Tips to Keep Your House in Tip-Top Shape during the Summer

home cleaning

Summer is a great time to tackle your seasonal household upkeeping items. There are a lot of small projects you can tackle during these warm months to protect your house from the elements. Be sure you are protecting it from the extreme weather conditions it is enduring. Check out some of our pro tips below to maintain your home this summer to keep it in tip-top shape!

Wash your windows

Throughout the year, your windows can build up a good amount of grime, but there’s an easy way to fix this! To see if your windows need a good cleaning, do one swipe of cloth along one of the low windows on your house to see if there’s any dirt or grime present. Even if your windows look fine, you may see some dirt after giving them this test. Getting your windows clean is a quick and easy project – just get some warm water and soap or glass cleaner to scrub off the debris.

Clean your grill for barbecuing

Keeping your grill clean all summer long will truly make your bar-b-ques enjoyable. If you have a charcoal grill, empty all of the old ashes and safely dispose of them. Wipe away the remaining dust, then finish off the grill by washing it down with soap and water. For a gas grill, close the lid and heat it on high for about thirty minutes to burn away any old food particles. Scrub the grates with a grill brush to clean out the remaining pieces in between the cracks. Finish it off by wiping it down with a sponge and changing out the drip tray. Just a few minutes of cleaning and you’ll be ready to cook up some delicious food for your friends and family!

Repair cracks

Summer is a great time to check your driveway or patio at your home to see if there are any cracks in it. A lot of concrete cracks can be easily fixed yourself with a store-bought sealant. Asphalt can be tricky to seal but can also be done yourself if you are feeling up to the challenge! If not, both your patio and driveway can easily be sealed by a professional. Sealing these will ensure a longer life for your patio and driveway and will give your house a much more pleasing aesthetic.

Plant a new layer of mulch

If you have a garden in your yard, adding fresh mulch every year will really help to keep it growing strong. You’ll want to remove some of the older mulch and properly dispose of it. The fresh mulch will not only look more beautiful, but it also helps to hold water in for the plants and resist more weeds.

Give your deck a makeover

If you have a wooden deck in your backyard, summer is a great time to see how it’s doing. If any boards are rotting, be sure to remove them and replace them. For a painted wooden deck, as the paint starts to chip over the years, decide if it is time for another coat. Check to make sure no loose nails are lying around and hammer them in or remove them if you find any. This all also applies if you have a wooden fence.

5 Steps on How to Pack your Flat Screen TV for a Move

Flat screen TVs can be difficult to pack due to their fragileness and large size. Such an expensive belonging of yours should be given much care so that no damage occurs within the process. Follow this step-by-step guide on how to pack up your flat screen so your TV is exactly the way you had it before your move.

Separate any lose items from the screen

Start by taking a picture of the back of you TV so you know exactly where each of your cords went! Then, unplug any cords that are connected to the back of the TV and neatly roll them up and place them in a small bag that is marked “TV cords.” . This way, when you are unpacking all your items, there will be no confusion about where each cord goes. Additionally, pack up all your TV remotes as well and label them too.

Wrap the edges of the TV

It’s a good idea to cover the outer edges of the TV with some sort of padding. This will give the entire TV some additional protection and prevent it from scratching. The padding will keep the TV more secure than ordinary packing peanuts will too.

Find the right box

If you still have the original box that your TV came in when you bought it, then use this box to repackage your TV for moving. However, if you don’t have it anymore, no worries! You can try to find a box almost the same size as your TV, just slightly bigger to allow for you to pack extra padding inside.

Fill the box

Place a small blanket on the bottom of your box to give extra cushioning to the TV before it goes into the box. Then place the TV upright on top of the blanket inside the box. Fill the empty space within the actual screen of the TV and the box with towels, blankets, or any other soft items that you want to take with you for your move. This will prevent the TV from moving side to side and hitting the edges of the box. Finally, cover the remaining space on top of the TV with any additional packing/soft material to ensure your flat screen’s safety. Note: be sure that any blankets or towels are clean and free of debris as you don’t want to scratch your screen during the moving process!

Pack the TV into your Zippy Shell container

Always pack televisions upright, to ensure their safety. Place the box with your TV upright in between other items to reduce the chances of your TV falling over during the move. Label your box too so that you know when you are loading and unloading this box to be extra careful. Contact Zippy Shell today to get a quote on your move!

5 Important Summer Safety Tips

Man in Summer staying cool

Sweet summertime is just about upon us and it’s prime moving and storage season! It’s also that time of year when the kids are out of school, relatives visit and folks enjoy the longer days. Summer has its own set of safety concerns, though, and we’ve collected a number of great tips to help you and your family stay safe during the summer season!

Beat the heat: It’s already very hot in many parts of the country, so if you are moving or just enjoying events outside, be sure to be heat-safe. The National Safety Council suggests several ways to avoid heat-related stress, including:

  • Staying hydrated: Whether your friends are helping you pack or laying on the beach, ensure you have enough water on hand.
  • Work shorter shifts: If you are working outside, don’t push it! Take frequent breaks.

Be food safe: Picnics and BBQs abound during the summer season, but you don’t want them to result in an ER visit. Keep any foods made with mayo out of the sun and ensure they remain refrigerated right up until it’s time to eat.

Protect your skin: Sunburns not only can ruin a great time outdoors, but also increase your risk of skin cancer. Be sure to apply sunscreen before any outdoor activity, even if it is cloudy outside! Reapply after fun in the water.

Stay bug savvy: Insects love summer, too, and it’s important to protect yourself from painful stings and tick bites. The CDC suggests that you apply an effective insect repellent and use these tips to create a tick-free backyard.

Make safety a priority: Ensuring a safe summer may take a little planning. When you plan your events and outings, take into consideration who will be there (kids? pets?) and what could happen (sunburn? stings?). Make a kit to have on hand to ensure all goes well.

Whether you are experiencing your first summer in a new location after a move or just gearing up to enjoy a staycation, we want you to stay safe. If you are looking to make a move soon as well, then check out what Zippy Shell has to offer and see how we differ from traditional moving services!

It’s Time for a Summer Clean Out!

Family cleaning their home

One of the best things about Summer is the longer days giving us what feels like more time to tackle projects. If you have been wanting to take on a big clean out or full force home organization project, now is the perfect time. We have the best tips for getting your home organized at the beginning of the North Carolina Summer, giving yourself time to relax in a tidy home the remainder of the year!

But first, here some positive reasons to get cleaned out and organized:

  • It makes for an easier to clean your home.
  • Everyday life will become less stressful when you know where to find your stuff.
  • You may save money by not shopping for items you already own.
  • You will be able to use the space in your home to its full potential.
  • An organized home just feels peaceful.

Make a plan.

Sometimes with less glamorous projects such as this, the tendency is to let it fall to the wayside after the initial excitement wears off. A plan will help you stay the course and see this project to completion. Think about the work that needs to be done in each room of your home and make a master list. Remember this list whenever your enthusiasm wanes and check items off to fuel the feeling of accomplishment!

Commit to a timeline.

Look over your plan and realistically set a start and end date. You can even break your to-do list down into smaller sections with a deadline set for each. Refer back to the positives listed above when procrastination rears its ugly head.

Find motivation in a playlist.

Create a playlist of fun, upbeat, energy inducing music to play for the sole purpose of cleaning out and getting organized. Figure out the amount of time you have each day to devote to this project and choose the amount of songs needed to cover that time. Crush your organizing plan by playing this list loud and proud during each clean out session. Did you know: Zippy Shell’s portable storage units are perfect for storing items from the home, giving you more space to clean and organize. Check us out today for answers to any questions you may have and a free quote!

7 Shed Organization Tips That Will Help Tidy up your Backyard

Organized backyard shed

Have you had enough of jumping over your lawnmower in your shed simply to reach a bag of fertilizer? Trying to find space for your yard tools into a small shed can be a hard task to complete. With these tips, you can productively store all of your outdoor belongings away until you need to use them.

Create floor to ceiling shelves

Shelving allows you to use all of your shed’s space from top to bottom. This allows you to use all of the available storage space of your shed towards the ceiling. Line your shelves with bins of various sizes to fit countless items in them.

Install a pegboard on the wall

Maximize your usage of the wall space within your shed. If your shed is relatively small, using as much of its wall space as possible will help give you much more room to work with. Pegboards can be used to hang almost anything, from tools to fertilizer, and much more!

Combine chemical containers in one bin

Many chemicals such as fertilizer, weed killer, and bug spray are commonly used in or around your home; they can also be very dangerous. These items can be extremely toxic and even flammable in hot, enclosed areas, so be sure you check each for specific storage instructions. If possible, keep all of your chemicals in their original containers, and then place them all into one safe bin. Be sure this bin is sturdy, and leak-proof, to prevent your chemicals from spilling throughout your shed.

Hang a shoe organizer on the back of the door

Many people forget that the back of their door is a great place to store extra items. Hang a shoe organizer on the back of your shed’s door to fit many miscellaneous items that have no real right place to go.

Use a magnetic bar

A magnetic bar works great for any tools to get them up and out of the way while making it extremely easy to find just the tool you need. Attach a magnetic bar to one of the walls of your shed. This will allow for storage of your tools without even having to take up any shelf or workbench space in your shed.

Use large tool hooks

Big items such as shovels and rakes can often cause a pile-up of tools in the corner or floor of your shed. If you screw in large hooks right into the side of your shed, your bigger yard tools will always have a place to hang. You are more likely not to toss these items onto the floor of your shed when they have a secure place to hang where they belong.

Create a walkway

Even if your shed has minimal space, it will still need a small walkway for safety reasons. If you have a clear walkway this will prevent you from frequently placing items right in the middle of your shed. This will allow you to easily and safely access to every item in your shed, and spend less time decluttering and trying to locate or reach certain things hidden behind junk.

Need some additional storage space this Summer for your stuff? Check out Zippy Shell today! We offer flexible storage solutions perfect for everyone, whether you need on-site storage or just want to keep your belongings in a safe and secure warehouse location. Zippy Shell is here for you to make storage simple.

Pet Health and Safety Tips for the Summer

French Bulldog lays flat on the floor

June is National Pet Preparedness Month and Zippy Shell knows that pets are part of the family! We have some fresh tips on the best way to keep them safe and happy all summer long.

Make a plan for pets: This time year sees tornadoes, hurricanes and flooding. Be sure your emergency preparedness plan includes how you will evacuate all of your pets, including birds, reptiles, fish, dogs, cats and rodents. Some shelters will not take pets, so plan on where you can go or who can house your pets if the disaster strikes.

Create a first aid kit for your pets: Do you take advantage of the longer days at the park? Go hiking or camping? Then you will want a first aid kit for every type of pet that goes with you with enough items for all of your pets. The ASPCA has a checklist for a general first aid kit. Find it here.

Make a disaster preparedness box just for pets: If the power goes out, your neighborhood is under curfew due to disaster or if you evacuate in your car with your pets, be sure to have a box for each of them. Items could include litter, small litter pans, food, collapsible water bowls, treats, pet-specific blankets or beds, medication, harnesses and carriers (even for cats), toys, and any grooming equipment.

Probably most important is that you should always have all paperwork available. If you camp, then a copy of all vet records should remain in your camper. If you hike, keep a copy in your backpack. Also put a copy in your emergency box for your pets. The records should include vet information and all up to date shot information, especially rabies, photos and descriptions of pets and any medication needs. It doesn’t take much to include your during your planning. Make sure Fluffy and Fido are ready when something happens.

Outdoor Party Planning Tips for the Summer

Summer outdoor party

Are you planning a party any time soon? These tips are sure to help your event go smoothly! An outdoor party requires a little more thought than an indoor party for multiple reasons. Use these tips to ensure you will have a fun outdoor party in the Summer heat.

Outdoor canopy tent

Whether your party is during the light of day or the dark of night, a canopy tent will be perfect for you. During the day, the tent will provide shade for all of your guests to gather under. At night, you can string lights along the tent to serve as a fun decoration, as well as a resourceful glow.

Tiki torches

Tiki torches serve as a multi-purpose product. They are pretty and add a fun vibe to an outdoor setting. They also serve as bug repellent and can help your guests have a more enjoyable time by keeping bugs away from the party space.

Easy access silverware

When trying to hold a plate full of food in one hand and your drink in the other, grabbing silverware on top of all of that can be a problem. Make dining easy for your guests by arranging packets of silverware tied together. This simple addition allows them to easily grab a pack of cutlery while holding their food instead of trying to balance it all while picking out individual utensils.

Have enough seats

Even though the party is outdoors and most people will likely be standing around your yard, have some chairs on hand. You will want to set up seats at any empty tables you put out. However, not all the seats must accompany a table. Line a few seats here and there in a small circle or pair two seats together. This will provide your guests with the comfort of being able to sit down as well as conversate with one another.

Don’t forget lights

Most outdoor parties run from midday until nighttime. This will require you to provide some lighting for your guests when it starts to get dark. You don’t need to do any drastic measures, and just a few small lights will do the trick. A string of lights is perfect for attaching along a fence, deck, or even your house itself.

Yard games

To keep the guests entertained, lay out a couple of yard games for everyone to enjoy. Frisbee, horseshoes, corn hole, kan jam, and spikeball are all huge crowd-pleasers. If kids are attending your party as well, get out some whiffle balls and bats, soccer balls, footballs, and whatever else you have on hand.

Need some extra space to make room for a big party this Summer? Zippy Shell has you covered! We offer flexible temporary and long-term storage options and can keep your stuff in one of our nationwide facilities. We even offer local and long-distance moving services if you need it! Zippy Shell is here to make moving and storage simple for you!

It’s Time for a Summer Clean Out!

Woman carrying picture in home

One of the best things about Summer is the longer days giving us what feels like more time to tackle projects. If you have been wanting to take on a big clean out or full force home organization project, now is the perfect time. We have the best tips for getting your home organized at the beginning of the North Carolina Summer, giving yourself time to relax in a tidy home the remainder of the year!

But first, here some positive reasons to get cleaned out and organized:

  • It makes for an easier to clean your home.
  • Everyday life will become less stressful when you know where to find ALL the things.
  • You may save money by not shopping for items you already own.
  • You will be able to use the space in your home to its full potential.
  • An organized home just feels peaceful.

Make a plan

Sometimes with less glamorous projects such as this, the tendency is to let it fall to the wayside after the initial excitement wears off. A plan will help you stay the course and see this project to completion. Think about the work that needs to be done in each room of your home and make a master list. Remember this list whenever your enthusiasm wanes and check items off to fuel the feeling of accomplishment!

Commit to a timeline

Look over your plan and realistically set a start and end date. You can even break your to-do list down into smaller sections with a deadline set for each. Refer back to the positives listed above when procrastination rears its ugly head.

Find motivation in a playlist

Create a playlist of fun, upbeat, energy inducing music to play for the sole purpose of cleaning out and getting organized. Figure out the amount of time you have each day to devote to this project and choose the amount of songs needed to cover that time. Crush your organizing plan by playing this list loud and proud during each clean out session. Did you know: Zippy Shell’s portable storage units are perfect for storing items from the home, giving you more space to clean and organize. Check us out today for answers to any questions you may have and a free quote!

Top 5 Fun 4th of July Party Must Haves

July 4th party in backyard

With 4th of July coming up this week, finalize your party plans with these tips! Fourth of July is a great holiday to get together and party with friends, family, and neighbors. Celebrate this holiday the right way with these genius party ideas.

USA Flag cake

A flag cake is a fun dessert that everyone will get to enjoy. Use any cake that your crowd prefers, including ice cream cake, cookie cake, a classic cake, or another crowd pleaser. Ice the cake with white frosting for the base layer of the flag. Place blueberries in the top left corner of the cake to symbolize the stars on the flag. Finish it off by lining strawberries or raspberries in lines across the cake to mimic stripes and enjoy! Use some of these recipes as well to add to the American treats you serve!

Grilled corn on the cob

Corn on the cob is a classic 4th of July food, so make sure you have it at your BBQ. Corn on the cob is a great crowd-pleaser that is easy to make, and you can season it in a variety ways, depending on crowd preference. Cover it in Old Bay, cheese, parsley, BBQ sauce, and so much more!

Red, white, and blue tablecloth

A decorative tablecloth is exactly what every party needs to embrace the holiday. It’s an easy addition to a party that adds a significant effect. There are a variety of red, white, and blue tablecloths that you can buy, or if you’re feeling crafty you can even make your own! Feel free to fill the table with patriotic centerpieces as well. Check out one of our other blogs that explains how to make one out of bandanas along with a few other decorations you can try!

Patriotic cocktail

Garnish your favorite cocktail with strawberries on the bottom of the glass and blueberries on the top to create a red, white, and blue effect from top to bottom. This works great with a vodka soda or a gin and tonic to create a transparent color, emphasizing the colors of the berries.

Sparklers

Sparklers are an easy way to replace fireworks and are much safer for everyone to use than traditional fireworks. Make sure not to point the sparklers at anyone and use them in an open space outdoors. Sparklers can be fun for children to use as well, but be sure to not let children under twelve handle sparklers on their own and supervise their use at all times! Anyone using the sparklers should not wear open toed shoes to protect their feet from stray sparks.

Top 8 Reasons Why Downsizing is a Good Idea

Downsizing often has a bad reputation, but there are indeed many benefits that can be overlooked. Whether you are choosing to downsize on your own, or you need to move to a smaller home for other reasons, don’t fret because this can be a good change for you!

  1. Financial benefits

By downsizing, you are going from a larger home to a smaller home. This will enable you to sell your large house, allowing you to buy a more modest home outright or put a sizable down payment on it. Not to mention that your new home should have lower maintenance costs and bills due to its smaller size.

2. Fresh start

Those making a move often have a reason for it, such as children moving out or the loss of a family member. Whatever your reasoning is, use this opportunity to give yourself a fresh start. Your new home will allow you to explore a new area and create new memories for yourself.

3. Bigger is not always better

Because you will have less space, you’ll need to have fewer belongings. This does mean there will be less to clean, organize, and furnish, thus reducing the amount of time you’ll spend on daily chores. A smaller home also means a smaller yard and less time spent in it cleaning. You’ll have fewer things to worry about and more time to enjoy yourself you can use to travel, pick up a new hobby, etc.

4. Fun additions

With the extra money you are saving from downsizing, you can spice up your new home with some fun décor or entertainment. You can even create a whole new room that you never had in your old house. This can include a game room, a library, or a gym in an empty room.

5. Bonding opportunity

Having a smaller home allows the occupants of the house to be closer to each other. It provides better space to bond with one another and creates a cozy living area together.

6. Save energy and water

Running a large home can add up to a lot of utilities. Cooling, heating, and water usage alone are much higher in a large house compared to a smaller home. Decrease your carbon footprint, all while enjoying a lower utility bill in a smaller home. Save additional water and energy with these tips too!

7. Necessities

When you have less space, you are going to be forced to have fewer things. This isn’t a negative though because now you will only have the belongings that you need. You will no longer have the option to hoard countless appliances and clothing that never gets any use. Take advantage of this opportunity and have a yard sale with all the belongings that don’t have a place in your new home. Any items that don’t sell in the yard sale can also be sold on eBay or Craigslist, or you can donate it.

8. Less splurging = less clutter

A smaller space will mean you will be less tempted to buy items that you don’t really need because you won’t have anywhere to keep them. This will help you become a smarter shopper and only buy the necessities.

If you are in the process of downsizing, contact Zippy Shell to help you move all of your belongings to your new home! We can service moves of many sizes, and even offer storage options if you need it.  Call us at 888-947-7974 or go online and get a free quote today!