Tips for Moving in the Summer!

How about this summer weather!

Now that it has officially turned into summer, we thought it would be a good idea to share some summer moving tips. 

Plan your move date early   

In addition to being a popular time to vacation, the summer is a popular time to move. Data shows that 70% of household moving occurs in the summer months. Not only is the weather better, but children are off school, and many want to get settled before the start of the new school year. Also, home-selling season is in full swing, for similar reasons. The beginning and end of the month tend to be busiest, in addition to the end of the week (Thursday and Friday). Many leases are up at the beginning/end of the month, and many people like to have the weekend to get settled. Holidays and holiday weekends should also be avoided. If you plan early, you can choose a less popular day, and will not have to pay premium for holiday or weekend rates.

Prepare for the weather

Although there will be no snow, and hopefully no rain, you still need to prepare for the conditions. Try to ensure a morning start, so the bulk of the hard work is not done in the heat of the sun. Make sure to hydrate and have water on hand. Plan to turn the utilities on at the new place in advance, so that air conditioning can be started prior to arriving.  It is also a good idea to have portable fans, since the doors will need to be open for part of the time, while the movers load and unload.

Special Care

Certain items will not do well in the heat and should not be moved in the truck, if possible. Examples of these include candles, musical instruments, CDs, vinyl records, photographs, and more. Plan to transport these separately in the car. If this is not possible, mark these boxes ‘load last’ and thus they will be unloaded first, and spend the least amount of time in the truck. Appliances should also be unplugged and prepped 24 hours prior to loading. Freezers should be completely emptied and de-frosted prior to the move date. 

With early planning and some considerations for the heat, moving in the summer can be an enjoyable experience!


Welcome to our guest blog ~ “The Facts about Reiki” by Donna Cioffoletti

Thank you, Laura Armbruster, for inviting me on this journey with you.  Helping families move/downsize is a major decision in their lives and can be especially difficult.  Whether it’s moving parents to a facility or job relocating, and downsizing it is overwhelming.  Laura, is a kind and compassionate lady that I have known 3 years now.  I have never seen her lose her cool, and always quickly comes up with solutions.  

A few weeks ago, Laura invited me to write about the positive benefits of Reiki and how it can assist you with stress.  So here goes, I hope that I help you learn something new today!

“What is this thing called Reiki?” 

I’ve heard this question many times, here is the answer.  Reiki is an Asian philosophy of stress reduction and relaxation technique for adults, children and animals.  

Reiki is gentle touch over specific meridians of the body starting at the head, working down the body to the throat, shoulders, hands, stomach, hips, knees and feet and the back.  When my hands are placed over the various meridians, (about 2 inches from the body) my focus and concentration are in the moment.  Each meridian receives approximately 3-5 minutes of focus.  Reiki will be received in that area and flow throughout the body.    Some clients feel heat, some feel energy, some fall asleep, some claim they don’t feel anything.  

Clients stay dressed, the only thing we ask for you to take off is your shoes.   They are many ways to receive Reiki, all hand positioning can be modified to suit all individual needs.   The most common and basic is lying on a massage table for either 30, 45 or 60 minutes.   (Time is up to the client).  In addition, we use a zero-gravity chair for those who are unable to lie flat on a table.  I have also given Reiki to those in wheelchairs and bedridden.   

Donna providing Reiki for a client

A quiet, peaceful, calm, spa environment, wearing a headset, while soft music plays, promotes a very quiet atmosphere and reduces outside noises. We also use essential oils.  Keeping in mind the client may have allergies, those questions are asked when scheduling appointments. 

Let’s face it, unfortunately we all are “busy”, “stressed out”, etc.  Taking time out for ourselves is a necessity for self-care and self-love.  After all, if we are stressed out, exhausted, cranky, and burned out, how are we going to take care of our loved ones?  Reiki is a fabulous way for proactively maintaining our health, wellness and energy on a spirit, mind and body connection.  It is a method of “putting the oxygen mask on ourselves first, then help others.”

Over the years I have had the honor and privilege of working with many cancer patients, caregivers, bipolar patients, migraines/headaches sufferers, Autistic children, cerebral palsy, PTSD and much more.  Dogs, cats and horses have also been my clients.   The animals take to it so much faster than humans.  My own rescued beagle will be 16 years old in August.   They told me in 2011, he would not be around much longer, that his arthritis would only get worse.  Here we are in 2019 and he’s still with me.  Hmmm.

Hopefully, I have sparked in you to pay attention to your spirit, mind and body connection.   Remember where the mind goes, the body will follow.   So, if you are constantly thinking negative or illness thoughts your body will follow. 

Think positive and healthy thoughts and your body will follow.   Namaste!!

Donna Cioffoletti, has been practicing Reiki for 20 years, 19 years as a Reiki Master.  Donna took her Reiki I Class March 1999, Reiki II class October 1999 and the Reiki III/Master Class Jun 2000.  Donna has taught Reiki to nurses, social workers, cosmetologists, and various business people.  

Donna likes to joke, “this New York Italian is helping people calm down”!! 

You may follow Donna on Facebook – Donna’s Reiki Wellness, or Instagram Donnas_Reiki_Wellness.  Please feel free to email Donna with any questions or concerns at:

Thank you Donna for the wonderful article!


The Facts About Storage – Part Two

How to pick the correct-sized storage unit and other tips!

In our first article, we addressed the difference between storing items at a moving company warehouse, versus a mini-storage unit. Another common question we get is, “What size storage unit do I need?” If you are choosing to store your items with a moving company, the answer is easy – you will not need to know. The salesperson/coordinator at the moving company should be able to inventory what you are moving to storage and give you an estimate of cost based on this. 

If you are storing at a storage unit, the answer is a bit more complicated. Typically, there are different-sized units available such as –

Examples of sizes of mini-storage units

The next question to ask, is how tall the units are. Items can usually not be stacked much taller than 5 or 6 ft. We will take the most popular size, 10ftx10ft, and assume items can be stacked 5ft tall. 10 multiplied by 10 multiplied by 5 is 500 cubic feet (10x10x5=500). Each cubic foot holds 7lbs, thus a 10×10 unit holds about 3500lbs (500ft3multiplied by 7). An average room holds about 1500lbs, thus 3500lbs will be the equivalent to a 2bedroom apartment. 

Things to consider that may affect the size space you need, would be how ‘stackable’ are the items. Is this a lot of furniture that is square, ,like end tables and night stands, or bulky, like a sofa or sectional? Are you moving a lot of boxes and totes, that are easy to stack, or rather items that cannot be stacked, such as garden tools and floor lamps?

If you are planning to use a mini-storage, and plan to do the move without the assistance of a moving company here are some tips:

  • Don’t lay a TV on its side, it will affect the electrical components
  • Don’t pack with newspaper, the print will rub off and dirty items and your hands while unpacking.
  • Empty all appliances of water, and let them dry, and tape down loose parts.
  • Stack heavy boxes/items on bottom and light on top.
  • Think about moisture, and use pallets on the ground, and moving pads to protect.
  • Cardboard boxes placed on furniture can scratch the surface (small particles on bottom can rub). Use pads in between
  • Place items in front that you will need access to – such as décor for holidays, vacations, etc.
  • If you have shelves, make them functional and use them to stack boxes and smaller items.

If you plan to use a moving company to assist with the move out of the mini-storage, consider the access to the unit. Especially if you are moving long-distance, it would be advantageous to be able to fit a semi-truck in, to load up. If not, there is the potential a smaller truck would be needed to move the larger truck, and the cost will be higher due to extra handling. 


The Facts about Storage – Part One

Everything you need to know about storage (and probably more than you wanted to)!

A consideration prior to beginning this discussion – make sure you are not using storage as a way to postpone making decisions about your items. To save time and money (lots of money in the long-term), make sure to go through all of your items, and that you are keeping only those items that you need, love, and will use in the future. We caution clients to store with a purpose in mind, and an end date. An example; you have a family member that is buying a house, but it will not be ready for a couple of months, and they would like some of your furniture and household goods. This is storage with a purpose, and end-date in mind.

There are two different ways to store your excess items. One, is at the warehouse of a moving company. This type of storage is an excellent choice if you are going to be using a moving company to move you into storage, and then eventually to your new place. One reason is the continuity of valuation (mover’s term for insurance). If you are using the same company to move your items into storage, there will be coverage on these items through the duration of the move, storage, and move back out. Another positive is that the crew will load the storage crates using the same moving pads and protection they used in picking the items up. The crates will be loaded by a professional mover, so that all items will be properly protected. One negative to storing at a warehouse, is there will likely be a charge for accessing the items. If you want access, this will need to be scheduled ahead of time, so the warehouse can make your crates accessible. And there will likely be an hourly charge for a crew member to help you navigate the crate and your belongings.

Storage crates at a moving company warehouse

This brings us to the other option for storing, a mini-storage unit. The major positive being unlimited and free access to your items. The negatives include a disruption in the protection of your items, removal of pads and protection by the moving company, and uncertainty of safety. Certain things can vary based on the mini-storage facility selected, however, if you use a moving company to move your items into the unit, their insurance of your items will end upon them leaving the unit. Separate insurance would then need to be purchased from the mini-storage. Also, the moving company will remove their moving pads upon delivery, thus moving pads will need to be purchased prior to the move, or from the moving company. Without pads, the items will not be able to be stacked effectively, and a larger unit will be needed.

Example of a mini-storage unit

Stay tuned for our next article, addressing the amount of storage space that will be needed and tips for prepping the items you are storing.


Merger of Smooth Transitions & Armbruster Moving & Storage, Inc.

Press Release, Cleveland, Ohio

We are excited to announce that as of January 1st, 2019, Smooth Transitions Cleveland has been acquired by Armbruster Moving & Storage, Inc. Armbruster Moving & Storage has acquired Smooth Transitions assets, staff, and customer contracts. However, merged business will still operate under the Smooth Transitions brand. This is a wonderful opportunity to provide an even broader amount of services to those individuals that are making a life-changing move. Clients that are in need of help, are typically moving from a home they have lived in for 40-60 years. Combining the services of Smooth Transitions, with the ability and scope of Armbruster, will provide clients with the entire continuum of care during their relocation.

About Smooth Transitions Cleveland

Smooth Transitions Cleveland was started in 2004 by Michele Innenberg, and was taken over in September 2013 by Laura Armbruster.  Smooth Transitions provides individuals and their families the emotional and physical assistance needed in making a change in living arrangements. Typically, this involves a downsize of space; and will include services such as floor planning, sorting, organizing, packing, move coordination, and unpacking and settle-in. Smooth Transitions also provides services for the dispersal of household belongings after the move/downsize, to help prep their home for sale. 

About Armbruster Moving & Storage

Armbruster Moving & Storage is a full-service moving & storage company based out of Cleveland, Ohio. As a Mayflower agent, corporate relocation, and cross-country moves are top of mind. However, Armbruster provides local moving solutions to most of northeast Ohio and beyond.  Fully-equipped with local trucks, and expertly-trained staff, they are able to navigate throughout the numerous retirement communities in the area. Founded in 2001, brothers Chuck & Gary turned in their trucks to start Armbruster Moving & Storage.  The Armbruster Brothers set out to build a reputation of quality and customer service. Today, this reputation has been the foundation for what has become Armbruster Moving & Storage, an award-winning moving company driven by quality service and a family culture. 

Visit to find out more information. 

Contact Info:

Laura Armbruster Farmer

Address: 2800 Center Road Brunswick, Ohio 44212

Phone: 216-381-7418


10 Ways to De-Stress Your Move

Moving is one of the most stressful transitions in our lives and it is not easy to decide what to do with the lifetime of memories that have accumulated over the years.  At this time, you may be in the middle of deciding which items are to move with you and which ones are to be sold, donated or trashed.  Here’s how you can manage moving stress:

  1. When de-cluttering, begin with a small space like a closet or a bathroom.This helps you get organized faster and with less emotional attachment than a bedroom or living room.  Work up to the larger areas and you will find that you are more decisive and productive.  Use what I call the “refrigerator method”: tidy your closet as you would a fridge.   Remove everything from the shelves of the closet and only put back what you absolutely can’t live without.  Throw away things that have surpassed their ‘best before date’ like old, worn towels or hotel shampoos that you have collected and never used.  You will be surprised how easy it is to decide what you can live without!
  2. Be patient with yourself or the older adults you are helping. Sorting through years of stuff is difficult and sometimes emotionally painful.  Allow enough time so that you don’t feel rushed and don’t try to do it all at once.  Give yourself 1-2 hours a day to focus on deciding what moves with you and what gets donated or thrown in the garbage. When you find that you want to keep everything, stop!  You are getting tired and should move on to something else.  
  3. When de-cluttering a room, start on one side of the room and work methodically around it. Don’t let the size of the room be daunting.  Have 3 boxes set aside for:   1) items to be keptor 2) items to be gifted/donated to charity and 3) garbage.  If items are too large to fit in a box (i.e. lamps, side table) put sticky notes on the wall to designate an area of the room where you will separate your items. 
  4. Designate tasks and ask for help wherever possible.  Get family and friends involved in the move, whether they are helping you to sort, pack or physically lift the garbage bags to the curb. If you have a dog, maybe the neighbor can walk the dog for you each day? Ask a friend you trust to help you decide what will fit into your new home.  This friend should be honest with you when you may want to keep things that should be recycled (“do you really need to keep Aunt Mary’s old tablecloth when you will no longer be hosting Thanksgiving dinner?”)
  5. Hire outside help.  Whether you are planning your move by yourself or have your children to help you, there may be times when aspects of the move will become too stressful for the family. Sometimes it’s easier to work with an outside party who is not involved emotionally with your move, but can provide direction and experience in a gentle and professional manner.  Senior Move Managers are trained to help with the planning, organizing, de-cluttering, packing and unpacking related to your move, and they can also recommend the best companies to use, i.e. home cleaners, movers, and methods of junk removal. A reputable Senior Move Manager will belong to NASMM (National Association for Senior Move Managers) and you can ask your realtor for help in choosing one for you.
  6. Attend to emotional needs. Even if the reasons for your move are positive ones, feelings of sadness and anxiety can arise. Talk about your feelings with someone you trust as this will help to relieve your tension and refresh you for the days ahead.  Remember to take time to say goodbye to your neighbourhood and your neighbours.  This can help the emotional transition process just as you are preparing for the physical move. 
  7. Remember that your children may not want to take your furniture.  While this may be a harsh reality, you have raised your children to think for themselves and to develop their own sense of style.  Don’t be offended if they don’t want your 8-piece dinette with matching buffet that you paid $10,000 for 20 years ago.  Another common reality is that your furniture is not worth what you think it should be and, unless it is a true antique, will fetch very little money if you want to sell it.  There are other options that you can consider, like donating it and receiving a taxable receipt for the resale value or giving it away to help neighbors/friends.  There are many organizations who survive off the generosity of people like you.  Also, you will feel good knowing that your treasures are helping someone in need. 
  8. Be aware that moving comes with a cost. Nothing compounds stress more than when an unforeseen financial cost arises.  Be ready with your list of things you will have to pay for: movers, home cleaners, maintenance services if your home is vacant for a time i.e. snow removal / lawn mowing services, junk removal or rental of a bin or Rhino bag.  Again, a Senior Move Manager can advise you on the most reputable companies to hire and services to help your transition go smoothly. Note:if your home is going to be vacant you should contact your insurance broker/agent as this can impact your coverage.
  9. On moving day, enlist help from family and friends to help you supervise the move.  You have hired reputable movers; all the boxes have been packed and labelled and you are ready to move in.  Have a box set aside with your immediate needs: notebook with your to-do list and phone numbers, medications, and extra cash to tip the movers or to order pizza for your helpers.  You will want one person at the house and one at the new location to direct the movers.  If you are moving your adult parents, this may be a good day to have them taken out for lunch by a friend or, if they are moving to a retirement residence, maybe they can use the swimming pool or other amenities provided by the residence they are moving into.  If they want to be involved in the move, arrange for them to help unpack and set up their new home.
  10. Keep up your routine wherever possible. During the stressful days of moving it is easy to get sidetracked with other ‘urgent’ things.  People often lose sleep and forget to eat properly.  Continue to take care of yourself and maintain your routines, especially when it comes to exercising regularly or keeping social dates like bridge club, lunch with your daughter or minding your grandchildren. 

Moving in Inclement Weather – How does it work?

During the snowy winter season here in Ohio, a question that we get frequently from clients is “how do you protect our stuff when it’s snowing out?” This is a fair question for anyone to ask. In the moving industry we take certain precautions to protect our client’s household items when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Protecting the floors is one of the major concerns for every customer. When the crew enters the home to begin the move, they should immediately lay down a layer of floor protection in the entryway. As they progress through the home with the customer, they will create a path of floor protection for each room as well as cover the stairs with rug runners (pictured above).  As the furniture is being moved from the home and into the truck the crew takes special care to pad wrap each piece completely before it leaves the home. These moving pads protect the furniture from any outside elements as well as protecting the furniture from any nicks or dings. Although this should be included with every local and long-distance move, it may be something you ask your mover before booking the job.


Advice to Declutter and Pack a Home in Preparation for Sale

Summer is a busy time to move and sell your home. With the housing market remaining strong, it is as important as ever to get as much return as possible from one of your largest assets; your home. As moving professionals, our advice is to de-clutter and clear the space as much as possible prior to selling. One motivator that is not often thought about is the price of moving.

To break it down into local and long-distance moving – local moves are charged based on the size crew, and the amount of hours worked, plus packing. Long distance moves are charged based on the miles driven and weight of the shipment, plus packing. In both scenarios, the less weight and less packing, the less the move will cost. With the cost of moving rising due to shortage of drivers, and cost of fuel and operation, this can be a large amount of savings.

Once the process of de-cluttering, or more properly referred to, rightsizing, has occurred, packing of the home can begin. First, plan to pack items that are not being used, and will not be needed. Often times, this can be closets, spare bedrooms, basements, and garage areas. Soft and lightweight items can stay in dressers and chests. The furniture will be either shrink wrapped or pad-wrapped and secured closed.

Group like items together. For example, you do not want to pack fragile china cabinet items with pots and pans or tools. Prior to loading the box, add a layer of 2 to 3” packing material on the bottom of the box. This can be newspaper, towels, etc. Use caution with newspaper; it should not be used on packing individual items. The print can rub off, and it makes for a very messy unpack. Fragile items should be individually wrapped, and the more fragile, the more packing around. Once the fragile item is fully wrapped in paper, its edges should not be felt. Plates, serving platters, mirrors and pictures should be placed vertically in the box. Heaviest items should be placed in the bottom-most layer. Once an entire row is completed, another 2-3” of packing material should be added before starting the next layer. This next layer should be lighter items than those below.

Packaging Materials

Once the box is completed make sure to label it with the contents and where you want the box to end up in the new place (kitchen, master bedroom, living room, garage, etc). If there are liquids in the box, mark an upward arrow to warn the mover not to tip the box. For extremely fragile items or lampshades, mark the box as ‘top load,’ so that it is protected in the move. For those items you need when the truck first arrives, mark the box or item ‘last load,’ so it is the first off the truck. For more helpful packing and moving tips visit!


Tips for the First Day Jitters!

For many of our clients, there is a lot of anticipation for the first day/week in their new home. Much like the first day of school, there are a lot of unknowns. From the building itself, to the staff and residents, this can be a huge change from living alone at home, or in an apartment. We have discovered some ways to help ease this transition, and make it less anxiety provoking.

The first thing would be to schedule to spend time in the community prior to moving in. A lot of communities will host you and your family for lunch and dinner, as a way to showcase their menu, amenities, and community. During these visits, make sure to take a tour to get an overall feel of the layout and key places. When you have secured a room, make sure to travel around the community, going to and from your new apartment. Take note of how to get to the dining room, laundry facilities, parking, and front desk.

In addition to attending a meal, try to attend a happy hour, or other community events. It is a great way to interact with current residents, and feel more comfortable upon move in. Invite your friends and family to attend as well. It is nice to have a familiar face in the crowd.

Start compiling a list of important numbers and facts about the community. One important number is maintenance. They will most likely help with setting up of your TV, cable, and Internet on move-in day. In addition, they will be the go-to for anything in your apartment that requires attention. Another number is the front desk. This person will be able to guide you in the right direction and answer many of your questions relating to meals, schedules, events, etc. If you have medications, the nursing number will be helpful for any questions you may have.

Lastly, be kind to yourself! No matter the preparation, there will be a period of adjustment. Know that there will be things you need to learn, and get used to, and over time you will get increasingly comfortable. Make sure to bring pictures, artwork, and furniture from your home that makes you happy, and makes your new place feel like home.


We are very excited to announce an event this Thursday, December 14th, 2017 at The Weils Senior Living Campus in Chagrin Falls!



Come and learn how easy it is to move into Assisted Living!

5-5:30 pm delicious appetizers and holiday beverages
5:30-6 pm presentation by Laura armbruster, Smooth Transitions

Smooth Transitions Cleveland is a senior moving company specializing in household downsizing. Oftentimes, moving can be daunting with deciding what to take, nding a mover, packing and making all the other arrangements.

Our goal is to take care of all the details to help make your move stress-free!

Following the program, we will offer tours of our beautiful campus.

Laura Armbruster, owner and senior move manager with Smooth Transitions, has spent a lifetime in the family business of moving and relocating.


Smooth Transitions Flyer v2-2