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!

7 Tips For a Successful Yard Sale

Yard Sale

If you are getting ready for a move, it is a good idea to go through all your belongings and try to downsize what you will need to pack up and move to your new home. One way you can achieve this is by having a yard sale. As we enter the cooler fall season, it is a great time to plan an outdoor sale where you can make a little extra cash for your move while purging things you no longer need. Not every yard sale is successful, however. Take a look at seven of our favorite tips to make sure your yard/garage sale gets good traffic and sales.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

If you live in a location that doesn’t get a lot of traffic, consider changing the location of your yard sale. Ask a family member or friend that lives in a large subdivision or off a busier road if you can borrow their yard for a weekend.

INVITE NEIGHBORS AND FAMILY TO SELL WITH YOU

If you don’t have a lot that you plan to sell, ask your friends and neighbors if they would like to join you for a multi-family yard sale. More stuff displayed outside will draw in more buyers than just a few tables.

GET ORGANIZED

Don’t wait until the morning of your yard sale to start throwing things together. Plan ahead so you have time to go through each room in your home to purge unwanted and unneeded items. Organize your items so they can be displayed in an intuitive way that makes it easy for a customer to browse. If everything is just thrown in boxes, people will be less likely to look through and find things they want to purchase from you.

LABEL EVERYTHING

Most people who go shopping, whether at a store or a yard sale, want to know the price of an item they are interested in without needing to ask someone. Invest in some good stickers and put a price on each item, or at least have specific value tables (example: everything on this table is $1) to make it simple for potential customers.

PRICE TO SELL

Unless you are on the fence about selling something, price your items to sell quick. Remember, you don’t want to have to pack all this stuff up and take it with you to your new house. Priced right, you will clear out a good bit of your unwanted things and still make some extra money.

PREVIEW ONLINE

If you have large furniture or pieces that you intend to price higher, consider taking good pictures and posting them for sale online prior to your yard sale. This will give you a longer time frame to make sure you get these items sold.

ADVERTISE

With social media, neighborhood apps, and local advertisement websites, advertising your garage sale may be the easiest part of this process. You don’t need to spend any money to advertise online, but you may want to spend a little to buy garage sale signs that will allow you to give drivers on the road clear instructions on how to get to your yard sale from the main roads. We hope these tips will help you host a successful yard sale before you move to your new home. We offer a safe and secure way to move and store your stuff. Give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 for a free, no-obligation quote. We look forward to hearing from you!

Moving Soon? Time To Make Your Home Inventory List!

Couple unpacks and uses a checklist

If you have a move coming up, you may be getting ready to make a home inventory list. If not, we recommend that you take the time to complete this important step. Not only will it be useful for insurance purposes, but it will assist you and those helping you pack and unpack. Take a look at our tips for creating a home inventory list before you move.

BREAK IT UP INTO ROOMS

At first glance, creating a home inventory list can seem overwhelming. By taking each room or section of your home and tackling them one at a time, you can break a large task into something much more manageable. You don’t even have to go through your entire home all at once. If you have the time before your move, you can plan to complete one room a day, or even a week—what ever works best for your schedule.

SKIP THE SMALL STUFF

Not every item you own must make the list. The depth of your list is completely up to you. If you are making a list solely for insurance purposes, you may want to stick with larger, or higher value items. If you have the time and would like to go the extra mile to have a comprehensive packing and unpacking list, all the better! You don’t need to list every book or dvd that goes into a box, however. You can simply state the number of items in the box, along with its current and future location.

TAKE PICTURES OR VIDEO

As you are documenting your items on paper or moving app, take pictures of your furniture and high-value items for insurance purposes. You can also take a video going through each room, highlighting the larger items. Don’t forget to document the estimated value of the items.

NUMBER YOUR BOXES

Some people have found it helpful to number each box and document the number on your inventory/moving list. This can make it quite easy to spot missing or misplaced boxes. Using numbers that correspond with a list can make the labelling process faster. Instead of writing a full room name and all the items inside the box, you can just write a number and look to your list to know what is in the box and where it goes.

MAKE COPIES

Before you pack up your important documents, make copies that you save digitally. This can be very important if something were to happen to them during transit. You should also make copies of your home inventory list and hand it out to those who need it for unpacking and organization purposes.

We hope these tips help you as you start to plan your upcoming move. If you would like a free, no-obligation estimate for a long-distance or local move, Zippy Shell is standing by to help!

6 Useful Apartment Living Tips

apartments

Apartment living can be great, but if it is your first time living in a smaller space, it may take some getting used to. If you are moving into an apartment from a larger home, it can be tricky to find ways to incorporate your current furniture and all your things into your new space. But don’t let the challenge scare you! We have 6 useful tips to help you make a smooth transition to apartment living.

READ YOUR CONTRACT CAREFULLY

Before you sign anything, be sure to read your contract carefully. This can sometimes be tedious and lease contracts are often full of language that’s not easy to follow, but this is an important step. If you have any questions about their expectations of you as a tenant, be sure to ask before you sign your contract. What is their pet policy? Will they allow modifications to the apartment? Can you paint the walls? Be clear now so there are no misunderstandings later.

PRE-MOVE INSPECTION

If you haven’t moved in yet, be sure to do a thorough inspection of the space. If you find any damage or items of concern, document them and discuss with the apartment manager. You want to make sure they did not miss anything on the inspection that could eventually be blamed on you when you move out—causing you to lose your security deposit.

START WITH LESS

This is a must if you are downsizing. Get rid of as much stuff as you can before moving into a smaller space. If you cram an entire 3-bedroom house worth of things into a 2 bedroom apartment, things are going to get cramped fast. Give yourself room by carefully choosing items you genuinely love to furnish and decorate your apartment. Before you move, you can have a yard sale to make some quick cash, or simply donate to your local charity.

USE THE SPACE YOU HAVE

Some apartments just simply do not have adequate storage space. It’s on you to get creative with the space that is offered to make sure you have room for all your things. If you don’t have room for bookshelves, you can use floating wall shelves and book ends to keep your books nice and tidy. Utilize the space under your bed to store bins or vacuum bags. Try to use multi-functional furniture when possible. For instance, your TV stand could be dresser or cabinet that also holds throw blankets, extra linens, and extra odds and ends from around the home.

GET COZY

Make it your own. If you are allowed to paint, choose a color that you love and is inviting to you. Display your favorite art and book collections. Fill your space with things you love! When you come home at the end of the day, you want to feel relaxed and comfortable.

BRING IN NATURE

One thing that can be lacking in apartment complexes is nature. Bring in a couple of houseplants to help you stay connected with nature. If you have a patio that gets some sun, you can grow some of your favorite herbs.

ZIPPY SHELL CAN HELP YOU MOVE

We hope these tips will be useful to you as you get ready to move into your new apartment. Don’t forget, Zippy Shell can help you with both your storage and your moving needs.

5 Tips to Maximize Your Pantry Space

Organized Pantry

In most homes, the area designated for the pantry is typically far too undersized for our needs. The standard pantry tends to be packed full of overflowing boxes and bags of food. This sometimes leads to waste when the “out of sight, out of mind” food in the back goes unnoticed for too long. If this has happened to you and you are ready to try something new in your pantry, take a look at 5 of our favorite tips to help get that space back under control.

MOVE YOUR SHELVES

If you have adjustable shelves, change the heights of your available space to more closely fit your needs in the pantry. Depending on the types of foods you are storing in the pantry, you may benefit from adjusting your shelving to have less height, giving you the ability to add an extra shelf or two. If your shelving is not adjustable and you feel you are unable to appropriately use the large spaces without stacking boxes and cans, try using hanging shelves. These are racks that have “arms” that hold onto the shelf and giving storage space underneath. You can find these in many sizes and choose the ones that work best for you.

LET THERE BE LIGHT

Adding lighting, whether motion detected or touch-activated, will not necessarily add space to your pantry, but will make it feel bigger and more accessible. Lighting is not typically added to the standard pantry, but you can buy lights that you stick onto the wall to give your pantry some much needed illumination. We suggest opting for rechargeable lights as opposed to ones that use up a lot of batteries.

USE YOUR DOOR

You can use the back of your door to increase the storage space in your pantry. You can buy specially designed shelving, or you can DIY some extra storage space using a hanging shoe holder.

ARRANGE CAREFULLY

Sometimes, simply changing how you arrange your food items will create a lot of space. You not only need to arrange items of most use in the front but try to arrange the taller, more visible items in the back and the shorter items in the front so they do not get lost. Don’t waste space by putting small cans on your largest shelf unless you intend to have them stacked to take advantage of the vertical space.

UNIFORM CONTAINERS AND BINS

Anyone who has ever played Tetris knows there are a few pieces that you wait and hope for because the uniformity helps fill out the space. Instead of trying to fit together a bunch of different sized cereal boxes and bags of flour, buy clear plastic containers of similar shapes and sizes to better arrange your food items. This will also help keep household pests out of your food! Buy bins that you can pull out easily to store loose items.

We hope these tips are useful to you as you work to maximize your pantry space! If you have a local or long-distance move coming up, give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 for a free quote. We also offer mobile and onsite storage to help you cover all your moving and/or storage needs. We look forward to hearing from you!

5 Summer Space Saving Tips

organization

Summer is officially here and it’s a little different this year. Most of our kids have been home from school for several months due to the global pandemic, and many will continue virtual schooling from home in August. It can get cramped when the entire household is home at the same time, so we have come up with a few tips to create some space in the home over the summer.

PACK IT UP

Perhaps one of the easiest and quickest ways to make some space in your home is to pack up things you are using this season. Grab some vacuum-space bags and pack up all your winter clothes, bulky coats, heavy bedding and put them away under your bed. You will be surprised how much space you can make in everyone’s closets.

GET RID OF IT

Many thrift stores have reopened to donations, and after months of being closed would welcome any donations you may have. Go through your clothes, books, toys, and furniture for anything you know is not getting much use and is just wasting space in your home. It’s also possible to hold a socially distanced yard sale if you have a lot of items that you would like to make some money on.

STORE IT

If you have a lot of items in your home that doesn’t get much use, but you are not ready to donate or sell, you may benefit from storing your items. Mobile or on-site storage is a good solution when you need a secure, weatherproof unit to keep your items safe, but out of your living spaces.

GET CREATIVE

One of our favorite ways to save space in the home is by using multifunctional furniture. There are many options for different areas of the home. For example, instead of a plain coffee table, you could replace it with a small table that has cabinets or drawers underneath for storage. Or maybe you have a bench in your foyer to make taking your shoes off a little easier—you could replace (or DIY!) a storage area underneath to hold shoes discreetly.

INVEST

If your budget allows, consider investing in expanding your living space. This doesn’t mean you have to hire a contractor and build an addition on your home. It could simply be taking an area of your backyard and creating a beautiful outdoor oasis that you and your family can enjoy on warm, summer nights. You can turn your front porch into a space where everyone wants to enjoy their morning meals and coffee. Utilize the spaces you already have and find creative ways to make them more usable and enjoyable.

We hope these tips are helpful to you as you start trying to find ways to increase the space in your home this summer. If you need help with mobile or on-site storage, feel free to give us a call at 888-947-7974 or visit us online for a free, no-obligation quote. We have a variety of solutions that are available to meet all your storage needs!

Tips for Transitioning Your Home from Spring to Summer

summer house

Summer is here and it’s the perfect time to update your home with a summery feel that will make you feel like you are in permanent vacation mode. No matter your budget or style there are simple ways to welcome the summer months into your home. It is also time to check off those summer home maintenance tasks. Then everyone can shout, bring on the sunshine!

Summer Decor

  • Summertime begs for more vibrant colors. It is time to replace spring pastel accent items with brighter colors. Keep the same neutral fabrics on large pieces of furniture, but add bold-colored accents such as flowers, throw pillows, area rugs, or artwork. Cheery yellows, oranges, coral, and marine blues and turquoise will transport you to the tropics.
  • Bring the outdoors in. Nothing says summer quite like flowers and tropical looking greenery. Decorate with botanicals by placing plants on the entry table, on the kitchen counter, in the dining area, or add small potted options on bookshelves in the living or bedrooms. Another idea is to incorporate brightly-colored floral fabric prints in your accent pieces.
  • Transform your patio or deck to a place that can be enjoyed all summer long. Incorporate simple furniture and fun decorations to create a comfy outdoor living area. Place some potted flowers and string some lights to create the perfect sanctuary for friends and families to gather.
  • Add storage for summer activities both inside and outside. Summertime means the kids will be home from school. Keep your organized home from being turned upside down by providing storage for activities that will keep them entertained all summer.

Summer Maintenance

  • Annual maintenance is essential for keeping your air conditioner running as efficiently as possible this summer. And if it has been more than 3 months since you changed the filter on your air conditioner, do that now! The dirtier your air filter, the harder the system has to work to keep your home cool.
  • Dust all the ceiling fan blades and check that fans are working properly. During the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down to the floor.
  • Sweep your porch or deck thoroughly and then scrub all the spring pollen off with soap and water. Look over your deck at this time for signs of rotting and hammer in any nails that are poking up.
  • Give your outdoor grill a deep cleaning to get it ready for all those summer bbqs!
  • Add a layer of mulch to your plant beds. This will keep weeds down and help the ground retain its moisture during the summer heat, giving your plants a chance to grow.
  • Wash your windows. If you didn’t tackle window washing in the spring, now’s the time to get your glass clean. Replace curtains and window treatments with light, neutral colors to allow in natural light.
  • Trim any landscaping that is overgrown. Deadhead both perennials and annuals to keep them producing well into the summer.

By checking off the items on this list, you can refresh and relax this summer in a beautiful space. Zippy Shell sends you wishes for a summer filled with wonderful memories!

Organizing Tasks To Complete This Week

Goal Plan Action

The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused rising levels of anxiety around our country. While social distancing, many people have an abundance of time on their hands but also an abundance of worries. One way to combat the worry and anxiety is to tackle the organization of your home. While it won’t change the behavior or the repercussions of the virus, it can give you a feeling of control over what is happening within the confines of your home. With home organization comes order and with order comes calmness.

Decluttering is the first step to organizing. The less items you have in any space, the easier it will be to organize them. Get started in these areas:

The Pantry: Many of us are cooking more at home these days, so a well stocked pantry is a must. But before you stock it, be sure it is decluttered and organized. The ability to spot every single can of soup, snack, and box of pasta at a glance can cut down on trips to the store. Start by removing everything from the pantry, checking expiration dates, and wiping down the shelves. If you have an excess of some items, consider reaching out to elderly family and neighbors or donating what you don’t need. Use clear baskets and bins to group like things together. Use labels on the bins and the shelves themselves to make sure everything goes back to the proper spot.

The Refrigerator: When you’re hungry, you don’t want to spend time hunting for the right ingredient. You want to easily find the item you’re looking for, so let’s get the refrigerator organized also! The goal is to make it easier for you to cook healthy meals at home and cut down on trips to the store. Working in sections, take food out to clean away crumbs and spills inside the refrigerator. Using clear bins in the refrigerator is also a great way to get organized. Group like items such as a bin for fruit, one for drinks, one for sandwich fixings, etc. Another pro tip is to use a lazy Susan for open jars and condiments that sometimes get lost in the back.

The “Office”: Not every home has a dedicated office, but If your job has shifted to working remotely, or your kids are doing their schoolwork at home, you’ll need to clear some work space. Set aside a clutter free space to help you stay focused and be more productive. Now is also the time to organize important papers in your office area. Having your identification, employment documents, tax documents, insurance paperwork, and medical forms in one easy-to-locate spot can be incredibly helpful during this time. 

The Entertainment Collection: Entertainment, it means many things to different people. During this time period, it could mean your bike riding gear, fishing gear, puzzle collection, craft supplies, garden tools, board games, card games, books, music, movies, and the list goes on. Pull out and discover some old favorites to pass the time and set aside items you don’t enjoy anymore for donation at a later date.

Take the opportunity to cross things off your organizing list that you wouldn’t normally have time for in a pre-coronavirus routine. Decluttering and organizing can help you feel more in control and more productive. While you are organizing, Zippy Shell is open and ready to serve your storage needs in the safest way possible. Call today or click here to get a quote!

8 Tips to Maximize Your Walk-In Closet Space

If you recently moved or getting ready for a big move, you probably have ideas on how to better organize your new space and make it work more efficiently for you and your family. One space in particular—walk-in closets—can pose a challenge when trying to find ways to organize your things to allow for easy access and at the same time, a place for things you do not use as often but do not want to put into storage. Out of sight equals out of mind—so how do we find a happy balance? Look at our tips for easy ways to organize your new walk-in closet.

START FRESH, EVALUATE, AND DECLUTTER

Once your closet is completely empty, give it a good deep clean. This will be your best opportunity for washing built-in shelving and cleaning the flooring. Next, you should go through all the things that you plan to keep in your closet. Each piece should be categorized. As you go through each item one at a time, be sure to ask yourself if you want to keep, donate, or sell. The more you can let go, the easier your task will be.

GET INSPIRED AND MAKE A PLAN

If you just are not sure which direction you want to go, take some time to do some internet browsing. Pinterest is full of ideas for every type of closet. Small or large closet, you will find inspiration that helps you move on to the next step. Before you start moving everything back into the closet, take some time to plan and gather all the tools and supplies you need to make your vision come to life.

INVEST IN THE RIGHT KIND OF HANGERS

If you open Amazon and type in ‘hangers’, you will enter a world you may not have known existed. There is a hanger for almost everything you can think of: pants, belts, ties, scarves, skirts, sweaters, double hangers, space-saving hangers, and more. If it fits within your budget, consider purchasing type-specific hangers that will help you save space in your closet, as well as improve the look and functionality of the space.

COLOR CODE

One easy way to organize your hanging or folded garments is to separate by type and color. This will make it aesthetically pleasing and make finding what you need a breeze.

LET NO SPACE GO UNUSED

Whatever space your closet offers needs to be used to its fullest extent. Don’t be intimidated if you have a lot of vertical space and not much else. You can find inexpensive shelving units that are quite easy to install yourself. You can then organize your things in a way that the least used items go up high and the frequently used items are within your reach. Don’t forget to label anything that goes into a box, bin, or bag!

TRANSPARENT BOXES AND BINS

Using see-through or clear plastic bins to store things will allow you to still see what is there without them being in the open. When we put things in boxes, we tend to never use them again because we forget about them. Clear bins can help solve that issue.

GET CREATIVE

If you prefer to not purchase specialized items for your closet—create your own! You can affix hooks on your closet wall to hang certain items like jewelry or belts. Curtain rings can be used to hold scarves or ties. We have even seen someone use soda tabs to slip over one thin metal hanger to allow for a second hanger to be placed—allowing for two pieces of clothing to be stored in the same space as one.

SEPARATE AND STORE

Be sure to take any offseason apparel and shoes and put them into space-saving storage bags. Label each bag with a detailed description of the contents just in case you need something before that season rolls back around. This should free up a good bit of space allowing you room to easily find the things you need every day.

We hope these tips help as you get settled into your new walk-in closet. If you have any interesting tips, stop by our Facebook page and share it with our community. We’d love to hear from you!

Jumpstart Spring Cleaning with These 5 Tips

cleaning

Although it seems like we just celebrated the holidays, spring is around the corner. This is a great time for a fresh start to ease into spring cleaning without being overwhelmed. If you are considering storing away some items, you will really be glad you got a jumpstart on your spring cleaning to-do list. While the hardest part is getting started, here are 5 tips to help you tackle this chore head on!

Declutter: A good purge always puts someone in a good mood. “Stuff” weighs us down and streamlining your “extra stuff” can be like a weight-loss tool! Focus on your spring cleaning by decluttering so you can attack the deep cleaning. If the item hasn’t been used in over a year, you may want to consider selling, donating, storing or trashing. If you are having a yard sale, put items away from sight or box up, tape up, and label “yard sale.” This will eliminate the temptation to dig back into the box.

Supplies: Keep an eye out for specials throughout the year on cleaning supplies. Stock up when discounts are available. Get a vehicle, such as a shower caddy, to hold the supplies so you can easily take them from room to room. Look for supplies that cover multi-tasks to eliminate lugging too many cleaning supplies around.

Make a plan: Once you have decluttered and made an inventory of your cleaning supplies, make a plan and set goals if you haven’t already done this. Decide what rooms to tackle first. Some professionals suggest clean each room in a circle or from top to bottom. These suggestions can help with the flow of cleaning making it more effective and manageable.

Think outside the routine: Keeping the surface areas clean is important, but don’t forget to think of areas outside the routine cleaning zones. Here are a few suggestions: between refrigerator coils, on top of ceiling fan blades, inside the washing machine, around HVAC vents, inside light fixtures, on and around windows, around door frames and crown molding, behind the toilet, etc. It’s also a good time to check the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Lighten up: Many people aren’t jumping up and down to tackle their spring cleaning to-do list. But with a shift in attitude, you can make this often-overwhelming feat much easier to bear. Crank up the stereo with your favorite tunes and jump in. Buy yourself something as a reward when you are finished. Another idea is to get the family involved. Assign age-appropriate tasks for the kids and make it a competition. As long as they aren’t adding to the chore list, the extra help should help you whittle down your spring cleaning to-do list quicker!

We hope these tips will help you attack spring cleaning with a positive, yet productive force. Just pretend that every room you clean will put you one step further to enjoying the fruits of your labor! And remember, if you need to store some items that aren’t being used right now, consider storing your things with Zippy Shell!