5 Tips to Save Money on Your Move

saving money

The costs involved with moving add up fast! Not only do you have moving expenses, you likely will be spending money to get your new home set up and ready for your family to settle in. Fortunately, there are ways to cut some of those costs. Take a look at 5 of our favorite tips for saving money on your move.

COLLECT FREE BOXES FROM LOCAL STORES

If you don’t mind using different sized boxes, give your local grocery and package stores a call. These locations are a treasure trove for free boxes. Just be sure to call a couple of weeks in advance and reserve some. If no one claims them, they get recycled.

IF YOU CAN, MOVE IN THE OFF-SEASON

If you have any flexibility in the timing of your move, try to move in the off-season. Yes, even moving has a peak and off-season! May through September is the typical peak season for moving. You may find different moving services to be less available during that time. You may also find prices are higher during the high demand months. Schedule your move in the off-season for the best prices.

CHECK FOR MOVING SPECIALS

Before you commit to any moving services, check around for moving specials. You will likely find more ways to save money with these specials and coupons during the off-season months. But be careful if you see an offer that seems far too good to be true—these often turn out to be scams.

DON’T FORGET TO SHUT OFF YOUR UTILITIES

In the chaos of moving, it is common for people to forget to shut off the utilities or transfer them out of their name. You really do not want to have two utilities bills simultaneously. Also, be sure to schedule the utilities turn-on date for your new home in advance. If you arrive and have forgotten to do that, you will either wait a day or two with no utilities, or you will have to pay extra for same-day service. Save that money and schedule them before you move in!

DON’T RENT A TRUCK

Rental truck costs add up very quickly. Not only are you charged by the time you have it rented out, you are charged for mileage. Even the gas costs for a big truck is costly. We recommend using a portable storage unit. You will have a secure unit delivered to your location and it will stay there as long as you need. When you are ready, it will be picked up and either stored at a secure location or transported to your new home. Skip the rental truck costs and save money with an easier way to move!

We hope these tips help as you get ready to plan your move. Zippy Shell is ready to partner with you on your move. Give us a call for a free, no-obligation estimate.

How to Ship a Vehicle Across the Country

freight truck

Moving a long distance such as across the country comes with its own unique set of challenges. One of those challenges is figuring out how your vehicle will get to its new home. Will you drive it yourself or use an automotive transportation service?

Driving Yourself

In the majority of situations this will be the most cost-effective option, but don’t act so fast! There is of course the cost of gas to drive your vehicle to your new destination, but depending on the distance there are other costs to consider. Will you need to stay in a hotel overnight because the drive is so long? How many times will you need to stop for food? What about the wear and tear on your vehicle? Each part of your vehicle, from the tires to the engine, has a limited number of miles it can drive before it should be replaced. Driving your vehicle 1,000 miles in just a few days can take an average of one month off of its life expectancy. You also have to consider the time it will take to drive across the country. Will driving your vehicle yourself require you to take time off of work, therefore, reducing your wages?

Automotive Transportation Service

  • How does it work? While you are focused on moving your stuff, you can leave the transporting of your vehicles to a professional automotive transport partner. Your vehicle will be picked up or driven to a nearby location where it can be loaded onto a vehicle transporter. The auto transport service will then deliver your vehicle to your new home, either dropping it off at your door or at a nearby spot where you can pick it up.
  • What are the advantages? Shipping a vehicle via an auto transport service saves more time than driving it by yourself, especially in the case of a long-distance move. You can fly to your new place without having to make changes in your schedule and having to drive all the way to your destination which is often tiring. Having your vehicle transported by a professional auto transport service will save you a lot of stress when managing your overall move. By leaving the driving to auto transporters, you also will save a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle. Since auto transport services have employees that are knowledgeable about the rules and regulations connected with auto transportation, they can advise you about the documentation that’s required to transport the vehicle.
  • Are there any disadvantages? The biggest item to consider when using an automotive transportation service is your timeline. When you transport your vehicle by yourself, you’re in control of the entire operation, meaning that you can control exactly when it arrives at your new home. When hiring professionals, the delivery date is often decided by the company. The number of vehicles and the location of the vehicles the company is transporting can affect delivery times.

Before you decide whether you would like to employ the services of an auto transport service to transport your vehicle, weigh the pros and cons carefully. By getting quotes from various companies you can trim the expenses involved. Zippy Shell partners with automotive transportation services that provide professional services at competitive rates. Contact us today!

How to Move with Aging Parents

Older man with moving boxes

As a result of the pandemic, circumstances have changed for many families across America. There are many scenarios in the current climate that involve the need to move an aging parent. This could mean moving a parent into your home or moving with an aging parent into a new place altogether.
Moving is a stressful life event and it can be even more stressful for older adults. Fortunately, there are steps you can take throughout the move to make the experience easier for your aging parent.

  • The first step is to have an open discussion. The best thing you can offer to yourself and your aging parents 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 is going to impact the entire family.
  • Moving your elderly parents will most likely require downsizing their belongings. For some, downsizing is an exciting prospect to be able to let go of possessions that require so much time and maintenance, but for many it can be emotionally and physically challenging. Having others around to share memories with can make the process less painful. Even though it will take more time, go through the house item by item with your support team. Honor the emotional attachment to personal belongings and allow your senior parent to reminisce as you help sort out their possessions.
  • Evaluate the new home for accessibility. Consider major changes that may be needed in order to accommodate any disabilities or mobility problems, for example, wheelchair-accessible bathroom and shower, grip bars, different door handles, lower light switches. If you need to make modifications in the home for your aging parents, hire professionals with accessibility improvement experience who can complete the work successfully. 
  • After all of your planning, packing, and preparation, when moving day finally arrives, you’re going to want to take some measures to ensure everyone and everything is safe. Get sufficient help even if that means hiring help. When we are under stress, it’s easy to gravitate to unhealthy foods, sleep deprivation, and negative thinking. Make sure everyone fills their belly with healthy options and stays hydrated.
  • Be prepared for the emotions. You can eliminate some negative emotions by making sure your parents have a fair amount of control over as many aspects of the move as is reasonable. Also, engage in regular talks about current feelings and fears of what may be to come. Your parents will need time to adjust to their new living environment and role with your family.

Aging parents may need a lot of help and support during a move, but they are usually the expert on exactly what they need. Your communication, patience, and support will help make this transition smoother. The most important thing to focus on bringing to the new home is their physical and emotional health! Zippy Shell can service moves of many sizes, and even offer storage options if you need it. Go online and get a free quote today!

6 Tips to Babyproof Your New Home

Baby in a House

Moving can be tough enough, but if you are moving into a new home with a baby, it can pose even more challenges. Not only do you need to consider how to get everything unpacked and put away, you will need to make sure your home has been babyproofed to keep them safe in their brand-new environment. We have a few tips to help you get started on creating a safe home for your baby.

  1. SECURE FURNITURE: While you are moving your furniture in is a great time to go ahead and anchor each heavy piece to the wall. Heavy cabinets and even televisions can be dangerous to small children once they start pulling themselves up. You can order furniture and television anchoring kits online or in most local home improvement stores.
  2. COVER ELECTRICAL OUTLETS: The easiest solution for keeping small fingers away from electrical outlets are the plastic inserts that you can purchase very inexpensively at most stores. But these are fairly easy to pull out, and if you find your child is especially curious, then perhaps replacing the outlet plates with ones that have sliding covers that automatically cover the outlet when you remove a cord will provide a higher level of safety and peace of mind.
  3. BLOCK THE STAIRS: If you have moved into a multi-level home, be sure to block the top and bottom of each set of stairs. There are different types of gates to choose from, but ones that swing open are generally the easiest to use for stairs.
  4. CHECK THE HOT WATER HEATER TEMPERATURE SETTINGS: This may not be a big deal before your baby starts walking, but it would be good to go ahead and check that your water heater temperature is not set any higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Any higher than that and your child could get severely burned in the water.
  5. WATCH FOR CHOKING HAZARDS AND CHEMICALS: This can be difficult during the unpacking process when you have things all over the place. Be mindful of items like household cleaners or small screws left out from furniture assembly.
  6. INSTALL DOORKNOB COVERS AND CABINET LOCKS:  When your child becomes mobile, you will want to make sure they can’t open up the cabinets in your kitchen and bathrooms and you should make sure they can’t move freely unattended in the home. Doorknob covers and cabinet locks are a great way to make sure they aren’t getting into anything when you turn around for a second.

When you move into your new home, it may feel overwhelming trying to do all the babyproofing that is needed while you are also trying to get your belongings put away. If babyproofing can’t be done right away, consider creating a space in the home that is safe for the baby until you are able to get it completed.

If you have a move coming up this fall, give Zippy Shell a call. We would love to speak with you and see how our moving and storage services can help you have a smooth and stress-free moving process. We look forward to hearing from you!

How to Safely Move Your Grill

grill

Some of your belongings are harder to pack and move than others. One item that can pose some difficulty is a gas or charcoal grill or a smoker. This is not something that you can easily put in a box and stick in the mobile storage unit for transport. Take a look at some of our tips for properly preparing your grill for a move to your new home.

MAKE SURE IT IS COOL

We know this sounds obvious, but make sure you don’t underestimate the time it takes for a grill to cool down from its last use. If you had a barbecue the night before packing, be sure that it has completely cooled down before you start getting it ready for the move.

REMOVE PROPANE AND CHARCOAL

Propane is not allowed in moving trucks or mobile storage units, so you will need to disconnect the propane gas canister and dispose of it or give it away. If you use something like charcoal, you should clear it all out of the grill.

TAKE OUT REMOVABLE PARTS, CLEAN, AND PACK SEPERATELY

Grills can have a lot of different parts that come out easily. You don’t need to disassemble your entire grill, but you should take out the racks and other removable parts. Make sure you scrub everything down well. You do not want grime and grease from your grill to get on other items in your mobile storage unit. Plus, it will be nice to start fresh when you are settled into your new home.

STRAP DOWN THE LID OR ANY MOVING PARTS

Once your grill is all clean, strap down the lid to make sure it does not open while it is being moved or in the storage unit. Any other moving parts that cannot be removed should also be secured.

USE MOVING BLANKETS TO WRAP YOUR GRILL

You don’t have to wrap your grill, but if you want to protect the exterior finish from scratches, you can use moving blankets to wrap around the grill. Just be sure to leave the handles and the wheels exposed. You will need those when it is time to move the grill!

DETERMINE THE EASIEST WAY TO MOVE THE GRILL

Most grills have at least two wheels which will make moving the grill from your patio to the mobile storage unit much easier. If you don’t have wheels on your grill, ask someone to help you lift the grill by the handles. Take breaks as needed to make sure you or the person helping you is able to avoid injury.

SECURE IT IN THE MOBILE STORAGE UNIT

Once you have made it to your unit with the grill, make sure it is secured so it does not tip over or slide around. You can use bungee cords or you can use other pieces of furniture to keep it in place.

We hope these tips will be helpful to you as you prepare your grill for your move. Let us know if we can help you with your local or long-distance move. Give us a call at Zippy Shell and we will provide you a free, no-obligation estimate for all your moving and storage needs. We look forward to hearing from you!

5 Major Moving Mistakes to Avoid

Frustrated while Moving

Knowledge is power, and the more you know before you make your big move, the better. Packing, moving, and settling into a new home can be a chaotic and stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be. Take a look at 5 common moving mistakes and how you can avoid them.

MISTAKE #1: NOT SCHEDULING MOVING PARTNERS IN ADVANCE

If you intend to have any assistance with your move—movers, a mobile storage unit, childcare or pet care, or even last-minute repairs and touch-ups—these services need to be scheduled in advance. Certain times of the year are heavy moving seasons and it can require more advance notice of moving-related services. As soon as you know when you will need to move, start making phone calls for quotes and get everything you will need scheduled.

MISTAKE #2: USING A MOVING TRUCK WHEN YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABLE DRIVING ONE

Driving a moving truck is intimidating for a reason! It takes some practice before you can comfortably drive something so large. A better option is to schedule a mobile storage unit to be left at your home so you can pack at your own pace, and have the unit picked up and delivered to your desired location. This can also save you money in the long run.

MISTAKE #3: NOT PURGING BEFORE PACKING

We all have things in our house that we don’t need, or even want. Take the time to go through your belongings and get rid of anything you don’t use or want at your new home. You can hold a socially distanced yard sale or donate to a local organization that can put them to good use in the community. You will be glad to reduce the amount of clutter in your new home, especially if you are moving to a smaller home.

MISTAKE #4: WAITING UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO PACK

Waiting until the last minute to pack will inevitably lead to problems. You don’t have time to purge, things will be packed incorrectly and can potentially be damaged and broken, and you are unable to take the time to create a packing list and inventory. For a smooth and stress-free move, we recommend starting the packing process a few weeks before your move so you can take your time and do it properly.

MISTAKE #5: FORGETTING TO CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS AND SHUT OFF UTILITIES

If you don’t have this important step on your moving list, make a note now. Out of all the moving mistakes, this is one of the most common. Plan a day to call your bank, credit card companies, and other important accounts that you must update your address. You can also change your address with the USPS which will stay in effect for up to a year. You also need to call all of your utility companies and trash service company and give them the date you intend to move out so they can act accordingly. Don’t forget to schedule your utilities to be turned on at your new location either! Having no water or electricity while you are trying to move in will complicate things.

We hope sharing these common moving mistakes will help you tweak your moving plan to make the process a little easier. If you are ready to schedule a moving partner like Zippy Shell, give us a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!

7 Homebuying Mistakes to Avoid

homebuying

If you are looking to buy a home, you know it can be an overwhelming process—especially if it is your first home. It is a lengthy process and has a lot of moving parts. Hopefully, you have found yourself a reputable mortgage lender and real estate broker to work with and guide you through this tedious adventure. If you haven’t reached that step yet, take a look at some of these common homebuying mistakes you should avoid.

NOT GETTING PREAPPROVED

If you are out looking at houses before you have been preapproved for a mortgage, be ready to miss out on those homes. It is currently a seller’s market and homes are moving fast. Mortgage lenders have their hands full right now and it can take longer than usual to get your preapproval letters ready. Some real estate agents will not even show houses if you don’t have your preapproval ready.

GETTING DISTRACTED BY UPGRADES

Flipping houses is a big business right now and has been profitable for many people. Unfortunately, some of these homes have a lot of surface upgrades, but not much is done for the important things. The new paint and shiny appliances can sometimes distract potential buyers from the items that truly need upgrades. Look at the condition of big-ticket items like the roof, the HVAC system, the plumbing, any water damage, and the septic system.

GOING TOO LOW

Since this is a seller’s market, homes are going quickly and most are going for asking price or more. Your real estate agent should be able to guide you in making a smart and enticing offer. If it is a home you really love, don’t lowball your offers.

WAITING TOO LONG

Some potential buyers, especially when they first start looking, will hold off making an offer on a home they really love because they want to look at other homes first. Unfortunately, if you wait too long during this market, that home will most likely have been scooped up while you were touring other homes.

NARROW PARAMETERS

You should definitely love the house you buy, but one mistake some people make is refusing to keep an open mind. Widen your parameters for the homes you want to tour you never know you may be surprised at what you find, and even fall in love with!

SKIPPING AN INSPECTION

This is a big no-no when it comes to buying a home. While everything can look just fine on the surface, you may be shocked to learn what a professional home inspector finds. There may be damage or need upgrades that you are just not prepared or willing to deal with.

GOING OVER BUDGET

This is a hard one because it is very easy to be tempted into a home that costs more than you can comfortably afford. Be firm with your real estate agent that you do not want to see homes outside of your budget. Even if you can make the monthly mortgage payments, you need to be prepared for rising property taxes and home maintenance that can be surprisingly costly.

We hope these tips will be helpful to you as you get ready to buy a home this summer or fall. When you are ready to move, be sure to give ZIPPY SHELL a call for a free quote. We are ready to help you with all your storage and moving needs!

How to Keep Your Plants Healthy During a Move

plants

Besides the attractiveness of house plants, there are many health benefits to having plants around your home. Studies have shown indoor plants boost mood, productivity, creativity, and they can clean indoor air by absorbing toxins and producing oxygen. When the time comes to make a move, there are steps to ensure your houseplants arrive at the new destination safely. Here are five steps to help you before, during, and after a move.

  • Check regulations – If you’re moving out of state, you may need to do a little more prep work to be in compliance with the law, as each state has its own set of regulations and certification requirements for moving with plants. Before packing up your plants, check the laws and regulations in the state you’re moving to make the best decision. If you choose not to take a plant due to regulations or for any other reason, consider gifting it to a friend or a nearby nursing home.
  • Make arrangements – Your delicate, leafy friends will almost certainly not survive the trip in your trunk, a portable storage container, or the back of a dark moving truck. Make arrangements to transport your house plants in a car that is making the trip. Keep them near a window if possible so the plants have sunlight and fresh air to keep them healthy. If you stop overnight along the way, bring them inside so they are not affected by extreme temperatures. You can also contact your local shipping office to see if sending your house plants through the mail is an option. They can also advise on the best way to pack your plants to ensure they arrive in the best shape possible.
  • Prepare your plants – About a week before moving, transfer plants from decorative pots into plastic holders. This will give you the opportunity to wrap breakable decorative pots in paper, bubble wrap, or cloth and pack tightly away for the move. Inspect and treat any plants with pests. You don’t want to transfer insects to your next destination. Keep your plants healthy and make them easier to transport by trimming back any dead or protruding limbs. Water plants two or three days before moving. The soil should be moist, but not too wet on moving day. It’s important to make sure the roots stay damp while moving.
  • Pack with care – To help avoid plants from falling over, place them snugly in appropriately sized boxes. Place newspaper or bubble wrap around the base of the plant so it won’t shift during the move. For large plants, use packing paper or sheets to gently cover them. Your goal is to protect the leaves and limbs from bending or breaking during the move.
  • Ease the transition – Packing your plants last and unpacking them first will minimize any distress from the move. Unpack carefully to avoid any breakage, establish a new location for your plant, and water it on a regular basis. With time it will adjust to its new environment and hopefully continue to thrive.

While we don’t recommend moving or storing live plants in a Zippy Shell container, we will keep your other belongings safe and secure until they are needed. Our storage centers are equipped with climate control and added security. When you are ready, we will redeliver your storage container or move it to your next destination.

Mattress Moving Made Easy

moving a mattress

When it is time to plan your move, some items in your home will take more thought than others. Large items that can’t be put into a box, or moved by yourself, will need some advance planning. We often hear from clients asking for advice on how to move items like a mattress. Take a look at a few of our favorite tips for moving your mattress to your new home or storage.

PURCHASE MOVING SUPPLIES IN ADVANCE

Mattresses are not cheap to replace, so you should do what you can to protect your mattress set as best you can during your move. Mattress moving bags are generally easy to find, but don’t wait until the day of your move to purchase them. You need to determine which sizes you need and if you need a simple, quick cover, or bags that offer maximum protection. You can find a variety of types online if you prefer something more than the standard bag. You can even find some with handles. Don’t forget to get bags for your box springs as well!

ASK FOR HELP

If you have a large mattress, you are going to need some help. Even getting the mattress bag or cover on would be difficult without an extra set of hands. A king size mattress needs at least two strong persons, preferably three, to safely move. If you are trying to move with minimal help, plan to have all your large furniture pieces moved in the same day.

BE EXTRA CAUTIOUS

As with any large item, we recommend working with even more caution than normal. Heavy items can cause bodily injury if not lifted and moved properly. If a mattress is not too floppy, you may be able to slide it across the floor. Even more dangerous, though, is moving large items down stairways or narrow pathways. Make sure the route is cleared of all items that could pose an obstacle or tripping hazard. You should also make sure that you are able to clearly communicate with the person helping you move the mattress.

SECURE IT IN THE UNIT

Once you have your mattress loaded into your portable storage unit, make sure you are able to secure it against the edge. You want to store it upright on the long edge rather than laying down. Use moving straps to make sure they cannot fall over once the unit is moved.

HIRE A PRO

If you prefer to skip the extra work of moving your mattress and your other heavy furniture, hire a professional mover! You can save your efforts for unpacking and getting your new home set up how you want. Professional movers will get your large furniture to your new home without you having to lift a finger.

We hope this article helps you when it comes time to move your mattress. If you need references to professional packers and movers, we would be glad to help. Give Zippy Shell a call today at 888-947-7974 for all your moving and storage needs.

Quick Millennial Moving Tips

millennial moving

Is everything you own in the box to the left?  Well, probably not, but there is definitely wisdom in getting all of your stuff organized and the planning complete before you make that big move, whether switching apartments locally, moving into the city for the first time, or into your new home in the ‘burbs. Our moving experts at Zippy Shell have a few tips made just for millennials.

  • Purge: Sure, you know you need to do it, but it’s hard. Be strong and merciless when it comes to culling the closet. If you haven’t worn it in two seasons, toss it. If that concert t-shirt has sentimental value but has seen better days, put it in a maybe pile, and revisit, but don’t automatically save it. One of the best things about a closet purge is that you can help others. Not only do local charities come to your doorstep and pick up the clothes, many retailers focused on sustainable practices have donation bins in or near their stores, as well, like H&M.

  • Put pride aside to save some dough:  Most of us are living on a budget, so it simply does not make financial sense to load up on moving supplies from your local retailer. That gets expensive – fast! Put out the ISO SOS across your fave social media channels for any boxes, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and anything else that you can reuse to pack your things. You also may want to ask businesses, restaurants, and strip malls if you can scavenge near their bins.

  • Make a day-after box:  The morning after your move you probably won’t feel much like digging around looking for clothes and cleaning supplies. Plus, did you remember to get food for the fridge? Make a list of items you’ll need immediately when you get to your new place and put them in a separate box: sheets, towels, basic kitchen items, a few clothes, toiletries, important papers, keys. Label the box clearly and keep it accessible. Then, have a shortlist of what you’ll need on hand in the kitchen from the store.

  • Getting from here to there: You have choices when it comes to moving your things from here to there. Sure, you can rely on friends who have vehicles, but life happens. You could also rent a truck, but the time and stress associated with that are costly, too. When you are looking at all of your options, be sure to include Zippy Shell. Whether you are moving in city or cross country, Zippy Shell is cost-effective and, even better, a personal account manager works directly with you and your budget. You can load up your container and have it picked up at your convenience and delivered to your new location. And, yes, we can deliver and place in even the biggest cities!

  • Document your move: Moving is a big step! Your friends and family will love to see what’s happening, so don’t forget to take that selfie at your old place and at your new place. If you rely on Zippy Shell to help with your move, don’t forget to tag @zippyshell, as well. We’d love to congratulate you on your big day.