Finding Your Dream Home in the Piedmont Triad

House at dusk

If you are searching for a new home, you have probably envisioned your dream home in your mind over and over. Now is the time to make those dreams a reality! Chances are you will find exactly the home you and your family are looking for in the Piedmont Triad area. This area is a thriving region that features tons of fun things to do including arts, shopping, botanical gardens, breweries.

To follow are a few things to keep in mind when you are looking for your dream home:

Prioritize

Make sure that you have a solid list of priorities in order of what is most important to you. The key is knowing which items on your dream home checklist are negotiable and which are non-negotiable. Coming up with a list of “must haves” will help narrow down the search.

Do your Research

You may already know what part of the region you want to live in, but neighborhoods can be very different across the landscape. To find the perfect community for your family, take some time to investigate the area online and then take a drive or walk through the different neighborhoods. Do you like the schools, restaurants, athletic facilities, emergency services, etc.?

Set a Budget

Before you start looking for homes, it helps to get pre-approved. You want to buy a dream home that fits into your financial situation now and in the future. In addition to the price of your home, you should leave room in your budget for moving expenses, closing costs, and possible renovations to the home.

Be Flexible

Go into the process with the expectation that you probably won’t find a home with every single item on your wish list. You can always add your own style to turn your new home into your dream home. The key is looking past the exterior cosmetic blemishes to the home’s bones. Look for a well-built home that has the space you need, some features you love, a layout that serves your lifestyle and a price point that allows you to make some changes. Stay flexible, be willing to compromise, and you’ll be sure to find your dream home.

Welcome to the area! The Piedmont Triad Zippy Shell is here to make sure your treasured belongings arrive at your dream home safely and securely. 

How to Maximize the Space in Your Bathroom

bathroom

Is your bathroom feeling a little cramped? Small bathrooms can be a challenge and adding square footage through a renovation isn’t always an option. But you can use these tips to make your cozy space feel larger and stay more organized.

Give the Illusion of Space

There are several tips and techniques you can use to provide an expansive feeling in a small bathroom or any small space:

  • A monochromatic color scheme or even varying shades of the same color can make your bathroom feel larger. Soft, pale, neutral colors on the walls and floor will give the biggest illusion of space.
  • Use reflective surfaces like glass and mirrors. Replacing a shower curtain with a clear glass door will open up the shower space giving the appearance of a bigger overall area. Larger mirrors will bounce light from windows and create the illusion of more square footage.
  • Keep your floor space clear and uncluttered. Less breaking up of the floor lines equates to less visual chopping with your eyes. Also freeing up your floor space gives you more room to move around!  
  • Draw the eye upward with a fun light fixture, crown molding, tall window treatments, or high shelves.

Organizing Your Way to More Space

Even a large room that is cluttered will feel small, so let’s get organized:

  • Create storage where there once was none by adding floating shelves to your walls utilizing the vertical space. 
  • An over-the-toilet shelf or storage cabinet is a great space saver and will give you more storage options.
  • Installing floating shelves or recessed storage in the shower can keep all your shower necessities organized. Another option is to use a hanging shower caddy.
  • Use a Lazy Susan or other revolving storage underneath your bathroom cabinet to corral cleaning supplies or hair products.
  • When you are really low on storage options, find an alternate place in the house for things like medicine, first aid supplies, and extra rolls of toilet paper.

Zippy Shell’s portable storage containers are perfect for storing items from the home, giving you more space to renovate, rearrange, and organize. Check us out today for answers to any questions you may have!

How to Organize and Pack a Bedroom When Moving

Your bedroom is one of the most critical rooms in your house, so when you pack it up, you want to make sure you do it correctly. Use these tips to make your packing process as simple as possible when packing your bedroom. If you have multiple bedrooms that you need to pack up, start with one of your least used rooms, such as a guest bedroom.

Sort through your belongings

You first want to make sure you are only packing items that you actually need and will use. Otherwise, there is no point in keeping the item. Declutter your items to prioritize what you should pack with you with these decluttering tips. This is especially helpful for a long-distance move to help you lighten your load.

Pack up your lamps

A lamp is something that goes without much thought that will be a simple thing for you to pack. While packing up your bedside lamp, be cautious to keep it intact. Firstly, remove the lampshade along with the metal “U” that holds it together, so that it does not get dented during the moving process. Remove the lightbulb to avoid broken glass on your move. Gather the cord of the lamp and secure it together with a rubber band. Place the lamp in a box upright for the move itself.

Pack up your child’s room

Moving is always tough on a child, so make this process as smooth as possible for them with these tips. Get them involved with packing up their room so that they can decide if they have grown out of some clothes or toys to prioritize what they need to take for the move.

Move large furniture

Packing up your bulky furniture will be one of the last steps you take when packing up a bedroom. The furniture has a use every day, so it will need to stay put until very close to moving day. Carefully remove nightstands, desks, beds, and more, with professional help if necessary. Seal shelves together on desks, dressers, and more that way the drawers do not fly open while in the moving van.

Secure decorations

If you have any picture frames, posters, or any other décor on your walls, make sure to package it up properly. Wrap up your picture frames in towels that you are moving with you to secure your pictures without having to purchase any packing materials. If you have any miscellaneous decorations, see if this packing tip will work on packaging them as well. Package posters by tightly rolling them up and securing them with a rubber band.

Contact Zippy Shell

Get a free quote today from Zippy Shell to get started on your moving process! We will move your secured belongings to your new destination or a Zippy Shell storage center, with up to 30 days of free storage with every long-distance move.

How to Save Money Back to School Shopping

As summer is coming to a close, we are approaching the start of another school year. Prepare yourself and your children for their upcoming school year by getting a head start on back-to-school shopping. Check out some of our tips below to save some money while you shop! 

Tax-free week

Many states have tax free weeks throughout August to help families when they are doing their back-to-school shopping. Take advantage of this opportunity to buy all your school supplies and back-to-school clothing during these weeks. See if your state holds a tax-free week here and take advantage of this opportunity to stock up!

Use leftovers

Many kids do not realize that a lot of their old supplies from previous years are still in good shape and can be used again. Children will use half of a notebook and then believe that is it no longer of value. Go through their old material and see if they have anything salvageable. Recycle old paper that is written on, while taking advantage of the blank sheets that have yet to be used. You can also re-sharpen old pencils to make them good as new.

Shop without the kids

When your children go school supply shopping with you, there is a much higher chance that you’ll buy unnecessary items. When you shop by yourself, you can make sure you stick to your list and only buy the essentials. Sure, you can purchase a few fun items for the kids to enjoy, while avoiding overspending in this category.

Look for coupons

Don’t forget how valuable coupons may be when shopping! Almost every back-to-school store offers coupons for school supplies, so keep your eyes peeled as you begin your back-to-school shopping. Be sure to shop smart when using coupons. Focus on the items you need to buy, not the brand or style of the item. A lot of times, coupons will be offered for the less flashy supplies, so capitalize on these opportunities to save yourself even more money!

Shop clearance aisles and dollar stores in your area

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on your school supplies. Shop clearance isles and dollar stores and get the exact same quality of items for less.  

Start early

When you get a head start on your back-to-school shopping, you’ll be able to take advantage of various sales throughout the season. Keep an eye on circulars and sales to get the best deals leading up to the start of school!

Tips for Upgrading to a Larger Home

Whether you are moving into a bigger apartment with your significant other or moving into a house and getting ready to start a family, the time has come for you to upgrade your living situation! Leaping into a bigger home may seem very fun, but there are some critical things to consider before picking out your new, larger home. Use these tips to make sure you are fully prepared for the upgrade!

Consider when big is too big

Bigger may not always be better. Sometimes, the more rooms a home has, the smaller each room is. Determine how many rooms you need, and which rooms and spaces are most important. That will help you find the ideal-sized home.

Prioritize your goals

Make a list of all the goals you have in your life. This will help you figure out the specific reasons you wanted to upgrade in the first place. Consider the family size you want to have, if you need a big dining room to host dinner parties, if you want a large backyard for BBQ’s, and anything else that may relate to the size of the home you purchase. 

Compare neighborhoods

Upgrading to a bigger home can often mean moving into a completely new community. If you are moving from an apartment to a house, picking out a specific neighborhood will be a crucial part of the process. Your dream home will only be your dream home if it is in the right neighborhood. Be sure to consider things like proximity to the city as well as to your other neighbors.

Prepare for more expenses

Moving into a bigger home means taking on more significant payments. Large expenses such as your mortgage and taxes are going to increase. The greater the house, the more utilities it will use. More lights, sinks, and toilets will add to your electricity and water bills. Be prepared for the size of the upgrade you can handle considering what you can afford monthly. Also, the more rooms you have, the more furniture you will need and the more space you will have to clean!

Six Appliances You Should Deep Clean This Summer

Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the little bit of extra free time you have to tidy up your home. Summer brings on a lot of heat, so you can spend your time cleaning indoors, and save the outdoor cleaning for in the fall as the weather begins to cool down.

  1. Your Wood Floors

Even though you might think you need to mop your wooden floors every week that could ruin them. Instead, you should only wet-clean them once every one to two months and spot clean as needed. Make sure you use trivets and saucers under plants to avoid any water damage and use furniture protectors to avoid scratches. Summer brings in a lot of dirt from outside and you don’t want any of it sticking to your floors permanently.

2. Washing Machine

Summer brings on extra sweaty clothes, socks, sheets, and so much more. Your washing machine has probably been through a lot this summer and will need a cleanse. Disinfect it with distilled white vinegar and baking soda to keep it fresh and high-functioning. Run the machine with hot water, then add the cleaning agents, and let it sit for 30-60 minutes. Afterwards, restart your machine, let the water drain, and wipe it dry.

3. Dishwasher

A lot of times people simply think you can just throw dirty dishes in the dishwasher and they will get cleaned. This is not always the case. To ensure this heavy-duty cleaning appliance gets all the tomato sauce stains off your dinner plates, you have to clean it too. First, remove any bits of the food on the bottom. Then, run a second cycle with a specialty cleanser made for your dishwasher about once a month to keep it clean.

4. Refrigerator

Refrigerators are also an important item to keep clean since it holds food! This means the outside and inside. Pull out all of your fridge’s interior shelving and make sure to wash them with warm soapy water to take care of any spills or stains. The wash the inside of your refrigerator – sides, top, and bottom. If your fridge is clean, then your food will be cleaner which is always a good thing.

5. Oven

If you ever start to smell something burning when you first turn on your oven, it might be time for a deep clean. First, chip off loose pieces from your range, then spritz burnt-on food with ammonia. Sprinkle baking soda and a few drops of white vinegar on the bottom, let it bubble up, then wipe away the grime and dirt with a sponge.

6. Your Closet

Organizing your closet is the first step to organizing the rest of your home. Get rid of unused clothes and accessories and organize the rest by how you get dressed in the morning and by color. Use some of these tips to make your closet look appealing, and your everyday routine easier and quicker!

Tips for College Freshman Moving Away from Home for the First Time

Even after deciding where you want to go to college, it may not feel real until you have to pack up your belongings to take with you. Packing for an entire year away from home can be a challenge. Check out these tips to help make your move to college as smooth and efficient as possible. 

Declutter your items

Often, people have way more belongings than they need. By cleaning out all of your items and prioritizing what you actually use, you will be able to determine what is necessary to bring with you to college. Use some of these decluttering tips to help get you started! After you get rid of some of the items you will need, your move to college will be a lot easier – and lighter!

Start packing early

Giving yourself extra time to pack will ensure that you pack your items efficiently. Being organized ahead of time will allow you to make sure you have all of the things you are going to need. This will also help you identify the items that you don’t yet have that you will need for the year. As long as you have started packing within the week before your move-in date, you will be fine!

Plan out what you need to purchase

You are going to be missing out on the luxuries of a fully-stocked house for an entire year. Make a list of the items you are going to need to purchase for your new school year. This will prevent you from showing up to school and realizing you are missing essential items to survive your freshman lifestyle.

Be prepared for move-in day

If you can, arrive early on move-in day. Beat the hustle and bustle of all of the other students who are trying to move in at the same time as you. Unpacking early will give you extra time to make sure that you have everything that you absolutely need. If you find that you have forgotten a necessary item, this will provide you with the extra time you need to run over to the nearest store to pick it up. Try to bring an additional family member or a friend to help you move in to speed up the process. 

Are you packing up for the entire year? Contact Zippy Shell for during your winter or summer break so that when you leave campus, your items don’t have to. Our storage options will save you the effort of moving your items back and forth every time you have to go home on break. Read more about how Zippy Shell can help all college students move and store their items here!

How to Pack Your Fridge for a Move

Packing for a move may seem straight forward, but there are a lot of factors that make it harder than packing for a vacation. You will have to pack every single item in your house, including the awkward, large ones. There are going to be a couple of steps you will have to go through while packing your fridge. Make this process as simple as possible with these tips!

Clean out your fridge

To prepare your refrigerator for its move, you first need to clean it out completely. This is going to be one of the last things you clean out before you move because you use your fridge daily. Most likely, you will do this within a week of your move if not less. This way, you will be able to use your fridge for as long as possible until you must move out. Start by emptying any unwanted, expired food, and throw it away or run it through your garbage disposal. After you empty it, you should unplug it, and open the doors for a few hours to make sure any remaining water has evaporated. Once you have completely emptied your fridge, wipe down all of the drawers and shelves so that no residue remains. Make sure the entirety of the outside is clean as well.

Disassemble your fridge

It may not seem like your fridge has any pieces to be taken apart, but this is a crucial step. Remove any drawers or sliding shelves from the inside of your fridge and freezer. This will prevent them from sliding around or breaking inside the fridge while being transported. Wrap up these pieces in blankets or towels to keep them safe without having to purchase any packing material. Secure the doors of your fridge with a rope so that they do not fly open during transportation.

Measure your fridge

Take simple measurements of the dimensions of your fridge before you attempt to move it. This will allow you to know which hallways and doorways your fridge will be able to fit through. You can then move it outside to the moving truck through the easiest route in your home.

Use Zippy Shell Moving & Storage

Don’t want to load up the fridge yourself? No problem! Ask about our loading and packing service referrals to help with your heavy lifting. We will bring the moving container straight to you and can help load everything up for you. Whether it’s across town or the country, we will pick it up and move it safely to your new home right away.

5 Easy Ways to Save Money When Traveling

Traveling to new places can be fun and exciting but the expenses themselves can quickly rack up. Some costs are going to be unavoidable, but you can lower your total price if you use some of these strategies!

Be truthful to yourself when booking a room

When booking a room, you will quickly learn that there are many options to choose from. Most hotels offer countless amenities that seldom get used. Consider what resources you will actually need during your stay. If you are barely going to be in your room all day, consider opting for a smaller room with a less-impressive view. Also, decide if you are going to be using your hotel’s pool or gym. If you are not, try finding a hotel that does not offer one, which may lower the price of your room overall.

Take advantage of your hotel’s amenities

Your hotel will most likely offer a complimentary breakfast, so check to see if they are serving one. On top of that, try out the coffee in your room to save yourself the time and money it would take to go out and buy a fresh cup of coffee at a café. “Dining in” will allow yourself to get fueled up early in the morning and have more time to explore where you are traveling. If you have leftovers from any of your meals, keep them in your room’s refrigerator to use as a “free” snack later.

Book at a central location

If you are going to be sightseeing around the city, consider booking your hotel in a central area of town. This should place you within walking distance of more places. See if there is a subway, bus route, or if your hotel has a shuttle as a cheaper alternative to calling multiple taxis.

Check for free activities

There is almost always going to be a free activity in the area that you are traveling to. If it seems there isn’t, consider merely going on a stroll through the new area you are exploring and take in some of the sights and views it has to offer. Often, cities will offer free outdoor movie showings, museums, fireworks, and so much more, so make sure you search to see if any activities are going on where you are traveling and what days they are available.

BYOS (Bring Your Own Snacks)

If you are planning a long day of exploring the city, make sure to bring snacks with you. This is even more important if you are traveling with children. Having snacks with you will quickly add up savings from not having to buy vendors’ snacks. This will also help you make it through the day with three solid meals versus having to continuously purchase munchies along the way. Pack waters with you as well to stay hydrated and avoid overpaying for a single bottle of water.

10 Creative Graduation Party Ideas

As the end of the school year wraps up, graduation is right around the bend for many students.  Get started planning for you or a loved one’s graduation party with these ideas!

  1. Graduation cap cupcakes

Top a chocolate cupcake with a square piece of chocolate to mimic a graduation cap.  Add an m&m candy in the middle of it with a piece of string to complete the tassel for this sweet treat!

2. Class rings

Lay out a tray full of ring pops for a funny graduation themed candy.

3. Photo letters

Attach black and white photos to wooden block letters, it’s recommended to use the word “GRAD” but you can also use the graduate’s initials or Alma mater.

4. Memory jar

Place a jar on a table, accompanied by a stack of sticky notes and pens.  When people walk by they can write some of their favorite memories about the guest of honor for them to keep forever.

5. Diploma rolls

Fill a tortilla wrap with any food items of your choosing.  A savory option being ham, cheese, mushrooms, etc.  A sweet option being Nutella, peanut butter, bananas, strawberries, and more! Tie a little string around the wrap to complete the diploma aesthetic. 

6. Graduation wreath

Display an arrangement of photos from childhood to present time in a circle, with their graduation cap on the top to complete the wreath.

7. Backdrop

Cover one wall in school colors with their graduation year in big numbers at the top of this wall.  This makes for a great decoration, as well as a nice photo-op.

8. Theme

If this is for a high school graduate, and they have already chosen what college they are going to attend, deck the place out in the color scheme and logos of their future college. If they have just graduated college and are planning on taking on a career such as a doctor or teacher, perhaps decorate it accordingly to their future occupation.

9. Large balloon numbers

Get some classic big helium balloons to celebrate their graduation year as well as create another great photo op.

10. String lights

String lights always add a pleasing aesthetic to any party.  Whether you are stringing these lights outdoors, or inside along a wall, they will serve as a lovely piece of décor for your graduate.

If your graduate is moving off to college or moving home from college, get a quote from Zippy Shell today to help you move your belongings!