6 Decluttering Tasks Perfect for Fall

organization

Fall is the perfect time to declutter your home and life. The cooler temperatures are refreshing and the changing leaves provoke the feeling that it is time to move on from old ways. Decluttering is the first step to organizing and having an organized home can give you a feeling of control over what is happening in your world. With home organization comes order and with order comes calmness. Plus, the less clutter you have to deal with, the easier home maintenance becomes. And who doesn’t want to spend more time making memories and less time on home maintenance? Let’s get started!

  1. Summer Gear – Empty out the pool/beach bag and throw away any items that are worn, outdated, or broken. Store all of your summer gear and freshly washed beach towels in a plastic bin with a top to keep the dust away during the off-season.
  2. Summer Clothing – Before storing away those summer tops, shorts, bathing suits, cover-ups, and sandals, take a closer look at them. Be honest about what you really wore this summer and only keep those items. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that has warm temperatures all year long, keep your most worn summer clothing out. For those of you who must endure a cold winter, now is the time to make sure that the summer clothing you are keeping is cleaned and stored away until the spring.
  3. Beauty Products – Gathering all your makeup and beauty products into one area will give you a visual of how much you really have. We are all guilty of trying out products, not loving them, but not wanting to get rid of them because it feels wasteful. Keeping these unwanted items around can become discouraging by adding to your mental clutter and guilt. Now is the time to be thorough and toss anything you aren’t using. As a bonus, this will make getting ready so much easier, because you only have exactly what you need on hand!
  4. Pantry – Start by removing everything from the pantry, checking expiration dates, and wiping down the shelves. Take special note of the expiration dates in your spice rack. Spices don’t get used up as quickly, but they can lose potency over time and may need replacing. If you have an excess of some items, consider reaching out to elderly family and neighbors or donating what you don’t need.
  5. Freezer – Fall is the perfect time to get the freezer cleaned out to make room for soups, chilis, and holiday baking items. Take on this task the day before trash day so that if you do have to throw out mystery items or items past their prime, it does not have to sit in the trash for too long. Label everything you place back in your freezer with the contents and the date to make future freezer purgings easier!
  6. Gardening Tools and Supplies – Clean up, repair, and purge your garden tools and supplies so they’ll be ready for you in the spring. Decluttering and getting rid of any supplies that won’t last the winter will make it easier to know exactly what you need to get started gardening next spring.

During your fall quest for a decluttered, organized home, you may discover that your best option is to store some of your lesser-used items. Zippy Shell is open and ready to serve your storage needs in the best way possible. Call today or click here to get a quote!

4 Reasons to Get Renters Insurance

Couple at home on their laptop

If you rent your residence, you have probably heard of renters insurance and wondered if you needed to pay for this service. Some landlords or property management companies require their tenants to purchase a renters insurance policy. A common misconception is that renters insurance is not needed since the property owner likely has a homeowner’s insurance policy. But the policy that they pay for is for the home, not your belongings. Here are 4 reasons we think you should cover yourself with renters insurance.

THE COST IS WORTH IT—Renters insurance is very affordable. You can typically get a policy that works for you for under $20 a month. One mistake that some people make is undervaluing their belongings. Sometimes it seems like the things we own don’t actually cost that much, but if you look at what it would cost to replace a living room set, the $20 a month doesn’t seem that bad.

YOU GET LIABILITY COVERAGE—If you have a guest over that get hurts in your rental home and decides to hold you responsible for expenses and damages, if you have a rental insurance policy, you will be covered and not have to pay out of pocket for these bills. Most policies cover up to $100,000 in personal liability coverage, but you should double-check with the insurance company to find out what your policy limits are.

YOUR THINGS ARE COVERED OUT OF THE HOME TOO—This is a little known part of renters insurance. Your things are covered no matter where they are. If you take something out of your home and it gets stolen out of your car, you can file a claim to be reimbursed for a certain percentage of that item’s value.

LIVING EXPENSES WHEN YOU CAN’T BE AT HOME—If you are unable to stay in the rental home due a covered event, your policy will pay for your hotel and living expenses while repairs are being made. This is an important part of a renters insurance policy, so make sure the policy you choose has this included. Without it, you will be on the hook for finding a place to stay while your residence is being fixed.

Renters insurance policies are not all created equal. Get a few different quotes from different companies to find the best fit for you. And don’t forget, most policies will not include flood coverage. If you live in an area where flooding is an issue, we recommend you upgrade your policy to include flood damages.

We hope this helped you as you decide whether or not to purchase a renters insurance policy. If you have a move coming up soon, give Zippy Shell a call for a free, no-obligation estimate.

6 Houseplants Anyone Can Keep Alive

watering houseplants

You have probably noticed that houseplants are making a major comeback right now. Through this pandemic, we have all endured some stressful times. As people have been spending more time at home, a lot of us have turned to houseplants to bring some calming nature inside. If you have been tempted to pick up some plants but aren’t sure if you have the time or know-how to keep them alive, we have some suggestions for some of our favorite plants that anyone can keep alive. If you have small children or curious pets, be aware that most houseplants are toxic if consumed—artificial plants may be better for your household in that case.

SNAKE PLANT

The snake plant, or sansevieria, is one of the most tolerant plants in existence. Known for its air-purifying capabilities, there are over 70 varieties and they can adapt to many different atmospheres. Even if your home has low-light and you constantly forget to water your snake plants, it will forgive you and keep growing on. If you have bright light in your home, you can expect your snake plant to grow much more rapidly.

POTHOS

One of the many varieties of pothos will be a great beginner plant. It tolerates low-light but will thrive in medium or high light situations. The pothos will look beautiful in a hanging basket or even as a trailing centerpiece on your dining table.

IVY

Like the snake plant, the varieties of ivy are known for their air-purifying effects and can even help with mold spore issues in the home. While ivy will be content in low-light situations for a while, they prefer medium to high light to thrive. The ivy will forgive you for forgetting to water it now and again but be careful to not overwater it or it will turn brown and crispy on the leaves.

ZZ PLANT

The ZZ plant, or Zamioculcas zamiifolia, is a highly tolerant plant that is perfect for practically any situation. You can even grow a ZZ plant in your office under fluorescent lights. With beautiful waxy leaves, the ZZ plant is prepared to survive drought and low light situations. You can’t go wrong with this hardy plant.

SPIDER PLANT

These plants will grow best in bright light but will tolerate any low or medium-light areas in the home. This plant has long cascading leaves that will look beautiful in a hanging basket while offering you air purification capabilities.

PEACE LILY

You have probably seen the peace lily featured in interior decorating magazines or television shows. The big, green leaves and gorgeous flowers are known for their beauty and tolerance. A talkative plant that will let you know when it needs water with some drooping. But as soon as you give it water, it will perk right back up. They tolerate many light situations and is another great option for the office under fluorescent lights.

We hope these suggestions help you delve into the houseplant world. We’d love for you to stop by our Facebook page and share with us your favorite, low-maintenance houseplants.

If you have a move coming up, be sure to give Zippy Shell a call for a free, no-obligation estimate.

Fun Fall Decor Ideas

Fall Decor

If you have walked through a store in the past few weeks, there is no question that fall is here—Halloween and Thanksgiving décor is everywhere! We have seen some Christmas stuff too, but we are not even getting started on that right now. If you are getting your home ready for the fall season, we have some fun décor ideas to get you started.

TRANSFORM YOUR DINING TABLE

The dining table is a great place to start decorating for fall. After you put down a nice tablecloth and runner, you can get creative with a fall-themed centerpiece. A tall vase full of dried wheat bundles or a large bowl filled with pinecones, mini-pumpkins, or gourds, is a simple way to create a dramatic centerpiece in your dining room.

STOP BY YOUR LOCAL NURSERY OR GARDEN CENTER

The fall porch and patio potted arrangements have arrived. You can pick up a gorgeous arrangement of plants and foliage to display on your front porch or even lining the steps up to your front door. If they are already in containers, the only thing you must do is keep them watered for an easy, yet stunning, decoration for your porch that you will love looking at all season.

GET FESTIVE WITH A FALL WREATH

Wreaths are great for any holiday or season for a festive way to greet guests or anyone who comes to the front door. You can buy one ready-made, or you can hop on Pinterest for some fun DIY fall wreath plans and patterns.

TURN YOUR PORCH INTO A FALL FESTIVAL

Use a variety of pumpkins, garland made from colorful leaves, and stringed lights to give your front porch that fall festival feel. Another idea we love is taking mason jars and filling them with small, battery-operated lights and moss for some earthy ambiance while you sit outside enjoying the cooler weather.

BRING THE OUTSIDE IN

Bring the outside in by collecting branches to display in tall vases. If you are handy with power tools, you can even find downed thick limbs or trees to create wood slices to use around your home. Wood slices make great risers, placemats, or even coasters.

GET CRAFTY

While we love natural decorations, crafted decorations work great for the fall season as well. Mixing the two themes can also be fun. You can take natural items like acorns, pinecones, or even pumpkins, and paint them in fun colors that you love. This is a great activity to get the kids involved in as well.

We hope you have fun as you start decorating your home for the fall season. Be sure to stop by our Pinterest page and check out our FALL DECORATING, FOOD, AND INSPIRATION board for even more fun ideas.

ZIPPY SHELL IS READY TO PARTNER WITH YOU

If you have a move coming up this year, or you need options for storage, give Zippy Shell a call for a free, no-obligation estimate.

5 Tips to Save Money on Your Move

saving money

The costs involved with moving add up fast! Not only do you have moving expenses, you likely will be spending money to get your new home set up and ready for your family to settle in. Fortunately, there are ways to cut some of those costs. Take a look at 5 of our favorite tips for saving money on your move.

COLLECT FREE BOXES FROM LOCAL STORES

If you don’t mind using different sized boxes, give your local grocery and package stores a call. These locations are a treasure trove for free boxes. Just be sure to call a couple of weeks in advance and reserve some. If no one claims them, they get recycled.

IF YOU CAN, MOVE IN THE OFF-SEASON

If you have any flexibility in the timing of your move, try to move in the off-season. Yes, even moving has a peak and off-season! May through September is the typical peak season for moving. You may find different moving services to be less available during that time. You may also find prices are higher during the high demand months. Schedule your move in the off-season for the best prices.

CHECK FOR MOVING SPECIALS

Before you commit to any moving services, check around for moving specials. You will likely find more ways to save money with these specials and coupons during the off-season months. But be careful if you see an offer that seems far too good to be true—these often turn out to be scams.

DON’T FORGET TO SHUT OFF YOUR UTILITIES

In the chaos of moving, it is common for people to forget to shut off the utilities or transfer them out of their name. You really do not want to have two utilities bills simultaneously. Also, be sure to schedule the utilities turn-on date for your new home in advance. If you arrive and have forgotten to do that, you will either wait a day or two with no utilities, or you will have to pay extra for same-day service. Save that money and schedule them before you move in!

DON’T RENT A TRUCK

Rental truck costs add up very quickly. Not only are you charged by the time you have it rented out, you are charged for mileage. Even the gas costs for a big truck is costly. We recommend using a portable storage unit. You will have a secure unit delivered to your location and it will stay there as long as you need. When you are ready, it will be picked up and either stored at a secure location or transported to your new home. Skip the rental truck costs and save money with an easier way to move!

We hope these tips help as you get ready to plan your move. Zippy Shell is ready to partner with you on your move. Give us a call for a free, no-obligation estimate.

Common Decorating Mistakes to Avoid

decorating

Are you getting ready to decorate your new house? If you just moved, you are probably feeling some urgency to transform your new house into a warm home and sanctuary for you and your family—but don’t move too fast! Before you get started, take a look at some of the most common decorating mistakes.

CHOOSING YOUR PAINT COLOR TOO SOON

You may already have an idea of what color you want to paint the rooms in your home, but we suggest making your more expensive purchases first. Make sure you have all the furniture you plan to buy in the home before choosing the color of the paint. Often times, people paint first and then realize the furniture they move in doesn’t complement each other.

NOT TRYING PAINT SAMPLES

Another mistake people make with paint colors is choosing the color in the store without bringing home samples to see how it will look on their walls in the current lighting. According to what kind of lighting you have in your home, colors can look dramatically different. Paint samples are a cost-effective way to make sure you choose the color you love.

CHOOSING STYLE OVER COMFORT

This is an easy mistake to make. Some of the most comfortable things are often less aesthetically pleasing. When you are choosing furniture, keep in mind that if you choose style over comfort, people in your family will be less likely to use that space.

HANGING ART TOO HIGH

Another common decorating mistake is hanging pieces of art too high to try and give a more dramatic look. Standard sizes should be hung at eye level to give the viewer the best view of the art.

NOT MEASURING SPACES BEFORE BUYING FURNITURE AND RUGS

This is usually an unintentional mistake that happens when you are shopping for a certain thing but come across a piece of furniture, rug, or another home item that you just love. A purchase is made, it is brought home, only to find that it doesn’t fit the space. If you the vendor doesn’t accept returns, you are just out of luck. It is a good idea to go ahead and take some of the main measurements in your home and save them to your phone so making spontaneous purchases don’t have to end badly. And always check the return/exchange policy!

RELYING ON OVERHEAD LIGHTING

Decorating your home is not all about art, furniture, and accent pieces—it’s also about ambiance. The best way to achieve a nice ambiance in your home is by using other types of lighting besides your overhead lights. A nice corner lamp or chandelier with dimming feature are just two great options to consider in your home.

We hope these tips help as you get ready to decorate your home. If you aren’t quite there yet and are still working on planning a move, give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. We would be happy to equip you with a free, no-obligation estimate to help you make the best moving and storage decisions. We look forward to hearing from you.

How to Ship a Vehicle Across the Country

freight truck

Moving a long distance such as across the country comes with its own unique set of challenges. One of those challenges is figuring out how your vehicle will get to its new home. Will you drive it yourself or use an automotive transportation service?

Driving Yourself

In the majority of situations this will be the most cost-effective option, but don’t act so fast! There is of course the cost of gas to drive your vehicle to your new destination, but depending on the distance there are other costs to consider. Will you need to stay in a hotel overnight because the drive is so long? How many times will you need to stop for food? What about the wear and tear on your vehicle? Each part of your vehicle, from the tires to the engine, has a limited number of miles it can drive before it should be replaced. Driving your vehicle 1,000 miles in just a few days can take an average of one month off of its life expectancy. You also have to consider the time it will take to drive across the country. Will driving your vehicle yourself require you to take time off of work, therefore, reducing your wages?

Automotive Transportation Service

  • How does it work? While you are focused on moving your stuff, you can leave the transporting of your vehicles to a professional automotive transport partner. Your vehicle will be picked up or driven to a nearby location where it can be loaded onto a vehicle transporter. The auto transport service will then deliver your vehicle to your new home, either dropping it off at your door or at a nearby spot where you can pick it up.
  • What are the advantages? Shipping a vehicle via an auto transport service saves more time than driving it by yourself, especially in the case of a long-distance move. You can fly to your new place without having to make changes in your schedule and having to drive all the way to your destination which is often tiring. Having your vehicle transported by a professional auto transport service will save you a lot of stress when managing your overall move. By leaving the driving to auto transporters, you also will save a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle. Since auto transport services have employees that are knowledgeable about the rules and regulations connected with auto transportation, they can advise you about the documentation that’s required to transport the vehicle.
  • Are there any disadvantages? The biggest item to consider when using an automotive transportation service is your timeline. When you transport your vehicle by yourself, you’re in control of the entire operation, meaning that you can control exactly when it arrives at your new home. When hiring professionals, the delivery date is often decided by the company. The number of vehicles and the location of the vehicles the company is transporting can affect delivery times.

Before you decide whether you would like to employ the services of an auto transport service to transport your vehicle, weigh the pros and cons carefully. By getting quotes from various companies you can trim the expenses involved. Zippy Shell partners with automotive transportation services that provide professional services at competitive rates. Contact us today!

How to Move with Aging Parents

Older man with moving boxes

As a result of the pandemic, circumstances have changed for many families across America. There are many scenarios in the current climate that involve the need to move an aging parent. This could mean moving a parent into your home or moving with an aging parent into a new place altogether.
Moving is a stressful life event and it can be even more stressful for older adults. Fortunately, there are steps you can take throughout the move to make the experience easier for your aging parent.

  • The first step is to have an open discussion. The best thing you can offer to yourself and your aging parents is a candid assessment of the situation. Even if a sudden illness or a financial setback seems to be forcing a decision, it’s worth exploring how that decision is going to impact the entire family.
  • Moving your elderly parents will most likely require downsizing their belongings. For some, downsizing is an exciting prospect to be able to let go of possessions that require so much time and maintenance, but for many it can be emotionally and physically challenging. Having others around to share memories with can make the process less painful. Even though it will take more time, go through the house item by item with your support team. Honor the emotional attachment to personal belongings and allow your senior parent to reminisce as you help sort out their possessions.
  • Evaluate the new home for accessibility. Consider major changes that may be needed in order to accommodate any disabilities or mobility problems, for example, wheelchair-accessible bathroom and shower, grip bars, different door handles, lower light switches. If you need to make modifications in the home for your aging parents, hire professionals with accessibility improvement experience who can complete the work successfully. 
  • After all of your planning, packing, and preparation, when moving day finally arrives, you’re going to want to take some measures to ensure everyone and everything is safe. Get sufficient help even if that means hiring help. When we are under stress, it’s easy to gravitate to unhealthy foods, sleep deprivation, and negative thinking. Make sure everyone fills their belly with healthy options and stays hydrated.
  • Be prepared for the emotions. You can eliminate some negative emotions by making sure your parents have a fair amount of control over as many aspects of the move as is reasonable. Also, engage in regular talks about current feelings and fears of what may be to come. Your parents will need time to adjust to their new living environment and role with your family.

Aging parents may need a lot of help and support during a move, but they are usually the expert on exactly what they need. Your communication, patience, and support will help make this transition smoother. The most important thing to focus on bringing to the new home is their physical and emotional health! Zippy Shell can service moves of many sizes, and even offer storage options if you need it. Go online and get a free quote today!

7 Tips For a Successful Yard Sale

Yard Sale

If you are getting ready for a move, it is a good idea to go through all your belongings and try to downsize what you will need to pack up and move to your new home. One way you can achieve this is by having a yard sale. As we enter the cooler fall season, it is a great time to plan an outdoor sale where you can make a little extra cash for your move while purging things you no longer need. Not every yard sale is successful, however. Take a look at seven of our favorite tips to make sure your yard/garage sale gets good traffic and sales.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

If you live in a location that doesn’t get a lot of traffic, consider changing the location of your yard sale. Ask a family member or friend that lives in a large subdivision or off a busier road if you can borrow their yard for a weekend.

INVITE NEIGHBORS AND FAMILY TO SELL WITH YOU

If you don’t have a lot that you plan to sell, ask your friends and neighbors if they would like to join you for a multi-family yard sale. More stuff displayed outside will draw in more buyers than just a few tables.

GET ORGANIZED

Don’t wait until the morning of your yard sale to start throwing things together. Plan ahead so you have time to go through each room in your home to purge unwanted and unneeded items. Organize your items so they can be displayed in an intuitive way that makes it easy for a customer to browse. If everything is just thrown in boxes, people will be less likely to look through and find things they want to purchase from you.

LABEL EVERYTHING

Most people who go shopping, whether at a store or a yard sale, want to know the price of an item they are interested in without needing to ask someone. Invest in some good stickers and put a price on each item, or at least have specific value tables (example: everything on this table is $1) to make it simple for potential customers.

PRICE TO SELL

Unless you are on the fence about selling something, price your items to sell quick. Remember, you don’t want to have to pack all this stuff up and take it with you to your new house. Priced right, you will clear out a good bit of your unwanted things and still make some extra money.

PREVIEW ONLINE

If you have large furniture or pieces that you intend to price higher, consider taking good pictures and posting them for sale online prior to your yard sale. This will give you a longer time frame to make sure you get these items sold.

ADVERTISE

With social media, neighborhood apps, and local advertisement websites, advertising your garage sale may be the easiest part of this process. You don’t need to spend any money to advertise online, but you may want to spend a little to buy garage sale signs that will allow you to give drivers on the road clear instructions on how to get to your yard sale from the main roads. We hope these tips will help you host a successful yard sale before you move to your new home. We offer a safe and secure way to move and store your stuff. Give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 for a free, no-obligation quote. We look forward to hearing from you!

6 Home Improvements to Make Before Selling

House at dusk

If you are getting ready to place your home on the market, now is the time to sneak in some home improvement projects. Sometimes even the smallest home improvements can have a huge impact on potential buyers. All of the improvements listed below have the potential to immediately change the buyer’s perception of your home and raise its value.

Landscaping

Great landscaping can create a lasting first impression. Even if you don’t really have a green thumb, it’s important that your landscaping looks neat and that it complements your home’s exterior. Make sure your yard is looking its best by clearing out debris, watering the grass, trimming the hedges, mowing the lawn, and putting in a few annual flowers to brighten things up.

Exterior Shine

Making the exterior of your home sparkly clean can probably add more power to your curb appeal potential than anything else. After everything is cleaned up, take time to repair any places that need attention. Focus on chipping paint around the windows, missing shingles, or siding that needs repair.

Interior Paint

Painting is a great cost-effective way to completely transform the look of your home. Freshly painted rooms are a natural attraction. Using a light or neutral shade will allow buyers to more easily picture themselves living in your home. Plus, lighter colors will make your home seem larger, cleaner, and more appealing. If your walls are still in pretty good shape, washing them can give the same desired look.

Updated Fixtures

Light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, kitchen fixtures, doorknobs, cabinet hardware… making updates in these areas can make a huge difference. Fixtures go in and out of style pretty frequently and can easily make a beautiful home look dated.

Refresh Cabinets

Kitchen and bathroom cabinets are highly visible because they are at eye level. For cabinets that are in good structural shape, a deep clean may be all that is needed to get them in showing condition. If that fails, painting or refacing them is a much cheaper option than replacing them altogether.

Depersonalize and Declutter

To prevent potential buyers from getting distracted, you should remove all personal memorabilia, such as family photos, collections, hobby items, and personal hygiene items. Your goal is to help prospective buyers visualize the space as their own. Clutter makes rooms look smaller and distracts buyers from seeing the beauty of the space. Make your home look bigger and more desirable by editing down to just the basics.

To give the illusion of space in your home, it may prove useful to store excess items off-site. We can deliver all-steel, weatherproof storage containers to you for all your storage needs. Zippy Shell delivers the container directly to your door to be loaded then safely stores all your furniture and other belongings back at our climate-controlled facility – out of sight and mind for you and your potential buyers. If you want a simple way to store your stuff, look no further than Zippy Shell.