8 Ways to Create a Welcoming Environment in Your New Home

A couple holds each other as they look at a house

Congratulations on your new home! The boxes are unpacked, and you are getting settled into a new routine. Now that the hard part is over, you can focus on the fun part. Turning your new place into a home that will feel welcoming to your family and visitors can be very exciting. If you are having a hard time deciding where to begin, start with the tips below.

Start with the curb appeal. People are drawn inside your home when your curb appeal is on point. Have a well-manicured lawn, pressure wash everything until it shines, take care of any needed exterior repairs, use vibrant pops of color in your entryway, and make sure your external illumination is ready to welcome.

Create a feeling of coziness with your lighting. Aim to have lots of soft light sources rather than a single bright one. Turn off the overhead lighting and strategically place lamps for a warm, festive glow. Place lit candles (or use flameless candles) throughout the house. Using mirrors can help to magnify the warmth of your light sources.

Decorate your home to reflect your personality and style. Find a way to integrate the things you love in the design of your new home, and you will see how quickly the space will gain personality and warmth. Your guests will take notice and feel welcomed if your house matches your personality.

Liven up your home with some color! Don’t hold back on using a prominent, expressive color for your new home if that is what appeals to you. Any color can look good as long as it truly suits your style. Of course, you can always paint an accent wall to introduce a pop of color without going all out. Choose a wall that is seen the moment you enter the space for the most impact.

Incorporate some live greenery. Plants are a fantastic and inexpensive way to add color and life to a room. From tall leafy plants to fragrant flowers, experiment with different plants to bring life to your rooms and make them more inviting. Plants are not only a beautiful decorating tool, but they are proven to balance humidity and clean household air as well. 

Texturize your home. Adding different textures to your home design is a simple trick to make your home more welcoming. Surrounding yourself and guests with items like fluffy carpet, textured rugs, smooth wooden furniture, faux fur pillows, and other cozy items will make them feel comfortable. 

Create pleasing aromas and fragrances. Welcome home your family and other guests with a pleasant aroma. Scented candles, essential oils, fragrance sticks, fresh flowers, or fresh baked goods will make your home feel super inviting!

Put family photos on display. While artwork you adore certainly has its place, it is the family photos and kid-made art that will give your home a personal touch. Hallways and stairwells can be ideal for family photo galleries making it easier to stop and get a closer look. 

Most importantly, enjoy your new home and the new adventure it brings. Zippy Shell will always be here to help you with any future moves or provide storage as you are getting set up in your new life! Give us a call if you need moving or storage services in the future and see how we can make it simple for you!

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!

How to Have a Stylish Home As a Minimalist

A living and dining room view.

Are you a minimalist? Many people are under the impression that minimalism is only about decluttering and owning less, but that is not a complete picture. 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.” There is no single set of rules that you must follow to be a minimalist. So, of course, minimalism and style can go hand in hand in your home. Here are some great ways to have a stylish home as a minimalist.

  • Light, neutral colors lay the foundation of a minimalist home. These colors are clean, fresh-looking, and inspire a sense of calm. Add small splashes of bold color or pattern for some extra eye-catching style. When set against a white or neutral backdrop, even simple objects can stand out.
  • Choose timeless furniture. Always needing to be up on the latest style trends is one thing minimalism is not. Shop deliberately for high-quality, well-made, built to last, essential furniture items with a timeless style to anchor your design.
  • Use texture to add some style to a monochrome color palette. Texture can be added through materials and fabrics. Think of a chunky cable-knit throw, a sheepskin rug, or a soft crushed velvet pillow to bring comfort and style to your space.
  • Bring life and style to any room with plants. They are a fantastic and inexpensive way to add color and life to a room. From tall leafy plants to fragrant flowers, experiment with different plants to bring life to your rooms and make them more inviting. Plants are a beautiful minimalist decorating tool, but they also balance humidity and clean household air.
  • Let in as much natural light as possible. Natural light instantly warms up a space without adding any visual clutter. Plus, natural light can positively affect our mood by making us feel more alive and vibrant. Use large, simple mirrors to reflect and increase the light coming from the window into any room.
  • Invest in stylish storage options. Attractive storage allows you to hold on to personal items while still maintaining the clear surfaces and clean lines of minimalism. Everything should have a home, and if it doesn’t, a true minimalist would ask if you actually need it at all.

In a world full of excess, many people feel the need to reduce clutter or downsize both physically and emotionally. So many people have found happiness living with less. There are other advantages of minimalism, like having time to focus on areas of your life that are more important to you, easier upkeep, and the visual appeal of showcasing your unique artwork or prized possessions in a space with fewer distractions. If you are not already a minimalist, why not start slowly on the road to minimalism and see how it goes!

Looking to downsize during a move or need storage while you decide how to organize your home? Zippy Shell is ready to serve your moving and storage needs in the safest way possible. Call today or click here to get a quote and see how we can make your moving and storage needs simple.

How to Puppy Proof Your New Home

A Corgi puppy walks through a backyard

Is your new home ready to welcome a puppy? Puppies are cuddly, adorable, and will add immense happiness to your life, but they don’t come without a unique set of challenges. Let’s talk about how you can puppy-proof your new home to provide the best environment for you and your new best friend. Puppy proofing a home is a lot like childproofing a home! You will want to have all the supplies you will need on hand for a new puppy while also taking measures to protect them from any dangers around your home.

Provide Puppy Supplies

  • Pet Crate – Enclosed spaces create a shelter for your puppy to rest and relax. Dogs instinctively seek small spaces to create protective shelters for themselves. A pet crate is also a major tool to help you housetrain your puppy. Dogs don’t like to soil their sleeping quarters, so they learn to hold their bladder while they’re in their crate. The crates will also keep your curious puppy safe when you’re not able to supervise them. Just be sure to include a pet bed or padding in the crate for more comfort. 
  • Pet Gate –  A gate can section off an entire room dedicated to your puppy. This will give your puppy more room to exercise and explore without compromising your whole home. It is better than closing the door in the room where your puppy is playing because it lets you to supervise them and allows airflow between rooms. Choose a room with dog-friendly flooring and minimal furniture to chew on or scratch.
  • Pet Camera – If you are spending time away from your puppy while at work, it can give you peace of mind to invest in a pet camera. Some even allow you to talk to your pets or dispense treats for good behavior while you are away.

Provide Protection

  • Keep exterior doors and windows closed and locked to prevent your puppy from escaping.
  • Make sure all electrical cords are taped down or out of reach. There is a risk of electrocution for puppies that chew on an electrical cord. A playful puppy might be able to pull a heavy item on top of themselves when playing with or getting caught in a dangling cord.
  • Watch out for choking hazards. Small items like batteries, jewelry, toys, office supplies, and more can cause your puppy to choke if they chew on them. Keep these items high enough where your pet can’t reach them or store them in a secure container.
  • The trash can is an area of temptation for curious puppies, so it is vital to keep your trash secure. Pets can find all sorts of dangerous objects in the trash can, such as raw or spoiled food, household chemicals, or choking hazards. 
  • Store cleaning supplies and other chemicals locked away or out of reach. Antifreeze is a particular danger because it smells sweet to pets and is deadly to them.
  • Keep over-the-counter medicines, prescriptions medicines, and vitamins up and away from your puppy. Plus, keep all medications in their original child-resistant containers relocking safety caps after each use.
  • Update your pet tag or pet chip with your contact information as soon as possible. If your puppy gets lost, you will want to be able to be contacted right away.

We hope these tips help you and your new furry friend get off to a great start in your new home! If you are planning a make a move soon, give Zippy Shell a call today! We 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!

8 Little Touches to Personalize Your New Home

A dog is on a couch in a home's living room

How do you turn a new apartment, condo, or house into a home? You personalize and put your stamp on your new place! So now that the boxes are unpacked, it is time for the fun part. Use this list of little touches to personalize your new place and turn it into a home.

  • Decorate your home to reflect your personality and style. Find a way to integrate the things you love in the design of your new home, and you will see how quickly the space will gain personality and warmth. You want your house to match your personality.
  • The entry door is artistically referred to as “The Portal to the Soul of Your House.”  Changing out the front door or painting it a bright color door is a great way to express yourself. Check out the inspiration found here to help your front door stand out from the crowd. If you update the front door with paint, don’t neglect the hardware. A new knocker and doorknob in a matching finish will complete the look.
  • Consider adding vibrant accessories like flowers, planters, or door decorations to your entry point. Welcome signs, welcome mats, and porch furniture are also a great way to incorporate pops of color and make the space feel personal and welcoming.
  • Put your personal photos on display. While artwork you adore certainly has its place, photographs will give your home a personal touch. Hallways and stairwells can be ideal for photo galleries making it easier to stop and get a closer look.
  • Don’t hold back on using a big, expressive color for your new home if that is what appeals to you. Any color can look good as long as it truly suits your style. Of course, you can always paint an accent wall to introduce a pop of color without going all out. Choose a wall that is seen the moment you enter the space for the most impact.
  • If painting is not your style, consider using a fun wallpaper for an accent wall. Wallpaper is making a comeback, and current styles are fashionable and easier to apply/remove than ever. Help a small bathroom or the laundry room feel more cozy and personal with a bold wallpaper.
  • Adding different textures to your home decor is a simple trick to make your home more personal and welcoming. Surrounding yourself and guests with items like fluffy carpet, textured rugs, smooth wooden furniture, faux fur pillows, and other cozy items will make everyone feel comfortable.
  • Incorporate some live greenery. Plants are a fantastic and inexpensive way to add color and life to a room. From tall leafy plants to fragrant flowers, experiment with different plants to bring life to your rooms and make them more inviting. Plants are not only a beautiful decorating tool but are proven to balance humidity and clean household air as well.

Enjoy your new home and the new adventure it brings. Zippy Shell will always be here to help you with any future moves or provide storage as you are getting set up in your new life!

A List of Must-Haves For Your New Home

A couple stands and admires their home

After your belongings are unloaded and unpacked, it is time to enjoy that new home feeling fully, but don’t get too comfortable just yet. We have a list of must-haves for your new home that will set you up for success. Check it out and see how you can start improving your new home by making it safer and more energy-efficient.

  • Make Your New Home Smarter
    • Smart Thermostat – If the current thermostat in your new home is manual, you may be spending a lot of time adjusting the temperature to balance comfort and energy efficiency. Upgrading to a smart thermostat allows you to see how much energy you’re actively using and use the tools provided to plot out how much more you can save if you adjust the temperature by a few degrees here or there.
    • Smart Doorbells/Door Locks – These nifty tools are synced with your phone or tablet and can be monitored from anywhere. They can also offer the convenience of remote access. If you are not ready for the smart device option, at the very least, you should always change the cylinder of your locks and get a new key after moving into a new home. Who knows how many people have a copy of the key or if it is hidden somewhere nearby?
  • HVAC Filters – Dirty filters are the fastest way to create a problem with your HVAC system. The dirtier your air filter, the harder the system has to work to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Since there may be no way of knowing when the filters were last changed, now is the time to change them and set a reminder to keep up with this task regularly.
  • Batteries – To keep everyone safe, install new batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home. Test each device after replacing the batteries.
  • Ceiling Fan – Did you know a ceiling fan can make you feel about six degrees cooler via the wind-chill effect? So if your new home does not come equipped with a ceiling fan in the bedroom and living room, this is a wise investment. For ceiling fans to reduce your energy bills, you have to set the thermostat to a higher temperature. And remember, it’s a waste of energy to run the ceiling fan in a room that is not occupied. Running a ceiling fan doesn’t make the air in a room cooler; it only cools the occupants.
  • Whole House Surge Protector – This device can protect the electronics in your entire home from voltage surges caused by lightning strikes or other electrical issues. This is especially important to protect high-priced appliances with electronic circuit boards.
  • Houseplants – In addition to the color and life houseplants bring to a home, there are many health benefits. Studies have shown indoor plants boost mood, productivity, creativity, and they can clean indoor air by absorbing toxins and producing oxygen.
  • Storage Solutions – There is never a better time to get organized than when you are setting up a new home. You probably already purged your excess belongings before moving, so now you are ready to set up only those things essential to you and the items you love. Take the time to make sure you have enough storage and the correct kind of storage to hold what you are unpacking. Be intentional about purchasing storage solutions that work with your space and the size and quantity of the items it needs to hold.

If you need extra storage space to work on home improvement projects for your new home, Zippy Shell has onsite and portable storage solutions perfect for the job. A portable storage container is like having your very own storage facility located right on your property. Learn more and receive a free, no-obligation quote by visiting us online today.

Top 4 Decorating Hacks for Small Spaces

An image of a living room with a modern furniture set

Bigger is not always better, and that is true when it comes to your home! Less space means fewer belongings, which means less cleaning and maintenance, giving you more time to enjoy life. Smaller spaces can be a challenge to decorate, but with a bit of planning and a lot of creativity, you can make it work. Follow these tips for decoration inspiration.

  • Give the illusion of more space with your color palette. A monochromatic color scheme or even varying shades of the same color can make the area feel larger. Soft, pale, neutral colors on the walls and floor will give the biggest illusion of space.  An abundance of dark colors or contrasting colors in a small space can feel overwhelming and like the room is closing in on you.
  • Use reflective surfaces like glass and mirrors. Mirrors are a must-have decorating tool for small spaces. Large mirrors will bounce light from windows and create the illusion of more square footage. Mirrors reflect light and 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, as that will defeat the purpose.
  • Think vertically. Create storage where there once was none by adding floating shelves to your walls utilizing the vertical space. Mounted storage cabinets are also a great space saver and will give you more storage options. Desks, TVs, and lamps are other items that can be mounted on the wall to help turn wall space into floor space. You can also think vertically by drawing the eye upward with a fun light fixture, crown molding, tall window treatments, or high shelves.
  • Illuminate your small space with good lighting. Small spaces often end up feeling dark due to having small windows or a lack of windows. The first step is to pull in as much natural light from your windows as possible. Make sure light coming in from your windows is not being blocked by furniture or other stacked objects. In areas of your home where you might need a light-blocking option, such as the bedroom, consider a layered window treatment approach. Having one layer to block the light and one to allow it in will offer flexibility without compromising the natural light. When making plans to light the rest of the room, use multiple sources of light rather than just one. Try vertical floor lamps in the corners of the room for an expansive open feeling.

Zippy Shell is the perfect solution for those looking to downsize or move into a small space. With portable storage, you can forego the hassle of having to drive your extra belongings to a storage location, as a storage unit can be delivered to your home where you can load your belongings into it directly. You can cut your work in half by only loading and unloading one time into portable storage containers versus multiple times with self-storage. Check us out today for answers to any questions you may have!

Get Your Grill Ready for Summer!

A family stands around a grill ready to eat

What is your favorite thing about Summer? Many enjoy the longer days, the warmer temperatures, fun times in the sun, a more relaxed schedule, and grilling on the patio! The longer days of Summer provide the perfect opportunity to perfect your grill master skills. Summer barbeques are also an excellent way to spend extra time with family and friends, and they are perfect for celebrating milestones like birthdays, engagements, anniversaries, or graduations. While many have already started their grilling seasons,we have some tips for those getting a late start or breaking in that new grill:

  • If you didn’t use your grill over the colder months, now is the time to check for any insects or other pests that may have made your grill its home and kindly evict them.
  • Check for signs of rust, especially if your metal grill has been exposed to the elements. To remove rust, use a cup of baking soda and add vinegar little by little until you have a consistent paste. Apply the paste to the grill using a sponge, and let it sit for about 20 to 30 minutes. Scrub it clean with warm water and a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse with warm water.
  • For cleaning the inside, first, run the burners on high for five minutes and turn them off. When cool enough to handle, dry scrub all the baked-on crud off grates, burners, and inside surfaces with a nylon scouring pad or a ball of aluminum foil. Another trick to remove stuck-on gunk is to use a portable steamer. Stainless steel wire brushes work well, but there is the risk of leaving behind tiny metal bristles that will get stuck in your food. For deeper cleaning, soak the grates overnight in a mix of two cups of vinegar and one cup of baking soda. Rubbing the grates with a paper towel soaked in oil before each grill session will reduce the amount of food bits left behind.
  • Scrub the exterior down with warm soapy water and wipe to dry. If your exterior is stainless steel, you can use a cleaner specifically made for stainless steel.

After your grill is clean and ready to go, it is time to try it out on your guests. Our best tip to enjoy your barbecue is to make sure all the food is ready to go on the grill when the guests arrive and that any side dishes are assembled and cooked as needed. This will enable you to spend your time enjoying the company of your guests. Of course, you don’t have to do all the cooking yourself. Ask your guests to bring side dishes and desserts; people love to show off their signature dishes! For the drinks, consider making batch cocktails or mocktails ahead of time. Offer guests a beverage when they arrive, and then encourage them to help themselves after that.  

We hope you and your family enjoy sweet, sweet summertime and all it has to offer. If you plan on making a move this Summer, allow Zippy Shell to make all the necessary arrangements. Let us take all of the guesswork out of the moving process! Give us a call today or go online for a free quote to see how we can make moving and storage simple for you.

7 Hacks to Keep Your Home Cleaner

A woman cleans her kitchen countertops.

Try to imagine owning a self-cleaning house. That would be living the dream! While it is probably an unattainable dream at this point in history, the good news is that there are tricks you can use to keep your home cleaner every single day automatically. Using these hacks is probably about as close as you can get to a self-cleaning house right now.

  1. Place a washable mat on both the inside and the outside of your main entrance. This will cut down on the majority of the dirt that gets tracked into your home.
  2. Another way to prevent dirt and allergens from entering your home is to adopt a no-shoes policy. This is a simple rule to enforce with your family; create a drop zone for all shoes either outside or inside the home. It becomes a little trickier to implement with guests. You will generally need to provide house slippers or shoe covers, so you may decide that just keeping away the daily dirt your family brings inside is good enough.
  3. Minimize pet dirt and grime inside your home by cleaning your pet outside before they ever get a chance to track it in. At the very minimum, clean dirty paws before bringing them inside. If they are a dirt roller, a full spray down may be required. Keep towels on hand to dry everyone off before coming inside.
  4. The hard truth is that a decluttered home is easier to clean. Kitchen counters, night tables, coffee tables, entry halls, and bathroom counters can all be a battleground for endless clutter. Consider organizing with attractive baskets and containers in these areas to house items you like to have at your fingertips. Containers are easy to move out of the way when the cleaning mood strikes.
  5. Have all your cleaning supplies gathered together in one portable cleaning bucket or caddy. It is so much easier to get the job done efficiently when you have all the tools right there at your side. So whenever you have a few minutes to clean, grab the bucket, and you are good to go!
  6. Work from top to bottom in each room. Starting with the cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling and cleaning your way down to the floors will work with gravity to ensure you never have to clean anything twice.
  7. Remove lingering smells from your upholstery and mattress with baking soda. Just sprinkle baking soda on furniture that needs freshening up, let it sit for 20 min and then vacuum away with a vacuum attachment. Of course, that same vacuum attachment is also great for cleaning the blinds, vents, cabinets, shelves, and pretty much anything else you notice is dusty as you make your way through the house.

Consistent cleaning, decluttering, and organizing can help you feel more in control and more productive. We hope these hacks will be helpful to you as you create a home for yourself and your family. As always, Zippy Shell is ready to partner with you if you need a storage solution or are looking at a local or long-distance move. So give us a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online for more information on our moving and storage options.

Landscaping Ideas That Will Boost Your Curb Appeal for Years to Come

The front of a nice home with a pretty yard

With weather this nice, now is the time to get out in the yard and boost your curb appeal with some landscaping projects! Even the most minor improvements to your landscaping can significantly impact the overall appearance of your home. So, get outside to let the sun warm you all the way through, feel the dirt in your fingers, and listen to the sounds of nature in the spring while working through this list. 

Design Plan – If you start from scratch or need a complete redo, the first step is to create a master plan that includes a drawing. But here’s the key to completing that plan – resist the temptation to complete it all at once or in record time. Taking time to target smaller projects that fit into your master plan will be easier for your sanity and wallet. After completing each smaller project, consult your master plan to make sure you are still on track. Also, update your drawing with plant names, placement, and dates planted. To make it easier on yourself, be sure to include greenery in your plan that is suited for your climate and easy to maintain. And always consider the full size of the plant when making plans for spacing. Mixing things up to have a variety of plants that will bloom at different times in the season will create lasting beauty in your yard.

Plant Groupings – Do your research and group plants with similar growing requirements together. Combining plants with similar sunlight, soil, and watering requirements will reduce maintenance for you in the long run. Group these plants and trees into beds or islands that will allow for easy mowing.

Ornamental Grasses – Landscaping elements in this category are anything but boring, thanks to the wide selection of heights, textures, foliage colors, and leaf shapes. Some can reach a height of 8 – 10 ft tall, making them a good choice for added privacy, or they can be used for filling in large, empty spaces in the landscape. These grasses are low maintenance, provide year-round interest, and many types are drought tolerant. So be sure to add some of these landscaping ideas to your design.

Defined Edge – Landscape edging supplies a clear edge between different areas of your yard that makes your lawn look neat and properly maintained. It not only looks great, but it also cuts down on maintenance by reducing the time you need to spend weeding and trimming your yard on a day-to-day basis. Lawn edging also keeps mulch from creeping into the grass and helps ensure that your plants’ root systems are not overtaken by grass and weeds.

Containers – Using containers in your landscaping can give you more options and allow you to express your unique personality outdoors. It is also ideal for those who only have a small space to dedicate to their plants. Just make sure that the size of the plant complements the size of the container, and don’t be afraid to mix and match plants in larger containers for a customized look.

Portable storage containers from Zippy Shell are the perfect solution for home improvement projects of any size. Learn more and receive a free, no-obligation quote by visiting www.zippyshell.com today.