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!

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.

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.

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!

How to Prepare for a Winter Storm

A neighborhood street with ice and snow covering everything

As the cold weather continues to set in, now is an excellent time to discuss preparing for a snowstorm and low temperatures this winter. Mother Nature plays by her own rules, and there is no way to predict how harsh the weather will be this winter. Below are a few steps anyone can take to ensure that you and your family are ready for a winter storm. Even if you don’t have to use your preparations, knowing you are prepared can bring you peace of mind.

  • Keep a battery-powered radio on hand to stay aware of changing weather conditions as power lines, Wi-Fi, and even cell towers can be knocked out during snow and ice storms. These power loss situations could last a few hours or even a few days, depending on the severity of the issue and weather. Consider an inexpensive and easy-to-use weather radio that will tune into severe weather alerts broadcast by NOAA and the National Weather Service.
  • Before winter storms approach, remove any dangerous or dangling tree branches over your house. Branches that are loaded with snow and ice can easily break, causing damage to your roof.
  • Pipes can crack and burst when cold temperatures cause the water inside to freeze. Protect outdoor water spigots by disconnecting all garden hoses from spigots. If possible, shut down the water supply for outside spigots and drain the remaining water. You can also place an insulated dome around each spigot for further protection.
  • A slow drip on the coldest nights will reduce pressure in the water system. This means that even if a pipe freezes, it will likely not rupture. The best faucet to leave dripping is the one that is the furthest away from the main pipeline that brings water into your house. This will allow more pipes to receive the benefit of the drip.
  • Maintain a stash of emergency supplies. FEMA recommends keeping a two-week supply of food, water, and medications for each family member. Other items to keep in your emergency kit are first-aid supplies, flashlights, and batteries. If your regular stove runs off of electricity, consider keeping a portable camping stove that runs off of propane in your emergency kit. Store extra propane tanks so you don’t run out!
  • Keep a couple of portable battery banks regularly charged that can support your mobile phones and any other crucial electronic equipment during a winter storm power outage.
  • In addition to heavy blankets and sleeping bags, a fireplace or kerosene space heater will be your best solution if the temperature drops below the level of comfort or safety for you during a winter storm power outage.
  • Pre-treat paved surfaces around your home with de-icer, rock salt, sand, or kitty litter if freezing rain or snow is in the forecast,.
  • Make sure you have a snow shovel handy to remove snow as soon as possible from your porch stoops, steps, sidewalks, and driveways.
  • If you must go out, give yourself plenty of time to prevent an automobile accident or a slippery fall. Ice and snow mean “take it slow!” Wear shoes with plenty of traction. You might even want to consider purchasing ice grippers for your shoes if you have to be in wintery conditions frequently. And dress appropriately for the weather!

We hope these tips will keep you safe and warm in your home this winter. Consider Zippy Shell for any short or long-term storage needs you might have this winter. Give us a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. We look forward to making moving and storage simple for you!

Decluttering Tasks You Can Do in 30 Minutes or Less

An overwhelmed woman sits on a couch in her disorganizaed living room

Can you imagine the freedom you would feel living a clutter-free life? Of course, you can! The problem of clutter leaves us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. But where do you get started in eliminating the clutter? Our best advice is to start with one area at a time and finish de-cluttering that area before moving on to another. This will give you a sense of accomplishment as you see your successes little by little. Making progress towards a clutter-free life doesn’t have to consume your entire day. Check out the list of decluttering tasks below that you can complete in 30 minutes or less.

Choose one a day and watch how quickly the clutter disappears. Arm yourself with a trash bag and a donate box/bag for each task. When your donation box/bag is full, take it to your car and then donate immediately – out of sight, out of mind.

  • Tackle the dressers in your home one drawer at a time. Take everything out of the drawer, evaluate, and only put back your favorites. The rest can be donated or recycled. Set a thirty-minute timer and see how many drawers you can complete.
  • Purge your beauty products. Gathering all your makeup and beauty products into one area will show how much you have. We are all guilty of trying out products, not loving them, but not wanting to get rid of them because it feels wasteful. 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.
  • Take on the task of decluttering your freezer 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.
  • Challenge yourself to declutter your pantry in 30 minutes or less. 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 members and neighbors or donating what you don’t need.
  • Declutter the catchall area under your kitchen sink. When was the last time you even looked in there? Pull everything out and give the cupboard itself a cleaning. Next, replace only the items you use and are in good condition.
  • Clear your desktop. Your productivity and effectiveness can be lowered when you work in a cluttered environment. Sort and file papers, then put all other items in their respective spaces.

There are no right or wrong ways to declutter, and there is no single set of rules that you must follow. Just do what works best for you. If you own items that you don’t have room for but want to keep, a mobile storage unit may be exactly what you need. 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 clutter-free sanctuary of a home!

Deep Cleaning List to Tackle Before and During the Holidays

A woman cleans in her house

There is certainly enough to stress about before and during the holidays without worrying about a messy house. Use this list to welcome the holidays with a home that is clean and cozy giving you more time to celebrate and create traditions rather than clean! Plus, it is always easier to have a literal clean slate before putting up any holiday decorations.

  • Most ovens are self-cleaning but usually require a more detailed cleaning a few times a year. The self-clean option doesn’t reach the gunk around door hinges and frames and the crumb-catching space around the oven. Make sure to remove racks and clean separately. To give your turkey, ham, or other holiday main course a clean room to cook, follow your manufacturer’s directions for best practices.
  • It seems like an appliance like a dishwasher would be self-cleaning, but over time bacteria and leftover bits of food can create unwanted odors and make your dishwasher less effective at its job. It’s easy to clean your dishwasher by placing a dishwasher-friendly cup or bowl on the top rack filled with about two-thirds of white vinegar, then running it on a normal cycle with hot water to sterilize. Afterward, use a rag or towel to wipe the edges of the door and rubber seal with white vinegar or your favorite all-purpose cleaner.
  • Before holiday baking begins, it is time to do a deep clean on the 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 for the best-tasting holiday meals.
  • Clean out the refrigerator and freezer to make room for all the holiday leftovers. Tackle this task the day before trash day so that if you do have to throw out the mystery or expired items, it does not have to sit in the trash for too long. Working in sections, take food out to clean away crumbs and spills inside the refrigerator. Using clear bins is a great way to get this area organized.
  • Wash blinds, curtains, and other window treatments to remove dust and lingering odors.
  • Clean in and around your furniture. Remove all cushions and vacuum the creases where pet hair and popcorn love to get lost. Move the furniture around to clean underneath it and behind it if it sits against a wall.
  • Dust all the areas that usually get overlooked. Focus on areas like air vents, ceiling fan blades, window sills, crown molding, and baseboards.
  • All the bathrooms, the bedrooms, the floors, and the kitchen cabinets/counters will also need some attention before the holidays. Make it easier by grabbing the rest of the family, putting on some holiday music, and tackling a few of these items each day.

We hope this deep cleaning list will be helpful to you as you get ready for a wonderful holiday season filled with long-lasting memories. As always, Zippy Shell is prepared to partner with you if you need a storage solution or are looking at a local or long-distance move. Contact us online for more information on our moving and storage options.

4 Strategies to Live Large in Your Small Home

A home with a red door located in a suburban neighborhood

Small space living is a trend that is becoming more popular, but living in a small home does not have to pinch your style. Everyone wants their home to feel open and welcoming, no matter the size. With a bit of planning and creativity, you can find a way to live large in your small home.

Get creative with 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 and consoles with drawers to incorporate more storage space. Wall-mounted furniture is also another great space-saving option. It is easy to find wall-mounted tables and desks that pull down when needed.

Look up! Create storage where there was none by adding floating shelves to your walls utilizing the vertical space. Mounted storage cabinets are also a great space saver and give you more storage options. Televisions and lamps are other items that can be mounted on the wall to help turn wall space into floor space. Decorating the walls with subtle vertical stripes can make a low ceiling seem higher by drawing the eye up. The same effect applies to a fun light fixture, crown molding, tall window treatments, or high shelves.

Keep scale in mind. A larger room can handle furnishings and decor that are larger in scale. But the smaller the room is, the more petite the furnishings and decor should be. Low-slung furniture looks proportionally better in rooms with lower ceilings. Remember to leave “white space” in a room giving the eye a place to rest. A room rarely looks good when every square inch of it is filled. In the kitchen, slimmed-down appliances, including a 24-inch-wide gas range and a 27-inch-wide refrigerator, can give a small space a gourmet feel.

Be selective with patterns. Large areas of pattern can make a small space look busy. Try layering smaller patterns over larger textured pieces to lighten the room’s look. Contrasting colors or an abundance of dark colors in a small space can also feel overwhelming and like the room is closing in on you. Conversely, a monochromatic color scheme or even varying shades of the same color can make your space feel larger. Soft, pale, neutral colors on the walls and floor will give the biggest illusion of space.

Zippy Shell is the perfect solution for those looking to downsize their home or move into a small space. With portable storage, you can forego the hassle of having to drive your stuff back and forth to an off-site storage location. With Zippy Shell, we will deliver a storage unit to your home, where you can load your belongings into it directly. Make your moving and storage needs simple with Zippy Shell today!

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!