DIY Fence Installation Tips

A wood fence in a backyard

More and more people are making improvements to their homes during the pandemic, especially improvements to their outdoor space. With the price of lumber currently at all-time highs, many people have been thinking about doing a DIY fence installation to cut down on costs. Depending on the size of the fence you are installing it can take a weekend to a week or even more to complete, but there are some things you need to know before beginning. Keep reading to see if this is a project you think you can tackle on your own.

  • The first step is to determine if you need any building or zoning permits to build a fence on your property. Also, check your survey to determine exact property lines and find out about any easements. Do some research into your neighborhood bylaws as they may contain specifications for fence height, materials, or appearance.
  • Sharing a fence line across the edge of your property with a neighbor is a good way to share the cost. If you choose to go this route, be sure to have a written agreement in place before beginning any construction. Even if you aren’t going to be sharing a fence with your neighbors, it would be courteous to discuss your plans with them before breaking ground.
  • Always call 811 before you dig. Underground utilities need to be clearly marked to avoid a dangerous situation or a service interruption.
  • Choose your materials wisely. Wood fences are beautiful and economical, but they require regular maintenance. Cedar or redwood is typically used as these woods are more resistant to rot and decay. Always use pressure-treated wood for the posts as the parts that go into the ground are susceptible to insects and moisture. Composite, vinyl, or metal fence materials cost more upfront, but require much less in time and money for maintenance.
  • Mark the layout of your fence clearly with stakes and line. Determine the location of all the posts and mark those spots for digging. Fence posts should be installed a minimum of 36” into the ground. Adding gravel to the bottom of the hole will provide extra drainage that will prevent water from affecting the bottom of your fence posts. Use a level to ensure fence posts are plumb in both directions. The more secure your fence posts, the longer your fence will last. After securing the posts with cement, allow them to dry for 24 hours.
  • Installation of the fence panels will vary depending on the type of fence you choose. Be sure to use galvanized or stainless steel screws and nails as they are resistant to rust and corrosion.
  • Secure the gate. Gates are often the most difficult part of your fence installation as you have to be spot on with your measurements and you often need at least one additional pair of hands to hold it in place while you attach the hardware.
  • If using wood, protect it. Staining helps extend the life of a wooden fence by protecting it from elements that cause rotting.

Take advantage of the warm weather this spring to make some home improvements. We can deliver all-steel, weatherproof storage containers to you for all your home improvement storage needs. If you want a simple way to store your stuff, look no further than Zippy Shell

Tips to Protect your Valuables When You Move

A young couple looks at their laptop

What is valuable to you? Each person asked that question would probably have a different answer. When speaking of material possessions, we all have different ideas of what we consider valuable. When discussing tips to protect your valuables during a move, we will define a valuable as any item that, if broken or lost, would be irreplaceable or hard to replace.

Have an up-to-date inventory list.  Keeping track of all the items you own can be a tedious process, but it can be a lifesaver if you’re ever in a situation where you need to replace your personal property after a loss. Sortly is a digital organization app that lets you catalog your home inventory in several different folders and subfolders to make things easier to locate. It also allows you to record an impressive level of detail for each item you own, such as serial number, purchase date, warranty expiration date, and up to eight photos.

Have adequate insurance for your valuables. The first step is to get an appraisal by a qualified service or individual. In addition to obtaining an appraisal, make sure you have clear photographs or video if you need to file a claim. While researching insurance options for your valuables while being stored or transported, contact your current renters or homeowners insurance company to see what might be offered. While insurance won’t replace the items that get broken, lost, or stolen, at least you know you’ll be financially compensated.

Protect your valuable identity. Unfortunately, identity thieves target those in the process of moving. Phones, tablets, laptops, and computers are a treasure trove of personal data. Make sure that all electronic devices are shut off and password protected. Consider transporting these valuable possessions yourself. Birth certificates, passports, wills, tax returns, financial statements, health insurance, medical records, and other personal documents should stay with you throughout your move. Place these important documents into a locked box or briefcase and transport them with you. This will also give you peace of mind that you can access them at any point during the move if necessary.

Pack and label with care. For valuables that will need to be boxed up and moved with your other belongings, take special care when packing. Choose a sturdy box that is the right size for the object or objects. Use extra packing materials such as packing paper, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and tape. This is not an area where you want to scrimp. Think carefully about how you label your boxes. You will want to mark the box as FRAGILE on all sides as a helpful reminder for everyone who touches the box on its journey. But depending on who is helping you move, you might not want to write the contents on the outside. One option is to label all sides of the box with a number corresponding to a handwritten or electronic inventory list. Creating an inventory list gives you more room to describe the contents in detail and keep the contents a secret. This is a list you will not want to lose!

If you still have questions about how to safely and securely move your valuables, give us a call and let us know what you need. Zippy Shell aims to make the moving and storage process as simple as possible!

6 Tips for Moving in With Your Significant Other

A couple unpacks items in their home

If you have decided to move in with your significant other, you may be wondering how you can combine two households smoothly and peacefully. We have put together a few points you should consider before taking the leap. With some preparation, we know you can work together to plan a pleasant and fulfilling move.

  1. OPEN COMMUNICATION: Before you make any tangible moves toward cohabitation, you should have a sit-down conversation to discuss any aspects of living together that are unclear or causing anxiety. Share your expectations, goals, and boundaries for the new living arrangements. If you enter the experience with open communication and understanding, the process will be more enjoyable, and you are less likely to have unexpected roadblocks.
  2. BE PATIENT: Remember, you are taking two separate lives and merging them into one. This is a big deal. Prepare yourselves in advance to be patient and kind with one another as you traverse this new landscape.
  3. BE READY TO COMPROMISE: Any relationship is going to require a degree of compromise. No two people are exactly alike with identical tastes and ideas. Be ready to make concessions and to work on compromises that will make both of you happy.
  4. EVALUATE YOUR STUFF: When two people each have an entire house or apartment worth of stuff, it will take some honest evaluation to decide what gets kept and what goes. You won’t need two sets of dishes, two sets of living room furniture, and so on. Work together to decide what is going to work best for the both of you. You can sell or donate what you don’t need. If you have any sentimental items that you do not have room for, you can put them into secure storage.
  5. DON’T FORGET TO DISCUSS FINANCES: Maybe even more important than going through all your stuff is going through the finances. Expectations on who is paying what should be discussed before the move. If you intend to share a bank account, you should consider creating a budget you both intend to stick to.
  6. ASSIGN HOUSE DUTIES: Okay, so assign is a strong word. Maybe you and your partner don’t need a chore chart on the fridge. You do need to have, at the very least, a loose understanding of who is doing what around the home. Maybe the house chores rotate based on each other’s work schedules or specific tasks they always do. Determine what is going to work best for both of you to keep the household running smoothly.

We hope these tips help as you prepare to move in with your significant other. If you have any other suggestions that we missed, stop by our Facebook page and share with our online Zippy Shell community and us. When you are ready for your move, give us a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. We offer services for local and long-distance moves, as well as storage for every need. We look forward to hearing from you!

4 Questions to Ask When Choosing a New City to Call Home

A young couple looks at their laptop

So, you are thinking about moving to a brand-new city? Maybe your job allows you to work from home, or you have the flexibility to transfer to a location of your choosing. Or perhaps you are just in need of a major change in your life. Before choosing which new city to call your home, we have some essential questions you should ask yourself. Take a look!

  1. Is this a permanent move? Do you plan to live in this new city for just a short time? If so, some issues may not be as important to you. But if you plan for it to be your “forever” home, you will want to make sure you cover all your bases before making such a big decision.
  2. Do I have any limitations? What needs do I have? Before choosing a new city to move to, something you should think about is any limitations that may hinder full flexibility. Maybe you do not have a vehicle and will rely on public transportation. Or perhaps, you do not want more than a certain distance between yourself and your family members. Do you have any chronic medical conditions that require a specialist or frequent doctor visits? If so, you need to make sure that there is someone nearby who will accept you as a patient. Do you have kids or plan to have children in the future? If so, you will need to research school districts and childcare in the cities you are interested in.
  3. Which cities might have friends, family, and activities I enjoy doing? You may want to consider cities where you have loved ones and familiar faces. If that is not a significant deciding factor, perhaps you consider cities where you are close to things you enjoy. If you enjoy museums, theatre, and concerts—this can influence the city you choose to reside in. If you love hiking or biking, you will want to make sure you are near some trails.
  4. Is the cost of living in this area in line with my budget? Different regions of the country can have vastly different cost-of-living expenses. Do your due diligence and research the areas you are interested in before making any decisions. You can do this by looking into rental and purchase prices for the homes in all the areas you are looking at to compare them. Be sure you can afford to live there first!

We wish you great success as you do your research and choose a new city to call your home. When you are ready to move, be sure to give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. We offer a variety of moving and storage options for local and long-distance moves. We can create a move customized to your needs, timeframe, and budget. For more information or to receive a free, no-obligation estimate, give us a call today! We look forward to hearing from you!

How to Cope with Relocation Depression After a Big Move

A couple sits next to the moving boxes in their new home

Everyone knows a big move can be one of life’s most challenging events, both physically and emotionally. So if you feel stressed or anxious during a move, that is perfectly normal. Many times just the sheer physical exhaustion of moving is enough to throw you into a temporary funk. Making a move can indicate a positive change in our life, like a new job or a new relationship. Still, no matter how positive you expect the move to be, there can be pre-existing depression or even a new feeling of depression that moves with us. It can also happen to anyone, so there is no shame if you begin to feel down during a big move. If you have recognized and determined that you are suffering from relocation depression, here are some things to focus on.

  • Feelings of depression or anxiety are often heightened when you are rushed or forced to move quicker than comfortable. Allow plenty of time to prepare for your move and start the process as early as you can. Expect to need time after the move to get back to normal. If you can, book some time off work to unpack and recover from the physical and mental effort. It will give you space to adjust to the changes.
  • Try to carve out space in your new home that will automatically “feel like home.” Set up a favorite rug, blanket, or pictures that make you feel like you are home. Having this little bit of comfort can help your new home feel safer and more settled. Find a way to integrate the things you love in your new home’s design, and you will see how quickly the space will gain personality and warmth.
  • Recreate some of your old routines. You may have a big desire to push ahead with unpacking, but it might be better for your mental health to stay on an established schedule. Little things such as familiar meals, regular exercise routines, reaching out to friends and family that you usually talk to can go a long way towards easing the transition. In other words, do the things that made you happy in your old place, even if you have to do them in a new way.
  • Find something to be excited about in your new city. Put on your tourist hat and head out and do all the touristy things your new city has to offer. This has the added benefit of giving you a chance to familiarize yourself with the city. Walking increases calmness, so explore the walkable sections of your new city on foot!
  • Try to make relationships in your new city by getting involved with local interest groups, taking a class, volunteering, or extending invitations to neighbors and coworkers to hang out. Just be sure to set realistic expectations about the amount of time it takes to foster new relationships; it can be tricky!
  • Above all else, if your relocation depression or anxiety is debilitating or lingers longer than you think it should, speak with a professional. You may need additional help. 

Moving is stressful, and we want to make sure that we go above and beyond what the competition does to ensure your satisfaction. Zippy Shell is here to take the stress out of your move allowing you to focus on your physical and emotional health during this exciting time. Give us a call today to see how we can help make your move simple.

How Social Media Can Help Your Move to a New City

A young woman looks at her phone.

A recent survey by LendingTree shows that nearly half of Americans are considering making a move within the next year. Many of those looking to move are wanting to reduce living expenses. Plus, those who work permanently work remotely now have the flexibility to move closer to family or move to an area of the country where they have always wanted to live. If you are among the many who have decided to move to a new location, we have a list of the many ways social media can help you make a move to a new city.

  • Research – From low crime rates, climate, affordability, to a great education system, there are many variables to consider when choosing the perfect place to live. Social media can help you research cities and neighborhoods before making your ultimate decision. Twitter is a great news source, and by using a Twitter List, you can create a personalized news feed of information for a specific location. Look for news about local crime, transportation issues, property costs, the housing market, local events, and environmental risks.  
  • Downsizing – When getting ready for a move, it is always a good idea to downsize your belongings. You certainly don’t want to end up making an effort to move items you no longer want or need to your new home. Selling items online on social media sites like Facebook Marketplace has gained a lot of popularity because of its effectiveness and practicality.
  • Moving Supplies – Reaching out to your circle of friends on social media is a great way to score free or reduced-price moving supplies. Plus, neighbors will post about moving boxes that can be picked up for free in local online neighborhood, trade, or garage sale type social media groups.
  • Decorating – One of the best things about moving is the opportunity to decorate a new place! You can find all the home decor and design inspiration your heart desires on Pinterest. Create a “dream home” pinboard and visually organize all of your ideas in one place.
  • Getting Settled – Nearly every town and city has its own social media accounts, where you can learn about everything from community events and trash pickup to parks and local history. You can also read customer reviews and learn about the restaurants, gyms, and community centers available in your new neighborhood via social media. Connect with your neighbors using the social media platform NextDoor. This company utilizes address verification to help ensure that the people you are communicating with are actually your neighbors.

Speaking of social media, we would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. We believe partnering with Zippy Shell for your relocation will give you the power to customize your moving solution to fit any budget and need. Check out Zippy Shell today for assistance with moving or if you need temporary or long-term storage.

A Moving Playlist: 10 Songs You Must Add for the Big Day!

A happy couple dances in their home

It is just a fact of life that music makes everything better. Music can improve your mood by reducing anxiety and providing comfort. It can also help with coping and is a great way to express your feelings. To help your move be as calm and stress-free as possible, we have compiled a list of ten songs you must add to your moving day playlist.

  • “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham! This 80s classic will start your moving day with a burst of energy and serve as a reminder to not leave anyone or anything behind on the big day.
  • “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash. You already know the answer, it is moving day after all. But just for fun add this one to the list to remind yourself if you go, there will be trouble, but if you stay it will be double.
  • “I Like to Move It” by Reel 2 Real. There couldn’t be a more fitting song for moving day. Singing “I like to move it, move it” all day as you are literally moving box after box from one location to another will never get old, well probably never get old.
  • “Bust a Move” by Young MC. If you do get tired of moving your boxes to “move it, move it”, you can always bust a move while pretending that Young MC is actually talking about moving all those boxes.
  • “Moving Out” by Billy Joel. Because that is exactly what you are doing today and because Billy Joel is an icon.
  • “Hit the Road Jack” by Ray Charles. When you are all packed up and ready to hit the open highway, play this song and play it loud. Leave all your worries behind and look forward to your bright future.
  • “Life Is a Highway” by Rascall Flatts. Unless you are just moving down the street, chances are you will be riding the highway during your move. You might not want to drive it all night long as the song suggests, but sometimes it is necessary on moving day.
  • “Takin’ Care Of Business” by Bachman–Turner Overdrive. This song will motivate you to take care of business once you arrive at your new home and begin the unloading/unpacking process. And yes, you probably will be working overtime.
  • “Home” by Phillip Phillips. You are ready to make this place your home! Turning your new place into a home that will feel welcoming to both your family and visitors can be both exciting and overwhelming, but take time to enjoy the process and the new adventure it brings.

The team at Zippy Shell knows all too well how stressful moving across the street, across town, or across the country can be for anyone. Portable storage units allow you to pack at your own pace, letting go of the feeling of being rushed. We also offer flexibility as delivery dates and storage dates can all easily be rescheduled when you use a portable storage unit. We think our portable storage and moving containers offer tons of flexibility with a predictable cost that will make your move much easier.

6 Ways to Reduce Stress During Your Move

stress relief

A recent survey in America shows that most adults find moving to be more stressful than divorce or having children. This isn’t surprising when you consider all the work and efforts that go into such a huge life change. Moving is simply hard no matter how you go about it, but there are ways to reduce stress as you go through the process. Take a look at 6 of our tips to reduce stress as you get ready to move this year.

DO SOME RESEARCH

If it has been a while since you have moved, you have probably forgotten some of the ins and outs of the process. Talk to some friends and family that have moved in recent years for some tips on things you may be forgetting as you get ready to plan your move. Get online and read blogs on moving to be sure you have all the knowledge you need to have a successful move.

PLAN AHEAD

As soon as you know you will have to move is when you should start planning that move. There are a lot of moving parts (pun intended) to a local or long-distance move and the more effort you put into planning ahead, the more successful and stress free it is going to be. Once you have the dates you will be moving, make your reservations for moving and storage partners. As we enter spring and summer, moving and storage companies become very busy and it can become more difficult to find availability on your desired dates.

MAKE A CHECKLIST

Once you have started planning out your move, you should create a checklist with goals and a reasonable timeline for your move. You can list out each room that needs to be packed, places that will need your new address, when you need to forward your mail, etc.… Having an actual list of when each task needs to be completed will help keep the stress of moving to a minimum.

GET STARTED EARLY

You don’t want to wait until the last minute to pack. Start as early as you can to give yourself some cushion on moving week. Start in rooms that are rarely used, like the guest room and work around the house packing items that you can do without until you get settled into your new home or apartment. Don’t forget to tackle some of the areas that tend to be more overwhelming, like the garage.

START SAVING MONEY

There are a lot of unexpected expenses that can arise during a move. We recommend starting saving as much as you can for your move as soon as you know you will need to relocate. Having a financial cushion can greatly reduce stress, especially in the case of an unexpected expense.

ASK FOR HELP

If you have nearby family or friends, ask for help with packing, moving, or even with keeping an eye on your kids and pets while you are packing and moving boxes. You can offer free food and beverage, or even some extra cash for the assistance. Moving by yourself can be tough, so accept any help you can get.

We hope these tips will help you keep your move as stress free as possible. If you need storage or moving services, give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us through our online form. We can provide you with a free, no-obligation estimate and get you on our schedule whenever you are ready.

Top Phone Apps to Use When Moving

apps

The decision is made, you are making a move. Congratulations! And now it is time to hit the ground running. Whether you have the luxury of extra time or not, beginning the move process as soon as possible will help everything go much smoother. Planning is key in a move and there are plenty of resources that can assist with the process. We have compiled a list of the best, most useful apps for moving. Take a look and get ready to download!

  • When searching for a new home, you can get property information in a snap – literally – by taking a picture with the Homesnap app. You can unlock sales history, interior features, lot boundaries, market information, school district ratings, and more.
  • Zillow is another popular app used for finding a new home. It boasts photo-heavy listings as well as a multitude of filters that you can apply to your searches.
  • If you have found a promising home, but you are not sure if the neighborhood will fit your needs, the AroundMe app can be a very helpful resource. You can find out within seconds information about the surrounding area, like how long it will take to get to a grocery store and restaurants.
  • The one thing that can keep a move from being overly stressful is being organized. 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.
  • Speaking of assigning tasks to others, if you are on a tight timeline you might find it helpful to outsource some of the items on your list using the TaskRabbit app. It can match you with freelance labor for moving projects of all shapes and sizes like packing, hauling away items to the landfill, completing home maintenance tasks in preparation for listing your home, and more.
  • Whenever possible, you will want to base the decision of what furniture to keep and move on the layout and size of your new home. You don’t pack or move anything that doesn’t have a dedicated space in your new home as that will just add to your workload and moving expenses. You can use the MagicPlan app to create a 3D floor plan of your new home by taking pictures of the space.
  • The Sortly app is a lifesaver during the packing and unpacking phases of your move. It is a digital organization app that lets you catalog what you put in each box, so you know where all of your things are at all times. With the premium version, you can even create QR code labels to put on your boxes.  
  • Once you are settled into your new place, use the Nextdoor app to stay informed about what is going on in your new neighborhood. 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.

Make your move simpler by using portable storage units from Zippy Shell. You load your belongings at your convenience, and we will simply move them for you or we can safely store your belongings as long as you need. When the time is right, we will deliver everything to your new home. Contact Zippy Shell today to get a quote.

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!