Home Renovation Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Two people look at a blueprint of their home

Home renovations can be exciting—because who doesn’t love upgrades in the home? But they can also be expensive and overwhelming if not done correctly. Let’s face it, it’s going to be costly whether the renovations go perfectly or not, but if you prepare and go into the process armed with some knowledge and know-how, your repairs and upgrades will cost far less. Take a look at some of the most common renovation mistakes and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Neglecting to Create a Budget

You will need to create a budget to manage your spending with any large undertaking. Your budget doesn’t have to be exact to the penny, but you should have some general idea of the amount of money you want to spend on the renovation. If you operate on a budget, you will likely be a little choosier on what you are spending your money on. You will need to take the whole budget and break it down into different categories. It may look something like this:  I’m going to spend X amount on new furniture, X amount on paint, X amount on decorative accessories, and X amount on new flooring, etc. Having a specific plan will help as you shop around.

Mistake #2: Not Setting Reasonable Goals

Another mistake people inadvertently make is not setting reasonable and realistic goals for their home renovation project. For instance, someone may try to fit too much into a small space in the home. Or perhaps they will underestimate the amount of money a project will cost and not have enough funds to complete it. Another common one is minimizing the time that a task will take. Before you start a project, it would be a great idea to sit down and create some realistic goals. What can I do with X amount of money, X amount of space, and X amount of time?

Mistake #3: Buying Before You Plan

Have you ever gone to the grocery store without a list while famished? We probably have all made this mistake. It all seems fine until you check out, and the bill is higher than you have ever seen. Then, you look around at all the stuff you bought, and you don’t even have anything to make for dinner! If you start buying things for your project before creating a plan and budget, you will spend more than you want. Often, the impulse buys are the ones that are not going to fit or work in the space. Finalize your ideas and budget before you start buying. You can create a notebook or digital portfolio with different measurements, color swatches, and ideas, so if you come across something that you love but have not planned for, you will have the information you need to make sure it will work.

Mistake #4: Sacrificing Quality for Savings

We are big believers in saving money where you can, but we also know that the saying “you get what you pay for” is true. Sometimes you should pay more to get a better-quality product or service. You should research and compare prices to ensure you do not get overcharged. You can read reviews on any products or companies you consider using to ensure that you will get your money’s worth. Sometimes we will go for the cheapest option, but in the end, if you must replace something because it was low-quality, then it wasn’t that cheap. You don’t have to go with the most expensive option but make sure you use quality items built to last.

Mistake #5: Doing Everything All on Your Own

This mistake goes along with the last one. It’s a common misconception that doing things yourself can save a lot of money. In some cases, this is absolutely true. If you can get a good deal on supplies, you already own the tools that you will need, and you have a pretty good idea of how to complete the project, you may be able to do it for a fraction of the price. However, if you don’t have the experience needed, and you will need to buy a lot of stuff just to do the work, it can sometimes be more cost-effective to hire a professional for the job. You can’t forget that your time has value as well. It could be worth the money if a professional can come in and be finished in a day compared to all your weekends for a few months.

Before you decide to DIY your home renovation, price out what it will cost to do it yourself and compare that to some quotes from local professionals. If you are going to save thousands of dollars by doing it yourself, that’s great! But if the cost difference really isn’t that much, consider hiring the pros who will have your job done faster than you could hope to do it yourself.

Zippy Shell Is Available for Your Mobile Storage Needs

We hope these tips were helpful as you prepare for your home renovation project! If you need a place to store your stuff while working in the home, give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. We can deliver a mobile storage unit to your home, and you can keep it as long as you need to finish your project. Or, if you would like, we can transport the unit to one of our secure facilities until you need it back. We hope to hear from you soon!

4 New Tips for Saving Money on Your Next Move

A coin is placed inside of a piggy bank by a person

We all know how expensive a move can get. Last week, we talked in detail about ways you can save money on your move. If you missed the first installment of our two-part series, you can find that right here on our website. Here are just a few essential tips that we shared in part one:

1) Collect free boxes and other packing materials from your local stores and online marketplace.

2) Always move in the off-season if you have the option.

3) Check for moving specials and ask if there are any available discounts.

4) Don’t forget to turn off the utilities.

This week, we will discuss four other ways to cut costs on your next move. As the old saying goes, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Even the smallest of discounts or savings can be helpful when tackling an expensive life change like a local or long-distance move.

Skip the Moving Truck

Renting a moving truck can get costly and quick. You will be charged a fee based on the rental period, but you will also likely be charged additional fees based on mileage—not to mention the exorbitant gas prices to keep a truck filled up. Once you add up all the costs, exploring other options that provide more flexibility for the money could be beneficial. A portable storage unit is a great way to move your things locally or long-distance. The best part is you don’t have to drive a big moving truck yourself!

Declutter First

If decluttering is wrong, we don’t want to be right! We are big advocates of downsizing and decluttering before a move. Most people have a lot of stuff that isn’t being used. We all tend to keep things that we don’t necessarily need because we may feel like we might use them in the future. Sometimes, we just keep procrastinating because who really wants to tackle the mess in the garage or attic.

Unfortunately, the more stuff you have, the more money you may need to spend on your move. More property means you need more boxes, more moving help, and extra space in a portable storage container. It could even increase the cost of your professional moving help. Take the time to complete this important task before you move. You can donate the items you don’t use or even have a rummage sale to make extra cash before relocating.

Pack Your Stuff Yourself

Hiring a professional moving company that will help you get your stuff packed can be great if you have room in the budget. Unfortunately, this service can cost a pretty penny. If you need to cut some high costs in your move, consider packing your stuff yourself. If you use a portable storage container like Zippy Shell, you can take as long as you need and pack and load at your own pace. We also have a lot of resources and guides that can give you the confidence you need to get your house packed and moved right.

Meal Prep Before You Start Moving

Food is an unexpected cost that most people don’t consider when making a budget for a move. If most of your kitchen supplies are packed up, and you are working long hours to make sure you get your things packed and moved out, it will be challenging to cook meals for you and your family.

Most people eat a lot of take-out or delivery because it is the easiest thing to do when you have so much going on at once. One way to save money on eating out is to prepare some easy meals and quick bites before you pack up your kitchen and things start to get busy. You can make some delicious casseroles in disposable aluminum pans that can be stored in the freezer until you are ready to cook them. There are also a lot of good recipes for freezer slow-cooker meals—all you need are some Ziploc bags, a slow-cooker, and some time to prep. Keep plenty of snacks and easy-to-grab foods available for your family and anyone helping you pack and move.  

Zippy Shell Is Here for You

We hope that these tips are helpful to you as you begin the planning stages of your move. We know that moving is not always easy and can be an expensive undertaking. That’s why Zippy Shell provides an affordable and stress-free option for storage and moving. Our secure shell is perfect for packing at your own pace, and when you are done, we can store it at one of our facilities for as much time as you need, or we can deliver it to your new home. So whatever your storage and moving needs are, Zippy Shell has an option for you. For more information or a free, no-obligation quote, call us at (888) 947-7974 or contact us online. We would love to help you get started!

How to Prepare for Closing Day

A family sits on the front porch of a home

Buying a home can be a challenging experience. If you are in the process of purchasing a house or property for the first time, you are likely feeling a little overwhelmed. There are a lot of different steps in the process, and each one can present its own obstacles and frustrations. But at the very end of the whirlwind experience is the day that every person involved is looking forward to—closing day!

Closing day is when the ownership of the home or property is officially transferred to you as the buyer. It’s the ultimate reward for the energy, work, and finances you put into the process. It’s the day when you are handed keys to your new home. However, despite this being a great day, it is a day that requires preparation and a little know-how. Your lender or real estate agent will likely send you information to go over what to expect and what you will need to do to make sure closing on the home goes smoothly. In the meantime, take a look at some of our tips to ensure a great closing experience.

1. Breathe and Prepare

The first thing you should do as you approach closing day is breathe and remember what this process is for. It will be over soon, and you will have a new home or property as a result. If you talk to anyone who has purchased a home, they will agree on at least one thing—it’s stressful! So take some time every day to try and relax. One way to keep the experience from being so stressful is to prepare. There is so much information available on closing on a home, that you will have no issues preparing yourself on what to expect. You can watch videos, read articles, or talk to your closing attorney to arm yourself with knowledge.

2. Stay Vigilant

Even if your application and documents have gone through all the underwriting stages and everything has been accepted, it is not the time to make any other significant moves that could potentially be a red flag to your lender. Here are a few things you should not do before the closing day:

  • Move large sums of money around.
  • Change jobs or addresses.
  • Apply for other loans or lines of credit.
  • Spend a lot of money.
  • Allow any bills or outstanding balances to go to collections.

It is a good idea to keep your credit score stable and your available money, job, and address as consistent as possible until the entire process is complete. Once you have signed your closing documents, you are free to spend or move your money around as you wish.

3. Make Sure You Have All Required Documents and Items

Your closing attorney will provide you with the list of everything you will need to physically and/or digitally bring with you for closing day. It would help if you went through this list a few times to ensure that you have everything you will need. Here are a few things that you will likely be asked to bring with you:

  • A valid photo ID
  • Proof of homeowner’s insurance
  • A cashier’s or certified check for closing costs. Some will allow a wire transfer prior to the closing appointment.
  • Your closing disclosure that is given to you by your lender.
  • Your agent or lawyer to represent your interests.

4. Plan to Arrive Early and Stay Awhile

We recommend planning to arrive at least 20 minutes early so you have some time to relax and breathe before going into your closing appointment. While it is the last thing you must do before you are handed keys, it also can be the most stressful. You will sign your name more times than you can imagine, told a lot of information that is hard to remember, and see some big numbers (we are talking about that new monthly payment!) that could be overwhelming.

You should also know that this final appointment is not a fast one. It would be best if you planned to be there for at least one hour, possibly longer. You should review the closing documents before the appointment if you are able. Then, you can bring a list of questions for your agent, lawyer, or the closing attorneys.

5. Celebrate

All papers have been signed, closing costs have been paid, and the keys have been handed over. Congratulations! You are now a homeowner! Take lots of pictures and take some time to celebrate this tremendous accomplishment. The process was stressful, long, and complex, but the end was worth it. Now onto home projects and moving in. The fun part begins!

Zippy Shell Can Help You Move into Your New Home

We hope these tips are helpful as you get ready to close on your new home. If you are looking for a moving partner, be sure to give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. We offer flexible storage and moving solutions for every situation. After the harrowing journey of buying a home, we can help make the move easy and stress-free. Call for your free estimate today!

Tricks to Save Money on Your Next Move—Part One

A piggy bank with change laying around sits next to a small house figure

As you probably already know, moving can be a costly process. There are a lot of different expenses associated with moving, and they can add up quickly. Even a local move can get pricey if you are not careful. Fortunately, there are some ways you can save money on your relocation. If you have a local or long-distance move coming up, keep reading! In the first installment of our two-part series, we will discuss four practical tips to help you save money on your next move.

Collect Boxes from Your Local Stores

One of the easiest ways to save money during a move is to collect used boxes and packing materials from your local stores or an online marketplace. Grocery, liquor, and home improvement type stores will often have an abundance of used boxes after every delivery day. Give them a call and ask them to hold boxes for you instead of sending them out to recycling. You can also check Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for free boxes, bubble wrap, newspapers, and other packing materials.

After someone moves, they often want to pass on the boxes instead of putting them in the recycling bins. However, we highly recommend securing your boxes and packing materials several weeks before you intend to pack up your home to ensure you have everything you will need. If you wait too long, you may not be able to get enough boxes, and you will have to purchase them. A few boxes will not cost too much, but if you need to buy enough boxes to pack up your entire home, you may be shocked at how much you will need to spend. If your boxes are still in good shape after you unpack and settle into your new home, pass along your free boxes to the next moving family!

Move In the Off-Season If Possible

Like vacations and weddings, there is an offseason and peak season for moving. May through September is a hectic time for moving companies. Not only is the weather more pleasant during that time, but it’s also easier for families to move during the long summer break while the kids are not in school. If the children are changing schools due to the move, it is typically preferable to allow them to finish the school year in their current school and start the new school year in the fall.

Like booking a vacation during peak travel time, booking a move during peak moving season can cost more money. If you cannot move in the off-season, we recommend reserving your dates as soon as possible. This will help ensure the best prices possible, but the dates fill up fast, and if you don’t book far enough in advance, you may not be able to get the moving dates you need.

Check For Moving Specials

When you start comparing prices between moving companies, don’t forget to check for moving specials. You will often see offers advertised on their website or even their social media pages. You are more likely to find coupons and moving specials during the off-season. If you are a veteran or active military member, you may find additional discounts. Even if you do not see any advertised offers online, calling and speaking to a customer service representative never hurts. They may have an available discount that will allow you to lower your moving costs. After you build quotes with a few of your preferred moving companies, remember that some companies will price match with comparable services.

Don’t Forget to Turn Off Old Utilities

One of the most common moving mistakes we see is forgetting to turn off the old utilities. Unfortunately, it is just one of those things that get overlooked in the chaos of moving. It may not seem like it could cost that much money to make that mistake, but it adds up fast if the meters are left running. For instance, leaving the thermostat on as the heat or air conditioner runs nonstop or if a water line breaks while the water is still running to the house—these are just two ways that leaving the utilities on can cost you up to hundreds of dollars!

You can schedule your utility shut-offs in advance, so it doesn’t get lost in the myriad of moving tasks on your list. Don’t forget to notify all your services: water, gas, electric, trash, internet, cable, phone, security, and any other home service you may utilize. At the same time, you should schedule a turn-on date for the utilities in your new home. This will also save you some money because many companies will charge an extra fee for same-day or next-day turn-on requests.

Zippy Shell Is Always Ready to Help You Move

We hope these tips are helpful as you get ready for your next move. Don’t forget to check out part two of our Saving Money Series in the coming weeks. If you are looking for a moving partner, give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. We would love to share more information on how we can provide an affordable and stress-free move. Call today for your free, no-obligation estimate for your local or long-distance move!  

How To Choose an Internet Service Provider

A woman sits on the floor looking at a laptop with boxes around her

When you move to a new home, one of the first things you will need to do is set up your new utilities. This task is typically scheduled a few weeks before your arrival date to ensure everything is on and ready for you when you first get there. You may not have many choices for things like electricity and water, but you might have a few options for your internet service provider. If you are happy with your current provider and they are offering to transfer service to your new address—that’s great! But if you are looking for something better and want a change, just tell your old ISP, “New home, who dis?” and then look at some of our tips for choosing an internet service provider. 

Research and Compare

Research and compare the available internet providers for your new address a few weeks before you plan to move in. Doing this will give you time to make an informed decision. If you wait until you arrive, you won’t have time to look through important information before your family begs for a Wi-Fi password. In addition, most companies want you to agree to stay with them for a specific time (typically 12-24 months), which makes it even more important to research before signing any contracts. Here are some of the vital questions you should ask of each internet company:

1. What speeds do you offer?

The location of your home will often determine your speed options for each company. For example, if you are moving to the country, you may have a more difficult time getting the speed you want compared to the available speeds in a busier or more populated area. Even some top-ranked internet providers may not have a plan that will work for your lifestyle. Call or utilize each company’s website to determine what speeds are available for your address. Remove any companies that do not offer high enough speeds for what you need.

2. What deals do you have?

If you are transferring service, you are unlikely to get any new deals or better pricing, but if you are switching internet service providers, you may be able to score a new customer deal. When comparing companies, be sure to ask what discounts are available. Be aware that these new customer deals are usually set for a specific period. After that time elapses, standard pricing will come into effect. Ask what that pricing will be before you make your decision. You can also shop each company’s bundle deals to see if you would like to add other services like tv, phone, or security to your internet package.

3. Are there data caps?

Data caps are rarely discussed or advertised when shopping for internet services. However, if you work from home or do a lot of streaming and gaming, you will want to ask about the data caps. Some companies offer truly unlimited data, and others will have a set number. They may slow down your internet or add additional charges to your bill if you go over that.

4. What are my equipment and installation options?

Most companies will give you the option to rent their official equipment or bring your own. This will come down to personal choice. A rental fee will raise your monthly bill and let you avoid a significant upfront expense. If you decide to purchase your equipment, be sure to ask for a list of modems and routers that will work with the plan. The type of internet and the speeds you will be getting will determine the type of equipment you will need.

It would help if you also asked about installation options. If you are comfortable setting up your modem and routers, you can opt out of professional installation. However, if you would rather have a professional visit your home to ensure everything is installed and working correctly, you will need to ask about pricing.

5. What do their reviews say?

Before making any large purchase or commitment, we recommend checking ratings to see what you might expect. You will likely see many negative reviews for any large company, so it’s good to compare overall ratings instead of focusing on each negative review. Another great way to determine the level of service that each company offers is to ask around to your friends and family—or anyone that lives in the area where you are moving. You can ask them if they are happy with their speeds, customer service, and prices or if they are unhappy and considering switching their internet service provider.

Zippy Shell Can Help You Move

We hope these tips help as you look for an internet service provider for your new home. Then, when you are ready to find a moving partner, be sure to give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. We offer a unique moving and storage process to ensure you have a smooth and stress-free move. In the meantime, check out some of our moving guides and resources:

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Garage Space

A clean garage space in a home

Do you have a 3-car garage but can only park one vehicle inside? Is your garage full of your college kids’ dorm room furniture from 10 years ago? Do you trip every time you venture into the garage to search for lawn care items? Regardless of what is taking up residence in your garage at this moment, we can show you how to get the most out of your garage space with these organizational tips.

TIP #1: DECLUTTER!

Depending on the size of your garage and the amount of clutter, dedicate a full day or weekend to this project. Enlist family and friends to help speed up the process and make it seem less like a chore. Have snacks and beverages on hand to show your appreciation for your crew. Grab some trash bags or plastic bins and identify what is staying, being donated, going to the dump, and potentially going into storage. You can also consider a yard sale to help raise a little cash for the new car to park in your clean garage!

TIP #2: ORGANIZE!

Now that the hard work is behind you, it’s time to organize what is left. Determine how much space you need to park a car(s). In the leftover space, sort items into five categories based on the types of items and their purpose.

  1. Items frequently used: Items that you may frequently use, such as shopping bags, pet leashes, and umbrellas, should be stored within easy reach.
  2. Items used together: Auto care, gardening tools, and sports equipment usually fall into this category. Sets up zones for each group so like items are stored together.
  3. Bulky items: Bulkier items such as lawnmowers can be stored in the back corners of the garage.
  4. Items rarely used: Holiday decorations, camping equipment, and beach chairs/floats/toys are typically used once a year or less.
  5. Yard tools & bicycles: Items such as rakes, shovels, and bicycles are best stored by hanging on the wall or ceiling.

TIP #3: ORGANIZATIONAL TOOLS

Once you have your five categories sorted, you can assign them to their proper areas. Here are some organizational tools to consider.

  1. Shelving: If you don’t currently have shelving, consider going to your home improvement store for basic shelves. This is the easiest and quickest method to organize your stuff and get it off the garage floor.
  2. Plastic bins: Store items (preferably on shelves) in plastic bins. Label the bins or use the see-through ones for quick identification.
  3. Magnetic strips & pegboard: Organize your tools like a boss with these organizational hacks. Clean out soup cans to hold small brushes and pens on the magnetic strip. Install hooks into the pegboard to store heavier tools such as mallets, electric screwdrivers, and more!

If you still have items that you don’t use frequently and need to remove from the garage, consider a Zippy Shell for your needs. Our portable storage solutions can be brought to your door whenever you need them. Once you’ve packed your unit, you can store it at one of our secure nationwide warehouses for temporary or long-term storage or have it shipped to your new home. Whether it is for local or long-distance relocations or storage near you, Zippy Shell makes moving and storage simple.

Moving with Pets

A dog sits on a moving box inside of a home

Our pets can be susceptible to any changes in their day-to-day lives—no matter how minor the differences are. If you have a move coming up, they will likely notice a shift in the household energy far before your scheduled moving day. So don’t be surprised if you see them acting a little anxious as you pack and prepare to move from your home. If you have a move with pets coming up, take a look at some of our helpful tips and guidelines for a smooth and stress-free transition.

How Much Does It Cost to Relocate a Pet?

There shouldn’t be too many additional costs to prepare for if you drive to your new home instead of flying. However, you may want to invest in some items that can make your pet more comfortable in the vehicle if you do not own them already. For instance, a travel crate will ensure that your pet is safe and comfortable during a long trip. If you do not have room in your car for a crate, you should use a car harness to ensure they are secure. This will protect them in the case of an accident and keep them from jumping out of the car when the door is open.

You will likely incur additional costs if you take your pets on a plane to get to your new home. Every airline has different pet policies, so we encourage you to thoroughly research the fees and policies of each airline BEFORE you book your tickets. If you have plans to stay in a hotel during your trip, you should also be sure to find one that is pet-friendly and be prepared for an additional charge. Some hotels will not charge for pets under a certain weight, but you should speak to a representative before booking.

How Do you Move Long-Distance with a Pet?

Whether you are moving locally or long-distance with your pet, you must prepare to ensure you have a successful transition from one home to another. We are big fans of checklists and schedules—they are a great way to make sure everything that needs to get done is completed promptly. For a move with pets, we recommend creating a task and reminder list separated by the significant “moments” of the move: before the move, moving day, and settling into the new home.

Before You Move

The weeks leading up to your move may be the most critical part of this process. So here are some things you should have on your list as you prepare for moving day.

  1. Microchips and tags: If your pet isn’t microchipped or wearing a collar with detailed tags, we would advise you to have this done before moving day. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a pet to slip out of the home on moving day. Doors tend to get left open as people move things out, and our pets can sneak out unnoticed. If this does happen, you will be grateful that your pet has identifying information so someone can get them back to you.
  2. Schedule a vet visit: It can be good to ensure your pet is caught up on their vaccines and physical exam before your move. You may need some time to find a new vet in your new hometown, so making sure they are healthy and up to date on their shots is recommended. In addition, now is an excellent time to get a refill on any needed medications, and if your pet is a nervous traveler, you can ask your vet for some calming meds for the trip.
  3. Schedule boarding or a pet sitter: If you have a trusted pet sitter or local boarding facility, consider scheduling a mini-vacation for your pet for moving day. Pets can get particularly antsy on moving days due to the stress and movement. Not only do some pets run away, but some pets will also get into food and other items that can be dangerous for them.

Moving Day With Your Pet

If you are keeping your pets home on moving day, we recommend making sure they have a room to be kept comfortable and secure. This will help ensure they cannot leave home or get into things that can harm them. You can secure them in a room with some of their favorite toys and keep that door shut while you are busy moving things outside. Tape a sign to the door so everyone helping knows to keep that door shut. Don’t forget to leave out your pet’s food, treats, bowls, toys, and medications you will need on the trip.

Considerations for Moving with a Dog

Unlike cats, dogs will need to go outside to use the bathroom. They also need to go on walks to work out their energy. When we get busy moving, it can be hard to remember that they depend on us to take them out for walks and use the bathroom. If you need to, set reminders on your phone to make sure that your pups get to go outside frequently during the day.

Considerations for Moving with a Cat

Cats are not typically used to staying in a carrier. It can be a problem for some cats who have issues with being kept in small spaces. If you know that your cat panics in a small carrier (like when you travel to your vet visits), you may want to train them in the weeks leading up to your move. You can do this by leaving your carrier out during this time and encouraging them to spend time there. You can place their favorite treats and toys in the carrier to make it a comfortable and inviting space for them.

Settling In Your New Home

When you get to your new home, you may have to give it a good deep cleaning to rid the house of any scents left by the previous owners and their pets. Don’t be too alarmed if you notice your pets acting moody, depressed, or anxious in your new home. They have had their whole world turned upside down, so adjusting to their new surroundings may take some time. They just need some love and attention to get used to their new residence.

Zippy Shell is Here for You

We can’t move your pet for you, but we can help make your move as easy and stress-free as possible. Our mobile storage and moving solutions are perfect for a self-paced move. So give us a call at 888-947-7974 for more information and a free estimate.

We look forward to hearing from you!

How to Move Houseplants

A happy woman holds her houseplant in her hands.

Houseplants are an excellent way to add life, vitality, and a piece of the outdoors to our homes. In return for the beauty and grace they offer us, we tend to them and give them the care they need to survive. Some plants can be hardy, while others with demanding needs are very delicate. This can make it tricky if you ever need to move with houseplants—especially if you have a lot of different types of plants. Look at our favorite houseplant moving tips if you have a move coming up and need some help getting your plants from point A to point B in great shape.

How to Move Plants

Many different things can go wrong when moving houseplants. Let’s face it—there are plenty of ways plants try to die on us, even on the best of days. Plants need sunlight, water, humidity, stability, and ideal temperatures to stay in the best shape possible. Moving can disrupt those needs. Preparation is the key to ensuring your plants do not sustain damage during your move, whether it is a local or long-distance move.

How to Prepare for Moving Houseplants

When you begin to prep for your move, you should break the tasks into reasonable goals. Starting a few weeks before your move will allow plenty of time to gather all your supplies to get your plants ready for the transition.

3 Weeks Before a Move

  • Purchase foam cushioning and bubble wrap so you can protect any ceramic, clay, or glass pots.
  • Re-pot any severely rootbound plants (if they don’t like that). You can also re-pot plants into plastic containers if you are nervous about the pots themselves being damaged during the move.
  • Give your plants a lot of attention to make sure they are in their prime shape before moving.
  • Check the laws before you move. Some states have strict regulations regarding the types of plants they allow you to bring across state lines. Get online and make sure you do not have any prohibited plants that you intend to move, and check the guidelines for transporting houseplants. For example, some states require that the soil be sterile or that the plants stay quarantined for a specific period.

2 Weeks Before a Move

  • Give your plants a good prune before you move. If you have an out-of-control and unruly houseplant (we are looking at you, Monstera Deliciosa), you may want to consider pruning some of the areas that are more likely to be damaged during the move. In addition, you should take this time to clean up any dead or dying leaves on your plants.
  • Plants can get dusty, which inhibits the amount of sunlight they can absorb and use. You can use a microfiber cloth or washrag with water to wipe down the fronts and backs of the leaves. Doing this will help keep pests to a minimum as well.
  • This is a great time to check your plants for any bugs that could potentially spread throughout your plant collection. Spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, thrips, and others can move quickly and efficiently from plant to plant. Some plants are more susceptible to pests than others, but you should inspect all plants before moving. These pests do not need much time to cause unsightly damage and even kill your plant. If you do find bugs, don’t panic! You have time to quarantine the affected plants and follow a treatment protocol to get rid of unwanted visitors.

1 Week Before a Move

  • Continue to keep an eye on your plants for pests and other signs of distress.
  • If possible, wait to water your plants until right before the move.

Tips for Moving Larger Plants

Large plants look majestic in the home, but anyone who has ever tried to move them knows how heavy they can be. The weight of large plants will help keep them from toppling over during the move, but you should still take steps to make sure they do not fall over. You can put all your large plants together, so they work to prop each other up. You can wrap the pots in newspaper, bubble wrap, or foam cushioning to keep them from getting scratched or chipped. Use gardening twine to control any sprawling bits of the plant that could get damaged during the moving process. You can get even more protection by covering your entire plant with a plastic bag. Just place a few holes in the bags to keep the humidity levels from getting too high—unless your plant would enjoy that!

Tips for Moving Smaller Plants

Small plants are easy to pack up and move. One of the most significant issues with small plants (like standard 4- and 6- inch pots) is how easy they can get tipped over. You can use boxes or plastic tubs with no lids to transport your small houseplants. Filling the box will keep the plants from falling over. Don’t forget to use packing paper or foam to protect your fragile pots.

New Home for Your Plants

Now that you have arrived in your new home, it’s time to inspect your plants and make sure they made the trip in good shape. Don’t be surprised if some of your plants decide to be dramatic for a while. Certain plants do not react well to change and may even choose to drop some leaves, droop, or play dead! Try to find places in your new home that offer similar light and temperature to help reduce the shock. Soon they will get adjusted and be happy in their brand-new spots.

Zippy Shell Can Help with Your Move

We hope these tips will be helpful as you get ready for your next move. If you are still wondering how to make your local or long-distance move as easy as possible, call Zippy Shell at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. Our mobile storage solutions are perfect for a stress-free move.

We look forward to hearing from you! In the meantime, check out some of our resources to help you guarantee success on your move.

Best Ways to Pack Makeup and Jewelry for Moving

Jewelry sitting on a dresser inside a home

Are you getting ready to move? You probably already have a moving checklist, but it is still easy to forget some of the most critical items, like makeup and jewelry. A detailed moving list would not be complete without them! No fear, though, the Zippy Shell moving and storage experts are here for you with some of our favorite hacks to ensure your cosmetics and jewelry make it to your new location just as fresh as when you started your move. Following are some of the absolute best ways to avoid a makeup and jewelry mishap.

What Are the Best Ways to Pack Makeup?

  1. Pack Only After Purging
    Makeup products continue to hang around over time. You may not throw out the old ones as you try new products. Preparing for a move is a great time to toss old makeup, open makeup containers, and makeup you are no longer using. Open makeup, especially items like mascara, can breed bacteria. Good Housekeeping has an easy-to-follow guide on when you should replace your cosmetics that will be helpful when you start purging before packing.
  2. Protect Your Makeup
    There is nothing worse than opening the makeup box and finding that your powdered makeup, like powdered eyeshadow or blush, has crumbled – making it unusable. Put cotton pads inside the container (yes, right on top of the makeup) to insulate the powder as the boxes are moved or jostled. We recommend wrapping them in packing paper, newspaper, or other packing material just like you would for glass items going into a box.
  3. Be Prepared for Leaks
    As the boxes are moved into and from the Zippy Shell container, poorly packed bottles that contain liquid may leak, getting their oils or liquid on other items. To avoid the potential mess, use individual plastic bags or plastic wrap to provide added protection. Also, check every lid to ensure it is tightened before packing.
  4. Use Several Boxes, Not Just One
    It may be tempting to minimize the number of boxes, but when it comes to moving makeup, that’s not the way to go. Instead of filling up one giant box with all your cosmetics, separate your makeup into smaller containers. It would be best to place plenty of padding or bubble wrap in the boxes to prevent movement within the box.
  5. Extra Tips on Packing Makeup for Air Travel
    If you are catching a plane to your new location, check the airline’s rules for carry-on before packing up your favorite cosmetics. There may be specific rules you will need to follow for liquid items. But generally, you will want to keep all your liquids, pastes, and creams under 3.4 oz, and they need to fit in a quart-size plastic bag. The less you bring, the better! Ensure all the lids are tight, and tape the lids down for extra security.

What Are the Best Jewelry Packing Tips?

  1. Best Ways to Pack and Transport Earrings
    Earrings are tricky to pack and move. You know how easy it is to lose earrings during a regular day? It’s even easier during the packing process! One of our favorite tips is to use spare buttons to keep pairs of earrings together. Another easy solution is to store your earrings in pillboxes. This technique will only work for small pairs of earrings, but it is a great way to keep your earrings from getting lost in the move. Finally, if you have some thin foam sheeting or even Styrofoam plates, you can stick your earrings through the foam, put the backs on, and place transparent tape on the backs for extra security. This can be a better solution if you have more oversized earrings that will not work in a pillbox or on spare buttons.
  2. Packing and Transporting Rings
    Jewelry is an investment, and that is particularly true of rings. Finding a reliable way to pack your expensive rings and transport them safely to your new location should be an essential item on your moving checklist. One of our top hacks is to use clean foam egg cartons to get your favorite rings from point A to point B without any damage. Simply wash and dry a Styrofoam egg carton, place a ring in each space, and use a small ball of newspaper to insulate the ring from movement. Be sure to tape the carton closed when you are finished to keep it securely shut during transport. Don’t forget to label your egg carton before packing it away!
  3. How to Pack and Transport Necklaces and Bracelets
    Necklaces and bracelets are sometimes tough to pack and transport without ending up in a difficult, tangled mess. Fortunately, we have a few ways you can store your bracelets and necklaces so that they make it to your new location in perfect condition. One of the easiest ways is to use a drinking straw to keep your necklaces separated during your move. You simply thread your necklace through the straw and clasp it to secure it around the straw. You can cut down the plastic straw to use the same method for small necklaces or bracelets. If you have necklaces and bracelets that will not fit through a straw, you can use an empty paper towel roll to keep your bracelets and necklaces safe and untangled. You can also purchase jewelry travel organizers that will do a great job storing your different pieces.
  4. Don’t Forget to Inventory Your Valuable Jewelry
    Finally, take the time to inventory expensive, valuable, or sentimental jewelry before packing them up. Take close-up photos of each piece and use a spreadsheet to store all the pertinent information you will need in the unfortunate event that your jewelry is damaged, lost, or stolen. Be sure to check with your insurance company before your move to determine what information they would need before you pack up your jewelry.

Zippy Shell Can Help You Move

Zippy Shell understands how difficult a move can be, but we have the solutions to ease the stress. Whether you are moving across town or the country, Zippy Shell offers storage and moving solutions to make your transition a smooth and stress-free experience. Our steel, weather-proof containers are perfect for keeping your stuff safe in storage or in transit. Call us at 888-947-7974 or check us out online to find out more and even receive a free, no-obligation estimate for your storage or moving needs. In the meantime, check out our moving guides for more moving tips and tricks.

Spring Clean Your Home with These Tips

A couple high fives each other after cleaning their home

Spring has finally arrived, and we are so excited. The birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, the bees are buzzing, and nature is coming alive as the temperatures climb. Traditionally, we take this opportunity to refresh and renew our homes in concert with the changing seasons. There is something special about starting the new season with a clean and organized home. You can “spring clean” any time of the year, but if you are tackling your home this spring, look at our favorite tips for a successful spring clean.

  1. Divide the Home into Zones
    It can be overwhelming to think about organizing and deep cleaning the entire home. Instead, it can help to do a thorough walkthrough and make notes about specific things you want to accomplish in each room. Then, divide your home into zones or sections that you plan to tackle instead of running around from room to room.
  2. Make a Detailed List and Schedule
    One of the first things you should do is make a detailed list of every task you hope to complete in each room or zone. Using a list will help keep you focused as you work in specific areas. Your spring cleaning does not have to be finished in one day or even one weekend. Make a realistic schedule for when you want to work on each zone.
  3. Prep Your Supplies
    Before you start working, go through your task list and ensure you have everything you need to succeed in each zone. For example, if you were working in a room where you need to clean windows, it would be disheartening to hit the ground running that day and find you don’t have anything to clean the windows with! Some people prefer to use homemade cleaners, and some prefer to purchase ready-to-go cleaning supplies—whatever your preference—make sure you have all the cleaning and organizing supplies you will need. We are a fan of cleaning supplies that work for many things like multi-surface cleaning solutions and microfiber rags. No one wants an overflowing cleaning supply closet of cleaners that get used once a year.
  4. Clear the Clutter
    At the top of each zone’s list should be CLEAR THE CLUTTER in big, bold letters. We accumulate so much stuff that we don’t need, use, or even want. Clutter can be the biggest hindrance to keeping a tidy home in some cases. Whether you are working in your linen closet, bathroom, or kitchen—your first task in any room should be to evaluate what you can remove. You can donate or sell your items, throw away anything that is not in working or usable condition, or move the items to a place in your home where they will get more use. You may be amazed at the space you create when you no longer store things you do not use or need.
  5. Work Top to Bottom
    Once you have removed anything that does not belong in the area you will be working in, it’s time to start the cleaning process! Working from the ceiling down will reduce the amount of work you need to do to clean the space. For example, if you vacuum a room first and then clean the dust off the ceiling fans last, you will need to go back and vacuum that room a second time. Start with knocking any dust or cobwebs down from the ceiling, walls, door and window frames, and ceiling fans. Dust all surfaces, knick-knacks, books, or other items you have before making your way down to the floors.
  6. Don’t Forget Home Maintenance This Spring
    While not technically spring cleaning, it’s essential to keep up on your home maintenance tasks. Here are some maintenance items you may want to add to your checklist:
    > Check all smoke alarms. Change batteries if needed.
    > Clean and check all gutters and downspouts.
    > Schedule your HVAC system to be serviced.
    > If you do not have your HVAC system serviced, make sure you replace your filters as recommended.
    > Remove all standing water sources near the home as we approach mosquito season.
    > Inspect the home’s exterior for any damages or decay that need repairs.
    > Clean or replace your window screens as required.
    > Trim back any trees getting too close to your roof or home.

Zippy Shell Is Here to Help
Zippy Shell offers mobile storage solutions that can help make spring cleaning a breeze. We can deliver one of our secure containers to your property as temporary storage as you work on organizing, cleaning, or remodeling your home. For more information on our flexible storage solutions, call Zippy Shell at 888-947-7974. We’d be happy to help!