A Complex Move with Storage on Martha’s Vineyard – Flexibility Delivering Multiple Services


During the fall of 2020, in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic, Sterling was contracted by one of the larger towns on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. They needed to moving the contents of their town hall and offices to a temporary location while a new greener, more sustainable state of the art facility is constructed.

The Need: Project Planning and Office Moving

A busy town, this client was in a difficult position. The original 80+ year old building was quickly deteriorating and in order to continue providing critical town services, they needed to relocate the offices and departments to a temporary trailer facility constructed a short distance from the original. Lacking a large commercial mover on the island, the town was referred to us as one of the only companies capable of executing a project of this complexity and delivering the needed services at their location.

Services Required:

  • Project Planning
  • Transportation
  • Moving
  • Furniture Installation
  • Server Relocation
  • Disposal
  • Recycling Services
  • Long Term Storage

The Challenges:

There were nearly 20 years of accumulated files, furniture, and surplus items.  As a top tourist attraction in Massachusetts, this town handles a large amount of municipal business catering to its full time and seasonal residents.  Additionally, this old building did not have an elevator, requiring everything to be moved down stairs and ramps.

The small, temporary trailer system built to house the town offices during construction, only contained enough room to hold basic office furniture for their employees.  Therefore, all excess files, furniture, and surplus items needed to be stored at the town’s Police Station, which had storage space in the basement and attic.  This necessitated moving items up and down steep, large flights of stairs at the station in addition to the stairs at the old building.

Working on the island presented its own unique set of challenges. There are a number of issues involved with carrying out large projects on Martha’s Vineyard. Multi-day jobs generally require laborers to stay on the island while work is being performed, which requires lodging and meal planning for employees.  Additionally, in order to travel back and forth, vendors must reserve time and space on the ferries, which are often delayed due to rough seas and weather.

Another important challenge to overcome was the limited disposal facilities on the island. It was necessary that Sterling coordinate removing all disposal and recycling and deliver it to the proper facilities located on the mainland.

Complex Commercial Moving, transportation, and storage on Martha's VineyardThe Solution – Flexible Scheduling and Move Planning 

They quickly settled on Sterling for a number of reasons:

  • An experienced Move Planner with a long track record of success
  • A single source provider with the ability to accommodate flexible scheduling
  • A company large enough to carry out a sizeable, complex move on a tight schedule
  • The resources and network to responsibly recycle and dispose of the all waste off the island

Sterling provided a comprehensive plan that seamlessly incorporated solutions for each of this town’s requirements: 

  • Moving – Furniture and equipment was safely secured and protected before being moved out and transported to the new location. Crews conducted the relocation using multiple methods of moving items that maximized efficiency going up and down stairs.
  • Scheduling – The town could not be out of operation for more a few days. Therefore, Sterling prepared, moved, and set up the new facility within 48 hours.  The following week, we returned to decommission the building, move all the items earmarked for storage, and perform all disposal services.
  • Planning – Although the Move Manager made the needed reservations with the ferry company, nature intervened. Despite a nearly six-hour delay on day one due to weather, the crew persevered and completed the move on time and on budget.
  • Capacity – Sterling is large enough to handle multiple large projects simultaneously. Sending out the large crew needed to successfully fulfill all the requirements for multiple days on multiple weeks presented to problems.
  • Coordination – The move supervisors successfully coordinated with the Police Department to move in all storage while not disrupting the daily operations of the busy station.
  • Disposal and Recycling – Sterling transported and disposed of all designated items off the island. Everything feasible was recycled or donated to a charity for future use.
  • Storage – There were items that could not be stored at the police station due to space limitations. They were brought back to our secure, climate-controlled warehouses, where they will be stored until the building project is complete and they can be installed in their new location.

Next steps:

  • Maintain storage during construction
  • Plan second phase of move after construction is completed (expected in September 2021)
  • Execute move and decommission temporary space

The Sterling Advantage:

Quality focused – customer driven service!

Large capacity – Large crews of in-house trained, permanent employees and an extensive fleet equipped to handle many jobs of all sizes simultaneously

Flexibility – Our large capacity allows us to accommodate last-minute needs and schedule adjustments

 Efficiency – Having every service under one umbrella to save time.

Cost Savings – “Bundling” all service needs with one company, reduces costs over multiple vendors. Having them all with Sterling means they have this cost savings while receiving unmatched customer service.

Project Management – The customer makes one call to their Project Manager and provides the details of their current need. We then communicate the plan and manage the execution, allowing them peace of mind, knowing everything is in good hands and will be done to their satisfaction as usual.