Tips For Cleaning Out Your Garage

organized garage

If your garage looks like most garages, it is probably time for a good old purge and deep clean. Most people use their garage as a place to store things rather than a place to park cars, and it can quickly get out of hand. We don’t always have a good place in the home to store stuff, so most of our random items, seasonal clothes and décor, unused appliances, and more, ends up in the garage. It really can become an overwhelming task to get it straightened up, so we have some helpful tips when you are ready to get your garage clean and tidy.

MAKE A PLAN

There are different ways you can tackle a big job like the garage. You can create zones and slowly chip away at the mess as you have time. If you have a whole weekend to work on it, we recommend the full, deep-clean option. Pull everything out of the garage into the driveway, wipe everything down, sweep, wash the windows, and air it out before you begin the job of bringing everything back in. But not everyone has enough time to complete the entire garage in one go. In that case, devote as much time as you can each day until you are able to finish.

PURGE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

You likely have quite a bit in your garage that you no longer use or need, so why not get rid of it and free up the space? Go through all the boxes and donate or sell the things you haven’t used in a long time and do not plan to use in the foreseeable future. When the weather starts to warm up, you can have a big garage sale in order to make a little cash while cleaning out the garage. While you are purging you can start organizing your stuff and staging areas of like items to make sure you have everything where you want it to go.

INVEST IN SHELVING UNITS

When you are using the garage as an area to store stuff, you need an efficient way to utilize the space. You can purchase tall shelving units that are meant to be anchored to garage walls to help use the vertical space instead of your stuff creeping inwards in the walking areas. You can get shelves that allow you to adjust the heights of each shelf to make sure you have an area to store your stuff efficiently.

If you need a place to store your stuff while you are giving your garage a deep clean or remodel, give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us through our online form. We offer mobile storage units that can be delivered to your home, you can fill it with your stuff and either keep it nearby in your driveway, or have it transported to a secure storage facility while you complete your project. We would be happy to provide you with an estimate for our storage services when you contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Don’t Forget These 5 Things on Your Moving Checklist

checklist

Moving is a stressful experience–no doubt about it–but there are things you can do to help keep your sanity and to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. A moving checklist is one of the most important things you can do to keep everything organized. There are some things, however, that is commonly looked over when making the official moving checklist. Take a look at 5 things you may not have thought about when making your moving checklist.

THE ATTIC

It is not uncommon for people to forget about the stuff they have stored in the attic. When you have a lot of stuff you haven’t seen for many years, it is easy to completely forget about them. Make sure you put the attic on your moving checklist so you don’t leave any of your cherished items behind.

OUTDOOR ITEMS

Another area that people forget to plan for is outdoor items like the lawnmower, propane tanks, grills, smokers, and more. These larger items require special preparations and planning to make sure they are cleaned well, flammable materials properly disposed of, and packed. Make sure you add these items to your moving checklist so you don’t find yourself scrambling on moving day to figure out how to get all your outdoor items to your new home.

PETS

If you have pets, moving day can be stressful on them too. It’s important to make special preparations for your fur-family members so they can be kept safe and looked after during the chaos of moving. If you do not have someone who can keep them while you are moving stuff out of your house, be sure to keep them in a secure area so they are unable to run out the door with all the people going in and out. You also want to make sure you have plans to safely transport them to your new location.

HOUSEPLANTS

If you have houseplants, they will need special attention during a move, especially if you are moving during the winter. Most plants cannot handle extreme temperatures, so you will want to make sure they are still in a warm place until it is time to move them. They should be packed in a way where they can’t fall over and lose soil or break foliage. You can also purchase heating pads for them to sit on to keep from getting too cold during transport.

CHANGING YOUR ADDRESS

Another common moving mishap is forgetting to change your address. You can change your address online or in-person at the post office to have most of your mail forwarded, but you should also change your address with all your important accounts. You should alert all your credit card companies, doctors, magazines that you subscribe to, banks, and anywhere you receive mail from to give them your new address. We hope these tips will be helpful to you as you create your moving checklist. As always, Zippy Shell is ready to partner with you for your local or long-distance move. Give us a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us through our online form for more information on our moving and storage options. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tips for Packing Unusual Items

organization

The portable storage and moving containers used by Zippy Shell offer tons of flexibility with a predictable cost for all your moving and storage needs. Of course, the first step is neatly packing your belongings in boxes and organizing them all with color coded labels. The challenge begins when you come across an oddly shaped or unusual item that doesn’t fit neatly into a typical box. Unusually shaped items are at greater risk of damage during a move. So before loading your container, take a look below for great tips and tricks to pack those challenging items into your storage container.

Fragile Items – For breakable or sentimental items, your first priority is to choose a sturdy box that is secured on the bottom with a minimum of two strips of packing tape. Fragile items require extra packing materials. Have plenty of packing paper, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts on hand before packing. Label all sides of the box with FRAGILE.

Large Appliances – Refrigerators, washers, dryers, stoves, and lawn equipment come with their own set of challenges when packing your container. This first step is to thoroughly clean these items and take off all removable parts. Drain lawn equipment and tools of gas and oil before packing them, as these contents are flammable. For packing appliances, it can be helpful to use manufacturer boxes and packaging if you still have them available. If not, secure moving blankets around appliances with packing tape to prevent damage. Place these heavy items on the bottom layer of your storage container near the center.

Furniture – It is best to disassemble your furniture by breaking items down into the smallest possible components for transporting. Label smaller pieces and place them in boxes. Wrap everything else in moving blankets to prevent scratches and clearly label the screws, nuts, and bolts needed to reassemble your furniture upon arrival.

Televisions – When moving televisions, most people just loosely pack them into their moving trucks or rental containers. This heightens the chance of the TV falling over and cracking or shifting during transportation. A heavy duty TV box kit will protect your televisions from unwanted shifting.

Floor Lamps – Remove the lightbulbs and any lampshades to pack in separate boxes. Wrap the floor lamp base in a moving blanket and secure the blanket with packing tape. Stand it up between two heavy pieces of furniture to keep it from moving during transit.

Odd-Shaped Items – Some things simply will not fit in a box. All you can do is wrap them as safely as possible with bubble wrap, moving blankets, and tape. Protect delicate elements and protruding parts with bubble wrap, then wrap the entire piece in moving blankets and secure with packing tape or plastic wrap. Handle these items with care throughout the move.

We hope these solutions will be beneficial for moving those unusual items that don’t fit neatly into a basic box. If you still have questions, just give us a call and let us know what you need. Zippy Shell aims to make the moving process as simple as possible!

Things to Consider When Creating a Home Wish List

Brick Home

If you are looking at buying a house, you probably already know that the available inventory is low since homes are flying off the market. Many homes are receiving offers the very first day they are listed! This can be frustrating to those who are trying to find the perfect home to purchase. But if you have been waiting for longer than you want, maybe it is time to revisit your home wish list and make some adjustments. Today we are going to talk about some areas of the home wish list that could warrant more flexibility and some that don’t.

  1. BUDGET:  One thing that should stay firm is the budget that you have determined for your next home. You don’t want to purchase a house that is more than you can afford. Instead of increasing what you are willing to pay for a house, adjust other aspects of your wish list in order to stay in your desired price range.
  2. LOCATION AND SCHOOL SYSTEM: If you have kids that you are trying not to move out of their current school system, you do not have much flexibility in the location of your next home. If not, consider widening the area of your search to give yourself more options. You may find your perfect home in the town next to one you have been looking in.
  3. STYLE AND LAYOUT OF THE HOUSE: If you do not have any accessibility needs, like a wheelchair ramp or a home with no stairs, the style and layout of the home can be an area where you can have some flexibility. If you have your heart set on a cape cod style home, but you find a colonial or craftsman that fits most of your other needs, it’s worth considering marking the cape cod style off the list.
  4. SIZE OF THE LOT AND HOUSE: If you have specific preferences for both the house and the lot you want, you may be waiting a little longer than if you make some concessions on the size you are hoping for. If you have a large family, the size of the house you get may be more important than for a couple who just sent their last child off to college.
  5. FLOORING AND COSMETICS: The flooring and cosmetic appearances of a home can seem like big items when touring homes, but if the price is right on a house, you can easily update the flooring, paint, hardware, and other cosmetic type items yourself. When looking at homes, try to envision them after you put your own personal touches on them instead of being dismayed at the wall-to-wall carpet when you want hardwood floors.

Have you recently bought a home and had to make changes to your wish list? Stop by our Facebook page and share your story with our growing online community. We’d love to hear from you!

If you have an upcoming move, Zippy Shell has the perfect moving and storage solutions for any of your local or cross-country moving needs. Give us a call at 888-947-7974 for a free, no-obligation estimate.

Are You a Minimalist?

minimalist room

What does it mean to be a minimalist? Many people are under the impression that minimalism is only about decluttering and owning less, but that is not a complete picture. Being a minimalist is not just about giving up all your stuff. Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist defines minimalism as “…the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” It has been said minimalism is about the journey, not about the destination. You aren’t automatically disqualified from defining yourself as a minimalist because you own over a certain set amount of items. It is up to each individual to determine how far they want to go down the road of minimalism. There are no right or wrong ways to downsize a life and there is no single set of rules that you must follow to be a minimalist. As Brian Gardner, founder of No Sidebar says, “I’ve learned that minimalism is not about what you own, it’s about why you own it.” If you resonate with any of the points made below, you are already on the journey to becoming a minimalist.

  • You have shifted and redefined your relationship with “stuff” by focusing on why you own things as opposed to what you own.
  • You desire more time to focus on the areas of your life that are important to you instead of spending all your time accumulating or maintaining material items.
  • Reducing the amount of debt in your life has become a priority.
  • The thought of going shopping just to shop makes you cringe. You shop deliberately and only for items that you deem essential.
  • Clutter makes you feel claustrophobic or it stresses you out.
  • The theory “less is more” appeals to you in many different areas of your life.
  • You don’t live in or feel the need for a very large house or apartment.
  • Spending more of your money on experiences rather than things has become a goal for you and your family.
  • You prioritize spending time with the people you love.
  • Spending your free time cleaning, maintaining your lifestyle, and doing chores leaves you feeling frustrated and empty.
  • You are willing to give up some of your possessions if it means freeing your time to pursue things that you love.
  • Excessive spending has taken over your life and you feel the need to get your finances and spending habits under control.
  • Buying items of a higher quality that will last longer is important to you.
  • You are comfortable living with less and you already know that possessions don’t bring happiness.
  • The thought of cleaning your home with minimal effort appeals to you.
  • You only wear the clothes that you love and that make you feel comfortable in your own skin.
  • Always being on the go or having an overloaded schedule makes you feel burnt out.

In a world full of excess, many people are feeling the need to reduce clutter or downsize both physically and emotionally. So many people have found happiness living with less. Why not start slowly on the road to minimalism and see how it goes!

The Psychology of Clutter; Why it Has to Go

minimalist

Your home should be your sanctuary, a place to rest and relax after a hard day. But a cluttered home can make relaxing out of the question. Clutter not only makes our homes look bad, it can also make us feel bad. Rarely do we consciously recognize clutter as a significant source of stress in our lives. When in reality, clutter can leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Clutter constantly reminds us that our work is never done which also creates feelings of guilt.

Decluttering and organizing can give you a feeling of control over what is happening in your world. With home organization comes order and with order comes calmness. Plus, the less clutter you have to deal with, the easier home maintenance becomes. And who doesn’t want to spend more time relaxing and less time on home maintenance?

Step 1: Evaluate

Don’t take up valuable space and mental energy with items you no longer use. Start with one area at a time and finish decluttering that area before moving on to another. Feel a sense of accomplishment as you see your successes little by little. Ask these questions as you are purging and really think about the emotional reasons you may be hanging on to each item.

  • Does this add value to my life?
  • Have I used this in a year?
  • Do I have more than one of these?
  • Would I buy it again?
  • How many times have I used it?
  • Does it fit?
  • Do I have space for this?

If there are items you are still unsure about, fill a box with items and place these items in a closet. If you haven’t opened the box in a year, donate it to charity without taking a peek inside!

Step 2: Organize

Quite often, clutter is caused by simply not having enough storage or not having the correct type of storage. Build your storage solutions around the belongings you have left after purging. Try to store items in “closed” spaces such as cabinets and drawers as much as possible to reduce the strain of visual clutter.

Step 3: Identify Clutter Traps

Kitchen counters, night tables, coffee tables, entry halls, and bathroom counters can all be a battleground for endless, visible clutter. Try using attractive baskets and containers in these areas to house items you like to have at your fingertips. Just remember to purge these containers frequently to avoid pile-up.

Step 4: Maintain

Once everything is organized, the key to eliminating clutter for good is to stay on top of it on a daily basis. Set a 5-10 minute timer each day to tackle the clutter monster.

During your quest to de-stress in a decluttered, organized home, 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!

6 Tips For Packing Up The Garage

packing a garage

The garage can be an overwhelming area to pack up. We all tend to let the garage get out of control with the amount of stuff we store there. With a little planning and some extra materials, you will have your garage packed up in no time. Check out our 6 tips for packing up the garage.

DECLUTTER FIRST

We always recommend taking some time to declutter before you move. The sooner you can get rid of any items you no longer use or want, the better! Your garage probably holds a lot of things that you don’t use anymore. Spend a weekend going through the garage and pulling out items for a yard sale or donation. You will be glad to have even less to pack up.

KEEP A SMALL TOOLBOX ACCESSIBLE

Make sure you put aside a toolbox with your most-used tools. You will likely need screwdrivers, a hammer, and other small tools as you continue to pack up your home. You will also want to know where your tools are when you get to your new home.

KNOW WHAT YOU CAN’T MOVE

There are several items that you will not be able to move or store. Flammable or hazardous items like propane tanks will need to be disposed of as a waste facility that accepts those items, or you can ask a neighbor or friend if they need any of the items. Make your plans in advance so you do not find yourself with hazardous materials that you cannot move but haven’t found anyone to take them off your hands.

KEEP ALL PARTS TOGETHER

If you are disassembling large furniture or appliances in the garage, be careful to keep all the pieces and parts together. You can put all screws or bolts in a tightly closed Ziploc bag and tape the bag to the inside of the item, so it does not get lost. Use a permanent marker to label the Ziploc bag just in case it falls off.

TAKE CARE WITH SHARP OR POINTY ITEMS

Any tools or items in your garage that have sharp edges or sharp points that could potentially injure someone need to be packed differently. You can use bubble wrap to completely cover the sharp parts and tape it down so those items can be moved safely.

BUNDLE LIKE ITEMS TOGETHER

Some things just can’t be packed in a box. Items like brooms, mops, and outdoor tools will have to be packed separately. You can use plastic shrink wrap to bundle them together so they are easy to move. You can also put them in a large outdoor trash can to keep them from moving around in your container.

We hope these tips will help you get your garage packed up quickly and efficiently. If you have an upcoming move, give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation quote. We offer a variety of moving and storage solutions that will make your next move a breeze. We look forward to hearing from you!

4 Tips To Make a Small Laundry Room Seem Larger

laundry room

If you have a small laundry room, you probably know the struggle of trying to keep all your needed items organized and accessible. Fortunately, you don’t need an over-sized space to create a functional and pleasant room to wash, dry, and even fold laundry. Check out our 4 favorite tips for making a small laundry room feel bigger.

GO VERTICAL

Many small laundry rooms have quite a bit of vertical space. It tends to go unused because most of us cannot reach high shelves or cabinets. But you can use install shelves of varying heights and organize items by usage. For instance, if you rarely ever use your iron, you can store that on the top shelf while keeping your detergent and fabric softener on the lowest shelf. If your budget allows, you can invest in a stackable washer and dryer. This would create useable space for cabinets or a table.

BE CREATIVE WITH THE SPACE

Modern problems require modern solutions! That means you need to get creative. If you have a side-by-side washer and dryer, you can lay down a board across the two appliances to create a table of sorts. You can use this as a flat space to fold your laundry. Another place that goes overlooked is the doors. You can hang pantry organizers or even over-the-door hooks in order to store even more items.

HANG A ROD

If you have a lot of air-dry only clothes, you need a place to hang them up when they come out of the washer. You can install a curtain rood or even a sturdy tension rod for a great place for your more delicate laundry. If you have cabinets in the way, you can install a hand towel holder (the ones meant for bathrooms) upside down that will hold hangers.

HANG CURTAINS INSTEAD OF DOORS

If you have doors on your laundry room that cause problems or take up more space than they are worth—take them down! Sliding laundry room doors can’t be used for storage and they take up space on both sides of the door frame, even when they are open. You can take these down and hang decorative curtains to keep the area hidden.

We hope these tips will be helpful to you as you try to open up the space in your small laundry room. Be sure to stop by our Facebook page and share your laundry room organizational tips with our online Zippy Shell community. If you have an upcoming move, give us a call at 888-947-7974 for a free, no-obligation estimate. We also offer storage services that allow you to pack up your things at your own speed. When you are done, we will safely transport the portable storage container to one of our secure storage locations. We can store your things for as long as you need. When you are ready, give us a call and we will transport the container to your new home. Whatever your moving or storage needs, Zippy Shell has got you covered!

6 Decluttering Tasks Perfect for Fall

organization

Fall is the perfect time to declutter your home and life. The cooler temperatures are refreshing and the changing leaves provoke the feeling that it is time to move on from old ways. Decluttering is the first step to organizing and having an organized home can give you a feeling of control over what is happening in your world. With home organization comes order and with order comes calmness. Plus, the less clutter you have to deal with, the easier home maintenance becomes. And who doesn’t want to spend more time making memories and less time on home maintenance? Let’s get started!

  1. Summer Gear – Empty out the pool/beach bag and throw away any items that are worn, outdated, or broken. Store all of your summer gear and freshly washed beach towels in a plastic bin with a top to keep the dust away during the off-season.
  2. Summer Clothing – Before storing away those summer tops, shorts, bathing suits, cover-ups, and sandals, take a closer look at them. Be honest about what you really wore this summer and only keep those items. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that has warm temperatures all year long, keep your most worn summer clothing out. For those of you who must endure a cold winter, now is the time to make sure that the summer clothing you are keeping is cleaned and stored away until the spring.
  3. Beauty Products – Gathering all your makeup and beauty products into one area will give you a visual of how much you really have. We are all guilty of trying out products, not loving them, but not wanting to get rid of them because it feels wasteful. Keeping these unwanted items around can become discouraging by adding to your mental clutter and guilt. Now is the time to 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!
  4. Pantry – Start by removing everything from the pantry, checking expiration dates, and wiping down the shelves. Take special note of the expiration dates in your spice rack. Spices don’t get used up as quickly, but they can lose potency over time and may need replacing. If you have an excess of some items, consider reaching out to elderly family and neighbors or donating what you don’t need.
  5. Freezer – Fall is the perfect time to get the freezer cleaned out to make room for soups, chilis, and holiday baking items. Take on this task 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!
  6. Gardening Tools and Supplies – Clean up, repair, and purge your garden tools and supplies so they’ll be ready for you in the spring. Decluttering and getting rid of any supplies that won’t last the winter will make it easier to know exactly what you need to get started gardening next spring.

During your fall quest for a decluttered, organized home, 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!

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!