ll want to talk to your mover about purchasing insurance in addition to the coverage that is included with the move, which pays on claims according to the weight of the item, not its value. It is key to have this insurance on anything that might break during the move.

Ayer Moving and Storage has resources to help you with your move and their Relocation Specialists can give you tips on saving money. Call us at (800) 233-6683 or visit our website for more information.

How to Protect your Floors and Carpets when Moving

How to Protect your Floors and Carpets when Moving

Want to protect your floors and carpets when moving? One of the most often overlooked areas on the to-do list when preparing to move is ensuring that your floors and carpets are protected during move-out and move-in. Preventing floors and carpets from damage during the moving process can help you avoid costly repairs. Happily, there are simple ways to protect your floors during your move.

What to Do and What Not to Do

The first type of protection focuses on preventing heavy items from being dragged along the floor or being dropped on the hardwood, tiled, or carpeted floors.

No Dragging

Never drag furniture along the floor. You can easily damage flooring surfaces and create dents, scratches, or broken tiles as a result. Be sure to carry the lighter furniture pieces and use furniture sliders and rubber-wheeled dollies.

Use Furniture Blankets

Thick blankets should be used to cover the edges of furniture pieces, kitchen appliances, or any other heavy items. The extra padding will soften the impact if a heavyweight item is accidentally dropped.

Only Sturdy Boxes

Strong cardboard boxes can hold the weight of heavy items.  Be sure not to pack any box too heavy – no more than 50 pounds to ensure that the boxes will stand up to the weight. Tape securely with high-quality shipping tape to reinforce the bottoms of all cardboard cartons.

Furniture Sliders

The best furniture sliders are made of strong plastic and hard rubber. Their purpose is to minimize or eliminate the friction between the furniture and the floor. (They also are great for preventing back injuries!)

Dollies

A rubber-wheeled dolly enables you to wheel out the heavy items without any damage to the flooring.

Doormats

Placed in front of and behind the main door can prevent, as much as possible, dust, mud, water, snow, or debris to be brought into your home on the shoes of the moving crew.

Shoe Booties

Ideally, all moving crew should use shoe booties that are placed on the shoes at the moment of entering the home and taken off when exiting the house. The best way to ensure that debris is not brought into the home is to have two crews – one outside the home to unload from the moving van and another to meet the unloader at the door and carry the items into the home.

Protective Materials for Carpets and Floors

Covering your floors and carpets with some kind of protective material can be very helpful in preventing damage. Here are some options:

Protect your Floors with Old Rugs

Use old rugs or blankets for temporary floor protection on moving day. Place them along the entrance paths to keep water or dirt off the floors and to provide a cushioning barrier against dents and scratches.

Protect your Floors Floor Runners

Made of neoprene with an anti-slip surface, floor runners, although costly, are an excellent protective material for floors and stairs.

Protect your Floors with Plastic Film

Self-adhesive carpet films serve as good insulation from dirty shoes and the weather. Some carpet films also have an anti-slip property to prevent slips and falls. These too add an expense to your budget, so cardboard and plywood may be a more affordable option.

Protect your Floors with Cardboard

Flatten extra cardboard boxes and arrange the sheets directly on the floors as added protection. Cardboard will not scratch hardwood floors but be sure to remove any carton staples before using.

Protect your Floors with Plywood

If you have heavy furniture to move, such as appliances or a piano, you can create a temporary floor over the existing one using plywood sheets.

Protect your Floors with Area Rug Removal

If you have expensive area rugs, roll them up and remove them before the movers arrive. Then you can select one of the options above to protect the floor under the area rugs.

A professional moving company will take care to protect your carpets and floors during the move. Usually the task of protecting floors in preparation for moving is up to the homeowner, However, when you call a mover for an estimate, be sure to discuss what the company does to ensure that your carpets and floors are protected and what suggestions they may have for what you can do on your end.

These tips will help to ensure that your floors and carpets are safe and during your move-out and move-in. If you have questions about an upcoming move, call Ayer Moving and Storage at 800-233-6683 or 978-772-2558 and be sure to download our Ayer Moving and Storage Moving Checklist.

Packing Heavy Items for Moving – A Helpful Guide

Packing Heavy Items for Moving – A Helpful Guide

Heavy household items are difficult to handle when moving and they can present some significant risks to those who are packing and carrying them. You will want to consider these helpful guidelines to help prevent injury and to ensure the good condition of the goods themselves.

The Right Packing Materials

It is important to use the appropriate packing materials – strong boxes of the proper size — and thicker, heavier wrapping material – bubble wrap, foam padding or moving blankets.

Your Boxes

You’ll need to use durable cardboard or double-walled moving boxes that can withstand heavier weight. If you are packing heavy fragile items, consider using plastic or wood crates. Place sheets of crumpled paper or pieces of bubble wrap on the inside bottom of each box for added security.

When packing heavy items, small boxes (1.5 cubic feet) are better than large ones. (Large boxes are better for holding lighter items.) The rule of thumb is that each box should not weigh more than 50 pounds. Some boxes, such as a wardrobe box or those holding electronics, may be heavier.

Thick Wrapping Materials

Crunched up paper isn’t enough when cushioning heavy items in a box. It will compress flat under their weight and won’t provide the proper protection. However, unprinted newsprint can be helpful when packing small parts of heavy household items. Use it as a first layer before using heavier wrap. Large size bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard, packing peanuts or foam padding should be used to protect heavy household items.

Packing Tape

Use high quality, heavy-duty packing tape, which is thicker, can hold greater weight and will reinforce the boxes and keep wrappings in place.

Packing Books

Books are heavy! You can fit about 24 average size hardcover books into a small box and it will weigh about 38 pounds. Tape the bottoms of your book boxes. Put your largest, heaviest books in first, packing the books FLAT, or with their spines DOWN. Never pack books with their spines facing you as that can damage the bindings seriously. Don’t overfill the box. Fill the gaps with crushed unprinted newsprint and tape the box closed securely. Don’t be stingy with the tape!

Packing Heavy Kitchen Items

Tape the bottoms of your boxes with strong packing tape. Arrange canned goods and glass jars on the bottom. Wrap each glass kitchen item in packing paper to avoid possible breakage. Cans should be unwrapped and neatly arranged with minimal space between them. Fill the gaps with crumpled paper. Place a few sheets of packing paper on top of the first row and pack the second row with lighter kitchen items. You can pack silverware pieces as the second row after rolling a handful of utensils into several pieces of packing paper. Lastly, pack light items such as spice jars and hand towels as the top layer with several sheets of packing paper overall.

Packing Heavy Clothing

Winter clothes, especially outerwear, can be very heavy and can fill a box quickly. Special wardrobe moving boxes are best. You can hang heavy winter clothes keeping them dust- and wrinkle-free during the move. You can also use the bottom of a wardrobe moving box to pack boots and winter shoes.

You can also pack heavy clothes in wheeled suitcases. Use vacuum bags to save packing space.  Remember, no more than 50 lbs in each wardrobe moving box or suitcase!

Packing Heavy Furniture

Disassemble furniture as appropriate so they can be transported more easily. Take apart beds, cabinets, bookshelves, and tables to their main components and pack or wrap the components together. Protect fragile parts or sections with soft packing paper (unprinted newsprint) and then with bubble wrap to create protective layers. Do not place bubble wrap directly onto furniture to prevent possible damage to delicate surfaces. Consider using thick cardboard pieces over delicate elements for added protection. Wrap all disassembled pieces with thick furniture blankets and cover all remaining furniture pieces with protective blankets as well.  Tape the blankets to keep them from unwrapping. Do not allow packing tape to stick to the surface of your furniture to avoid stains.

Packing Heavy Appliances

You may decide to move large appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, or stoves. These heavy appliances need special attention.

Be sure electric appliances are unplugged from power outlets before protecting them for the move. Defrost the refrigerator or freezer at least 48 hours before moving day. Remove all elements that can be removed safely – shelves, drawers, or racks – and pack the detached parts separately in packing paper, bubble wrap, and moving blankets.

Use shrink wrap or twine to secure the doors of your heavy appliances to keep them from opening during the move. Wrap heavy appliances completely in thick furniture blankets to prevent damage. Tape the covers to secure them.

More Tips

If you have more space left at the top of a box when you have reached your weight limit, cut the box down to size to create a better fit. Slice the vertical edges of the box, fold down the sides, overlap them, and seal tightly to create a smaller container. Before filling, flip the box upside down to create a multi-layered bottom that can withstand more weight.

If you have a fragile item that needs more protection, pack it properly, seal the box, and place it in another larger box. Put some cardboard or other padding material between the two boxes or wrap the smaller box in bubble wrap first. Then seal the larger box with packing tape.

Label all your heavy boxes with their contents and in large letters: HANDLE WITH CARE – HEAVY! This alerts the movers to be careful when carrying, loading and unloading these cartons. Don’t forget to mark all boxes containing fragile items: FRAGILE and THIS SIDE UP!

Following these guidelines will help to ensure a safe and secure move for all your household items. If you have questions about packing for a move, call Ayer Moving and Storage at 800-233-6683 or 978-772-2558 and be sure to download our Ayer Moving and Storage packing guide.

Moving to a New City

Moving to a New City

If you are thinking about making a move to a new city, it is important to do a bit of research before finalizing your destination. Whether your proposed move is across the country or on the other side of the state, you’ll want to have this information in-hand so you know your decision will be an informed one.

What are your goals?

Why are you moving and what are you hoping to achieve? Make a list of your professional and personal goals before you start packing.

What is the cost of living?

How far will your dollar stretch in your new city? Check out the cost of housing, transportation, healthcare, and food so you can create a budget. You can use the Bankrate Calculator, an online resource and check online homes for sale listings, gas prices, and restaurant menus.

Looking for a job?

The time to begin applying for jobs is now … before you move. Make a job hunting plan that includes targeted industries and companies, desired geographic areas, and opportunities listed on company websites. Research whether the company offers relocation benefits and learn about the corporate culture.

Make Connections.

Do you have friends, acquaintances, or family in your new city? Use your alumni network and business, professional, and personal connections here to form new connections. Use LinkedIn and Facebook to discover connections or request introductions.

Explore in Person or Online.

Visit your new city, if possible, before you move to learn about its neighborhoods. Check out both residential and commercial areas. Learn which may be unsavory and which have the features that interest you. Where are the parks, nightlife, restaurants? What types of transportation and parking are available? Online resources are invaluable. For instance, Googling “parks near (name of city)” will yield lots of information. Try City Data and Crime Reports to learn more.

When you have done your “homework” and have made your decision, you’ll want to make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible.

You Can’t Take It with You.

Dispose of unnecessary possessions. You don’t need to move items that no longer serve your purposes. Sort your household items into those you absolutely need, those you can part with – to be sold, given away to friends or relatives, items to donate to charitable organizations — and those that can be disposed of. Consider having a yard sale and plan to donate whatever doesn’t sell to charity.

Throw a Party.

Have a get together and make sure you say farewell to the important people in your life. You’ll leave your old home on good terms with an enthusiastic attitude about the adventure you are about to take.

Be Open to New Experiences.

Seek out opportunities to meet new people. Say “yes” to after-work social gatherings. Join business or civic organizations that will extend your networking contacts in your new city. Eat alone in a local café or coffee house. Read a book in the park. Talk to people.

Get Familiar.

Explore your neighborhood to discover local stores. Where is the nearest pharmacy, grocery, post office, or coffee shop? When is the library open? Where can you walk or ride your bike? Ask co-workers or people you meet for recommendations and directions. Remember, it’s OK to get lost; that’s when you may experience the best adventures.  Today, GPS and cell phones prevent us from actually being “lost.” We just get waylaid or take the scenic route. When you become more familiar with your neighborhood, your new community will begin to feel like home.

Join nextdoor.com, an online neighborhood app. This website, as well as your community’s Facebook page have a wealth of information.  You can check out Meet Up for information on local group meetings that you can attend.

Focus on the positive.

Things won’t always go as you planned them, but whatever happens, think about what you like and value about your new home. Remember your reasons for relocating and remain positive about your decision.

You may become acclimated with a few months or it may take longer to adjust to your new area. Take the time to learn about your new community and put yourself out there. Soon you’ll begin to feel like you are a “native.” You will have made some casual friends and hopefully, some close ones.

If you have questions about moving across town or across the country, call the Relocation Specialists at Ayer Moving and Storage.

The Key to a Successful Move: Organization

The Key to a Successful Move: Organization

Tips for making your move smooth and stress-free!

If you’ve moved before, you know there are a thousand details to keep track of and it pays to be organized from the start. If you haven’t experienced a move to a new home, these tips will be especially helpful in keeping you sane and your move on track.

Keep a Binder

Two or three months before your move create a binder specifically for your move and organize it into the following categories:

Checklists. Download our Ayer Moving Timeline for a Successful Move so you know what needs to be done before, during, and after your move.

Utilities. Keep track of utility contact information, appointments, utility contracts and pricing for the utilities in your new location. Also, collect and store info on your current utility companies so you will have information at hand when setting up utilities for your new home.

Moving Companies. Keep estimates from potential moving companies here and when you’ve signed a contract, keep it in this section.

Household Inventory. Available online or from your mover, fill out an inventory sheet so you know exactly what you own and what you will be taking with you.

Schedules. Print blank monthly calendar sheets from WORD and fill in information such as your home inspection date, final home walk-through, real estate closing, moving day and time, utility hook-up times, and more.

Loan Documents. Keep your loan documents here for easy reference until after the move; you can then file them in your home office.

Receipts. Use this section for all purchase receipts that pertain to your move or house. Receipts such as for the purchase of a ceiling fan, faucet, or door lock. If you need to return or exchange anything, the receipt will be easy to locate.

Builder. Place builder contracts, warranties, and other important paperwork here relative to building a home, renovations, or maintenance.

Donations. In preparation for your move, chances are you will donate furnishings and household goods to charitable organizations. Keep a list of all donations and donation receipts in this section.

Important Documents. Place copies of important medical records, school records, and financial documents that you may need to put your hands on in a hurry during the move.

Add some blank notepaper and a few pens so you can jot down important information on the fly.

Use a Color-coded System

Round sticker labels in different colors can be used on boxes and furniture to indicate in which room it is to be placed by the movers. A matching colored paper hung on each room’s door will direct movers to the correct location.

You can write the details of the contents of each box and place the colored sticker on the label, so you will tell at a glance what is in each box and where it is to go.

Create a Packing Strategy

Plan your packing room-by-room. Prioritize the rooms, beginning with the rooms containing non-essentials. This might be a spare bedroom/bathroom, playroom, or the basement or attic. The kitchen and bedrooms should be packed last. Download the guide Tips from the Professional Packers at Ayer Moving.

Use Zip-Top Bags for Toys

Use freezer zip-top bags to keep small toys and their parts together. The bags can then be placed into a box labeled with its contents and destination. This works for toiletries, office supplies, and kitchen utensils. To estimate the number of boxes and supplies you’ll need, use a packing calculator from realtor.com.

Prevent Cord and Cable Tangles

Tie up electric cords and cables and place them inside baggies. Each bag can be taped to its device, or as an option, fold the cord and slip it inside an empty toilet paper roll. Write the name of the device to which the cord belongs on the roll.

Moving Day Essentials Bag

Make a list of what you will need on moving day. This may include medications, basic toiletries, baby necessities, paper towels, toilet paper, trash bags, pet essentials, snacks, and bottled water.  You might also include your wallet, extra car keys, and credit cards, as well as any important documents you may need.

Also include any electronics you use on a regular basis – your phone and tablet, for example, along with their chargers. Pack a change of clothes, pajamas, socks and underwear.

If you are moving with children, you can pack an essentials bag for each of them with a change of clothes, favorite snacks and drinks, basic toiletries, and games, a tablet, coloring book, reading materials and special blankets or stuffed animals.

Create a Tool Basket

Put basic tools in a carryall, like a basket, that you may need during your move-out and move-in. You can simply grab the basket and move it from room to room where it is needed to complete a quick fix-it.

Helpful Moving Apps

Use the power of technology to help you organize your move. Here are some you can check out:

Sortly– Described as “the ultimate organizer app,” Sortly helps users create a visual inventory of their belongings with photos, tags, notes, and more.

Nextdoor– Connect with neighbors, sell household belongings and find local home improvement professionals with the Nextdoor mobile app.

LetGo – Need to purge your stuff before a move? This mobile app makes it easy to sell your belongings at the touch of a button.

Houzz – The mobile app helps users find home remodeling professionals, as well as inspiration for home design and decor.

 

Planning ahead is the sure way to stay organized. These tips can help you stay calm, cool, and collected during your move and ensure that move-out and move-in are successful in every way.

 

If you have questions about getting organized for a pending move, call a professional moving consultant at Ayer Moving & Storage at 1-800-233-MOVE. We will be happy to discuss how they can help organize your move to be stress-free.