Category Archives: downsizing

A photograph of an adorable puppy in a cardboard box.

Avoid These Moving Mistakes

Moving can be overwhelming and a full-time chore, especially if you are in charge of the cleaning, downsizing, packing, and labeling of all the items that need to find a new home. As a guideline, we recommend starting as early as possible in the process and getting as much help as possible from family and friends. Even with ample time and help, there are some common mistakes that homeowners make that can delay the move, or at least make it highly anxiety-ridden. Here are a few errors we have seen over the years to be aware of in the hope that you can avoid making these moving mistakes yourself. 

Not Downsizing Enough 

A move is a great time to weed out all those items that are not needed or possibly duplicated in your home. Thin out your clothing, books, toys, kitchenware, office supplies, and seasonal storage items. The more downsizing you do, the easier the entire process will be. Donate, recycle, or trash the items that are broken, gently used, or not needed anymore. This not only can save you from extra boxes to pack, but also extra junk to unpack in the new home. It may also shave some time off the moving process. 

label boxesNot Labelling Boxes 

It may seem like a simple task of labelling what is in each box that you pack, but so many homeowners skip this step. In addition to putting a tag on each box stating which room it should be delivered to, we suggest adding a short inventory list such as: dishes, utensils, or bowls, to remind you what is in each box upon arrival. This will save you some serious time and hassle when you are looking for something you need. 


You may be thinking, “I can’t pack this yet, because we may still need it.” Our advice – pack it! You can always leave the box open in case you need to access items, but start getting all those keepsakes stashed away. It takes much longer to put your items in boxes and label them than you would imagine. We suggest setting a schedule of what rooms will be completely packed and by when. Do a little each day by starting early and assigning family members to each room and area of your home. 

organize receipts Not Organizing Receipts and Contacts 

When it comes down to it, moving is a crash course in organization. Keep all of your receipts in a folder or binder along with contacts that you will need to transfer utilities, school records, and medical data. Not organizing can mean countless hours searching for the estimates you have obtained for moving companies, contacts for cancelling cable, and other odds-and-ends. 

Avoid these four moving mistakes by starting early, enlisting the help of friends, and staying organized. Check out our blog for the ultimate moving guide and other helpful articles to keep your move on track and on time. Questions and comments contact Mastodon Moving. We are happy to help.

Downsizing Your Aging Parents

Moving is one of life’s top stressors. It can be both physically and mentally exhausting. This is certainly true when you are working with your aging parents in downsizing to a smaller home or senior living housing. The process of sorting through decades of family history can be a huge challenge and one that may require assistance.

At Mastodon Moving, we have helped many clients in the packing, moving, and storage aspects necessary to downsize aging parents to a more manageable residence, an adult child’s home, or even to a senior living community. We have worked closely with family members about what items need to be packed and unpacked, and what items are going to a new location. We have also provided temporary storage for high-value items, family heirlooms, and sentimental items. We pride ourselves on communicating and working with all members of the team to make this a smooth transition.

Downsizing can be difficult, especially since items will need to be either moved, sold, donated, gifted, or handed down to other family members. Here are some suggestions from our team to help you in this emotional and physically demanding labor of love.

Create a Space to Get Organized 

boxes-2120367__340Create a space where you can begin to categorize each item. Some people find a cleared out garage, a basement, or even a guest bedroom works as a good sorting area. When categorizing, families find it helpful to sort items by category such as keep, discard, to-be-gifted, items to sell, and items that will be packed for moving. This is probably the most difficult part of downsizing – deciding on what should be passed on and what should travel to the new location. Take it slow and use the time to reminisce about items that have sentimental value. 

Make Some Ground Rules 

Since decluttering and downsizing can be emotionally tough, decide on how many boxes can potentially fit in the new location and how long you will work on decluttering each day. We recommend, if you have time before the move, to only do a few hours a day rather than a marathon packing day. Knowing when to call it quits each day can save you a lot of hardship. If there are many prized possessions that will not be making the move, decide with family members how you will gift them and who will get the items.

declutter sign

Consider Temporary Storage 

there are high-value items, larger items that may be needed later, or family heirlooms that will be handed down, consider storing them until the time comes to pass them on to the next owner. Our short-term storage means that these items can be taken off site, thus allowing for more room to sort and catalog what is left. 

Manage Paperwork 

One thing that can get overwhelming (in any home) is the amount of paperwork that can build up over the years or decades. Shred or toss obvious items such as old canceled checks, old bills, and papers that are not needed for taxes. If you’re not sure, ask an accountant or tax professional what records need to be retained. For paperwork that remains, sort it into labeled files so that accessing it in the future is easier. 

Mastodon Moving has a team of professionals who can help at each step of the way from packing and unpacking, to accessing our storage facilities. We can help make this transition easier for the whole family. Contact Mastodon Moving at 774-421-9004 today for senior moving, move management, long distance moving, and storage services.


the key to packing

How to Organize Your Move

Does the mere thought of getting ready for a move give you hives? It doesn’t have to. With the right technology, organizational techniques, and a positive attitude, a move, whether it is across town or across the country, does not need to be excruciatingly painful. Here are a few of our tips on how to organize your move, since we have been doing this for many years and have seen it all! 

Juggling all the components to a move can seem daunting. We get it. But we suggest taking a day or two to get organized before you even buy a packing box, or think about hiring a moving company. 


Get Organized 

Start a moving binder. This could be in the form of a file on your computer or a physical binder that can hold all of your important paperwork and receipts. Things that you will want to start keeping track of include: a schedule to transfer utilities and contact numbers for your cable, electric, water, sewer, gas, and so on. You will also want to gather school information if you have children switching districts. In addition, you will want to keep track of a moving checklist, phone numbers, and references for moving companies, a packing list, information for a new state driver’s license, a new dog license, and a list of things to do. (Whew, don’t get overwhelmed!) 

Keep the binder nearby so when an idea or a task comes to mind you can easily access the moving information instead of having all the pieces floating around in your head. 

Utilize Technology 

At a time when you need to organize so many facets of your life, harnessing the power of technology will really make a difference. If you are house-hunting, keep Zillow on your phone to be alerted to new homes in the area where you hope to settle. 

When it comes time to sell or donate some of the items from your home that will not be making the move, consider Facebook Marketplace or LetGo – they’re also great for finding items for your new house! 

Avoid the stress of packing and knowing what is in each box with the Sortly app. With Sortly, you can categorize items by room and keep track of it all with a moving checklist. You can even create labels to place on boxes that can be scanned with the app. Organization is key to a successful move, and Sortly makes staying organized a piece of cake.


Color Code and Inventory 

Nothing is worse than getting to your new home and not know where everything is! In what box did you pack the toilet paper? Where is your child’s special blanket? Where are the cleaning supplies? We suggest getting really organized and not only labeling each box but also color-coding them so a misplaced box can be spotted easily. Create a key with colored tape that signifies blue for one room, red for another, and so on. If you want to be super organized keep a short inventory list or description on each box so when you arrive at your new location, finding what you need will be much less stressful. That Sortly app can help here as well. 

Sort, Purge, and Downsize 

When you have finally started the process of packing, you will probably find that you have “too much stuff.” This is a fairly common problem, especially if you have been in a house for a while. We suggest that you sort your items into like piles such as books, keepsakes, pictures, picture frames, or categories specific to your home’s belongings. Once the items have been sorted, you may find that you want to purge or downsize some of your collections. Perhaps you found that your wardrobe could be whittled down, or that you want to donate some of the books you have already read a few times. Moving is a great time to sort your items into a recycle, trash, or sell pile. Doing so can actually cut back on the amount of stuff you need to move and unpack later. 

Our final tip on getting and staying organized is to enlist friends, relatives, and anyone who is willing to help you get it all done. Remember that “many hands make light work.” If you need a professional mover to help you along the way, whether it is for storage, packing/unpacking and, of course, moving, then call Mastodon Moving at 774-421-9004 or contact us through our website