Avoid Moving-Related Stress with These 5 Tips

A couple looks at a computer in their home.

At Zippy Shell, we understand just how stressful a move can be, whether you are moving cross-country or just relocating one town away. Even thinking about the enormity of a move can bring on stress. Here are a few tips to help you overcome the anxiety of moving-related stress and help you tackle this like a pro!

Get Organized!

There is a reason why the word ‘’organized” or “organization” is consistently mentioned regarding moving and moving-related stress. When you plan ahead and implement organizational tools, your chances of a successful move (and less stress!) are much greater!

Implement a Schedule and Stick with It!

Whether you use an online calendar and to-do list, or go “old-school” with an Erin Condren LifePlanner, use what system works best for you to stay organized. Get the family involved. Post a hanging calendar on the fridge and circle essential dates (the day you want your kids to pack up their rooms, moving day, utility cut-off date, etc.). If you are a visual person, seeing the dates right in front of you in bright colors can effectively remind you and your family!

Kick Out Procrastination!

If you wait until the last minute to plan your move, you will be scrambling to finish, and this will undoubtedly cause stress. This isn’t the time to procrastinate. Give yourself plenty of time in your schedule to find a moving provider (or round up some friends and family), pack up your belongings, change addresses, disconnect utilities, etc. Procrastinating will not only cause stress, but it will also cost you money.

Enlist Friends and Family to Help!

If you are lucky to have friends and family nearby, enlist their help! They are a vital resource on moving days and will help relieve some moving day stress! Enlist those that are the most helpful. If your fraternity brother still dresses like he’s going to a big hair 80’s band concert and just came for free pizza and beer, you may want to leave him off the list. Be sure and offer your gratitude, and some food and beverage, to those around you that offer their help!

Prepare Mentally and Physically to Move!

Regardless of the enormity of your move, whether moving cross-country or across town, the process can still be stressful. If you are physically prepared (get a good night’s sleep, eat a healthy and fueling breakfast, be in healthy shape), you will be ready to tackle your move easier. Mentally you have to push out any anxiety or trepidations about your move and focus on the positives of this overwhelming task. Maybe you are moving closer to family or closer to the beach! Focusing on the positive can help push out the negative!

Take these five tips to heart when preparing for your next move, and you will be relieved to see how much easier your move can be! If you aren’t organized and tend to procrastinate, identify someone in your family or even a close friend to help you along the way. Share these tips with them, and you might be surprised how efficient you can become! Be sure to give Zippy Shell a call if you need any moving and storage help!

Don’t Forget These Tasks when you are 30-Days Away from a Long-Distance Move

A couple sits and looks at a computer and paper

The countdown has begun! You are only 30 days out from your big, long-distance move. Whether it’s across the country or international, you won’t want to forget these essential tasks. This is the point in time when your insurance, utilities, and more may get overlooked in the hustle of your other moving responsibilities. Let’s review some things you still need to keep in mind when you are about 30 days away from the new chapter in your life!

Find and return! Do you have library books, game rentals, or movies that need to be returned? Now is the time to gather them. The last thing you want is for those things to make it in your suitcase and travel 2,000 miles only to realize you need to mail it back (and pray it makes it where it’s supposed to go so you don’t get charged).

Update your voter registration. States across the map differ in their voter registration guidelines. So, if there is an important election that you wish to be a part of, it will be vital to do your research ahead of time. Sometimes, it can take weeks to get your status reassigned to another state.

Research new doctors for the family. If you haven’t had time to speak with your new neighbors, coworkers, or friends near your new place of residence, now is a good idea to start looking for a new doctor. You don’t want to wait until someone in the family is ill before you start looking. It will also be helpful to have your patient records transferred ahead of time!

Consider your new utility options. Your new residence may have several options for cell phone carriers and cable and internet service companies. It will pay you to look for specials and discounts ahead of time so that you’re not caught in a last-minute trap and choose the most expensive one. Calling ahead to have your utilities ready on move-in day is essential to a stress-free move. Oh! And be sure to notify your current service providers that you’ll be leaving soon. Some require a 30-day notice so that you do not get charged an additional month.

Change of address. Along those same lines, now is the time to file a change of address with the Post Office. You don’t need important mail being delivered to your old residence. This form may be completed online at the USPS website.

Consider your insurance coverage. It may be time to start the process of shifting your insurance to a new state. You may also want to think about purchasing moving insurance, so your belongings are covered during the long-distance move. It may be pricey, but it can save you some stress if the worst were to happen.

Continue to pack! If you haven’t begun packing, now is the time to pack non-essential items and round up vital financial records. Documents and belongings that you will not need to handle over the next month can be stored now (seasonal décor, holiday dishes, etc.). As for personal documents such as immunization records, passports, and other financial items, you might need to access them quickly, so place them in the luggage you plan to carry on your person.

Check out Zippy Shell if you require moving services. Our portable containers are perfect for any move, local or long-distance. And if you need more time to unpack or set your home up, we even offer temporary or long-term storage. Give us a call today to see how we can help you!

6 Ways You Can Reduce Your Moving Costs

A couple carries a box through their home

The expenses of a move can add up quickly and wreak havoc on your wallet. Moving supplies, moving company fees, and time off from work all add up after a while. And if you are moving into a new home, you can expect down payments, closing costs, and broker fees! With a bit of research, planning, and patience, you can reduce moving costs with the following six tips.

  1. Eliminate & Save: A move is a great time to eliminate clutter and items you don’t need. Moving companies base their prices on things you are shipping, so lighten the load and save some cash. Toss, donate, sell or store these items. Remember, donations count as a tax deduction.
  2. Savvy Scheduling: If possible, avoid scheduling during the peak moving season (summer). The least expensive time of the year to schedule a move is between October and April. Discover additional savings by scheduling during the middle of the week or the middle of the month.
  3. Packing Supplies: Avoid hefty fees from moving companies and provide your own packing supplies. Use containers you may already have, such as suitcases and plastic bins. For padding, use everyday household items such as blankets, towels, t-shirts, and socks. Ask for free used boxes at grocery and beverage retailers.
  4. Portable Storage & Delivery: An option to consider instead of hiring a moving company is to get portable storage and delivery. Zippy Shell can deliver portable storage to your door, pick it up, and deliver it to your new home. And you’ll save money packing it yourself.
  5. DIY Move: One more cost-effective way to move is to pack and load your stuff yourself. Enlisting friends and family to help can make the process smoother and even a bit more fun. Be sure to reward their efforts with breaks, snacks, and meals. Sandwiches and pizza are great options for feeding a hungry crew on a budget.
  6. Tax Deduction: Save your receipts and deduct your moving expenses from your taxes if you relocate at least 50 miles for a new job. You can deduct the cost of packing, transporting, or storing your household items from next year’s tax return.

Consider these essential tips to help reduce moving costs during your next move. Saving cash getting your stuff shipped will free up a few bucks to spruce up your new home or to save for a rainy day! And if you are looking to schedule a storage container or seek moving advice, contact Zippy Shell today!

8 Ways to Create a Welcoming Environment in Your New Home

A couple holds each other as they look at a house

Congratulations on your new home! The boxes are unpacked, and you are getting settled into a new routine. Now that the hard part is over, you can focus on the fun part. Turning your new place into a home that will feel welcoming to your family and visitors can be very exciting. If you are having a hard time deciding where to begin, start with the tips below.

Start with the curb appeal. People are drawn inside your home when your curb appeal is on point. Have a well-manicured lawn, pressure wash everything until it shines, take care of any needed exterior repairs, use vibrant pops of color in your entryway, and make sure your external illumination is ready to welcome.

Create a feeling of coziness with your lighting. Aim to have lots of soft light sources rather than a single bright one. Turn off the overhead lighting and strategically place lamps for a warm, festive glow. Place lit candles (or use flameless candles) throughout the house. Using mirrors can help to magnify the warmth of your light sources.

Decorate your home to reflect your personality and style. Find a way to integrate the things you love in the design of your new home, and you will see how quickly the space will gain personality and warmth. Your guests will take notice and feel welcomed if your house matches your personality.

Liven up your home with some color! Don’t hold back on using a prominent, expressive color for your new home if that is what appeals to you. Any color can look good as long as it truly suits your style. Of course, you can always paint an accent wall to introduce a pop of color without going all out. Choose a wall that is seen the moment you enter the space for the most impact.

Incorporate some live greenery. Plants are a fantastic and inexpensive way to add color and life to a room. From tall leafy plants to fragrant flowers, experiment with different plants to bring life to your rooms and make them more inviting. Plants are not only a beautiful decorating tool, but they are proven to balance humidity and clean household air as well. 

Texturize your home. Adding different textures to your home design is a simple trick to make your home more welcoming. Surrounding yourself and guests with items like fluffy carpet, textured rugs, smooth wooden furniture, faux fur pillows, and other cozy items will make them feel comfortable. 

Create pleasing aromas and fragrances. Welcome home your family and other guests with a pleasant aroma. Scented candles, essential oils, fragrance sticks, fresh flowers, or fresh baked goods will make your home feel super inviting!

Put family photos on display. While artwork you adore certainly has its place, it is the family photos and kid-made art that will give your home a personal touch. Hallways and stairwells can be ideal for family photo galleries making it easier to stop and get a closer look. 

Most importantly, enjoy your new home and the new adventure it brings. Zippy Shell will always be here to help you with any future moves or provide storage as you are getting set up in your new life! Give us a call if you need moving or storage services in the future and see how we can make it simple for you!

6 Things You Must Do When You Move into a New Place

A family brings boxes into a home.

Whether it’s a new home or a new apartment, there are a few things that should be at the top of your to-do list on move-in day. Zippy Shell has compiled a vital checklist of these essential things so that everyone in your household feels safe and comfortable from day one.

  1. Clean it! Even if you’re moving into a brand new space, it’s essential to make sure it’s clean (and sanitary). You’ll want to pay particular attention to the kitchen and bathrooms where things can get extra dirty. Put some real elbow grease into place to make it shine. This will be not only beneficial for your health but also for your mental state of mind.
  2. Change the locks. “Better safe than sorry,” as the saying goes. It’s great to be a trustworthy person, but when you place all of your belongings in a new home that someone else has access to, you might want to be cautious. Plus, who knows to whom the last owner gave a key? It’s always a good idea to be safe! You’re not only protecting your assets but your family, too! A professional locksmith can have those locks rekeyed in no time. Set this up early in the moving process. (And while you’re at it, check those smoke detectors as another safety precaution. Make sure they are in working order.)
  3. Figure out furniture placement! Hey, the movers are about to arrive, and you’re going to want to take advantage of that muscle while you have it. You don’t want to be caught trying to move a sleeper sofa by yourself after everyone has gone home. Masking tape is a great way to mark the exact spots for your sofa, refrigerator, grandma’s huge bookcase, and even Fido’s doghouse. (Pro tip: Have some cash on hand to tip these guys!)
  4. Does the Wi-Fi work? Oh man, it’s true, and we don’t know what to do without it. Hopefully, you’ve thought ahead and had your utilities switched over by move-in day, including your Internet Service Provider. Remember, lots of new gadgets, including doorbells, thermostats, and security devices, work off Wi-Fi. So, as soon as you arrive, have someone in the family plug in the modem/router and get things set up. You will have plenty of time to troubleshoot before everyone’s ready to watch a movie tonight.
  5. Locate and inspect utilities. This is mostly in case of an outage or emergency water leak, but it’s good to know where they are at the outset of moving in. We’ve seen folks put heavy pieces of furniture in front of electrical panels, which makes them impossible to find or extremely difficult to get to in the dark. Keep these things in mind as you arrange furniture and store large items during move-in.
  6. Order some food. My goodness, after a long few days of moving and unpacking, the last thing you will feel like doing is cooking. Check for some coupons to some local restaurants and order food for the crew that’s been helping you make your move. It will be an excellent way to thank everyone for their assistance, and it means you won’t have to wash any dishes.

There’s plenty that goes on during move-in, but a few essential things that should come first. We hope you find our checklist handy and if you need extra storage while you’re getting everything situated, please think of Zippy Shell’s options for portable storage.

How to Break the Ice with Your New Neighbors

A woman waves at someone

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, sometimes figuring out how to meet new neighbors can feel intimidating. You’re already moved to a new place, and things are a bit out of sorts, so your confidence and creativity might not be at their peak. It can be especially difficult to meet new folks in a new city because you’re still getting to know the new terrain.

We often take for granted how effortless our existing friendships may be in a city where we have roots and history. Then, when you add today’s digital culture where people spend more face time with their phones and computers than with people, it can be hard to make new friends. We get it! Here is our helpful and fun list of things you can do to break the ice with your new neighbors.

  1. Think about your interests. Do you like hiking? Well, strap on a backpack and head to the local trailhead. Do you like reading? Consider joining a book club or hosting a monthly gathering to discuss the latest titles. Is there another interest you’ve been considering, like learning French? Well, this is the perfect time to take a class! Finding friends who have similar interests will accelerate getting to know one another.
  2. Walk the dog regularly. Barring any crazy weather, getting out with your pet can be one of the best ways to meet the new neighbors (plus, your dog will love you for it). Check out new paths for the week. Maybe try walking at various times. This is a great way to get some fresh air, clear your head, and make a new friend.
  3. Join the local gym. You don’t have to be a fitness buff to want to get in shape or shed a few pounds. The gym can be a great place to meet new people. Trainers and exercisers alike usually know a lot about the city and could introduce you to folks with similar interests.
  4. Share an act of kindness. Did you notice that your neighbor has some yard clippings that could be brought to the curb? Do they need snow shoveled from their sidewalk? Maybe their newspaper is still lying in the street. Sometimes a small act of kindness can go a long way to making a new friend and striking up a conversation.

Lastly, let’s get old-fashioned. There’s something to be said for simply walking over to your new neighbor’s front door and knocking (novel, right?). Introduce yourself and let them know you just moved into the neighborhood. You could swap phone numbers and toss in a few questions (be friendly, not nosey) about the area to get a conversation going. It’s simple but effective.

And, hey, if you’re the new neighbor and see someone who has just moved in, maybe take a step outside and introduce yourself to make it a little easier on the new guy. Everyone could use a new friend. Who knows? Your next best friend might be right around the corner. If you are planning on moving to a new neighborhood soon, give Zippy Shell a call! We’ll be sure to make moving and storage simple for you so you can focus on making friends with your new neighbors!

9 Step Plan to Start Off Fall With an Organized Garage

A woman sits on a box in a garage

The temperature starting to fall means now is the perfect time to get your garage organized. Depending on the number of items you have accumulated over the years, you may need to dedicate a whole day to this task or even an entire weekend. Of course, the more family members or friends you can get to help you with this task, the faster it will go. Let’s open those garage doors wide, let the autumn sunshine in, and get to organizing with the tips below.

  1. Wrap your head around the idea of decluttering every single section of your garage once and for all. This means going through every box and every item, even the boxes that have sat unopened since moving into your home. Leave nothing left unturned.
  2. Remove everything from your garage to start with a clean slate. It is helpful to begin the decluttering process by tossing anything you know at first glance that should be in the trash.
  3. Take advantage of an empty garage by tackling deep cleaning, maintenance, or upgrades that need to happen in the space. Sweep the floors, clean up stains, get rid of cobwebs, update the insulation, add some extra lighting or extra electrical outlets, and maybe give the floor some love by installing a protective epoxy floor coating.
  4. Now comes the challenging task of sorting through all your belongings. It is recommended to set up three areas to sort into piles to keep, to donate, and a pile to toss. Sorting everything into piles will allow you to see what is broken or outgrown and where you have duplicates. Take care of the trash and donation piles as soon as the sorting process is complete. The longer these items sit around, the more likely you will change your mind about getting rid of them. Plus, eliminating these piles first will allow for more room to organize all the keepers.
  5. The time has come to categorize and group like items. Storing these items together in the garage will save you frustration down the road when you are searching for a particular item.
  6. When thinking about garage storage systems, your goal is to keep the floor of your garage clear as much as possible. This will leave room to park your cars and also keep piles to a minimum—plan garage storage in a way that makes sense to you. Make sure you can get to your most-used gear with the least amount of effort.
  7. Take advantage of the available wall space. Pegboards, cabinets, wire grids, and shelving are all options for getting your gear up and off the ground. Open shelves tend to keep the garage tidier than closed cabinets, and they are easier to access and don’t allow for hidden messes like cabinets.
  8. The ceiling in your garage is also valuable square footage. A garage ceiling is a perfect place to hang bikes or suspend a hanging platform to place boxes of seasonal decorations or rarely used outdoor equipment.
  9. When all is said and done, stand back to admire your work. Then add reminders to your calendar for bi-monthly mini garage clean-out sessions to keep everything clean and organized.

Suppose you are working on a big reorganization project in your garage or any other area of your home and need temporary storage. In that case, a portable storage container can be a tremendous help. Give Zippy Shell a call or go online to see how we can make storage simple for you, no matter what your needs might be!

6 Items You Will Want to Pass Down to Your Children

An older woman gives a younger woman a necklace

There usually comes a time in everyone’s life when it makes sense to downsize and live a simpler life. This change often comes around when your children become adults and live out independently, or you are nearing retirement. Most people are overwhelmed by the thought of downsizing and are afraid to get rid of something that will be needed, wanted, or be of significant value later on down the road. To help with the decision-making process, we have come up with a list of items you may want to hold on to for passing down to your children one day.

  • Family Photographs and Videos – These items can be priceless. The key here is to save only the most significant photographs and pass them on in an organized, orderly fashion. Your children will want only the memories that capture the moment or event and the important people who were present. Duplicates, repetitive photos, and landscape scenes can generally be tossed. You want to save pictures that tell the essence of what life was like, not every moment ever photographed. Take your organization one step further by digitizing the photos.
  • Family Recipes –  Recipes passed down for generations are a way of keeping our loved ones alive while we spend time together in the kitchen. It is also a great way to keep your heritage alive and preserve the memories of special family events. Ask your adult children what meals they remember most from childhood, and be sure to protect those recipes in a binder or digitally.
  • Sentimental Toys, Games, or Books – There is a special bond with a stuffed animal that went everywhere with you as a child. And of course, playing the same board games and reading the same books to your child that you loved in your youth is some of the best kinds of therapy. The key is to limit the items to only the most sentimental and those that have enough life left in them for your grandchildren.
  • Special Jewelry – Timeless pieces, historical pieces, engagement or wedding bands, and pieces that hold emotional value to your children or monetary value should all be saved and passed down.
  • Accent Furniture – Each generation has its own style, so your children may not be interested in your sofa or a bulky antique china cabinet. But small pieces of accent furniture that tell a story may be exactly what your children are looking for. You may also want to ask your children if there is a piece of furniture that they want to refinish to match their style.
  • Handmade Items – A handmade quilt, knitted scarf, carved knick-knack, or a custom-built piece of furniture is an incredibly personal heirloom, reminding its owner of all the hard work put into the piece.

Zippy Shell is the perfect solution for those looking to downsize. Our portable storage containers eliminate the obstacles standing between you and downsizing your life. We offer simple storage solutions, and we can safely store your belongings as long as you need. When the time is right, we will deliver your belongings to your new home or your children’s home!

Should You Buy a Home In Your 20s?

A couple shows the keys to a home.

Being in your 20s usually means having an entry-level salary, college loans to manage, and a desire to have the freedom to enjoy life while you are young. Does that make it the best time to buy your first home? Depending on your circumstance, this stage of life may be the absolute best time to buy your first home. The following questions will help determine your best path forward.

  • What are the benefits of purchasing a home in your 20s?
    • Annual rent hikes will be a thing of the past when you own your own home. Consistent, reliable payments come with homeownership.
    • Think of all the home customization you can do when you own your own home. You want your home to match your personality, and owning means you can integrate the things you love into the decor and design of your new home by painting, upgrading, and renovating.
    • Successfully navigating a mortgage at a young age can help you establish a solid credit history leading to more significant financial opportunities later on.
    • Homeownership can come with several significant tax advantages that can help you lower your tax burden
  • Are you financially secure? Most financial planners recommend that homeowners make a down payment amounting to 20% of the sale price. Depending on the market and the home you choose, this could be a large sum of money. Of course, there are ways around this by paying private mortgage insurance or applying for down payment assistance. Some types of loans only require anywhere between 3-5% down. There are also closing costs to consider, and they typically range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. Closing costs are paid in addition to your down payment at the close of the sale.

Additionally, owning a home means planning for unexpected home expenses. Unless you buy new construction, an emergency fund to pay for home repairs such as roof damage or water leaks will be needed. Using a mortgage calculator to see how much your mortgage will likely cost is a beneficial tool. Make sure you factor in the costs of maintenance/repairs and your regular monthly expenses like utilities, food, phone, car payment, and more to determine your budget.

  • How is your credit score and your debt-to-income ratio? Your ability to get a mortgage depends on your credit score, your debts, your income, and the home you’re looking to purchase. Mortgage companies will look to see that you have stable employment, solid income, and the funds to cover the mortgage for which you are applying. Mortgage lenders usually require borrowers to have a minimum credit score, and they look at your credit utilization ratio.
  • Do you plan on staying in the area for a few years? Even if you are unsure if your current location is where you want to live permanently, it still may be financially beneficial to purchase a home. There are waves in the housing market, but most properties will appreciate over time, even a short amount of time. You need to be willing to stay in the property long enough to cover your closing costs and any upgrades you make after a resell. You can also plan to rent out your first home for some passive income if life necessitates that you make a move.

Just remember to do your research, and your first home purchase does not have to be your “forever home.” If you have a move coming up this fall, give Zippy Shell a call. We would love to explain how our moving and storage services can help you achieve a smooth and stress-free move. We look forward to hearing from you!

How to Have a Stylish Home As a Minimalist

A living and dining room view.

Are you a minimalist? Many people are under the impression that minimalism is only about decluttering and owning less, but that is not a complete picture. Brian Gardner, founder of No Sidebar says, “I’ve learned that minimalism is not about what you own, it’s about why you own it.” There is no single set of rules that you must follow to be a minimalist. So, of course, minimalism and style can go hand in hand in your home. Here are some great ways to have a stylish home as a minimalist.

  • Light, neutral colors lay the foundation of a minimalist home. These colors are clean, fresh-looking, and inspire a sense of calm. Add small splashes of bold color or pattern for some extra eye-catching style. When set against a white or neutral backdrop, even simple objects can stand out.
  • Choose timeless furniture. Always needing to be up on the latest style trends is one thing minimalism is not. Shop deliberately for high-quality, well-made, built to last, essential furniture items with a timeless style to anchor your design.
  • Use texture to add some style to a monochrome color palette. Texture can be added through materials and fabrics. Think of a chunky cable-knit throw, a sheepskin rug, or a soft crushed velvet pillow to bring comfort and style to your space.
  • Bring life and style to any room with plants. They are a fantastic and inexpensive way to add color and life to a room. From tall leafy plants to fragrant flowers, experiment with different plants to bring life to your rooms and make them more inviting. Plants are a beautiful minimalist decorating tool, but they also balance humidity and clean household air.
  • Let in as much natural light as possible. Natural light instantly warms up a space without adding any visual clutter. Plus, natural light can positively affect our mood by making us feel more alive and vibrant. Use large, simple mirrors to reflect and increase the light coming from the window into any room.
  • Invest in stylish storage options. Attractive storage allows you to hold on to personal items while still maintaining the clear surfaces and clean lines of minimalism. Everything should have a home, and if it doesn’t, a true minimalist would ask if you actually need it at all.

In a world full of excess, many people feel the need to reduce clutter or downsize both physically and emotionally. So many people have found happiness living with less. There are other advantages of minimalism, like having time to focus on areas of your life that are more important to you, easier upkeep, and the visual appeal of showcasing your unique artwork or prized possessions in a space with fewer distractions. If you are not already a minimalist, why not start slowly on the road to minimalism and see how it goes!

Looking to downsize during a move or need storage while you decide how to organize your home? Zippy Shell is ready to serve your moving and storage needs in the safest way possible. Call today or click here to get a quote and see how we can make your moving and storage needs simple.