Differences Between Portable Storage and Self-Storage

Zippy Shell Mover

There comes a time in everyone’s life when you need extra storage space. Maybe you are in the process of preparing for a move, carrying out a home renovation or home repair project, decluttering, downsizing, cleaning out a loved one’s home, preparing for an estate sale, storing excess business inventory, or any other number of exciting happenings! Before getting started, it is important to understand the differences between two of the most common storage options: portable storage and self-storage.

What is self-storage?

Self-storage refers to rentable space such as lockers or garages in a building or warehouse that’s used to store items for a short or long-term period. Access to units will vary from facility to facility, with some available 24/7 and some limited to specific hours. Generally, you’ll sign a month-to-month lease and keep your belongings there for as many months as you need.

What is portable storage?

Portable storage units are delivered on-site to your home or business for packing. You can keep these personal storage units onsite as needed, filling them up and emptying them out as you choose. You can generally either keep the portable storage unit on your property or have the storage facility pick it up and store it for you in a climate-controlled warehouse.

Similarities

  • Both portable storage and self-storage offer multiple storage sizes so you can choose which size, or sizes, best fit your individual needs.
  • Your belongings are secure and safe in both options.
  • You have full control over what is stored in your unit and how the items are arranged.
  • Both come with the ability to remove items from your storage unit or add new ones, as long as they fit in the space.
  • Generally, both options offer a climate-controlled environment to store your belongings.

Differences

  • With portable storage, you can forego the hassle of having to drive your belongings to a storage location. The unit will be delivered to your home or business where you can load your belongings into it directly. Plus, portable storage is loaded at ground level, eliminating the need for difficult loading ramps.
  • You can cut your work in half by only loading and unloading one time into portable storage containers, versus multiple times with self-storage.
  • Portable storage has the added benefit of working with your unique schedule. You can keep the portable storage unit at your home and take your time loading it up. If you chose to keep the portable storage unit at home, you can access it whenever you need to.

If you are looking for some extra storage space for the exciting events happening in your life, check us out for a free quote! Zippy Shell’s portable storage units and onsite storage containers are perfect to serve any of your storage needs. We can provide onsite storage right at your home for easy access to your items or provide portable storage units that we can store in our climate-controlled storage facility.

Pack the Essentials for a Successful Moving Day

packing boxes

If you have moved before, you know that moving day can be chaotic. This is why it is very important to make sure your essentials are covered. It can be easy to forget a few small things that happen to make a big difference on moving day and in the days immediately following. Check this list for items you want to be sure you can put your finger on when moving day comes.

• Pack a “moving day” overnight bag for each member of the family just like you would pack when going on a trip. Include a pair of pajamas, a change of clothes, plus your personal toiletry items like toothpaste, a toothbrush, and your shower essentials (including a towel). For children, pack one or two of their very favorite belongings in their overnight bag. Keeping these items close by can provide assurance throughout the move and allow access as soon as you arrive at your new home.

• Come prepared with essential cleaning supplies. Before you even think about unpacking, you need to bust into cleaning mode. Now is the time to clean cabinet shelves, ceiling fans, light fixtures, and more -get it done while you have an empty space. You can also expect dirt and dust to be tracked into your home along with the movers and your boxes.

• Your moving day essentials kit should contain clean bedding and pillows. The first item of business in your new home should be setting up and making up the beds. You don’t want to get to the end of a long, tiring moving day and realize your bed is not ready for you to crash in!

• A basic toolkit with a hammer, drill, level, screwdrivers, tape measure, and pliers will also come in handy on moving day. Whether you need to assemble a bed frame or measure out where to fit the furniture, this will come in handy.

• Paper products like toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, paper plates, and disposable cups/utensils are a must. It is incredibly easy for these items to be forgotten during a move. Save yourself a trip to the store on an already stressful day by having these necessities on hand.

• Have your cell phone ready and fully charged on moving day and then keep your charger handy for the rest of your busy day.

• Keep your energy up by packing snacks and plenty of water for everyone involved with your moving day festivities.

• Extra supplies you will want to have in your essentials kit include garbage bags, light bulbs, box cutters, scissors, power strips, and a shower curtain/rod if your new place does not have a shower door.

We hope these suggestions will help your moving day flow smoothly. Zippy Shell is here to take the stress out of your move allowing you to focus on your family during this exciting time.

Organizing Tasks To Complete This Week

Goal Plan Action

The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused rising levels of anxiety around our country. While social distancing, many people have an abundance of time on their hands but also an abundance of worries. One way to combat the worry and anxiety is to tackle the organization of your home. While it won’t change the behavior or the repercussions of the virus, it can give you a feeling of control over what is happening within the confines of your home. With home organization comes order and with order comes calmness.

Decluttering is the first step to organizing. The less items you have in any space, the easier it will be to organize them. Get started in these areas:

The Pantry: Many of us are cooking more at home these days, so a well stocked pantry is a must. But before you stock it, be sure it is decluttered and organized. The ability to spot every single can of soup, snack, and box of pasta at a glance can cut down on trips to the store. Start by removing everything from the pantry, checking expiration dates, and wiping down the shelves. If you have an excess of some items, consider reaching out to elderly family and neighbors or donating what you don’t need. Use clear baskets and bins to group like things together. Use labels on the bins and the shelves themselves to make sure everything goes back to the proper spot.

The Refrigerator: When you’re hungry, you don’t want to spend time hunting for the right ingredient. You want to easily find the item you’re looking for, so let’s get the refrigerator organized also! The goal is to make it easier for you to cook healthy meals at home and cut down on trips to the store. Working in sections, take food out to clean away crumbs and spills inside the refrigerator. Using clear bins in the refrigerator is also a great way to get organized. Group like items such as a bin for fruit, one for drinks, one for sandwich fixings, etc. Another pro tip is to use a lazy Susan for open jars and condiments that sometimes get lost in the back.

The “Office”: Not every home has a dedicated office, but If your job has shifted to working remotely, or your kids are doing their schoolwork at home, you’ll need to clear some work space. Set aside a clutter free space to help you stay focused and be more productive. Now is also the time to organize important papers in your office area. Having your identification, employment documents, tax documents, insurance paperwork, and medical forms in one easy-to-locate spot can be incredibly helpful during this time. 

The Entertainment Collection: Entertainment, it means many things to different people. During this time period, it could mean your bike riding gear, fishing gear, puzzle collection, craft supplies, garden tools, board games, card games, books, music, movies, and the list goes on. Pull out and discover some old favorites to pass the time and set aside items you don’t enjoy anymore for donation at a later date.

Take the opportunity to cross things off your organizing list that you wouldn’t normally have time for in a pre-coronavirus routine. Decluttering and organizing can help you feel more in control and more productive. While you are organizing, Zippy Shell is open and ready to serve your storage needs in the safest way possible. Call today or click here to get a quote!

5 Things to Never Pack in a Portable Storage Container

Zippy Shell Mover

Furniture, kitchen appliances, hobby equipment, clothes, toys, books – the options seem pretty much endless for the type of items you can pack or store in a portable moving container. So while most things can be put into storage or transported to your new location, it is important to remember that not all of your belongings should be packed. There are some things that you never want to pack or store in a moving container and it’s important that you set those things aside well before your move. Some of these items you will want to handle personally and some you may want to dispose of or gift to a friend.

Important Personal Documents – Birth certificates, social security information, passports, wills, tax returns, financial statements, health insurance, medical records, employment documents, mortgage or rental contracts, and other personal documents should stay with you throughout your move. Place these important documents into a locked box or briefcase and transport them with you.

Hazardous Materials – There are certain things in your home or garage that are considered hazardous when moving and should not be placed in a portable storage container. This list includes items such as aerosol cans, fertilizer, pesticides, charcoal, disinfectants, ammunition, fireworks, pool cleaning chemicals, paint thinner, fire extinguishers, car batteries, and gas cans. This also includes anything that is considered an illegal substance. Always consult with the experts at Zippy Shell if you are unsure about a particular item. You can consider giving these away to neighbors before moving or properly disposing of them. 

Perishable Items – Frozen and refrigerated foods can quickly spoil inside a moving container. Even packing pantry items or pet food in a moving container is a bad idea if it will be stored for any length of time. It may attract insects or rodents or grow mold that will cause significant damage to the rest of your belongings. You can donate food to a local food bank to help those in your community before you move.

Plants and Flowers – Your delicate, leafy friends will almost certainly not survive the trip in a portable storage container. You will be better off moving your plants yourself or gifting them to a friend before moving.

Dirty or Wet Items – Clean everything before it goes into a storage container, especially if it will stay in there for any length of time before being unpacked. If you store something while it is dirty, it’s only going to be dirtier when you unpack it one, two, or twelve months later. Clothes, furniture, and all appliances should be as clean and dry as possible before storing them away during your move. Anything that is wet or damp will start producing and spreading mold and mildew while in storage.

To keep your belongings safe and secure while you move, Zippy Shell storage centers are equipped with climate control and added security. When you are ready, we will redeliver your storage container or move it to your next destination. 

8 Tips to Maximize Your Walk-In Closet Space

closet

If you recently moved or getting ready for a big move, you probably have ideas on how to better organize your new space and make it work more efficiently for you and your family. One space in particular—walk-in closets—can pose a challenge when trying to find ways to organize your things to allow for easy access and at the same time, a place for things you do not use as often but do not want to put into storage. Out of sight equals out of mind—so how do we find a happy balance? Look at our tips for easy ways to organize your new walk-in closet.

START FRESH, EVALUATE, AND DECLUTTER

Once your closet is completely empty, give it a good deep clean. This will be your best opportunity for washing built-in shelving and cleaning the flooring. Next, you should go through all the things that you plan to keep in your closet. Each piece should be categorized. As you go through each item one at a time, be sure to ask yourself if you want to keep, donate, or sell. The more you can let go, the easier your task will be.

GET INSPIRED AND MAKE A PLAN

If you just are not sure which direction you want to go, take some time to do some internet browsing. Pinterest is full of ideas for every type of closet. Small or large closet, you will find inspiration that helps you move on to the next step. Before you start moving everything back into the closet, take some time to plan and gather all the tools and supplies you need to make your vision come to life.

INVEST IN THE RIGHT KIND OF HANGERS

If you open Amazon and type in ‘hangers’, you will enter a world you may not have known existed. There is a hanger for almost everything you can think of: pants, belts, ties, scarves, skirts, sweaters, double hangers, space-saving hangers, and more. If it fits within your budget, consider purchasing type-specific hangers that will help you save space in your closet, as well as improve the look and functionality of the space.

COLOR CODE

One easy way to organize your hanging or folded garments is to separate by type and color. This will make it aesthetically pleasing and make finding what you need a breeze.

LET NO SPACE GO UNUSED

Whatever space your closet offers needs to be used to its fullest extent. Don’t be intimidated if you have a lot of vertical space and not much else. You can find inexpensive shelving units that are quite easy to install yourself. You can then organize your things in a way that the least used items go up high and the frequently used items are within your reach. Don’t forget to label anything that goes into a box, bin, or bag!

TRANSPARENT BOXES AND BINS

Using see-through or clear plastic bins to store things will allow you to still see what is there without them being in the open. When we put things in boxes, we tend to never use them again because we forget about them. Clear bins can help solve that issue.

GET CREATIVE

If you prefer to not purchase specialized items for your closet—create your own! You can affix hooks on your closet wall to hang certain items like jewelry or belts. Curtain rings can be used to hold scarves or ties. We have even seen someone use soda tabs to slip over one thin metal hanger to allow for a second hanger to be placed—allowing for two pieces of clothing to be stored in the same space as one.

SEPARATE AND STORE

Be sure to take any offseason apparel and shoes and put them into space-saving storage bags. Label each bag with a detailed description of the contents just in case you need something before that season rolls back around. This should free up a good bit of space allowing you room to easily find the things you need every day.

We hope these tips help as you get settled into your new walk-in closet. If you have any interesting tips, stop by our Facebook page and share it with our community. We’d love to hear from you!

Helping Your Pets Adjust to a New Home

Dog under a blanket

Research has shown that pets can reduce stress, improve health, and lengthen our lives. So, of course, we always want what is best for them! While moving to a new home can be a stressful time for most people, it can also be stressful for your pets. Unlike us, pets aren’t able to mentally prepare for such a big shift. Whether your move is long-distance or just down the block, there are many ways to make your pet feel more comfortable after a move. Check out these tips to help your pets adjust to their new home.

  • The first step is to make a plan for moving day. There are a lot of people coming and going during the actual moving out and in, and that means many opportunities for a beloved pet to escape. If you can’t have them stay with a border or a friend, a crate can help ensure they are safe on moving day.
  • Introduce your pet to your new home slowly. At first, limit your pet to one room in the house. After your pet has explored every corner of the room and feels comfortable, introduce them to the rest of the house one room at a time.
  • Do your best to keep your pet’s routine as close to usual as possible. Your pet’s world revolves around activities such as eating, playing, napping, and going out to take care of business. From morning meals to walks to bedtime, keep the same routine as much as possible for stability.
  • Set up a space for your pet that includes all their favorite items. Laying out their bowls, blankets, toys, and bed in a designated spot is a great way to help your pet feel secure amongst the chaos of moving.
  • Also, resist the urge to toss any of your pet’s gear for new items right now. It will cause less anxiety for them to lay down in their same bed, eat out of the same bowls, and play with the same toys as before. These favorites will help your pet feel in control. Plus, the familiar scent can help them feel more at home in a new location. You can make changes once your pet has adapted to your new home.
  • Help them let out their energy. Just like us, exercise can help to reduce the stress your pet is feeling. Add in some extra playtime or make your normal walk longer than usual.
  • Give them extra attention. Be generous with affection and encouraging words. Steal a few moments for quiet, quality time together in between your moving tasks. Take a couple of minutes to toss around a favorite toy or to give out belly rubs. It will be good for both of you!
  • Update your pet tags or pet chip with your new contact information as soon as possible. Being in a new place can increase the chances that your pet gets lost and you want to be able to be contacted right away.

Zippy Shell can service moves of many sizes, and even offer storage options during the course of your move. Contact us today for a free quote and see how we can make moving and storage simple for you! 

Organizing Hacks Make Great Stay-At-Home Projects

organization

Many of us around the country are spending more time at home than usual right now. So, now may be the perfect time to open up your space and increase your productivity by getting organized. And we have just the hacks to help make organizing in the time of coronavirus quarantines less of a chore and more like a welcomed distraction. Check out these tips, create a plan, and get organized!

  • The organizational options are endless with pegboards. Save counter space by organizing kitchen, garage, office, or craft supplies. The best part about a pegboard is you can add and rearrange hooks and rods as your organizational needs change.
  • Magazine holders are inexpensive and provide so many ways to organize your home. Use these multi-functional organizing wonders for a gift wrap station, toilet paper storage, stacking items in your freezer or pantry, to hide your router, arrange flip flops or water bottles, and so much more.
  • Instead of digging around in the back of your refrigerator or pantry to find the ingredient you need, use a lazy Susan to bring the ingredient to you! Simply place a lazy Susan on the shelf and stock it with spices, jams, condiments, or other small containers then give it a spin to find exactly what you are looking for.
  • One of the best organizational hacks is knowing that shoe organizers don’t have to be used just for shoes! Cut them to size and use them for all your organizing tasks. Toys, pantry items, cleaning items, beauty supplies, baby clothes, gardening tools, school supplies – the possibilities truly are endless for what you can organize with these space savers.
  • There are so many different smart ways to get organized using a silverware tray. Use the compartments of these handy little trays to organize jewelry, toothbrushes/toothpastes, hair accessories, the junk drawer, batteries, art supplies, and more.
  • Paper towel holders are next on the home organizing hack list. Use standing paper towel holders to stack rolls of tape, ribbon, cookie cutters, or bangles. A side hanging paper towel holder can organize necklaces, scarves, belts, and can make a roll of garbage bags easily accessible.
  • PVC pipes are as accessible and affordable as they are great for organization projects. Cut, paint, attach and use them to store items like hair tools, power tools, shoes, headbands, craft supplies, garden tools, and many other items.
  • Add a handy magnetic strip to your bathroom for bobby pins, nail clippers, and tweezers. Unclutter the toy box a little by hanging matchbox cars on the wall using magnetic strips. You can also use a magnetic strip near your power tools in the garage to hold on to your drill bits and small metal tools.

While increasing your organization’s efforts during the pandemic, you might find that your best option is to store some of your lesser-used items. Zippy Shell provides simple, climate-controlled storage solutions and our contact-free delivery will give you one less thing to worry about. Learn more by visiting www.zippyshell.com today! 

Is It Safe to Move During COVID-19?

Planning a Move

If you are planning a move or planning to store items during the COVID-19 pandemic, know that Zippy Shell values the safety of our employees and customers. We have put together a list of the safety measures we are taking to keep everyone safe.

  • Zippy Shell is sending contracts via email to help limit contact and maintain more socially distanced interactions while onsite at delivery.
  • All doors, and handles on containers are disinfected before delivery at all corporately owned facilities to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus.
  • When applicable, customers may also request to have no interaction with the labor crews. Customer is still required to be available onsite when labor crews are onsite in case of additional services required and for liability reasons.
  • Masks, gloves, and disinfectants are readily available and use is mandatory at all of the corporately owned facilities.
  • Zippy Shell has notified and recommended our franchise and partner facilities follow the same safety protocols.

Not everyone can or wants to move on their own, when reaching out to a professional labor provider, be sure to ask what their safety policies are regarding the Coronavirus. Are their workers utilizing masks, gloves, taking regular health screenings, etc? These are all important questions that any professional labor provider should be happy to answer for you. Learn more about how you can hire help by visiting our partner Hire A Helper and check out a blog they recently wrote on the topic.

Zippy Shell is fully committed to the safety of our employees, our customers, and their things. Whether you are moving or storing your items, know that your safety comes first.

6 Tips for a Successful Virtual Meeting

Virtual Meeting

As many of us have been working from home, virtual meetings are becoming more common than ever before. For some, this is a tool that has been used even before we were social distancing. For others, it is a brand-new territory. We have seen many mishaps making the rounds on social media, and even Saturday Night Live released a parody of a virtual meeting gone wrong. Take a look at some tips we have found useful in running a virtual meeting.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

If you are new to video conferencing don’t expect it to be perfect the first few times. There are a lot of moving parts in this type of communication and it can take an attempt or two to get it down. Take some time on your own to test the video conferencing tool and get familiar with the different tools it offers.

BE PREPARED

Before you start your virtual meeting, you should ensure that you have everything you need within reach and your laptop or phone is working as needed to avoid any technical issues. You also want to make sure everyone else in your household is aware of your meeting and set expectations for noise levels and interruptions. Another good tip is to make sure you schedule your virtual meeting far enough in advance that your colleagues have time to get set up on their end.

BE CLEAR WITH EXPECTATIONS

It can be mortifying to show up to a meeting and be put on the spot if you are unprepared. Before the meeting, send out an email to your colleagues with a detailed agenda of what needs to be discussed or any questions that need to be answered. If each person is responsible for a certain assignment, include that in the email as a reminder. This will allow each person logging into the meeting to be fully prepared.

CRYSTAL CLEAR OBJECTIVES

Before the meeting is over, make sure nothing was left out. Someone should take and email notes that include everything discussed and everything that has been assigned to each person. This will allow everyone to have a concise list of expectations and objectives for the upcoming week.

ESSENTIAL STAFF ONLY

It can be tempting to invite everyone in the office but keep the virtual meetings for those that need to be there. Not everything requires a video call and can be done more efficiently over email. If you have several people on the call that have nothing to do, or the information is not relevant to them, you can leave them out of the meeting.

LOOSEN UP

While it is important to maintain a professional environment even when video conferencing, there is some wiggle room. In a regular work environment people can chat and catch up with each other, so there is nothing wrong with setting some time aside at the beginning or end of the call to find out how everyone is doing and coping at home.

Don’t forget Zippy Shell is ready to answer your call with any questions about local or long-distance moving and storage. Give us a call at 888-947-7974 for a free quote today!

7 Tips for Working at Home

Working From Home

If you are one of the millions of Americans now forced to work at home, you may be wondering how you can be productive in an environment with less accountability. If you are new to remote work, it can take some adjustments to work in an area that is usually associated with rest and relaxation. Everyone has their own set of unique challenges when it comes to working from home, but we have some tips to help you succeed.

Dedicated Workspace

Not everyone has a designated office in their home. If you do, great! Make sure you keep it organized and free from clutter to minimize distractions. If you don’t already have an office, it can be challenging to find a place in the home to call your own. Many are also trying to work with their kids in the home, which can be even more tricky. In this case, you will need to find a place that will be free from the distractions of a busy household. Maybe this is simply a corner or nook in your bedroom that you can set up a comfortable workspace.

Dress for the Part

Some people can be productive in their pjs or house clothes, but some of us need to feel dressed for the part. If you find that you don’t feel as motivated while dressed in casual clothes, try dressing as you normally would for work. This can help you create a daily routine that keeps you feeling normal.

Create a Regular Schedule

You should create a schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Your schedule may need to be tinkered with in the beginning to find something that best works for you and your household, but when you get it figured out, try to make it your daily routine.

Set Expectations with Family

This may be the biggest hurdle many are facing as they are expected to show up to virtual meetings with bored children and pets in the background. Have a family meeting to explain the schedule you need to keep and the times you will need to have a quiet background. This will allow everyone in your family to plan their daily activities in a way that will provide an acceptable working environment for you.

Block Distractions

Distractions can come in many forms: the pile of laundry on the bed, the barking dog in the backyard, or even the temptation to check social media while on the clock. Take some time each day to make sure your workspace is clean and tidy. A cluttered space is a cluttered mind! If the outside noises make it hard to concentrate, think about getting yourself a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. If you are struggling with checking social media or other websites, try installing a browser extension that will block those sites during set work hours.

Take Breaks

We all need breaks, maybe even more than ever before. Be mindful to schedule certain times during the workday to take some time away from your chair and your screen. Go for a walk around the block, check in with your family, or use this as a time to rest.

Set Expectations with Yourself

This is a confusing time for everyone, and we are all just doing our best. Go easy on yourself as you try to establish a new working environment. If the day doesn’t go how you planned or how you wanted, try again tomorrow!

Zippy Shell is still here and working to cover all your moving and storage needs. If you have a move scheduled during this uncertain time, click here for a quote or give us a call 888-947-7974!