Maintenance for Your New Home

It’s human nature. Once you’ve signed the closing documents and your new home is really yours, you’ll start thinking about what you want to do to improve it!

There’s that wallpaper that you can’t stand. And the carpet that really needs replacing. Before you drive yourself crazy running to Home Depot or Lowes, grab a fresh notepad and make a wish list. Invite each member of the family to add to their own page of “wishes” so you can prioritize them and address each one at the appropriate time.

Before you address changing the décor, here are ten maintenance items that should be done sooner, rather than later to avoid problems.  You can replace that ugly wallpaper later!

1. Clean Refrigerator Coils

Refrigerator condenser coils are located on the back of the fridge or across the bottom. When coils are clogged with dust, pet hair and cobwebs, they cannot efficiently release heat. This means your compressor works harder and longer than it was designed to, using more energy and shortening the life of your refrigerator. Clean the coils with a vacuum and a coil-cleaning brush, which is bendable to fit in tight areas.

2. Check the Dryer for Built-Up Lint

A clogged lint screen or dryer duct can drastically reduce the dryer’s efficiency. It can also use up to 30 percent more electricity, wasting money you might use towards another home improvement project.

3. Check your Furnace and HVAC Filters, Too

Just like in your dryer, only on a larger scale, a clogged filter makes your heating and cooling systems run less efficiently, wasting energy and money. A clogged filter traps harmful pollutants and allergens that affect interior air quality. Replace the filters if needed and mark your calendar to do this on a regular basis.

4. Re-caulk Your Windows

It is especially important in New England to minimize heat loss in the winter. Sealing the spaces around windows can help. The type of caulk you’ll need will depend on the type of windows you have. You’ll want a caulk with a joint movement capability of between 25 and 50 percent and a 20-year weather-seal warranty. Apply to clean and dry surfaces when outside air temperature falls within the suggested range on the caulk packaging.

5. Clean A/C Condensers and Evaporators

Turn off the electricity to the unit and vacuum the outdoor condenser exterior fins with a soft-bristled brush. Clear away bushes, weeds and overgrown grass within two feet of the unit. Replace the furnace filter on the evaporator unit, vacuum the blower compartment, and clean the condensation drain. If this is too much DIY for you, make an appointment with your HVAC company for an A/C tune up in April or May before the pre-summer rush.

6. Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve

In the flurry of activity on moving in, you may not think to locate the main water shutoff valve. Important for obvious reasons, check it out before you need to shut off the water for any reason.  Usually you’ll find a main shutoff valve directly before the water meter and another after. You’ll see a gauge and a paper or vinyl tag that indicates the handle of the valve. Turn the handle perpendicular to the pipe to shut off the water.

7. Clean Gutters and Roof Valleys

Gutters with leaves and debris will prevent water from draining into the downspouts and can cause the gutters to freeze and become damaged. Water can back up and cause the roof to leak. Clean gutters by removing debris with a trowel or your gloved hands and then flush with water from a garden hose.

8. Check Smoke and CO Detectors and Replace, if Needed

Be sure you know where all the detectors are located and check them to be sure they are working properly. If needed, replace the batteries or the units themselves and mark your calendars to change the batteries every time you “Spring Ahead” or “Fall Back.”

9. Test Your Sump Pump

Before the beginning of the rainy season, pour water into your sump pump to make sure it works. The most common (and worst) time for a sump pump to fail is during the first heavy rainfall after months of not being used. Pour a bucket of water or two into the sump to make sure the pump kicks on.

10. Create a Homeowner’s Journal

Purchase an accordion file or a ring binder into which you can file insurance papers, repair receipts and documents relating to improvements and repairs you make. Storing all these household records in one place makes it easier for you to locate information when you need it.

If you have questions about moving or would like a no-obligation moving estimate, call Ayer Moving & Storage at 1-800-233-MOVE. W have experience moving across town or across the country or internationally. If you are just beginning to plan for your move, download a copy of the Ayer Moving & Storage guides.

A Beginners Guide to Packing

If you’ve decided not to hire professional packing services, and will be packing your own household goods for an upcoming move, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

The right cartons and packing materials are vital. Don’t think that banana boxes from the supermarket are good enough. Moving cartons are manufactured to withstand the rigors of moving. Ask your mover for some help in selecting the right sizes and types. Don’t forget unprinted newsprint, bubble wrap and heavy-duty tape.

 

Cushion boxes with paper. Wad up unprinted newsprint to create a cushion on the bottom of the box before packing. Fill empty spaces with more wadded up paper.

 

Don’t overcrowd boxes. Don’t pack them too heavily (especially boxes with books) and keep like items together.

 

Hang clothes for fewer wrinkles. Pack clothing in stand-up wardrobe boxes on hangers. Without overcrowding, clothes will hang straight and stay wrinkle-free.

 

Pack glassware upside down. Wrap glasses individually with two pieces of newsprint paper and stand upside down on end (not on their sides).

 

Pack dishes on their sides. Wrap dishes individually with two pieces of paper and stand on their ends (not flat)!

 

Specialty items need special cartons. Pack computers, lampshades, mirrors, flat screen TVs, pictures, and artwork in special cartons designed for them.

 

Organize room by room. To make unpacking easier, pack rooms separately and mark the room name on the top and sides of the box.

 

More on labels. A good idea is to use a label with, not only the name of the room prominently displayed, but also include your name, contract number and a brief description of what’s inside. Add “UNPACK FIRST” to the box with move-in essentials and only mark boxes “FRAGILE” if they truly are fragile!

 

Resist the temptation. Don’t pack paints, turpentine, aerosol cans, bleach, or flammable liquids. By law, movers cannot carry flammables. Properly dispose of them or give them away. You don’t want to risk a fire or damage to your belongings en route to your new home.

 

Packing for a move can be time-consuming. When getting estimates for a move, be sure to ask for one with and without packing. When you add in your time and effort and the cost of additional insurance you will need, you may find it is better to leave packing to the professionals. Ayer Moving and Storage will be pleased to talk to you about ways you can ensure a safe and secure move of your household. Call 1-800-233-MOVE or visit the website.

What to do After Your Next Move

TIPS TO HELP YOU PRIORITIZE.

Ask ten people for tips on what important tasks they should put on their to-do list after moving … and you’ll probably get 100 different answers!  That’s because there are always important things that need to be done.

Before You Move

In addition, there are some key responsibilities that you can do BEFORE you move … or at least get the ball rolling.  These include:

Advise Utility Companies. Let the utility companies in your new location know the date of your move so that they can be turned on. This includes the providers for electricity, gas, and water. A seamless transfer is the goal, so just having the billing department know that you will be responsible for payment on and after your move-in date may ensure that utilities are up and working when you move in.

Update your address with the United States Post Office. This can be done easily online so that your mail arrives at your new home on the date you specify.

Home Security. If you have a home security system, talk to your provider about transferring it to your new home. If you are leaving it as part of your house sale, then contact the company about getting a new system installed at your new home.

Pack an “essentials” box. Make sure that it includes those things that each member of the family will need right away at your new home. This should include toothpaste and toothbrushes, sheets and towels, and a change of clothes. Add a list of important phone numbers, medicines and vitamins, pet-related items, and work-related papers that you may need before you unpack.

After You Move

As soon as possible after your move-in,  here are some vital and some good-to-do tasks that will make your transition more comfortable and give you peace of mind.

Change the locks. Who knows how many extra sets of your house keys there are out there? Experts recommend that you arrange to have a locksmith come to your home as soon as possible to change the locks on the doors.  If you are handy, you can purchase new locks and do this task yourself.

Introduce yourself to the circuit breaker panel and shut-offs. For safety sake, it is important to know how to turn off the power and water to your home if an emergency arises. This includes your circuit breaker box (usually in the garage or basement) and the water, furnace, gas and/or oil and water heater shut-off valves.

With security comes peace of mind. Keep your family and home safe with a home security system. Call local providers and compare system features and pricing so you can arrange to have one installed soon after your move.

Update your license and auto registration(s). Not all states have the same regulations regarding updating license and registration after a move. Visit the local Department of Motor Vehicles or go online to determine the rules. You will need to update your license first before you can register your car and get new license plates, if necessary.

Update your voter registration. If there is an election within 60 days of your move, you can vote at your old polling place or mail in an absentee vote. Other elections will require you to register at least two weeks before the date of the election. You can often update your voter registration when you change your license. Be sure to ask at your town office or online at your town’s website.

Select new doctors and transfer medical records. Select a new primary care physician first and arrange to have your medical records from your old primary care physician transferred. According to HIPPA, your former doctor has up to a month to process your paperwork. There will be forms to fill out, and in some cases, fees to pay, so it is important to do this shortly after your move. Follow the same procedures for your dentist, eye doctor, and specialists.

Get to know your neighbors. The folks that live on either side of you, across the street, or down the road can be a wealth of information about your new location and the resources available to you. Plus … there is no time like now to make new acquaintances that may develop into best friends in the future.

Moving is never an easy task. Following these guidelines will help to ensure your move to a new home is as stress-free and smooth as it can be. If you have questions about what to do before, during, or after a move, call us at Ayer Moving at 1-800-233-MOVE (6683) or email us.

Ideas for Donating Home Furnishings and More

After you have decided to sell your home and move to a new location, you’ll be making decisions on what to take with you.  If you’ve been in your home for many years, you probably have accumulated lots of “stuff” that you may or may not want to bring along.

Why Not Sell?

You can try to sell some things on EBay or Craigs List or one of the many local Facebook Yard Sale groups. Or take clothing or household goods to a consignment shop to see if you can earn a few dollars. You can even organize a yard sale. There is nothing wrong with these options, except they take a lot of time and energy to implement and are not always as successful as you would like.

A better alternative may be to donate your household goods, furnishings, and/or clothing to one of several charitable organizations that use the proceeds from the sale of your donated items to help those in need in the community. Keep in mind that your donations may be tax-deductible!

Information You Can Use

Here are just some of the organizations near to us at Ayer Moving and Storage in Ayer, MA.

We’ve listed the items these charities accept, the days and hours you can bring donations, information on pick-up scheduling (if available) and a little about the organization and what their mission is in the community. Be sure to call or visit the websites so you can double check on current information.

Household Goods

530 Main Street
Acton MA
978-634-1710

Household Goods Website

Household Goods is part of the Furniture Bank Association of North America, which provides gently-used household furnishings, free of charge, to individuals and families in need.  Donations are accepted on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays 9 am – 12 noon.

Cornerstone Thrift Shop

12 Concord Road
Acton MA
978-263-1050

Cornerstone Thrift Shop Website

Located within and operated by the Acton Congregational Church, Cornerstone Thrift accepts donations of home décor, clothing, shoes for all ages, small housewares, books, toys, and CDs. The sale of donated items supports the church’s ministries. Open Mondays and Fridays 10 am – 2 pm; Wednesdays 3 pm – 5:30 pm; and Saturdays 10 am – 12 noon.

Habitat for Humanity Restore

637 Lancaster Street
Leominster MA
978-227-5556

Habitat for Humanity Restore Website

Habitat for Humanity Restore sales help to provide funds for the building of homes. The organization works with people in the community and prospective homeowners to build homes for those who are in need. They accept many items including furniture, electronics, hardware, lighting, tools, building materials, bath and plumbing, and electrical supplies … and even cars! They include a pick-up request on their website for large items. Call for donation days and hours.

Salvation Army Thrift Store

1422 Water Street
Fitchburg MA
978-348-1044

Salvation Army Thrift Store Website

The Salvation Army provides many programs to help the hungry, the homeless, Veterans, and more. They accept household goods, furniture, and clothing. You can schedule a pick-up online for large items. Donations may be brought in Mondays – Fridays 9 am – 3 pm and Saturdays 9 am – 2 pm.

Savers

222A East Main Street
Marlborough MA
508-485-5191

Savers Website

Sales of donated items support non-profit organizations in the community. Clothing, footwear, toys, furniture, books and media, as well as household items are needed.  Even single socks and tattered clothing can be repurposed into rags for insulation! Call the local Savers for days and times that donations can be brought in. Check the website for additional locations, including one in North Worcester.

Goodwill Store

25 Park Avenue
Worcester MA
508-752-4042

Goodwill Store Website

Open Mondays – Saturdays 9 am – pm and Sundays 11 am – 4 pm, the Goodwill Store provides job training for persons with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Low cost (donated) goods are sold to individuals and families looking for a good value. Acceptable donated items include antiques and collectibles, artwork, linens, bicycles, books and media, clothing and accessories, cookware, household décor, jewelry, small home furnishings, small kitchen appliances, sporting goods, and new toys. In addition, Goodwill accepts computers and accessories for recycling through the Dell Corporation.

Fresh Start Furniture Bank

16 Brent Drive
Hudson MA
508-485-2080 (option 3)

Fresh Start Furniture Bank Website

Like Household Goods in Acton, Fresh Start provides free furniture to those in need. They also take small appliances, lamps, irons, vacuums, kitchen appliances, and new or gently-used linens. Be sure to call for information on pick up. Donations may be dropped off Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 am – 12 noon and Saturdays 9 am – 12 noon.

Before taking donations to any one of these organizations, call to ascertain whether anything has changed – days and hours to donate; items needed or no longer accepted.  Remember, too, that items should be clean and in working order with no missing parts. Most charities ask that clothing is pre-washed, and that furniture be free of pet hair or smoke residue.

If you have questions about getting the contents of your home ready for your move or for a no-obligation moving estimate, call the relocation specialists at Ayer Moving and Storage at 800-233-MOVE.

A Dozen Tips for Moving During the Winter

If you are moving during the winter months, you’ll need to add these helpful tips to your checklist. Snow, ice, and cold temperatures can add stress and problems you don’t need to an already full list of to-dos. Be sure to:

1. Have a back-up plan.

Talk to your mover about a “Plan B” if a winter storm threatens your move. Movers are used to winter weather conditions, but if a move must be postponed, you will want to have discussed this with your realtor, landlord, and the movers beforehand. The movers may be able to pick up your things, but not be able to deliver them to your new home. If this is the case, you will need short-term accommodations.

2. Cover up.

Keep the floors in both the home you are moving from and the one you are moving to protected from the elements when the movers are going in and out. Have plastic tarps or mats to lay on the floors inside and at every outside door.  The movers will bring along floor pads, but you’ll want to be sure to have enough on hand to battle Mother Nature!

3. Turn the heat off.

With the doors open and people moving in and out, your furnace will be working overtime. Turning the heat off will save energy and money! You might run a space heater in the main bathroom and keep the door closed so when in use, the bathroom will be a welcomed oasis of warmth.

4. Clear the way.

Make sure the sidewalks, walkways and driveways are cleared of snow and use salt or ice-melt so that the movers have a clear and safe access to your home to move your belongings to the truck.

5. Check for snowplows.

Be sure to check that snowplows haven’t left a bank of snow in your driveway overnight. You may have to move your car if parked on the street to allow access for the moving van and it may be plowed in by morning.

6. Have extra protection on hand.

Even though the mover will have plenty of pads to protect your furniture, if halfway through the move, the snow begins to fall, you’ll want to have sheets or blankets near the front door to cover furniture and boxes as they are carried to and from the moving van.

7. Let there be light (and heat).

Be sure that all utilities have been called well in advance so that the electricity and heat can be turned on a couple of days before move-in day.

8. Set aside winter supplies.

Pack a box to include gloves, hats and scarves, as well as an ice scraper and salt. Keep this box in the car with you, along with a snow shovel. If your driveway or walkways at your new house are snow covered, you’ll have what you need on hand.

9. Prepare your car for winter.

Have your car winterized, topping up all fluids and checking the brakes and tires. Be sure to put on snow tires just in case. Carry extra windshield fluid as well.

10. Plan your route.

Know how to get where you are going and check with the local authorities in the event of bad weather to be sure there are no road closures. Know where overnight accommodations are located along your route should you need to stop.

11. Keep everything tidy.

Have old towels and paper towels on hand in the car so that you can wipe snow and/or rain off the boxes as they are being carried into your new home.  Be sure to have padding on the floors to soak up moisture from inclement weather.

12. Offer hot drinks.

Hot chocolate, tea and coffee will be most welcomed by everyone who’s helping with your move.

If you have concerns about the weather on moving day, call Ayer Moving & Storage at 1-800-233-MOVE.  We have experience moving in all seasons and can answer your questions. If you are just beginning to plan for your move, download a copy of the  Ayer Moving & Storage guide: Timeline for a Stress-free Moving Day.

How to Plan and Organize an Office Move

Moving your home is a massive feat of coordination, hard work, and patience. Moving a whole office is an even bigger endeavor, that requires moving larger items, and coordinating with a much larger group of people.

It may be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Early in your planning, start following these simple steps to get your office move under control, and make the process as simple as possible for everyone you work with.

Give Yourself Enough Time

Moving an office doesn’t just involve communication and coordination — it involves minimizing the downtime you’ll experience during the actual move, so you can get back to business ASAP.

Experts estimate that for a smaller office, you should schedule your move to an absolute minimum of three months in advance. Mid-size to large offices will need anywhere between six to eight months from start to finish. Keep this in mind when planning move-in dates and signing leases — both for your new office space and your current.

What’s Your Budget?

You’ll need to buy boxes, padding, tape, and other supplies. You may need to rent dollies and a moving truck, and you will need to hire movers.

Before you begin making serious plans, check to see what the budget is for moving your office. You need to be able to afford all the necessary tools to get the job done swiftly, safely, and securely.

Know What You’re Getting Into

It’s not enough just to tour the new office. Planning an office layout is precision work, and you need as much information as possible.

As soon as you can, get blueprints of the new space. This will include information about doors, windows, bathrooms, and electrical outlets — all of which is key to figuring out how to lay-out your new space.

Measure your existing furniture, and determine what could go where. Keep in mind existing problems in your current space, and how you could resolve them in the new office.

If you plan to call in carpenters or other professionals to make adjustments to the new office, make these arrangements early on, and keep in mind that these projects often take longer than even seasoned professionals estimate. You’ll want everything in its proper order when your team moves in.

Delegate!

You can’t do it alone. Especially if you’re moving a large office, make sure you’re working with your employees or fellow coworkers to coordinate the move.

For instance, if your office has several divisions, make sure each division is responsible for packing its own items. If you have a smaller office, you may need to delegate directly or take volunteers for people who will coordinate the smaller and more local aspects of moving the office.

Check In Regularly

Schedule regular meetings with your staff to check in on the state of the move. Set clear goals and deadlines for packing and other essential steps, and make sure these are met. If a department is lagging behind on the move, figure out what they need to succeed — just like you would do when handling any other big office project.

Hire Movers

Moving an office may be essential to your continued operations, but your office employees can’t actually do the move for you.

Hiring professional movers like Ayer Moving pays for itself. We’ll get the job done quickly and safely. We know how to pack you up, how to keep delicate equipment safe, move heavy furniture safely, and make sure nothing gets lost. The money you spend on hiring movers will reap ample dividends, when you factor in the time and stress you’ll save.

The prospect of packing up and moving your entire office may seem like a nightmare. But by planning far in advance, understanding your timeline, creating a budget, delegating tasks and checking in on their completion, and hiring professional movers to help, you’ll be a step ahead of the game.

9 Moving and Packing Tips to Make Your Move Simple

It’s no secret: moving can be a huge headache. For many people, every step on the way is stressful — from finding a new place to live to packing and moving boxes. All that’s on top of the ordinary life stress you experience just by uprooting yourself and your family.

But moving doesn’t have to be so stressful. Follow these tips throughout your move to ensure your move is as quick, easy, and painless as possible.

1) Create a to-do list.

Even if you’re just moving across town, there’s a lot to keep track of. As you go along, you’ll find more and more tasks to complete. It’s easy to start dropping balls, and you’ll start to feel very frazzled.

Early on in your process, create a to-do list. Add to it as you find or remember new tasks, and cross things off as you finish. For time-sensitive tasks, consider putting together a calendar, so you can visualize upcoming deadlines easily. Having all this information on paper, outside of your head, will help you avoid a lot of stress down the road.

2) Downsize your stuff.

If you’re like many people, moving is a process of discovering how many things you own. You’ll discover clothes you haven’t worn in years, crafts projects you picked up and then discarded, appliances that no longer work, books you’ve never read and never plan to.

Many people find this review to be one of the most stressful parts of moving. Don’t be afraid to purge items you’re not using, and won’t use. Otherwise, you’re simply paying to bring useless items with you.

3) Donate what you don’t need.

Many charities, like Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and St. Vincent de Paul, are eager to get their hands on what you’re getting rid of. Make sure it’s in working order before you give it away — otherwise, you’re just offloading the cost of dumping items onto a charity. And don’t forget that most of these charities will work with you to pick up your items, especially large ones.

4) Sell some things, but…

If you don’t want to donate all your unwanted items, you might try holding a garage sale or unloading some of them on eBay or a comparable service. Be aware, though, that selling your used items may take more time than donating them, and it may take up extra time when you’re already stressed. Unless you know the money you’ll get is worth the time you’ll spend, it may be better to donate what you can.

5) Sort what’s left.

When you’re assembling boxes, it’s easy to simply pack all things in one room together. This can be handy but can also cause problems. You may catch yourself packing books in with knickknacks (because they’re both in your living room), or plates in with appliances (since they’re both in your kitchen).

Instead, sort like with like. Pack all your clothes together, your books together, and so forth. This may seem counter-intuitive at the time, but it’ll make organizing your new space far easier.

6) Start packing as early as possible.

You may feel silly having boxes around months before you move out, but you’ll save yourself some serious trouble if you pack close to your date. As early as you can, begin packing items you know you won’t need until you’ve moved into your new place. Label your boxes carefully, and store them somewhere safe until it’s time to load the truck.

7) Call in some favors.

Maybe you’ve helped friends move in the past. Maybe you have a friend who’s always happy to help you pack. (Or maybe you know you can bribe someone with pizza if they’ll move a few boxes.) Now’s the time to call in these favors.

It’s best to do this as early as possible. Let people know when you’ll need them, and what specific services they can provide you with. This way, they won’t feel like you’re springing anything unexpected on them or guilt-tripping them into providing help.

8) Schedule disconnect dates.

You’ll need to disconnect your electricity and possibly your water, internet, landline, and cable service. If you wait until you’re about to move to do so, you may see your prospective disconnect dates fly past you.

The good news is you can usually schedule your disconnect dates well in advance. Just call your provider’s customer service line and ask. You’ll usually want to schedule the disconnection for your move-out day, so you can still vacuum, mop, and do other cleanup that will require your items.

9) Hire professional movers.

Many people think of hiring a moving company as surrender. But when you’re moving, your focus should be on logistics and adjusting to your new life — not the manual labor of moving heavy boxes.

Movers move people all the time (obviously) and know things about moving heavy objects, stacking objects safely, and keeping your items safe that you yourself may not know. By hiring professional movers, planning ahead, packing early, and following the other tips on this list, you’ll assure the smoothest move possible.

It’s no secret: moving can be a huge headache. For many people, every step on the way is stressful — from finding a new place to live to packing and moving boxes. All that’s on top of the ordinary life stress you experience just by uprooting yourself and your family.

But moving doesn’t have to be so stressful. Follow these tips throughout your move to ensure your move is as quick, easy, and painless as possible.

Let us help!

Give us a call at 1 (800) 233-6683  or visit our website to discuss hiring expert movers. Also, consider downloading our packing guide.

10 Tips to Make Moving Easier on You and Your Kids

Moving to a new house is extremely stressful for the entire family. Even though kids don’t sign leases or mortgages or do most of the packing (lucky them!), they can still feel uprooted and overwhelmed about moving to a new place.

Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be able to ease the stress of moving for you and your kids.

1. Tell your kids ASAP

It’s always best to tell your kids as soon as possible that they’ll be moving, so everyone can emotionally prepare for the experience.

If you’re having trouble explaining the move, describe it like a fun journey or adventure — because that’s kind of what it is! Tell them about how you’ve accepted a new job, or facts about your new town. Help them remember that you’re eager to start this new journey together.

2. Get them involved

People — including kids — feel better when they’re involved in the planning process. It gives them the feeling that they have some kind of input into what’s happening, which reduces anxiety.

You may want to handle most of the packing and cleaning yourself — and to be honest, you’ll probably do a better job than your kids. But try to find small, simple ways your kids can help out, whether by sweeping after you’ve moved furniture, or packing a box of toys. You’ll appreciate the help, and they’ll appreciate being part of the process.

3. Take care of yourself

Moving is stressful. You’ll probably be anxious through most of your move. That level of stress will have a bad effect on your mood — and when you’re upset, everyone can feel the stress.

During the move, make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Try to get enough sleep, stay hydrated, and eat healthy food. This will make it far easier to take care of your kids in a spirit of patience and compassion, no matter how hectic your move becomes.

4. Let them know what to expect

We fear what we don’t know or don’t understand. When you’re touring homes and weighing your options, it’s easy to forget how your kids weren’t along with you on that journey. Wouldn’t you be scared to move into a place you’d never seen before?

Set aside a few minutes to take pictures of your new home. Share these with your kids, and tell them about the places they’re about to experience. This will make moving into this space for the first time fun, rather than scary.

5. Hold fast to routines

Kids thrive on daily routines. (So do adults!) But during a busy move, it’s easy to lose sight of these routines, which adds to stress and uncertainty.

Don’t lose your routines. If you go for a walk every day at a certain time, keep on doing that, no matter how busy or distracted you are. If you help them with homework, keep doing that. Don’t forget to have dinner on the table, as often as you can, on the same schedule you usually do. This will help kids feel like they’re still in the rhythms of everyday life — just in a new place.

6. Make time for goodbyes

Goodbyes are hard, so a lot of people avoid them. But they create a sense of closure that’s valuable to both kids and adults.

On the last day of school, make sure your kids say goodbye to their teachers and friends. Take them around the neighborhood on move-out day so they can see friends and neighbors. And although it may make you feel silly, plan a little extra time for them to walk through the house to say goodbye to each room.

7. Set up kids’ spaces

Not having a bedroom or workspace leaves you feeling uprooted. Kids are the same way. Do your best to set up a space for your kids — preferably a bedroom — as soon as you’ve moved in. It doesn’t have to be completely unpacked, but it’ll serve as a good home base — and it’ll keep them busy unpacking and organizing their new space.

8. Do something fun

Moving is both tedious and overwhelming. Why not do something to celebrate when you’re done? Explore the neighborhood, throw a party, or find a new restaurant to try. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Your kids will appreciate the distraction, and you probably will too.

9. Stay in Touch

It’s easy to lose sight of friends and family after you’ve moved. Encourage your kids to take down friends’ and teachers’ contact information before moving. Remind them to write to their old friends to let them know how much they miss them, and to update them on everything new and exciting that’s happened since the move.

10. Make room for bad feelings

Nobody likes being told what to feel. Bad feelings of fear, anger, and sadness will come up naturally during a move.

These feelings can’t be controlled, but you can control how you react to them. Tantrums aren’t OK, but if your kids are expressing sorrow or fear, it’s important to hold space for them throughout their process. These feelings will pass, and there will be plenty of time to enjoy the good things to come.

Contact Us

All these tips will help you move as peacefully as possible. But if you’re looking to take an extra step toward an easy, happy move that’ll take the pressure off your family, go to Ayer Moving and Storage. Ayer Moving works hard to provide top-notch professional moving services to families in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Take the first step toward a painless move today by calling 1-800-233-MOVE.

7 Easy Ways to Make Your New House Feel Like Home

Moving into a new house can be stressful. You’ve likely spent a lot of time choosing the right neighborhood and the best house for you and your family. You also know the transition involves paperwork, phone calls, transfer of utilities and services, and a lot of patience. But after you move in, you’ll likely need time before you feel at home in the new environment.

The following seven ideas will help you settle in quickly and easily, making your new house feel just like home.

1. Spring Clean as You Pack for Your New House

Believe it or not, you shouldn’t bring everything you own to your new house. Treat packing like spring cleaning. Consider each item before you pack it so you don’t clutter your new home with unwanted or unusable items. Before you stow an item in a moving box, ask:

  • Is it something you need in your new home?
  • Does it work properly?
  • Is it something you use daily, weekly, by season or not at all?
  • Does it have sentimental value?

If the item isn’t a keeper, trash it, recycle it or find it a new home. For items that are in good working order or still usable, make a little extra moving cash by selling them at a yard sale. Or, choose a charity and donate the goods. In many cases, your donation could be tax deductible.

2. Pack by Sight and Sound

Getting used to a new house means getting used to new sights and sounds. From the buzz of the refrigerator to morning traffic outside the window, the first few weeks can be a cacophony of new experiences. Feeling at home in your new space is easier if you surround yourself with familiar sights and sounds. Try packing a “sights and sounds” box with things like a favorite clock, framed pictures or other treasured knick-knacks, so you bring what looks and sounds like home into your new house.

3. Prioritize Unpacking When You Move In

Packing by room is usually a given. But when you unpack, prioritize your rooms by which ones will help you ease into your new house. If the kitchen is your favorite room, unpack the kitchen first. If you have small children, pack special boxes they can unpack themselves in their new rooms. Another great idea is to pack a backpack or suitcase with your daily items, such as medicines, makeup, personal care items, chargers or journals, so you won’t have to go searching for what you need most the first day in your new home.

4. Get Back Into Your Routine at Your New House

The sooner you get back into your regular routine, the quicker you’ll feel at home in your new house. If you can unpack all your belongings quickly, you will soon get back into the swing of things. Even if you’re having to work your schedule around unpacking a little at a time, maintain as much of your regular routine as possible. Adjust to your new surroundings gradually, incorporating the old with the new.

5. Make Your New Home “Scent”-sational

Whether it’s the smell of a wonderful home-cooked meal or your favorite essential oils, making your new house smell like home helps you relax. Baking, cooking or turning on a diffuser not only brings recognizable scents but can also rid your house of other smells. New homes may have smells of construction work. Older homes may have lingering smells of previous tenants. You can safely remove those scents and feel more at home by introducing new smells. Try:

  • Baking cookies or a pie
  • Lighting a scented candle
  • Using a diffuser with citrus oils
  • Placing your favorite scented air fresheners around the house

6. Clean Your New House

Even if your new house was professionally cleaned before you moved in, you may still need to clean things up. Unpacking introduces dust and dirt. Breaking down moving boxes also drums up dust. If you have pets, they may have accidents before they get accustomed to their new environment. Break out the vacuum and a dust rag to tidy things up. Plus, that clean smell when you’re finished will help you feel right at home.

7. Decorate Your New Home to Make It Yours

Finally, add your own personal touches to your new house with old and new décor. Incorporate some pieces from previous homes, like photos and keepsakes, to bring in the familiar. But also try something new, like a throw blanket over the back of a chair or a new vase on the table, to brighten your rooms. You’ll add your own style and feel like you belong even quicker as you fill your space with special decorations.

Planning for the move into your new house makes the transition smoother. The less you have to worry about in your new house during and after the move, the more you’ll enjoy it and feel at home. Ayer Moving & Storage offers local moves within Massachusetts and interstate moves, as well as packing and storage services. Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, Ayer Moving can move you! Contact us today to schedule your move.

8 Things to Do on Your First Day in Your New Home

Congratulations on moving into your new home! Once all your things have arrived, there’s a good chance you’ll feel accomplished — but also exhausted, overwhelmed, and ready to head to bed ASAP.

But don’t do that just yet! There are several important steps you should take immediately after moving in. Even if you just want to relax and take a breather, by doing these things rather than putting them off, you’ll be setting yourself up for success in your new home.

1) Take a moment to appreciate your new home

You’ve just arrived at your home after what may have been a very long journey (both physically and emotionally). You have plenty of work cut out for you when it comes to unpacking and setting-up your living spaces. But before you start, take a moment to appreciate how far you’ve come.

Take a slow, deliberate walk through your home, and appreciate the potential of each room. Open the windows and look outside. Walk through your yard. Maybe take a photo of your family on the front stoop, or take a stroll through your new neighborhood and meet the neighbors.

Whatever you choose to do, entering your new home for the first time is an important moment of your life. You should take some time to really savor it.

2) Clean up

Some homes on the market are pristine. Others are… less so. Even if you feel your new home is fairly clean, going through and cleaning it yourself is a great way to familiarize yourself with your space and make it truly your own.

Ideally, you should clean your new home top to bottom before any boxes arrive. Try to beat the moving truck by a few hours, and arrive with brooms, mops, dusters, sponges, and cleaning products.

Then start cleaning. Remember: you’ll be able to do this once the boxes arrive, but it’ll be harder to clean around them. It’s best to get this step done ASAP.

3) Take inventory

When you’re packing, it’s a good idea to make a list of your boxes and their biggest contents. You shouldn’t list every item, but you should have a good sense of what you own.

Once your boxes arrive, check the list to see if anything’s missing. Again, this doesn’t mean going through every box. But if something is missing, then the sooner you notice it, the sooner you’re likely to get it back if you give the movers a call.

4) Unpack your most important items

If you’re a savvy packer, you should have a “Day One” box (or a few). Your Day One box contains contain the most important items you need: things like bedding, important paperwork, pillows, soap, a change of clothes, toilet paper, towels, and so forth.

This box won’t have everything you need (and it’s very likely you’ll forget at least some things while packing it). But it’ll make your first day in your new place more bearable, and minimize emergency trips to the store.

As you’re unloading and arranging boxes, take your Day One box and set it aside. Open it as soon as you get a chance, and set these items out where they’ll be easily accessible.

5) Get your bedroom and bathroom together

Cooking and hanging out in your living room are optional. But you’ll definitely need to sleep, shower, and use the bathroom on your first day.

Make sure the boxes for your bedroom and bathroom are clearly labeled. As soon as possible, start the work of getting these rooms together. It’s unlikely, this early, that everything will be in its final arrangement, but even if you have a few things ready you’ll feel far more at home in your new space.

6) Get to know your neighbors

You can technically put this step off, of course. But going out of your way to meet your new neighbors on your first day in your new house is a great way to start things off on the right foot.

Drop by and introduce yourself. Give them your contact information, and get theirs as well. While you’re at it, why not get some restaurant recommendations? Because soon, you’ll need to…

7) Have dinner

You need to eat, especially if you’re moving cleaning and moving heavy boxes. But chances are you won’t be ready to cook on your first day in your new home. Look up some restaurants locally, and either go out to eat or order in. To go the extra mile and get to know your neighborhood, stay away from chains and try to get food from somewhere with local charm.

8) Help your kids and pets settle in

Moves are stressful for both kids and pets. Go out of your way to check in on them and make sure you’re meeting their needs. Reassure your kids, and give them space to play and explore. Make sure your pets have plenty of food, water, and love during this transition.

Moving can be stressful for everybody, and because it’s logistically complicated, it’s easy to get distracted. By focusing on the important stuff first, familiarizing yourself with your new space, and ensuring everyone’s essential needs are met, you’ll be a step ahead of the game and ready to settle into your new space.

Let us Help!

Give us a call at 1 (800) 233-6683  or visit your local Massachusetts moving company to discuss hiring expert movers. Also, consider downloading our packing guide.