Organizing your Move: A Responsibility Checklist

Organizing your Move: A Responsibility Checklist

Organizing your move is a mass of details to be organized into a smooth transition. No one needs to be reminded that moving can be stressful and that many things can go awry.

It can be helpful to know what to expect from your mover… and to know what is expected of you, the homeowner when organizing a move. The process is not one-sided; both the mover and the homeowner must be aware of their responsibilities and deadlines so that the move can be smooth and safe. 

Here is what you can expect from a professional and credentialed moving company. 

Getting Started on Organizing your Move

The movers will:

  • provide you with a copy of Your Rights and Responsibilities, a brochure published by the US Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  • Make a home visit to complete a comprehensive survey to provide you with a written estimate. (During Covid-19, virtual in-home surveys are being conducted to keep mover and homeowners safe.)
  • Send homeowners a written estimate by email within 3 days.
  • Follow up with homeowners by phone to determine if there are questions.
  • Work with homeowner to establish a schedule for packing, if appropriate, and moving.
  • Submit a written contract if homeowner decides to proceed.
  • Explain any terminology unfamiliar to the homeowner, such as “long carry” charges
  • Explain the options for insurance: what is and what is not covered.

Packing for Moving Day

The movers will:

  • Explain that homeowners are charged for the labor to pack and/or unpack belongings, as well as for the containers and packing material.
  • Set a date for packing, usually one to two days prior to the moving date.
  • Take care to pack carefully using appropriate and special boxes and packing material.
  • Pack and label under the homeowner’s direction.
  • Provide you with a packing order and carton count.
  • If the homeowner is packing, the mover can provide a helpful packing guide.

 Liability for Loss/Damage During your Move

Moving companies are required to assume some basic liability by carrying legal liability valuation and insurance coverage. They also:

  • Provide motor vehicle coverage for bodily injury and property damage.
  • Carry insurance if household goods are damaged due to negligence.
  • Must disclose in writing, the limitation of liability for the value of goods at a rate of not less than 60 cents per pound, per article.
  • Explain options for additional insurance coverage. 

Moving Day

  • Crew meets at the mover’s location to pick up van, collect supplies, and get last minute instructions.
  • Arrive at homeowner’s residence at the time specified, given leeway for traffic and/or weather conditions.
  • Telephone or text homeowner to advise of any unforeseen delays.
  • Protect homeowner’s floors by using floor cloths.
  • Protect homeowner’s furniture with moving blankets.
  • Load van/truck using best practices for safety and efficiency.
  • Take appropriate short breaks, when needed, for hydration and lunch.
  • Sticker all items with dedicated contract number.
  • For interstate moves, inventory all items loaded onto truck and provide homeowner with a copy.
  • Always show courtesy and professional work habits.

That’s quite a list; however, there are some things that Homeowners should be aware fall under their responsibility and to-do list.

What Do you Need for Organizing Your Move?

  • Consider in advance of the Mover’s visit (virtual or in-person) of what items you plan to take to your new home. Are appliances staying or going? What about the piano?
  • Notify the mover if you change your mind and decide the dining room suite will be moved, as this will make a difference in your estimate. If you want to take your piano after all, the movers will need to plan for a special cart or straps to move it safely.
  • Provide mover with a clear and accurate address of your current residence and the location of your destination. Include information about heavy items, the number of floors in your current and new homes. Also advise if there are unusually narrow hallways, winding stairways, or long distances between the home and the van. 
  • Review your estimate and write down any questions you may have for the mover. When comparing estimates, be sure you are comparing “apples to apples.” Ask if you are unsure.
  • Schedule realistically. Especially if you are planning on packing everything yourself. Do not rush this part of the process.
  • Make decisions on what needs to be packed and how it is to be labeled before the packers arrive if the movers are packing for you. You are billed on labor time, so you want to have things organized ahead of time.
  • If there are any changes in schedule, packing, or what is to be moved, the homeowner is required to notify the mover ASAP so these changes can be accommodated.

Liability for Loss/Damage

  • The homeowner should understand the options for insurance coverage through the mover and through their homeowners’ insurance.
  • Ask questions. The homeowner’s antique rug will be valued at 60 cents per pound under the basic liability insurance plan, unless the homeowner it is insured separately.

Organizing your Move for the Big Day

  • Have all items that are to be packed, boxed and labeled, and ready to be loaded on the truck.
  • If you are moving during the winter, ensure that walkways and driveways are shoveled so that there is a clear path to the home and to the truck to be loaded.
  • Be available to direct movers and to answer any questions they may have.
  • Make arrangements for pets and young children with caretakers so they are kept safe during the loading.
  • Understand that the heat or inclement weather may slow the process or that the crew will need to take additional breaks to hydrate.

When movers and homeowners understand their respective responsibilities, they work in tandem with the result being a smooth and less-stressful experience for everyone.

If you have questions about a move you are planning, call the relocation experts at Ayer Moving and Storage at (800) 233-6683.

Moving Your Electronic Devices - Do it Right; Do it Safely!

Moving Your Electronic Devices – Do it Right; Do it Safely!

When it comes to moving various electronic devices – computers, tablets, stereos, televisions, digital recorders, and game systems – individuals often pack these high-cost items more casually than they would an antique or valued piece of art. Even though most electronic devices have sturdy plastic cases, they require special care when being packed for a move. If your move requires a temporary stay in storage, fluctuating temperatures, humidity, and dust can damage sensitive components.

Here’s how to do it right and do it safely!

Preparing for the Move

  • Gather your user manuals or download them from the manufacturer’s website. Manufacturers may have special instructions for packing and moving their devices.
  • Backup all data and files.
  • Remove batteries in remotes or accessories.
  • Eject CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, and game cartridges and tape the drives shut.
  • Remove toner cartridges from laser printers and place them in a plastic bag – tape the bag to the printer.
  • Detach wires and accessories, place in a plastic bag and label the bag.
  • Place color stickers on each cord and the same color sticker where the cord connects to the device … or use a write on label to indicate what goes where.
  • For extra help in reassembling, for reference take photos of the cables before you unplug everything.
  • Using a vacuum cleaner extension, vacuum the inside of your desktop computer to remove dust.
  • Charge all your rechargeable batteries before moving day.
  • Write the passwords for your electronic devices on a card you can keep in your wallet to avoid frustration when setting up your computers on arrival in your new home.
  • Talk with your mover about insurance for your electronics (and other valuable items) to cover them during loading, moving, and unloading.

Packing for the Move

  • Use original cartons if you saved them when you purchased the equipment.
  • Ask your mover for computer and flat-screen TV cartons or an appropriately sized sturdy box in which to place your electronics. 
  • To minimize damage caused by dust, wrap electronics in linen or clean (unprinted) newsprint. Then use bubble wrap. Anti-static bubble wrap is safe for electronics and can be used generously to act as a shock absorber. However, don’t use newsprint to pack screens. Paper can easily scratch delicate screens. Use fabric and then bubble wrap for extra security.
  • You’ll want at least two inches of padding on all sides of the electronic device. 
  • If you don’t have a special flat-screen TV box, use padded moving blankets to wrap the TV. Never store or move a TV flat; stand it upright against a wall for support.
  • Make a list of all devices in the box with their companion accessories, and cables/cords and store the list in the box.
  • Add packets of silica gel to the box which will absorb excess moisture before it can collect on metal surfaces and cause corrosion. This is especially important for long-distance moves or if your boxes will be in storage.
  • Number, rather than label the box with a description, to reduce the chance of attracting unwanted attention from would-be thieves. If storing, place these boxes out of view toward to back of the storage unit.

When in Storage

Electronic devices are highly sensitive to temperature extremes. Cold causes metal parts to contract, weakening soldered components. LCDs can even freeze during a harsh cold snap. Heat can damage in two ways – as metal parts expand in hot weather, they place stress on soldered connections. Warm air holds more moisture and high humidity is very destructive to electronics. 

Esure that electronics in storage are properly packed and insulated with blankets.

This guideline is detailed by design. The more you plan and follow these steps, the safer and more secure your electronics will be. You’ll be all set to reassemble your electronics and start enjoying these devices that have become such an important part of all our lives.  

If you have any questions about how to pack your electronic devices or need special boxes or packing material, call one of our Ayer Moving and Storage relocation specialists at 800-23-6683.

Do You Know What Box to Use? Here are 7 Boxes You’ll Need for Your Next Move

Do You Know What Box to Use? Here are 7 Boxes You’ll Need for Your Next Move

If you are tempted to collect old shipping boxes from friends and neighbors and to get “banana boxes” from the supermarket, here is some advice about specialty boxes you should consider when planning your next move.

These boxes will keep your items safer and cleaner, and you’ll be less likely to have breakage of fragile items.

Mattress Boxes

Heavy and unwieldy, mattresses and box springs can be the most difficult to move. Mattress boxes are available in sizes matched to every type of mattress. They include handles, which make moving them easier on you and your back.

Artwork and Mirror Boxes

You’ll want to protect mirrors and artwork from damage during your move. Artwork and Mirror boxes will hold your items snugly to minimize the risk of the glass cracking. Wrap your décor in bubble wrap and fit them securely inside this specialty box.

Wardrobe Boxes

You will not have to worry about your clothing getting wrinkled and soiled during your move when you use specialty Wardrobe boxes. These boxes are tall and extra sturdy with a rod from which to hang your clothes. When you get to your new home, it’s extra easy to transfer your clothes from the box to your closet.

Electronics Boxes

If you have the original boxes that your computer, printer, and other electronic equipment came in, then you have the best moving box to pack them in.  If you no longer have them, your mover can supply you with strong boxes especially made to keep electronics safe during a move.

Dish Packs

Constructed of corrugated cardboard, Disk Packs are ideal for transporting delicate China and glassware. To avoid breakage, you’ll want to stand your dishes on end or use the cardboard dividers that are supplied with these specialty boxes.

Lamp Boxes

Created and sized to hold one lamp so that it can be wrapped and cushioned on all sides for protection. Depending on size, the lampshade may fit into the same box or two smaller lamps might be packed together.

Traditional Moving Boxes

Available in various sizes, these are versatile and will serve you well for most of your packing needs. You’ll want to obtain some in each of three sizes and be sure to pack appropriately with this in mind: Don’t overpack. Large boxes should be packed less densely than smaller boxes. Remember you’ll be lifting these boxes several times before your move is done!

Large Boxes: These are ideal for bulkier but lighter weight materials like bedding, pillows, or towels.

Medium-sized Boxes: About three cubic feet in size, Medium Boxes hold just about most any 

household items from toys or kitchen utensils, health and beauty products, or home décor.

Small Boxes: Often referred to as Book Boxes because they are perfect for packing books, Small Boxes should be used for small, but heavy items, like canned goods, small appliances, shoes, or CDs.

If you have questions about which boxes to use for what household items, call us at 1-800-233-MOVE. You can also download a copy of our Trade Secrets from the Professional Packers at Ayer Moving and Storage on our website.  

 

Should you use your Attic for Storage? The Answer is No, and Here's Why...

Should you use your Attic for Storage? The Answer is No, and Here’s Why…

Should you use your attic for storage? The Answer is No, and Here’s Why You May Want to Think Twice.

Our home collects our memories, our travels and sometimes a lot of our belongings. After some time, the spaces begin to fill up and we look for storage in every room and every corner. We see places such as our basements and attics as perfect storage rooms for our clothes and holiday decorations. Although putting boxes away is great for keeping your home clean and organized, storing them in your attic is more dangerous then you may think.

Here is what a roofer would say when asked if one should store items in their attic.

The answer: No. Do not ever store items in your attic space. The reason is linked with your home’s insulation and ventilation.

First let me explain what role your attic plays in your roof’s life expectancy. The attic is the heart and lifeline of your roof. A well ventilated and insulated attic will assist the roof in providing protection from the crazy New England weather. Attic ventilation works on the principle that heated air naturally rises, primarily utilizing two types of vents:

Intake vents, located at the lowest part of the roof under the eaves, allow cool air to enter the attic. Hot air exhaust vents, located at the peak of the roof, allow hot air to escape.

Taking advantage of this natural process, referred to as passive ventilation, is the most common way to vent an attic. In order to facilitate this exchange of warm and cool air, the general rule of thumb suggests installing at least 1 sq.ft. of vent for every 300 sq.ft. of attic floor. Building codes vary, though, so check with your local building authority for the specifics that pertain to your community.

The way the attic is kept cool by its air intake in the eves of the attic and its air outtake in the ridge and peak of the attic room reduces the danger of iced dams, and unwanted leaks that can lead to rot and decay of your home’s wood and plywood.

Where do homeowners go wrong?

Many fall short when they decide to use their attic as a storage room. Using your attic as storage disrupts the process of attic ventilation and causes potential ice dams.

When we get a call for a leak in the winter months due to an ice dam, the first place we inspect is the interior of the attic. When we arrive in the attic and find that it is covered in boxes we know exactly what caused the leak and the ice dam in the first place.

The boxes of clothes in the attic have disturbed the air flow and have contributed to the cause of the ice dams. The boxes of holiday ornaments have been pressed up against the insulation which has also caused the insulation to lose its R value. (An insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow is measured or rated in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value — the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. The R-value depends on the type of insulation, its thickness, and its density.)

The boxes in the attic have added to the condensation, moisture and potential mold to the attic walls.
The boxes in the attic have allowed the hot and cold air to reach your roofing shingles. When asphalt shingles are met with hot and cold air it causes the shingle to prematurely age and lose a lot of their asphalt granulares.

These four reasons should make you question if it is even worth considering the attic as a storage room. Is it worth dealing with an ice dam or the risk of mold in the attic? Is it worth it to potentially premature age your roof because ventilation has been compromised?

The answer: No. Always no. It is not worth it. It is much wiser to have your belongings in designated closets or a storage facility then to cause issues for you and your home. There are several options for off-site storage, including in a temperature-controlled storage warehouse, a self-storage unit, or in a Container on Wheels ® (COW) for temporary storage.

As a roofer, we recommend that you always store in your home’s closets, or in a storage facility. Keep your attic floor clean and free of clutter.

Let the attic be an attic. This advice may save you thousands of dollars and a lot of unwanted leaks.and headaches.

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!

Self Storage Options: What's best for you?

Self Storage Options: What’s best for you?

Homeowners and renters are always looking for more room. No matter how large your home, chances are that you have more stuff than space. Some days, finding your car keys among all those things can make you late to work or an important appointment. All that clutter may reflect general storage needs or indicate that you have precious items to protect.

If you are moving, portable units may be the way to go. If you have recently moved, you may need temporary storage until you get things sorted. Luckily, you have a number of self-storage options that are affordable and capable of keeping your possessions safe and well-preserved. A moving & storage company like Ayer Moving and Storage can also help save your sanity.

Storage Unit Types

One size unit does not fit all. You can choose from several types and sizes of storage units, some that combine with your moving package.

Self-Storage Units

Self-storage units can be found nearly everywhere. They are a thriving industry and offer you easy access to your items. They can be used for brief periods of time, while you are waiting for a new home to be ready, for instance, or for long-term storage. You can choose from a variety of sizes and rent them per month. Prices differ according to your location and whether or not the unit is climate-controlled.

These units can be used to store automobiles, furniture, collectibles, etc. Some locations even allow you to run a small business from their units. Renters sometimes use climate-controlled units as offices and personal gyms, allowing them the space they need without moving into a larger house or renting expensive commercial space.

For those in Massachusetts, Ayer Moving and Storage offers safe, clean and roomy storage units for rent.

Portable Container Storage (COWS)

Some storage companies offer temporary portable storage units that can be left somewhere on your property. You can rent and use them in the same way you would a traditional unit without spending time traveling to and from the facility. A storage pod can be the perfect place to store a college student’s belongings while they are away at school. Or you can use it for your elderly parents’ items or your own projects.

If you are moving, you can opt for a storage pod that allows you to pack and unpack your possessions at your leisure. Moving is stressful, and being able to extend the packing time gives you time to properly organize your storage for easy unpacking. The storage company is responsible for pickup and delivery of these units, simplifying the moving process for you.

These units are particularly versatile because you can use them for a few days, months or years, and they have the effect of adding an extra room to your property.

Ayer Moving and Storage offers their own version of portable units called COWS (Containers on Wheels). You can rent these 8-foot or 16-foot containers by day, week or month.

Cost-Cutting Measures

If the monthly rent of storage seems too high for your budget, you can use methods to cut the monthly cost. Experts recommend that you declutter as much as possible before you rent your unit. Once you have gotten rid of everything you do not need and will not use, you will find a smaller, less expensive unit will work for you. Remember, if you have not used or even looked at an item in a year, you probably don’t need it. Consider making generous donations of your items to local charities.

Also, decide to share a unit with members of your family or close friends. Most people need additional storage and would be willing to put $25-$40 each month toward a unit. Of course, you need to choose your partners wisely. Share with someone you trust and who avoids unnecessary squabbles. Your grumpy uncle Orville might not be the best choice.

Choosing Your Units

You need to compare prices before you choose your unit, but you should take other factors into consideration as well. Think about the following:

  • Distance to the facility. This issue really matters if you will be accessing the unit frequently. Anything over 5 miles away will require significant time and gas to visit.
  • Security. The facility should have security cameras and excellent locks. Those units with a keypad offer you an extra level of safety. You may want to choose a facility where the staff is on site 24/7 or one with a security guard at night.
  • Weatherproof. Your unit should be dry and safe from flooding and leaks.
  • Well-maintained. Your unit should be clean, rust-free and bug-free. You are responsible for maintaining your items, as well. Use pallets, plastic, and cloth to protect your possessions.

If you are living in a cramped and cluttered space, consider renting a storage unit to give you and your family more living space. You may not be able to afford a larger home, but a small monthly fee can essentially add to your square footage. For those who are moving or need more convenient storage, a portable unit can greatly simplify your life. Self-storage gives you many options to solve your space issues.

10 Tips for Organizing Your Storage Unit

10 Tips for Organizing Your Storage Unit

Storage units are a great short or long-term solution for your storage needs. They can simplify your life as they help you declutter your space and protect the items you want to keep but don’t currently need in your home. When organized properly, these units can store an incredible amount of furniture, books, collectibles, and appliances. Your home will have more actual living space, and your prized possessions will be safe and easy to access. However, you need to plan the use of your storage unit to take full advantage of it. As you organize your storage unit, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Pallets

Even the best storage units may be affected by the elements. The floors can become damp, so you should put your items on pallets. They are inexpensive and could save you thousands in damages. Also, using pallets helps keep you organized. Placing like items on each one makes finding things much easier. For instance, you can have a kitchen items pallet, a sports items pallet, and a toys pallet.

2. Labeling

Don’t forget to label your items! This step may seem obvious, but many storage unit users don’t bother to do it. Every box should have several labels that are protected by clear packing tape to prevent them from fading or tearing. Clearly labeling the top and sides of each box will make it easier to find items.

3. Placement

You may be tempted to organize your items by size, but storing a large item in the back is a bad idea if you use it frequently. Keep the items you use the most in the front of the unit so you don’t have to disrupt everything to get what you need, even if this means keeping a big hope chest front and center.

4. Aisle

Experts recommend creating an aisle through the center of your unit. You may want to use every inch of space for storage, but you need to access things in the middle and back of your unit without having to rip the place apart. A small aisle is well worth the space it takes.

5. Box Size

Invest in quality boxes, and don’t use more than two sizes. This makes them easier to stack and will keep the stacks steady and fragile items safe from damage. Also, odd-sized boxes waste space because they don’t fit together snugly. If you choose larger boxes, mix heavy items with lighter ones. A big box of books can be a terror to move.

6. Drawers

Once you have your dressers, hutches and chests moved into the unit, fill them up with smaller items. You should use all of the space in these pieces of furniture, but remember to label them as well. It is too easy to forget that you put the towels in the entertainment center or your pictures in the dresser.

7. Wrap

You should wrap your items with plastic in order to protect them from dampness, dirt and the occasional insect. You can also use colored plastic wrap to help organize your items. For example, you could wrap your heirlooms in red so you can easily find your most treasured items.

If you prefer to use cloth wrappings, the same principle applies. Choose differently colored fabrics so you’ll have visual clues when you are searching for items.

8. Furniture

To save space, you can store some furniture, such as sofas, upright. They won’t be damaged, and they make nice corner fillers. Mirrors should always be stored upright to prevent breakage. Also, you may disassemble the furniture that you will not be needing in the near future. Dining room tables and chairs are prime examples.

9. Content List

Creating a content list makes your life easier in the long run. Keep a detailed copy of exactly what’s in the storage unit on your computer, and update it as needed. This simple measure will prevent you from running to the storage unit for something that is actually in your basement. Also, you should have a list to show your insurance company in case of damage or theft.

10. Create a Map

You don’t have to be an illustrator to draw a rudimentary map of your storage unit, and having one can save you hours of time. You won’t have to read the labels on every box to find what you need. The map can simply show you that books are in the middle of the unit or that clothes are in the back. With a map, you can get in and get out of your unit in a matter of minutes.

People rent storage units for a number of reasons. They may be in the midst of a move, or their possessions may have outgrown their homes. A personal storage unit solves many problems as long as you use it correctly. Take the time to organize and protect your items as you move in. Then, whenever you need to retrieve something, you can visit the unit and be on your way in a few minutes rather than a few hours. After all, storage units exist to make your life more convenient.

Contact Us

You can reach us at 1 (800) 233-6683 or visit your local Massachusetts moving company to learn more about what we can do to help you during your move. Download the Ayer Moving Guide for a Stress-Free Move!

Climate Controlled Storage for the Summer Months

Climate Controlled Storage for the Summer Months

Climate Controlled Storage for the Summer Months

Climate Controlled Storage is not something you think about when you’re taking some time off to travel Europe. It’s your first time leaving the country and you can’t wait. The beauty and adventure of the coastal city of Barcelona, the timelessness of the Roman ruins, the famous towers and buildings of Paris, drive you to such excitement you think you might burst.

But looking online at places to rent a storage unit, you start to worry. How do you know that everything will survive for a year, especially with the heat and humidity of summer on its way?

Perhaps there’s something you haven’t considered. A climate controlled storage unit can put your mind at ease if you have any worries about the corruption or heat damage of your property. It not only manages the temperature inside the unit but also keeps humidity under control and helps to regulate air quality and dust.

However, with the expenses of your travel, paying extra for the climate controlled unit may not be sitting too well with you, so here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not you need a climate controlled storage unit:

 

Climate Controlled Storage – What do you want to store?

Climate Controlled Storage for the Summer Months

A lot of things can be damaged by changing temperatures or the high humidity and heat of the summer. Papers can deteriorate, metals can rust, wood can rot, and mold and mildew can grow in your appliances, books, and even your clothes. Certain furniture can have drastic reactions to humidity and extreme temperatures, whether it be a wooden table or a leather sofa. You especially want to consider if you have any of the finer things being stored such as wines, artworks, sentimental childhood photos, or even your grandma’s special silverware that’s been in the family for years. All can experience damage through the changing temperatures and heavy humidity.

 

Climate Controlled Storage – How long are you storing them for?

Do you think that you’ll be gone for six months? A year? Ten? Or do you have no idea? No matter what, you’ll want to consider what sorts of seasons this storage unit will be facing. As the summer heat sweeps the Northern Hemisphere you’ll want to consider the effects that scorching temperatures might have on your more valuable items or even your everyday objects.

 

Climate Controlled Storage for the Summer Months

Climate Controlled Storage – Does your region experience extreme temperatures?

A lot can happen to the contents of your storage unit as the temperatures rise to blazing heat and drop to frigid cold. Leather furniture can tense up in reaction to the winter but loosen as summer rolls back in, resulting in the wearing of the material. Metals, such as that in coins or appliances can rust, crack, and warp from exposure to strong temperatures. Screens and the internal components of your electronics can also rust or deteriorate. Climate control is almost necessary if you want to store things such as wine, which accelerates in aging when exposed to temperature change, as well as photos and books. High temperatures can cause your photos to run and blend together if stacked on top of each other. Even documents and books can become unreadable after enough time in an uncontrolled climate space as the pages start to yellow and distort in extreme heat.

 

Climate Controlled Storage – Is there high humidity?

High humidity is another demon of summer storage, often resulting in mold and water damage in many household items. Wood is particularly sensitive to high humidity; things such as furniture will crack and rot while wooden instruments will start to distort or even grow mold. Even brass instruments become home to bacteria in high heat and humidity. The moisture can result in cracked and rusted structures of microwaves and dishwashers. High build-ups of this moisture can be as damaging to electronics and wires as if you spilled water on them directly. Certain special collections you may have like stamps or comics may start to curl and ruin under harsh humidity and mold can build up in books and documents. Even your clothes aren’t safe. To avoid the mold and mildew, a gross occurrence in high humidity, you may want to pack your clothes in a plastic bin to help ensure their protections against the moisture.

 

Climate Controlled Storage – Making your decisionClimate Controlled Storage for the Summer Months

If you need to store one or more of these items (and it is likely you do) climate control is a must. Protecting the integrity of family photos and the usability of your appliances and furniture is vital to getting the most out of your storage space. If you can’t protect your items from rust, mold, and corruption, then what’s the point? The benefits to keeping all your belongings safe while you’re out on your own expeditions will be well worth the extra cost you pay to keep them in a climate-controlled environment.

Contact Us!

You can reach us at 1 (800) 233-6683 or visit your local Massachusetts moving company to learn more about what we can do to help you. Download the Ayer Moving Guide for a Stress-Free Move!