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!
Many families struggle with the best way to
adapt housing to help an aging relative. Whether this means making
modifications to keep them in their own home, moving a parent into your home,
or moving with an aging parent into a new place altogether, there are many
factors to consider. Fortunately, you can take steps throughout the entire
process to make the experience easier for your aging relative.
The first step is to have an open discussion.
The best thing you can offer to yourself and your aging relative is a candid
assessment of the situation. Even if a sudden illness or a financial setback
seems to be forcing a decision, it’s worth exploring how that decision will
impact the entire family.
a Safe Environment
If the aging relative is in overall good
health, there are many things that can help seniors continue to live
independently. If you need to make modifications in the home for an older
adult, consider hiring professionals with accessibility improvement experience
who can complete the work successfully.
- Decluttering helps clear out rooms
and walkways, giving older adults more room to move, hopefully reducing the
possibility of trips and falls.
- Create a more open environment, ensuring
all hallways, stairs, and paths are well lit and clear of random objects.
- Moving kitchen items that are frequently
used to lower shelves can prevent older adults from reaching and losing balance
or using stools or stepladders to reach what they need.
- Set the thermostat on the water
heater no higher than 120° F to prevent accidental burns.
- Replace standard doorknobs with
lever handles that are easier for older adults to grasp.
- Thoroughly inspect the stairs
looking for uneven steps or wobbly floorboards. Apply non-skid treads on the
steps if necessary. You can also paint stair tops contrasting colors, making
them easier to see.
- Install grab bars around the tub,
shower, and toilet. You can also get a unique shower chair or bench and a
raised toilet seat.
an Aging Relative
Moving is a stressful life event, and it can be even more stressful for older adults. Aging relatives may need a lot of help and support during a move, but they are usually the expert on exactly what they need. Also, be prepared for the emotions. If the move requires a significant amount of downsizing, it can be emotionally and physically challenging. You can eliminate some negative emotions by making sure your aging relative has a fair amount of control over as many aspects of the move as is reasonable. Having others around to share memories with can make the process less painful. Also, engage in regular talks about current feelings and fears of what may come.
Your communication, patience, and support will help make the transition smoother for your aging relative. The most important thing to focus on is their physical and emotional health.
If you are moving an elderly relative to a new home, Zippy Shell is a terrific moving and storage option for you! Zippy Shell can service both local and long-distance moves, no matter how big your move might be. If you need time in between your move or aren’t ready to move just yet, we offer flexible storage options as well. Go online and get a free quote today and see how we can make moving and storage simple for you and your family!
There usually comes a time in everyone’s life
when it makes sense to downsize and live a simpler life. This change often
comes around when your children become adults and live out independently, or
you are nearing retirement. Most people are overwhelmed by the thought of
downsizing and are afraid to get rid of something that will be needed, wanted,
or be of significant value later on down the road. To help with the decision-making
process, we have come up with a list of items you may want to hold on to for
passing down to your children one day.
- Family Photographs and Videos – These items
can be priceless. The key here is to save only the most significant photographs
and pass them on in an organized, orderly fashion. Your children will want only
the memories that capture the moment or event and the important people who were
present. Duplicates, repetitive photos, and landscape scenes can generally be
tossed. You want to save pictures that tell the essence of what life was like,
not every moment ever photographed. Take your organization one step further by
digitizing the photos.
- Family Recipes – Recipes passed down for generations are a way
of keeping our loved ones alive while we spend time together in the kitchen. It
is also a great way to keep your heritage alive and preserve the memories of
special family events. Ask your adult children what meals they remember most
from childhood, and be sure to protect those recipes in a binder or digitally.
- Sentimental Toys, Games, or Books – There is a
special bond with a stuffed animal that went everywhere with you as a child.
And of course, playing the same board games and reading the same books to your
child that you loved in your youth is some of the best kinds of therapy. The
key is to limit the items to only the most sentimental and those that have
enough life left in them for your grandchildren.
- Special Jewelry – Timeless pieces, historical
pieces, engagement or wedding bands, and pieces that hold emotional value to
your children or monetary value should all be saved and passed down.
- Accent Furniture – Each generation has its own
style, so your children may not be interested in your sofa or a bulky antique
china cabinet. But small pieces of accent furniture that tell a story may be
exactly what your children are looking for. You may also want to ask your
children if there is a piece of furniture that they want to refinish to match
- Handmade Items – A handmade quilt, knitted
scarf, carved knick-knack, or a custom-built piece of furniture is an
incredibly personal heirloom, reminding its owner of all the hard work put into
Zippy Shell is the perfect solution for those
looking to downsize. Our portable storage containers eliminate the obstacles
standing between you and downsizing your life. We offer simple storage
solutions, and we can safely store your belongings as long as you need. When
the time is right, we will deliver your belongings to your new home or your
Being in your 20s usually means having an
entry-level salary, college loans to manage, and a desire to have the freedom
to enjoy life while you are young. Does that make it the best time to buy your
first home? Depending on your circumstance, this stage of life may be the
absolute best time to buy your first home. The following questions will help
determine your best path forward.
- What are the benefits of purchasing a home in your 20s?
- Annual rent hikes will be a thing
of the past when you own your own home. Consistent, reliable payments come with
- Think of all the home
customization you can do when you own your own home. You want your home to
match your personality, and owning means you can integrate the things you love
into the decor and design of your new home by painting, upgrading, and
- Successfully navigating a mortgage
at a young age can help you establish a solid credit history leading to more
significant financial opportunities later on.
- Homeownership can come with
several significant tax advantages that can help you lower your tax burden
- Are you financially secure? Most financial
planners recommend that homeowners make a down payment amounting to 20% of the
sale price. Depending on the market and the home you choose, this could be a
large sum of money. Of course, there are ways around this by paying private
mortgage insurance or applying for down payment assistance. Some types of loans
only require anywhere between 3-5% down. There are also closing costs to
consider, and they typically range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. Closing
costs are paid in addition to your down payment at the close of the sale.
a home means planning for unexpected home expenses. Unless you buy new
construction, an emergency fund to pay for home repairs such as roof damage or
water leaks will be needed. Using a mortgage calculator to see how much your
mortgage will likely cost is a beneficial tool. Make sure you factor in the
costs of maintenance/repairs and your regular monthly expenses like utilities,
food, phone, car payment, and more to determine your budget.
- How is your credit score and your debt-to-income ratio? Your ability to get a mortgage depends on your credit score, your
debts, your income, and the home you’re looking to purchase. Mortgage companies
will look to see that you have stable employment, solid income, and the funds
to cover the mortgage for which you are applying. Mortgage lenders usually
require borrowers to have a minimum credit score, and they look at your credit
- Do you plan on staying in the area for a few years? Even if you are unsure if your current location is where you want to
live permanently, it still may be financially beneficial to purchase a home.
There are waves in the housing market, but most properties will appreciate over
time, even a short amount of time. You need to be willing to stay in the
property long enough to cover your closing costs and any upgrades you make
after a resell. You can also plan to rent out your first home for some passive
income if life necessitates that you make a move.
Just remember to do your research, and your
first home purchase does not have to be your “forever home.” If you have a move
coming up this fall, give Zippy Shell a call. We would love to explain
how our moving and storage services can help you achieve a smooth and
stress-free move. We look forward to hearing from you!
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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!
Heading back to school fills both parents and
students with excitement each year, but tackling school supply lists, getting
used to new teachers, reestablishing a stricter schedule, and the return of
academic demands can also be a challenge. Making a plan and getting organized
for all that comes your way will save both time and anxiety. To help everyone
get off on the right foot, we’ve put together a list of things you can start on
now to minimize stress and create a positive back-to-school experience for both
you and your children.
- Before the first day of school is
the time to shape your carefree summer daily routine into something closer,
resembling a school day. Start shifting wake-up, eating, and bedtimes towards
the times those will take place once school returns.
- Clean out closets donating any
items that no longer fit. Make a list of clothing to purchase during back-to-school
shopping trips. Take time to make sure closets and drawers are organized and
clutter-free, making it easier for everyone to select an outfit each day.
- Create an after-school landing
zone. Having a dedicated space for backpacks, lunch boxes, and other school
essentials keeps these items from spreading all over the house at the end of
the day. It also prevents the morning scramble of trying to find everything
needed for the day.
- Set up an area for tackling
homework. A dedicated location for studying that includes all the supplies they
need will help kids stay focused during homework time.
- Designate files or folders for the
family to keep up with permission slips, in-progress assignments, and all other
- Decide how to keep up with the
family calendar. You can set up a large wall calendar that is color-coded with
everyone’s schedule and activities, or for families with older students, you
can utilize a shared electronic calendar. Use this family calendar to track
school events and holidays, extracurricular activities, appointments, and
anything else that the entire family needs to plan around.
- Make sure your medical and
emergency contact information are up-to-date with the school. This will ensure
you don’t miss any school closings and critical safety information. Review and
update your child’s records to ensure allergies, medications, disabilities,
illnesses your child may be susceptible to and approved pick-up persons are
- Introduce yourself to your child’s
teachers early on and let them know you want to work together to have a
successful school year. Ask the teacher their preferred method of communication
and show them that you respect their time. Keep the lines of communication open
and provide supplies needed by the teacher that will help them provide a great
During your quest for a decluttered, organized
home to get ready for heading back to school, 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!
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
It is never a bad idea or a wrong time to
invest in your home and capitalize on the long-term benefits of home
improvement. DIY home improvement projects reduce the amount of money you spend
on a project giving you the most significant return on investment. Plus, the
satisfaction and enjoyment you will receive from creating a better home
environment and learning new home improvement skills are just bonuses. We have
rounded up a list of DIY projects you can start on today.
- Painting – This is an easy one to start
developing your DIY skills. Painting anything and everything is a great
cost-effective way to completely transform your home’s look and give you the
most bang for your DIY buck. It can be messy, and you will have to move things
around, as it can take a while for the paint to dry between coats. But trust
us, it is worth it!
- Update Fixtures – Light fixtures, bathroom
fixtures, kitchen fixtures, doorknobs, and cabinet hardware are all easy DIY
updates that can make a huge difference.
Fixtures go in and out of style pretty frequently and can quickly turn a
dated-looking home into a beautiful home.
- Upgrade Your Doors – A new front entry door
will add to the beauty of your home and will reduce utility bills. It also has
one of the highest returns on investment. Replacing your garage door is another
DIY option. You can upgrade to a spiffy new steel model and save some cash by
keeping the same motorized opener.
- Go Green – Instead of building a privacy
fence, plant one! By planting a living privacy fence, you can create the
seclusion you crave, block noise, and create a natural windbreak. While a
living privacy fence is not a quick fix, your patience will be rewarded with a
unique botanical barrier that serves your purposes and helps save the earth.
There are a wide variety of plant options for your living fence. Evergreen
trees, evergreen or flowering shrubs, or ornamental grasses are all good ideas.
You can also consider a trellis covered in vines or a structure that will
support a vertical garden.
- Finished Basement or Attic – Depending on the
size, this project may take a little more time and will likely require professional
help. The result will provide you with additional square footage that everyone
could use right now. Think about using the new area for a home office, a guest
room, a workout area, or a place to entertain.
Are you inspired yet? If you need extra storage space
to work on DIY home improvement projects, Zippy Shell has onsite and portable
storage solutions perfect for the job. You can feel confident knowing that your
furniture, appliances, and personal belongings are safe and within easy reach
during home improvement projects. You can also use our storage containers to
house your project materials and tools. 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 www.zippyshell.com
As the weather warms up and the sun comes out,
outdoor spaces become the place to gather. The past year of a pandemic has
shown us the value of having inspiring outdoor spaces at our homes to welcome
small groups of friends and family safely in an open-air environment. What
would your dream outdoor space look like? Here are some trends to help you
envision an area where you can cheer on summer!
Beyond being beautiful, pergolas offer many
benefits. One of the most important benefits of a pergola is that it defines
your outdoor space. While a deck or patio can also define your space, a pergola
does this with more beauty and style. Going the extra mile by combining your
pergola with flooring such as pavers, a concrete patio, or a deck creates a
much more cozy atmosphere. Adding to the beauty of pergolas is that they can
support landscaping features such as climbing flowers, vines, and ivy. Pergolas
can also provide that perfect combination of shade and sun. You can still see
the beauty of the sky and stars with slight breaks from the sun’s full force.
There are so many options for having a fire
feature in your outdoor space. Of course, some are more budget-friendly than
others. You can choose from a DIY concrete paver ring, a stone fireplace, a
chiminea, a kerosene fire table, or a wood-burning fire pit. A fire feature
adds ambiance, and it will become a focal point for meaningful conversation. It
can also take the chill out of the air once the sun goes down. Bring out a
basket of lap blankets on especially chilly nights. Depending on the type of
fire feature you choose, cooking over a fire can be a fun option. Who doesn’t
love fireside s’mores?
While you are spending time in your backyard
this summer with friends and family, make memories by having some fun. Outdoor
movies under the stars are always a hit, especially with younger kids. Many
adults could also get behind a movie night filled with “classics” from
way back when. Backyard games can fill the night with laughter. Think along the
lines of bocce ball, ladder golf, corn hole, giant checkers, or badminton. Or
maybe your idea of “entertainment” is just quiet relaxation. If that
is the case, lounge chairs, hammocks, or an outdoor daybed for reading may increase
your speed. Adding a water feature can enhance the relaxation factor.
If you need extra on-site storage for tools or
materials while working on the backyard of your dreams, Zippy Shell makes it
easy. Portable storage containers are a popular option during remodeling or
construction because they give you the flexibility of having extra items on
hand for the duration of your project. Learn more about our storage solutions
by visiting www.zippyshell.com