9 Step Plan to Start Off Fall With an Organized Garage

A woman sits on a box in a garage

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

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

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

Are You a Minimalist?

minimalist room

What does it mean to be a minimalist? Many people are under the impression that minimalism is only about decluttering and owning less, but that is not a complete picture. Being a minimalist is not just about giving up all your stuff. Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist defines minimalism as “…the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” It has been said minimalism is about the journey, not about the destination. You aren’t automatically disqualified from defining yourself as a minimalist because you own over a certain set amount of items. It is up to each individual to determine how far they want to go down the road of minimalism. There are no right or wrong ways to downsize a life and there is no single set of rules that you must follow to be a minimalist. As Brian Gardner, founder of No Sidebar says, “I’ve learned that minimalism is not about what you own, it’s about why you own it.” If you resonate with any of the points made below, you are already on the journey to becoming a minimalist.

  • You have shifted and redefined your relationship with “stuff” by focusing on why you own things as opposed to what you own.
  • You desire more time to focus on the areas of your life that are important to you instead of spending all your time accumulating or maintaining material items.
  • Reducing the amount of debt in your life has become a priority.
  • The thought of going shopping just to shop makes you cringe. You shop deliberately and only for items that you deem essential.
  • Clutter makes you feel claustrophobic or it stresses you out.
  • The theory “less is more” appeals to you in many different areas of your life.
  • You don’t live in or feel the need for a very large house or apartment.
  • Spending more of your money on experiences rather than things has become a goal for you and your family.
  • You prioritize spending time with the people you love.
  • Spending your free time cleaning, maintaining your lifestyle, and doing chores leaves you feeling frustrated and empty.
  • You are willing to give up some of your possessions if it means freeing your time to pursue things that you love.
  • Excessive spending has taken over your life and you feel the need to get your finances and spending habits under control.
  • Buying items of a higher quality that will last longer is important to you.
  • You are comfortable living with less and you already know that possessions don’t bring happiness.
  • The thought of cleaning your home with minimal effort appeals to you.
  • You only wear the clothes that you love and that make you feel comfortable in your own skin.
  • Always being on the go or having an overloaded schedule makes you feel burnt out.

In a world full of excess, many people are feeling the need to reduce clutter or downsize both physically and emotionally. So many people have found happiness living with less. Why not start slowly on the road to minimalism and see how it goes!

6 Decluttering Tasks Perfect for Fall

organization

Fall is the perfect time to declutter your home and life. The cooler temperatures are refreshing and the changing leaves provoke the feeling that it is time to move on from old ways. Decluttering is the first step to organizing and having an organized home can give you a feeling of control over what is happening in your world. With home organization comes order and with order comes calmness. Plus, the less clutter you have to deal with, the easier home maintenance becomes. And who doesn’t want to spend more time making memories and less time on home maintenance? Let’s get started!

  1. Summer Gear – Empty out the pool/beach bag and throw away any items that are worn, outdated, or broken. Store all of your summer gear and freshly washed beach towels in a plastic bin with a top to keep the dust away during the off-season.
  2. Summer Clothing – Before storing away those summer tops, shorts, bathing suits, cover-ups, and sandals, take a closer look at them. Be honest about what you really wore this summer and only keep those items. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that has warm temperatures all year long, keep your most worn summer clothing out. For those of you who must endure a cold winter, now is the time to make sure that the summer clothing you are keeping is cleaned and stored away until the spring.
  3. Beauty Products – Gathering all your makeup and beauty products into one area will give you a visual of how much you really have. We are all guilty of trying out products, not loving them, but not wanting to get rid of them because it feels wasteful. Keeping these unwanted items around can become discouraging by adding to your mental clutter and guilt. Now is the time to be thorough and toss anything you aren’t using. As a bonus, this will make getting ready so much easier, because you only have exactly what you need on hand!
  4. Pantry – Start by removing everything from the pantry, checking expiration dates, and wiping down the shelves. Take special note of the expiration dates in your spice rack. Spices don’t get used up as quickly, but they can lose potency over time and may need replacing. If you have an excess of some items, consider reaching out to elderly family and neighbors or donating what you don’t need.
  5. Freezer – Fall is the perfect time to get the freezer cleaned out to make room for soups, chilis, and holiday baking items. Take on this task the day before trash day so that if you do have to throw out mystery items or items past their prime, it does not have to sit in the trash for too long. Label everything you place back in your freezer with the contents and the date to make future freezer purgings easier!
  6. Gardening Tools and Supplies – Clean up, repair, and purge your garden tools and supplies so they’ll be ready for you in the spring. Decluttering and getting rid of any supplies that won’t last the winter will make it easier to know exactly what you need to get started gardening next spring.

During your fall quest for a decluttered, organized home, you may discover that your best option is to store some of your lesser-used items. Zippy Shell is open and ready to serve your storage needs in the best way possible. Call today or click here to get a quote!

7 Tips For a Successful Yard Sale

Yard Sale

If you are getting ready for a move, it is a good idea to go through all your belongings and try to downsize what you will need to pack up and move to your new home. One way you can achieve this is by having a yard sale. As we enter the cooler fall season, it is a great time to plan an outdoor sale where you can make a little extra cash for your move while purging things you no longer need. Not every yard sale is successful, however. Take a look at seven of our favorite tips to make sure your yard/garage sale gets good traffic and sales.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

If you live in a location that doesn’t get a lot of traffic, consider changing the location of your yard sale. Ask a family member or friend that lives in a large subdivision or off a busier road if you can borrow their yard for a weekend.

INVITE NEIGHBORS AND FAMILY TO SELL WITH YOU

If you don’t have a lot that you plan to sell, ask your friends and neighbors if they would like to join you for a multi-family yard sale. More stuff displayed outside will draw in more buyers than just a few tables.

GET ORGANIZED

Don’t wait until the morning of your yard sale to start throwing things together. Plan ahead so you have time to go through each room in your home to purge unwanted and unneeded items. Organize your items so they can be displayed in an intuitive way that makes it easy for a customer to browse. If everything is just thrown in boxes, people will be less likely to look through and find things they want to purchase from you.

LABEL EVERYTHING

Most people who go shopping, whether at a store or a yard sale, want to know the price of an item they are interested in without needing to ask someone. Invest in some good stickers and put a price on each item, or at least have specific value tables (example: everything on this table is $1) to make it simple for potential customers.

PRICE TO SELL

Unless you are on the fence about selling something, price your items to sell quick. Remember, you don’t want to have to pack all this stuff up and take it with you to your new house. Priced right, you will clear out a good bit of your unwanted things and still make some extra money.

PREVIEW ONLINE

If you have large furniture or pieces that you intend to price higher, consider taking good pictures and posting them for sale online prior to your yard sale. This will give you a longer time frame to make sure you get these items sold.

ADVERTISE

With social media, neighborhood apps, and local advertisement websites, advertising your garage sale may be the easiest part of this process. You don’t need to spend any money to advertise online, but you may want to spend a little to buy garage sale signs that will allow you to give drivers on the road clear instructions on how to get to your yard sale from the main roads. We hope these tips will help you host a successful yard sale before you move to your new home. We offer a safe and secure way to move and store your stuff. Give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 for a free, no-obligation quote. We look forward to hearing from you!

6 Useful Apartment Living Tips

apartments

Apartment living can be great, but if it is your first time living in a smaller space, it may take some getting used to. If you are moving into an apartment from a larger home, it can be tricky to find ways to incorporate your current furniture and all your things into your new space. But don’t let the challenge scare you! We have 6 useful tips to help you make a smooth transition to apartment living.

READ YOUR CONTRACT CAREFULLY

Before you sign anything, be sure to read your contract carefully. This can sometimes be tedious and lease contracts are often full of language that’s not easy to follow, but this is an important step. If you have any questions about their expectations of you as a tenant, be sure to ask before you sign your contract. What is their pet policy? Will they allow modifications to the apartment? Can you paint the walls? Be clear now so there are no misunderstandings later.

PRE-MOVE INSPECTION

If you haven’t moved in yet, be sure to do a thorough inspection of the space. If you find any damage or items of concern, document them and discuss with the apartment manager. You want to make sure they did not miss anything on the inspection that could eventually be blamed on you when you move out—causing you to lose your security deposit.

START WITH LESS

This is a must if you are downsizing. Get rid of as much stuff as you can before moving into a smaller space. If you cram an entire 3-bedroom house worth of things into a 2 bedroom apartment, things are going to get cramped fast. Give yourself room by carefully choosing items you genuinely love to furnish and decorate your apartment. Before you move, you can have a yard sale to make some quick cash, or simply donate to your local charity.

USE THE SPACE YOU HAVE

Some apartments just simply do not have adequate storage space. It’s on you to get creative with the space that is offered to make sure you have room for all your things. If you don’t have room for bookshelves, you can use floating wall shelves and book ends to keep your books nice and tidy. Utilize the space under your bed to store bins or vacuum bags. Try to use multi-functional furniture when possible. For instance, your TV stand could be dresser or cabinet that also holds throw blankets, extra linens, and extra odds and ends from around the home.

GET COZY

Make it your own. If you are allowed to paint, choose a color that you love and is inviting to you. Display your favorite art and book collections. Fill your space with things you love! When you come home at the end of the day, you want to feel relaxed and comfortable.

BRING IN NATURE

One thing that can be lacking in apartment complexes is nature. Bring in a couple of houseplants to help you stay connected with nature. If you have a patio that gets some sun, you can grow some of your favorite herbs.

ZIPPY SHELL CAN HELP YOU MOVE

We hope these tips will be useful to you as you get ready to move into your new apartment. Don’t forget, Zippy Shell can help you with both your storage and your moving needs.

5 Summer Space Saving Tips

organization

Summer is officially here and it’s a little different this year. Most of our kids have been home from school for several months due to the global pandemic, and many will continue virtual schooling from home in August. It can get cramped when the entire household is home at the same time, so we have come up with a few tips to create some space in the home over the summer.

PACK IT UP

Perhaps one of the easiest and quickest ways to make some space in your home is to pack up things you are using this season. Grab some vacuum-space bags and pack up all your winter clothes, bulky coats, heavy bedding and put them away under your bed. You will be surprised how much space you can make in everyone’s closets.

GET RID OF IT

Many thrift stores have reopened to donations, and after months of being closed would welcome any donations you may have. Go through your clothes, books, toys, and furniture for anything you know is not getting much use and is just wasting space in your home. It’s also possible to hold a socially distanced yard sale if you have a lot of items that you would like to make some money on.

STORE IT

If you have a lot of items in your home that doesn’t get much use, but you are not ready to donate or sell, you may benefit from storing your items. Mobile or on-site storage is a good solution when you need a secure, weatherproof unit to keep your items safe, but out of your living spaces.

GET CREATIVE

One of our favorite ways to save space in the home is by using multifunctional furniture. There are many options for different areas of the home. For example, instead of a plain coffee table, you could replace it with a small table that has cabinets or drawers underneath for storage. Or maybe you have a bench in your foyer to make taking your shoes off a little easier—you could replace (or DIY!) a storage area underneath to hold shoes discreetly.

INVEST

If your budget allows, consider investing in expanding your living space. This doesn’t mean you have to hire a contractor and build an addition on your home. It could simply be taking an area of your backyard and creating a beautiful outdoor oasis that you and your family can enjoy on warm, summer nights. You can turn your front porch into a space where everyone wants to enjoy their morning meals and coffee. Utilize the spaces you already have and find creative ways to make them more usable and enjoyable.

We hope these tips are helpful to you as you start trying to find ways to increase the space in your home this summer. If you need help with mobile or on-site storage, feel free to give us a call at 888-947-7974 or visit us online for a free, no-obligation quote. We have a variety of solutions that are available to meet all your storage needs!

Four Ways to Make Your Small Space Feel Larger

living room

Small spaces come with both charm and challenges. Small spaces are easier to decorate, easier to keep clean, and easier to organize, but at the same time, they can feel cramped and claustrophobic. Everyone wants their home to feel open and welcoming, no matter what the size. So we’ve compiled some creative ways to give your home some space, or at least the illusion of space!

Make use of multi-purpose furniture. This will not only save space, but it will also save money as there’s no need to purchase multiple furniture pieces if you can have one item that can do more than one function. For instance, swap out your lounge chair or sofa for a sleeper couch. Replace your coffee table with an ottoman to double up as extra seating for guests. Try a room divider that includes built-in shelving. Buy tables with drawers whenever you can so you’ll have more storage space.

Clear the clutter. Don’t take up valuable space and mental energy with items you no longer use. Ask these questions as you are purging and really think about the emotional reasons you may be hanging on each item.

  • Does this add value to my life?
  • Have I used this in a year?
  • Do I have more than one of these?
  • Would I buy it again?
  • How many times have I used it?
  • Does it fit?
  • Do I have space for this?

Monochromatic decorating gives the illusion of space. Contrasting colors tend to break up a space, making it appear even smaller than it is. Drapes and furniture that match the wall color blend with the space, giving the illusion of a bigger room. Also, decorate with light colors to keep your rooms feeling airy and open. An abundance of dark colors in a small space can feel overwhelming and like the room is closing in on you. Of course, any room will look larger if it’s well-lit, preferably by natural light. Make sure light coming in from your windows is not being blocked by furniture or other stacked objects.

Add reflective surfaces. Try swapping some of the art on your walls for mirrors and see what it does to your home. The reflection will open up the room, making it look bigger. Mirrors not only reflect light, they also reflect the view, thereby tricking the eye into the perception of more space. Just remember that you don’t want the mirror to reflect a cluttered or cornered space – this will defeat the purpose!

If you own items that you don’t have room for, but you want to keep – a mobile storage unit may be the answer you seek. Pack your extra items in a Zippy Shell and send them off to a secure, climate-controlled storage center. Then sit back and breathe a sigh of relief in your small sanctuary of a home!

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! 

Jumpstart Spring Cleaning with These 5 Tips

cleaning

Although it seems like we just celebrated the holidays, spring is around the corner. This is a great time for a fresh start to ease into spring cleaning without being overwhelmed. If you are considering storing away some items, you will really be glad you got a jumpstart on your spring cleaning to-do list. While the hardest part is getting started, here are 5 tips to help you tackle this chore head on!

Declutter: A good purge always puts someone in a good mood. “Stuff” weighs us down and streamlining your “extra stuff” can be like a weight-loss tool! Focus on your spring cleaning by decluttering so you can attack the deep cleaning. If the item hasn’t been used in over a year, you may want to consider selling, donating, storing or trashing. If you are having a yard sale, put items away from sight or box up, tape up, and label “yard sale.” This will eliminate the temptation to dig back into the box.

Supplies: Keep an eye out for specials throughout the year on cleaning supplies. Stock up when discounts are available. Get a vehicle, such as a shower caddy, to hold the supplies so you can easily take them from room to room. Look for supplies that cover multi-tasks to eliminate lugging too many cleaning supplies around.

Make a plan: Once you have decluttered and made an inventory of your cleaning supplies, make a plan and set goals if you haven’t already done this. Decide what rooms to tackle first. Some professionals suggest clean each room in a circle or from top to bottom. These suggestions can help with the flow of cleaning making it more effective and manageable.

Think outside the routine: Keeping the surface areas clean is important, but don’t forget to think of areas outside the routine cleaning zones. Here are a few suggestions: between refrigerator coils, on top of ceiling fan blades, inside the washing machine, around HVAC vents, inside light fixtures, on and around windows, around door frames and crown molding, behind the toilet, etc. It’s also a good time to check the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Lighten up: Many people aren’t jumping up and down to tackle their spring cleaning to-do list. But with a shift in attitude, you can make this often-overwhelming feat much easier to bear. Crank up the stereo with your favorite tunes and jump in. Buy yourself something as a reward when you are finished. Another idea is to get the family involved. Assign age-appropriate tasks for the kids and make it a competition. As long as they aren’t adding to the chore list, the extra help should help you whittle down your spring cleaning to-do list quicker!

We hope these tips will help you attack spring cleaning with a positive, yet productive force. Just pretend that every room you clean will put you one step further to enjoying the fruits of your labor! And remember, if you need to store some items that aren’t being used right now, consider storing your things with Zippy Shell!

4 Tips for Successfully Storing Your Stuff

Storage Boxes

Sometimes you simply have more stuff than you have room. Or, maybe you are simplifying and decluttering, and stuff needs to be out of the way. Whatever the reason, from time to time most people have the need to move stuff to another location for a period of time and store it.  Look no further than our Zippy Shell experts for the best tips to help you store your stuff more successfully.

First, evaluate your options and your needs.  Zippy Shell locations can be found throughout the United States, making the option to store your stuff convenient. Figure out how much stuff you have and what size container you will need. A Zippy Shell 10 foot container can hold up to one or two bedrooms. Our 15 foot container can hold up to two or three bedrooms. Take a close look at how much you need to store and then choose the appropriately sized unit for your needs.

Second, create a list of everything you’ll be storing and how it is labeled. You may even want to take photos of the items, boxes, and labels so when you start looking for that swimsuit, you’ll know where it is stored.

Third, pack your stuff to maximize storage container space.  Our Zippy Shell storage containers hold a lot of stuff and they can hold even more if you are a savvy packer. For example, bundle pictures and frames with bubble wrap and stand them up. Pack clothes in plastic containers with clip-on lids, label the contents (shirts, pants, etc.) and stack them. Think vertically, because that is typically under-utilized space in a storage unit. If you will be storing anything with height, like a bookcase or a piece of furniture, use those extra shelves to maximize your container.

Fourth, create walkways and prioritize your stuff in the container. When you pack your Zippy Shell storage container, leave room for walking and put anything you think you will need towards the front or top.

Finally, sleep soundly knowing that:

  • you can take up to three days to load your Zippy Shell at your location
  • we can drop off your unit in virtually any location (driveway, city, street)
  • your stuff is stored safely and securely at one of our Zippy Shell locations
  • your stuff is only a phone call away
  • we deliver it back to you when you are ready

With just a little planning, you can maximize your storage dollars. We look forward to answering your questions about the convenience of Zippy Shell.