DIY Projects to Complete While You Stay Home

Woman Doing DIY Projects

With a lot of us spending more time at home due to coronavirus (COVID-19), we thought it would be good to focus on some positives and give you some ideas for some DIY home renovation and remodeling projects you can do to make the most of this time. And with Spring having just arrived, that gives you two reasons to start on that to-do list! If you’re planning to start a more extensive home renovation or home remodeling project, be sure to get one of our secure, on-site portable storage containers. We’ll bring the storage right to you from one of our nationwide facilities so you can quickly clear out any space you’re updating without having to leave your house – super convenient and allows you to stay home!

Bathroom Makeover – If you want to start with a smaller, more manageable home renovation project, why not take a look at your bathroom – it’s a small space that can make a big difference, especially if you’re getting ready to sell your home. There is a wide range of projects you can do here from replacing larger items like the sink, toilet, shower, or flooring to some smaller projects where you focus on the décor, such as paint, lighting, and hardware. Check out some of these excellent bathroom decor ideas from Lowe’s to get inspired!

Entryway – An area that may not be top of mind when you think about a home renovation, but this is the first space your guests see, and often the space that welcomes you and your family home when you’ve been at work. Since this is usually a smaller space, it’s another great place to start if you don’t want to take on a significant project. Some paint, small furniture, and picture frames or artwork can make a big difference with a small budget! Check out some of these foyers and entryways of you’re looking for ideas!

Kitchen Makeover – One area where you can go big and make a significant impact on your home’s value is the kitchen. In this space, you can update flooring, appliances, add an island, or update cabinetry, to name a few focus areas. If you’re going to start one of these larger projects, we can provide temporary furniture storage with our portable storage units so you can clear out space and keep your furniture safe! If you aren’t ready for that kind of project, you can focus on smaller updates such as adding in a backsplash, painting or updating your hardware. Even these minor updates can make a big difference!

Bedrooms – Now is the perfect time to spend some time updating your bedrooms! One of the easiest things you can do is paint them and add some fresh, new artwork! If you’re looking for some ideas, check out these color trends from Benjamin Moore. If you want to make this project even simpler, you can rent one of our portable storage containers so you can clear out the space you’re painting. This will make it easier to get to all of the walls and ensure your furniture doesn’t get covered in paint. Our storage containers can be rented by the month, and you can keep them on-site as long as you need it!

9 Apps to Help You with Your Big Move

phone apps

When you are planning for a big move, the number of items on your to-do list can seem endless. The key to making sure your move goes smoothly is to make a plan and stay organized. The good news is there are plenty of resources that can assist with the process. To help, we have researched the best, most useful apps for moving. Take a look and get ready to download!

Finding a New Home Before planning your move, you will need to find a new place to live! There are several great apps to help with this process. Zillow is perhaps the most popular app in this category. It uses photo-heavy listings as well as a multitude of filters that you can apply to your searches. This ensures that you find exactly what you are looking for. Zillow even has exclusive listings not found anywhere else. Using the Homesnap app, you get property information in a snap – literally – by taking a picture. You can unlock sales history, interior features, lot boundaries, market information, school district ratings, and more. While you are out and about scouting neighborhoods, AroundMe allows you to quickly find out information about your surroundings. You can find out within seconds how long it will take to get to a grocery store and restaurants, which helps you have a better grasp of the neighborhood.

Staying Organized During Your Move Try the Todoist app to capture and organize all your moving tasks. You can set reminders, prioritize your tasks, and even assign tasks to others. MagicPlan allows you to create a 3D floor plan of your new home by taking pictures of the space. You can use it to plan where you will put your furniture in every room which will reduce stress on moving day. If you need extra help with tasks such as packing, patching up holes, painting, cleaning, or other small tasks – TaskRabbit is the app for you. TaskRabbit will match you with freelance labor for projects of all shapes and sizes. Sortly is a digital organization app that lets you catalog what you put in each box, so you know where all of your things are. With the premium version, you can even create QR code labels to put on your boxes.

Getting Settled Use the Nextdoor app to stay informed about what is going on in your new neighborhood. On this app, you can do anything from finding out about local events to finding somebody to help you take care of your yard. Using Nextdoor will keep you in the loop and make the transition to your new neighborhood much easier. Meetup is an invaluable app when moving to a new area. It connects you to people who love the same things you do so you can get involved and make friends in your new neighborhood. Call Zippy Shell today to get a quote!

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient with These 7 Tips

Energy Efficient

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient with These 7 Tips

When thinking about making a home more energy-efficient, homeowners often worry about the expense. It’s true, you can spend a fortune making your home “green”, but you can also make less expensive changes that can still make a huge impact on energy efficiency. Here are 7 tips to consider when making your home more energy-efficient.

  1. Shade trees and shrubs – The first tip in making your home more energy efficient may already be checked off your list—planting shade trees or shrubs. Often overlooked, by planting this type of foliage around your house, your home will be more shaded, thus resulting in lower air conditioning usage in the summer. Not only will your home be cooler, but you’ll save money!
  2. Seal windows – If your home is older, the windows may not be properly sealed. Unless you have the funds to replace your windows with more energy-efficient brands, consider caulk and weatherproofing strips found at any hardware store for a fraction of the price. When air escapes the home and also allows air from the outdoors to sneak in, your heating or cooling system has to work overtime to keep your home comfortable. And this means increased energy fees!
  3. Energy-efficient light bulbs – If you aren’t already using energy-efficient light bulbs such as LED and CFL lights, you will be excited to know this is an easy and immediate way to make your home more efficient! These bulbs are a little more expensive but pay for themselves by lasting longer and requiring less electricity to generate them.
  4. Low-flow showerheads – Most families use a lot of water on a daily basis. Between showers, baths, dishwashing, washing machines, etc., your water bill adds up! Help reduce that bill by installing low-flow showerheads. These are especially beneficial in areas that are prone to drought.
  5. Unused chargers – Did you know that by simply unplugging your unused chargers when not in use can reduce the amount of electricity you use? Get into the habit (your family too!) of unplugging all those chargers you have for all those devices and save on your energy bill!
  6. Thermostat – When you don’t manipulate your thermostat to avoid extremes in temperature, your HVAC unit works harder resulting in more electricity being used. When it’s hot outside, keep the thermostat a couple of degrees higher and when it is cold out, try keeping the heat a little cooler. Save money and make your home more energy efficient by being smart with your thermostat temperature.
  7. Energy audit – To discover the full efficiency potential your home has to offer, we recommend scheduling an energy audit in addition to the above tips discussed. A professional auditor will identify additional areas for improvement and ways you can save the most energy and money!

Doing your part, whether small or large scale, to reduce your carbon footprint is always a win-win! And implementing these 7 tips can help you achieve a more energy-efficient home without emptying out your bank account! Thinking about making other changes such as storing away some personal belongings or furniture? Our professionals would like for you to consider a climate-controlled facility with Zippy Shell!

Tips to Keep From Going Stir Crazy at Home

yoga

With more and more people transitioning to a “work from home” lifestyle right now, the thought of getting a little stir crazy might enter your mind. We want to help keep you from getting antsy as many of us will be home a lot more often for the foreseeable future. We have compiled a list of things you can do and activities you can try to maintain a grounded lifestyle at home!

Keep a regular routine

One of the most important ways to keep from going stir crazy is to maintain a consistent routine at home. Keeping a daily schedule at home will give you a reason to change out of those lazy pants and into something more regular. If you are working from home, try incorporating some of the things you do at work at home. If the first thing you do when you get to work is to grab a cup of coffee or water, do that at home. Do you take a mid-day stroll or go to a gym for a quick power workout? If so, make it a similar part to your routine at home. Keep yourself engaged and busy with a routine!

Finish that project you’ve started/always wanted to do

We all have that one room in the house we’ve meant to clean or that piece of furniture that needs some TLC. Well, there is no better time to start on those projects than when you are stuck at home! Try to identify something that allows the entire family to participate. It can be an excellent way to get your children involved with picking out paint colors, or learning how to use tools, etc. Also, try to complete little bits of your project at a time over several days rather than all at one time. You don’t want to burn yourself out after only working on something for two days! If you need on-site storage at home for your project, give us a call to see how we can help!

Stay in (virtual) contact with others

Use this time at home to stay connected with those you care about. Practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you have to lose contact with people. Take advantage of apps like Facetime, social media, or just a phone call and check in on your friends and family. Maintaining contact with those close to you will also help you keep a sense of normalcy during these interesting times. Also, take time to find out how those around you are doing and be there for each other if you need to talk things out or express how you are feeling!

Take a break when you can

If you are working from home, staring at your computer screen for 8+ hours a day can make you feel very burned out by the evening. Combined with sitting down for almost the same amount of time, and anyone would start to get a little stir crazy. Take some time to walk around, even if it is just around your home. Taking a brief walk outside would be a big way to manage stir craziness. Please be sure you adhere to all local, state, and federal guidelines for your area before doing so. But any sort of break away from the screens or from sitting can help you feel more settled later in the day.

Stay physically active

With many states forcing gyms and the like to close, staying physically active while being at home may seem like a big challenge, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are home workout routines you can do even if you don’t have weights. Here are a few resources you can check out for some at-home workout routines so that you can stay physically active and cut down on the stir craziness. Yoga is also a great way of staying active, and there are many free how-to videos online that you can try out while at home. Zippy Shell hopes that these tips will help you and your family stave off the stir craziness while you stay sheltered at home during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

If you find yourself in need of on-site storage for a home renovation or decluttering project, give us a call! Our portable storage containers are perfect for your needs, and we have locations across the United States that you can also have your container stored at if needed.

Choosing the Best Paint Color

painting

Painting is one of the quickest, easiest, and most cost-effective ways to add some life to a room. The biggest obstacle that can come with this project is choosing the color. How do you choose without your walls becoming a crazy quilt of paint swatches or staying up until all hours of the night virtually painting your rooms online? Make a big impact with a new color by using the guidelines below.

  • If the room is already decorated, select a paint color to support all of the other items in the space. If you’ve got patterned upholstery, a colorful rug or large piece of artwork, pull colors you like from the pattern.
  • Take into consideration how the colors will flow from room to room, especially if you have an open floor plan. A great way to add depth and interest is to go a few shades lighter or darker in adjacent rooms or even on a focus wall.
  • Showcase your personal style. Don’t hold back on using a big, expressive color for the walls if that is what appeals to you. Any color can look good as long as it truly suits your personal 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.
  • Once you have narrowed down your selection, the best way to evaluate and embrace a color is to paint a 4×4 foot swatch on the wall and live with it for at least 24 to 48 hours. This will give you the opportunity to see it in natural and artificial light during all hours of the day.
  • If you are moving out or staging a home, choosing more neutral colors will allow the next homeowner to add their own personal touch with color.

Is it time to freshen up your home with new paint? If you are tackling a major paint job, pack away items you need to move out of the way into a secure Zippy Shell!

Creating Space for College Students Coming Home for the Summer

College Students

What fun activities do you have planned for your college student who is home for the summer? Making their favorite meal, game night, movie night, or even a family vacation are all great ideas. But the more important question is, what are your plans for all the stuff your college student will be bringing home for summer break?

Inevitably, your college student will bring home more things than they left with last fall making your home feel more cramped and cluttered than usual. Check out our favorite tips for creating more space in the home so you can enjoy the time spent with your students in a peaceful environment this summer.

  • Find a proper “home” for everything. Staring at boxes for a few days is okay, but it is not something you want to do all summer long. Even if the boxes are going to remain packed, find a place out of sight for them to live for the summer. Trust us!
  • Invest in a few pieces of furniture that can double as storage. Multifunctional furniture such as ottomans, coffee tables, or benches that contain storage areas can stylishly hide items away.
  • Look up! Installing overhead ceiling racks in your garage and closets is a quick and easy way to store items that are not needed regularly. But don’t store anything too heavy up above – no boxes full of books or large appliances! Use small containers that you can easily maneuver up and down.

Store it. Create space in your home by storing everything that will not be needed by either you or your student over the summer. Pack those extra items in a Zippy Shell and send them off to a secure, climate-controlled storage center. Then sit back and breathe a sigh of relief in your clutter-free space. When you are ready, you can bring everything back to your home.

With Many Colleges Across the Country Closing Campuses Early Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) ZippyU and 1-800-PACK-RAT will provide 30 days of free storage to college students within their service area. For more information about this program, contact 1-800-PACK-RAT at 888-282-3022 or commercialsales@1800packrat.com and mention promo code COLLEGE.

ZippyU with 1-800-PACK-RAT Is Offering 30 Days of Free Storage to College Students

ZippyU with 1-800-PACK-RAT Is Offering 30 Days of Free Storage to College Students 

With Many Colleges Across the Country Closing Campuses Early Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), ZippyU Looks to Help Students Move out Quickly and Easily 

ZippyU, along with 1-800-PACK-RAT, LLC, a leader in the portable storage and moving industry, has announced today, it will give college students 30 days of free storage. With campuses closing early due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ZippyU and 1-800-PACK-RAT want to help students and families being affected. 1-800-PACK-RAT provides all-steel, secure, portable storage containers that can be delivered directly to a location. Students can pack the container at their own pace, lock it up with their own lock, then call 1-800-PACK-RAT for pick up. The container will be stored at a secure storage facility nearby until the student returns in the Fall. Alternatively, the container can be transported and delivered to a different location within the 1-800-PACK-RAT service area. 

ZippyU and 1-800-PACK-RAT are currently reaching out to universities across the country to see how they can help alleviate some of the stress college students and their families are experiencing during these unprecedented times. “Our goal is to make moving and storage simple; that is what we do at ZippyU and 1-800-PACK-RAT. We are already working with some universities, and we know the services we provide will help both the universities and their students with their move-out process. We make it simple – we deliver storage right to the customer, they can pack it, and we will store it until they’re ready. When the Fall comes around, we can bring their storage container right back to them. This eliminates multiple car/moving truck trips to a storage facility and having to unnecessarily load and unload their items multiple times,” said Andy McDade, President of ZippyU. 

“Helping college students and their families through this difficult period is a top priority for us all. It is incredible to have Andy McDade leading ZippyU with his extensive experience working with colleges and universities across the country,” said Mark Kuhns, Chief Executive Officer of 1-800-PACK-RAT and Zippy Shell. 

1-800-PACK-RAT will provide 30 days of free storage to college students within their service area. For more information about this program, contact 1-800-PACK-RAT at 888-282-3022 or commercialsales@1800packrat.com and mention promo code COLLEGE.

Tips to Up Your Spring Barbecue Game!

food being cooked on a grill

What is your favorite thing about springtime? We enjoy the longer days in spring, the colorful flowers, the warmer temperatures, and the newness of everything after the cold winter. The warmer temperatures and the longer days provide the perfect opportunity to host an outdoor party like a spring barbeque. This is a nice way to spend quality time with friends and family while maybe showing off your grill-master skills. Spring barbeques are also a great way to celebrate milestones like birthdays, engagement, graduations, or family reunions. What are your best tips for hosting a spring barbeque that will create memories to last all season? Here are some of ours:

  • Add a little fun and excitement to your outdoor barbeque with a theme! As an added bonus, having a theme will make the design and planning easier. Once you have a theme, select invitations, decorations, and food that will best showcase your idea. The possibilities are endless, your theme can be casino night, beach party, disco night, Hawaiian luau, or something goofy like a pirate party.
  • Do a little spring cleaning. Make time to clean out the grill, and clear any cobwebs, debris or weeds that may have grown over the winter. Hose off the deck and seating areas and scrub any surfaces that will serve as food stations.
  • Set up some yard games to keep everyone occupied. Games like cornhole, badminton, horseshoes, darts, giant Jenga, and bocce ball give guests a great opportunity to interact and get to know each other better.
  • Don’t forget to set the mood. Set the tone of the barbeque with a great playlist piping through outdoor or Bluetooth speakers. Strategically place string lights and other lighting around to turn the party area into a magical place. It still gets chilly during the evening in the Piedmont Triad, so a fire pit will help keep your barbeque cozy. It will also provide a fun spot to have guests make their own s’mores for dessert!
  • Prepare food and drinks beforehand. Make sure all the food is ready to go on the grill when the guests arrive and that any side dishes are assembled and cooked as needed. This will enable you to spend your time enjoying the company of your guests. Of course, you don’t have to do all the cooking yourself. Ask your guests to bring side dishes and desserts, people love to show off their signature dishes! For the drinks, consider making batch cocktails or mocktails ahead of time. Create drinks that will reinforce your theme to make them more memorable. Offer guests a beverage when they arrive, and then encourage them to help themselves after that.  
  • Pest proof your barbeque by using tightly sealed food and drink containers or coolers. Another option is to serve all food and drinks inside and save your outdoor space for eating and entertaining. You can also light some citronella candles or oil as it masks the smells of humans that are so attractive to insects.

Spring is certainly an extraordinary time of the year! If you are planning on a move this spring, allow Zippy Shell to make all the necessary arrangements. Let us take all of the guesswork out of the moving process!

5 Non-Traditional Spring Cleaning Tips

Smoke detector

Spring cleaning isn’t a new concept. Spring symbolizes “rebirth” and for many folks across the country it is a stimulus to engage in “spring cleaning”. However, there are a lot of things you may not know about “elbow grease” that could be super helpful when you decide to get down to the nitty-gritty.

Let’s explore some of the non-traditional spring cleaning tips outside of the regular spring cleaning protocol.

1. Media Detox: Constant stimulation from media sources can wreak havoc on your psyche, especially teenagers. It’s amazing how many hours we truly spend in front of a screen (think computer at work, phone in your hand, television in the evening, maybe a table before bed). We suggest taking a sabbatical from Instagram, Facebook, Snap Chat, and 24-hour news programming. Studies show that people become more anxious and depressed after being exposed to negative news reports. Trust us, you will feel less anxious by realizing that so much of the media is hyped up for dramatic results.

2. Smoke Alarms: If you already change out the smoke alarm battery on daylight savings dates, you are ahead of the game. The professionals recommend that you test your fire alarm units monthly. Always install new batteries (never mix old and new) as soon as the low-battery warning alarm sounds (or at a minimum once a year). Clean them regularly by lightly dusting or vacuuming them with a small brush connection. You should also replace smoke alarms every 10 years for the best performance. If you have yet to get on a schedule, put it on your spring cleaning list every year.  Avoid hearing the screech of your smoke alarm battery going off in the middle of the night!

3. Art of Mindfulness: It’s time to discover the art of mindfulness. It’s defined as the attentiveness to whatever we are doing – when we are doing it. It is deliberate and in the moment. Learn mindfulness skills and techniques to help you slow down and start living life in the present moment. Educating yourself on meditation is a great way to start this process. You could even embrace this movement with a simple task of adult coloring!

4. Change Filters: With the onset of spring in the south, we are already experiencing warm temperatures. Be sure and change your air conditioning filter so you can help keep out dust and other allergens from invading your home and your lungs!

5. Clean Your PC: This may seem like an odd tip, but it is quite important to help keep your computer performing more smoothly. Add defragging or optimizing your PC drive every spring to the spring cleaning list. Also, remember to set up a backup plan for your data.

These non-traditional spring cleaning tips should also spring clean your mind. Take the time to slow down, and remember that life is short, so enjoy it! And remember, if you need to store some items, consider a climate-controlled facility with Zippy Shell!

Help Your Feline Adjust to a New Home With These Tips

Cat

While some cats may seem aloof and unbothered by distractions, moving to a new environment can really shake them up. They are by nature territorial, so when a new home is introduced, the surroundings aren’t familiar and comfortable to them. Here are a few tips to help you ease your feline through the adjustment period, making it easier for your cat to manage in your new home.

1. Slow introduction: Because of the new surroundings, a cat is going to be unsure of its new environment. Slowly introduce your cat to your new home by assigning a room with all your cat’s essentials (litter box, scratching post, food, water, toys) and keeping your cat in there for a while. If possible, try and unpack as much as possible before introducing your cat to the rest of the home. The sounds associated with unpacking can be unsettling to your cat.

2. Have patience: It may take a few weeks for your cat to feel comfortable in your new home. Your cat may even “act out” or go into hiding during this time. Remember to have patience during this fragile time for your fur baby. Keep the familiar items and toys out and let them explore the new surroundings at their own pace. Before long your cat will feel right at home again.

3. Familiar smells: Try and have familiar scents around to include toys and bedding that will help them feel more comfortable. Cats are scent oriented, so the more you can surround them with familiar smells of “home”, the better they will acclimate to their new surroundings. Another option is synthetic pheromones that will help calm your cat.

4. Secure surroundings: If your cat is an indoor cat, make sure there isn’t an escape route such as an open window or air ducts. If your cat is an outdoor lover or spends time both indoors and out, make sure the outdoor plants are cat-friendly. There are poisonous plants that are very harmful to cats.

5. Outdoor adventures: In addition to making sure you don’t have poisonous plants outside for those cats that like to venture outside the house, be sure they are comfortable indoors. If they are comfortable with their new indoor surroundings, they will fare better when they are exposed to the outdoors.

The process of helping your cat adjust to a new home will take some time, but with these tips (and some patience) they should experience a smoother transition. And remember, if you need to store some items that aren’t making the move with you, consider a temperature-controlled facility with Zippy Shell!