Helping Your Pets Adjust to a New Home

Dog under a blanket

Research has shown that pets can reduce stress, improve health, and lengthen our lives. So, of course, we always want what is best for them! While moving to a new home can be a stressful time for most people, it can also be stressful for your pets. Unlike us, pets aren’t able to mentally prepare for such a big shift. Whether your move is long-distance or just down the block, there are many ways to make your pet feel more comfortable after a move. Check out these tips to help your pets adjust to their new home.

  • The first step is to make a plan for moving day. There are a lot of people coming and going during the actual moving out and in, and that means many opportunities for a beloved pet to escape. If you can’t have them stay with a border or a friend, a crate can help ensure they are safe on moving day.
  • Introduce your pet to your new home slowly. At first, limit your pet to one room in the house. After your pet has explored every corner of the room and feels comfortable, introduce them to the rest of the house one room at a time.
  • Do your best to keep your pet’s routine as close to usual as possible. Your pet’s world revolves around activities such as eating, playing, napping, and going out to take care of business. From morning meals to walks to bedtime, keep the same routine as much as possible for stability.
  • Set up a space for your pet that includes all their favorite items. Laying out their bowls, blankets, toys, and bed in a designated spot is a great way to help your pet feel secure amongst the chaos of moving.
  • Also, resist the urge to toss any of your pet’s gear for new items right now. It will cause less anxiety for them to lay down in their same bed, eat out of the same bowls, and play with the same toys as before. These favorites will help your pet feel in control. Plus, the familiar scent can help them feel more at home in a new location. You can make changes once your pet has adapted to your new home.
  • Help them let out their energy. Just like us, exercise can help to reduce the stress your pet is feeling. Add in some extra playtime or make your normal walk longer than usual.
  • Give them extra attention. Be generous with affection and encouraging words. Steal a few moments for quiet, quality time together in between your moving tasks. Take a couple of minutes to toss around a favorite toy or to give out belly rubs. It will be good for both of you!
  • Update your pet tags or pet chip with your new contact information as soon as possible. Being in a new place can increase the chances that your pet gets lost and you want to be able to be contacted right away.

Zippy Shell 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! 

Is It Safe to Move During COVID-19?

Planning a Move

If you are planning a move or planning to store items during the COVID-19 pandemic, know that Zippy Shell values the safety of our employees and customers. We have put together a list of the safety measures we are taking to keep everyone safe.

  • Zippy Shell is sending contracts via email to help limit contact and maintain more socially distanced interactions while onsite at delivery.
  • All doors, and handles on containers are disinfected before delivery at all corporately owned facilities to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus.
  • When applicable, customers may also request to have no interaction with the labor crews. Customer is still required to be available onsite when labor crews are onsite in case of additional services required and for liability reasons.
  • Masks, gloves, and disinfectants are readily available and use is mandatory at all of the corporately owned facilities.
  • Zippy Shell has notified and recommended our franchise and partner facilities follow the same safety protocols.

Not everyone can or wants to move on their own, when reaching out to a professional labor provider, be sure to ask what their safety policies are regarding the Coronavirus. Are their workers utilizing masks, gloves, taking regular health screenings, etc? These are all important questions that any professional labor provider should be happy to answer for you. Learn more about how you can hire help by visiting our partner Hire A Helper and check out a blog they recently wrote on the topic.

Zippy Shell is fully committed to the safety of our employees, our customers, and their things. Whether you are moving or storing your items, know that your safety comes first.

Tips for Moving Someone with Disabilities or Special Needs

Moving Boxes

Everyone knows moving can be chaotic and create a storm of different emotions. For a person with disabilities or special needs, the stress of moving can be even more difficult. April is Autism Awareness Month and the effects of moving can be even more pronounced for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as it is not uncommon for children on the autism spectrum to be hyper-dependent on routine and order. Fortunately, there are steps you can take throughout the move to make the experience easier for persons of disability or special needs.

· Evaluate your new home for accessibility. You will need to fully access the space to determine whether or not modifications will need to be made. Questions like ‘are the doorways wide enough’ and ‘is the floor suitable for mobility’ may need to be answered. You can find a full checklist here that covers everything to look for from ramps and slopes, parking, entryways and halls, bathrooms, bedrooms, and more. If you need to make modifications in your new home, hire professionals with accessibility improvement experience who can complete the work successfully.

· Make healthcare arrangements. If you’re relocating out of the area, ask your doctors for referrals to new health care specialists, based on your treatment needs, and check if any of the specialist health services you currently receive can be transferred. You may want to check with your insurance providers and other organizations to make sure you can retain the same disability services once relocated. You’ll want to make these arrangements a few months in advance so that if you are in need of health care soon after arriving, you’ll know where to go and any new providers will have your health history information on file. It also is very important for a disabled or special needs person to have their medical records in a safe and easily reachable place at all times. If possible, they should keep all the records with them during the move so you’re sure that they don’t get misplaced.

· Create a sense of stability. During the move, pack the personal belongings of those with special needs last and then unpack them first in your new home. You will want to create a space in the new home where they will feel safe and comfortable as soon as possible. Also, help them to maintain as normal of a daily routine as possible during the transition.

· Consider safety and security on moving day. Arrange for help if needed for your loved one with a disability or special needs. Ask a trusted neighbor, grandparent, or loved one to care for them on moving day or at least part of the day.

· Be prepared for the emotions. You can eliminate some negative emotions by making sure the person you’re caring for gets 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. Always be mindful of how you assist the person with a disability or those who have special needs during the move. They may need a lot of help and support, but they are usually the expert on exactly what they need.

Moving with a disability or special needs requires the same planning and preparation as any other move. But you do need to take a little extra care to make sure they are comfortable before, during, and after the move. The most important thing to focus on bringing to the new home is their physical and emotional health!

9 Apps to Help You with Your Big Move

phone apps

When you are planning for a big move, the number of items on your to-do list can seem endless. The key to making sure your move goes smoothly is to make a plan and stay organized. The good news is there are plenty of resources that can assist with the process. To help, we have researched the best, most useful apps for moving. Take a look and get ready to download!

Finding a New Home Before planning your move, you will need to find a new place to live! There are several great apps to help with this process. Zillow is perhaps the most popular app in this category. It uses photo-heavy listings as well as a multitude of filters that you can apply to your searches. This ensures that you find exactly what you are looking for. Zillow even has exclusive listings not found anywhere else. Using the Homesnap app, you get property information in a snap – literally – by taking a picture. You can unlock sales history, interior features, lot boundaries, market information, school district ratings, and more. While you are out and about scouting neighborhoods, AroundMe allows you to quickly find out information about your surroundings. You can find out within seconds how long it will take to get to a grocery store and restaurants, which helps you have a better grasp of the neighborhood.

Staying Organized During Your Move Try the Todoist app to capture and organize all your moving tasks. You can set reminders, prioritize your tasks, and even assign tasks to others. MagicPlan allows you to create a 3D floor plan of your new home by taking pictures of the space. You can use it to plan where you will put your furniture in every room which will reduce stress on moving day. If you need extra help with tasks such as packing, patching up holes, painting, cleaning, or other small tasks – TaskRabbit is the app for you. TaskRabbit will match you with freelance labor for projects of all shapes and sizes. Sortly is a digital organization app that lets you catalog what you put in each box, so you know where all of your things are. With the premium version, you can even create QR code labels to put on your boxes.

Getting Settled Use the Nextdoor app to stay informed about what is going on in your new neighborhood. On this app, you can do anything from finding out about local events to finding somebody to help you take care of your yard. Using Nextdoor will keep you in the loop and make the transition to your new neighborhood much easier. Meetup is an invaluable app when moving to a new area. It connects you to people who love the same things you do so you can get involved and make friends in your new neighborhood. Call Zippy Shell today to get a quote!

Help Your Feline Adjust to a New Home With These Tips


While some cats may seem aloof and unbothered by distractions, moving to a new environment can really shake them up. They are by nature territorial, so when a new home is introduced, the surroundings aren’t familiar and comfortable to them. Here are a few tips to help you ease your feline through the adjustment period, making it easier for your cat to manage in your new home.

1. Slow introduction: Because of the new surroundings, a cat is going to be unsure of its new environment. Slowly introduce your cat to your new home by assigning a room with all your cat’s essentials (litter box, scratching post, food, water, toys) and keeping your cat in there for a while. If possible, try and unpack as much as possible before introducing your cat to the rest of the home. The sounds associated with unpacking can be unsettling to your cat.

2. Have patience: It may take a few weeks for your cat to feel comfortable in your new home. Your cat may even “act out” or go into hiding during this time. Remember to have patience during this fragile time for your fur baby. Keep the familiar items and toys out and let them explore the new surroundings at their own pace. Before long your cat will feel right at home again.

3. Familiar smells: Try and have familiar scents around to include toys and bedding that will help them feel more comfortable. Cats are scent oriented, so the more you can surround them with familiar smells of “home”, the better they will acclimate to their new surroundings. Another option is synthetic pheromones that will help calm your cat.

4. Secure surroundings: If your cat is an indoor cat, make sure there isn’t an escape route such as an open window or air ducts. If your cat is an outdoor lover or spends time both indoors and out, make sure the outdoor plants are cat-friendly. There are poisonous plants that are very harmful to cats.

5. Outdoor adventures: In addition to making sure you don’t have poisonous plants outside for those cats that like to venture outside the house, be sure they are comfortable indoors. If they are comfortable with their new indoor surroundings, they will fare better when they are exposed to the outdoors.

The process of helping your cat adjust to a new home will take some time, but with these tips (and some patience) they should experience a smoother transition. And remember, if you need to store some items that aren’t making the move with you, consider a temperature-controlled facility with Zippy Shell!

7 Tips to Help You Stay Calm During a Move

happy moving couple

Studies show that moving is one of the most stressful life events. The level of stress may vary depending on the reason for the move (i.e. divorce vs. an incredible new job opportunity). No matter the level, there are still common factors that make a move stressful because of the number of details involved. The key is to stay calm during a move not only for your sake but also for the sake of your family. Here are 7 tips to help you stay calm during a move:

Time is your friend: The best gift you can give yourself to help reduce the stress of a move is ample time to plan your move. Organization is extremely important when balancing all the details of a move. You will not only be more productive; you will also have more time to work through any potential obstacles when you give yourself enough time.

Hit the ground running: The first day you decide to make a move, begin the process immediately. Whether you have the beauty of extra time or not, don’t procrastinate and wait until the week before to get started. Start packing your things as soon as possible, especially those items you won’t need early on. Planning is key in a move and a moving checklist can also help you prepare for success.

Let others do the moving: If planning a self-move is too overwhelming, save yourself the stress and let the professionals worry about moving day. Zippy Shell can help with the heavy lifting and refer you to professional loading and packing services.

Be mindful of your moving expenses: According to the American Moving and Storage Organization (AMSA), the average cost of a move is approximately $4,300 (for a distance of 1,225 miles). Create a budget, stick with it and keep more “green” in your wallet.

Keep important documents with you: Don’t take the risk of losing important documents (passport, birth certificate, bank records, school documents, etc.) during a move. Keep items in a secure folder or lockbox and make sure it stays by your side.

Beat stress with something you love to do: Beat the stress by taking some time to do something you enjoy such as taking a nature walk, reading a book, or enjoying time with friends and family. By “stepping away” from the moving process, you will feel refreshed and energized to keep working on the moving tasks at hand.  

Eat, sleep and focus on the positive: When we are under stress, it’s easy to gravitate to unhealthy foods, sleep deprivation, and negative thinking. Instead of scarfing down a pizza, packing until 3 am while cursing the moving process, fill your belly with healthy options, catch some zzz’s to avoid fatigue and focus on the positives of your move. Whether it’s a fresh start in a new town or city or a chance for a better job, try and keep the negative thoughts at bay.

Whether your move is exciting or a nuisance, focusing on staying calm will help the process goes much smoother. Exercise these 7 tips for moving success (and lower blood pressure!) And remember, if you need to store some items that aren’t moving with you, consider a climate-controlled facility with Zippy Shell!

6 Tips on Preparing and Transporting Food for a Move


While this may be a seemingly odd topic to discuss, it really is an important task to consider for an upcoming move. Depending on if you make reservations or make weekly trips to a large food membership club, you have an investment of food items residing in your kitchen. In a similar fashion to packing up your clothes or household items, you need to determine what to keep, what to donate, what to toss and how to transport it to your new home. Here are 6 tips on preparing and transporting food for a move.

  1. Sizing up the new digs: How does your new kitchen size up to your old one? If you are moving from a one-bedroom apartment to a 5-bedroom house, chances are your kitchen will be larger and include more pantry space. If the situation is the reverse, you can pretty much bank on a smaller kitchen. Knowing how much space (fridge/freezer and pantry) you will have dedicated for food will help determine how much to keep, donate and/or toss.
  2. Clean out the fridge/freezer: Prior to the move, start decluttering your refrigerator and freezer. Toss out spoiled and expired items. Consider eating up as much of the food as you can in the days before the move to eliminate items being moved. The distance to your new home will determine what you should do with the remaining food. If you are on the road for days, you may want to donate or toss. If your move is less, grab a dependable cooler and ice your items down. If you are moving your fridge, it will need to be unplugged for at least 24 hours to ensure it is properly thawed prior to a move.
  3. Pantry purge: Decluttering is the key task with a pantry purge. As with the fridge/freezer purge, toss out spoiled and expired items. If space is an issue with transporting, donate dry and boxed perishable items to a shelter or soup kitchen. For items traveling with you, prevent spills by sealing boxes and lids with tape. You can also transfer items into airtight containers for extra safety measures.
  4. Eliminate glass: Consider donating, tossing out or transferring food contained in glass bottles or jars. If these heavy items were to fall and break, the mess won’t be pretty and could potentially ruin any dry and boxed items. If you must take these items, place at the bottom of moving boxes or coolers and surround with bubble wrap or softer items to cushion the glass.
  5. Pack lightly: Food items can become heavy quickly, especially with any glass bottles or jars on board. Store heavy items in smaller boxes and be sure and tape up boxes securely so items won’t fall out.
  6. Destination arrival: Unpack any items in ice-filled coolers immediately on arrival to avoid spoiling. Unpack dry and boxed perishable items when convenient. Create a shopping list to replace the items you had to donate, toss or eat to keep from spoiling.

Arrive at your new destination with your food items intact with these preparation and transportation tips. And remember, if you need to store some non-perishable items that aren’t making the move with you, consider a climate-controlled facility with Zippy Shell!

Whoa! You can’t pack that!

Zippy Shell Portable Storage Container

It’s moving day and you’re all geared up. You have the portable storage container, boxes, blankets, tape, packing foam, newspaper and, most importantly, the help! You’ve been organizing for weeks and your plan is set. The kids are at grandma’s and you’re exercising your supervisory skills when you see Brad pick up that tank of gas in the garage and start to move it into the storage container.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Brad!

There are some things that you never want to pack or store and it’s important that you set those things aside well before your moving commences. You may either want to dispose of them or haul them personally. This is a friendly reminder of what NOT to pack or store:

  1. Important documents: We mean things like birth certificates, marriage and death certificates, bank information, deeds, bills of sale, wills and social security information. These sorts of things should always be kept with you when you move to your new place. Ideally, they would be placed in a fire-safe place when you arrive at your new home.
  2. Illegal items: Seems like a no-brainer, but when you move across state lines, sometimes the laws change. Consider leaving firearms, ammunition, and even prescription drugs for someone to handle personally.
  3. Perishables: Food spoils quickly and can easily attract bugs and rodents into your things, as well as a stench that may stick to your items. The only exception to this rule is if you are moving a short distance on the same day. You might be able to pack a cooler and keep a few things, but your best bet is to toss it or give it to the neighbor and start over.
  4. Hazardous Materials: “No, Brad, you can’t pack that gas can in the portable storage container!” There are lots of things in your home that may be considered hazardous when moving. It’s best to consult your moving company for their specific list, but things like aerosol cans, fingernail polish remover, fertilizer, charcoal, cleaning supplies, ammunition, fire extinguishers, and gas cans are just a few you may not have thought about. Always consult with the experts at Zippy Shell if you are unsure.

If you’d like to know more about what can and can’t be packed in a Zippy Shell portable storage container, please ask one of our representatives for a complete list. We look forward to helping you move one day soon.