Fun Fall Decor Ideas

Fall Decor

If you have walked through a store in the past few weeks, there is no question that fall is here—Halloween and Thanksgiving décor is everywhere! We have seen some Christmas stuff too, but we are not even getting started on that right now. If you are getting your home ready for the fall season, we have some fun décor ideas to get you started.

TRANSFORM YOUR DINING TABLE

The dining table is a great place to start decorating for fall. After you put down a nice tablecloth and runner, you can get creative with a fall-themed centerpiece. A tall vase full of dried wheat bundles or a large bowl filled with pinecones, mini-pumpkins, or gourds, is a simple way to create a dramatic centerpiece in your dining room.

STOP BY YOUR LOCAL NURSERY OR GARDEN CENTER

The fall porch and patio potted arrangements have arrived. You can pick up a gorgeous arrangement of plants and foliage to display on your front porch or even lining the steps up to your front door. If they are already in containers, the only thing you must do is keep them watered for an easy, yet stunning, decoration for your porch that you will love looking at all season.

GET FESTIVE WITH A FALL WREATH

Wreaths are great for any holiday or season for a festive way to greet guests or anyone who comes to the front door. You can buy one ready-made, or you can hop on Pinterest for some fun DIY fall wreath plans and patterns.

TURN YOUR PORCH INTO A FALL FESTIVAL

Use a variety of pumpkins, garland made from colorful leaves, and stringed lights to give your front porch that fall festival feel. Another idea we love is taking mason jars and filling them with small, battery-operated lights and moss for some earthy ambiance while you sit outside enjoying the cooler weather.

BRING THE OUTSIDE IN

Bring the outside in by collecting branches to display in tall vases. If you are handy with power tools, you can even find downed thick limbs or trees to create wood slices to use around your home. Wood slices make great risers, placemats, or even coasters.

GET CRAFTY

While we love natural decorations, crafted decorations work great for the fall season as well. Mixing the two themes can also be fun. You can take natural items like acorns, pinecones, or even pumpkins, and paint them in fun colors that you love. This is a great activity to get the kids involved in as well.

We hope you have fun as you start decorating your home for the fall season. Be sure to stop by our Pinterest page and check out our FALL DECORATING, FOOD, AND INSPIRATION board for even more fun ideas.

ZIPPY SHELL IS READY TO PARTNER WITH YOU

If you have a move coming up this year, or you need options for storage, give Zippy Shell a call for a free, no-obligation estimate.

5 Tips to Save Money on Your Move

saving money

The costs involved with moving add up fast! Not only do you have moving expenses, you likely will be spending money to get your new home set up and ready for your family to settle in. Fortunately, there are ways to cut some of those costs. Take a look at 5 of our favorite tips for saving money on your move.

COLLECT FREE BOXES FROM LOCAL STORES

If you don’t mind using different sized boxes, give your local grocery and package stores a call. These locations are a treasure trove for free boxes. Just be sure to call a couple of weeks in advance and reserve some. If no one claims them, they get recycled.

IF YOU CAN, MOVE IN THE OFF-SEASON

If you have any flexibility in the timing of your move, try to move in the off-season. Yes, even moving has a peak and off-season! May through September is the typical peak season for moving. You may find different moving services to be less available during that time. You may also find prices are higher during the high demand months. Schedule your move in the off-season for the best prices.

CHECK FOR MOVING SPECIALS

Before you commit to any moving services, check around for moving specials. You will likely find more ways to save money with these specials and coupons during the off-season months. But be careful if you see an offer that seems far too good to be true—these often turn out to be scams.

DON’T FORGET TO SHUT OFF YOUR UTILITIES

In the chaos of moving, it is common for people to forget to shut off the utilities or transfer them out of their name. You really do not want to have two utilities bills simultaneously. Also, be sure to schedule the utilities turn-on date for your new home in advance. If you arrive and have forgotten to do that, you will either wait a day or two with no utilities, or you will have to pay extra for same-day service. Save that money and schedule them before you move in!

DON’T RENT A TRUCK

Rental truck costs add up very quickly. Not only are you charged by the time you have it rented out, you are charged for mileage. Even the gas costs for a big truck is costly. We recommend using a portable storage unit. You will have a secure unit delivered to your location and it will stay there as long as you need. When you are ready, it will be picked up and either stored at a secure location or transported to your new home. Skip the rental truck costs and save money with an easier way to move!

We hope these tips help as you get ready to plan your move. Zippy Shell is ready to partner with you on your move. Give us a call for a free, no-obligation estimate.

Common Decorating Mistakes to Avoid

decorating

Are you getting ready to decorate your new house? If you just moved, you are probably feeling some urgency to transform your new house into a warm home and sanctuary for you and your family—but don’t move too fast! Before you get started, take a look at some of the most common decorating mistakes.

CHOOSING YOUR PAINT COLOR TOO SOON

You may already have an idea of what color you want to paint the rooms in your home, but we suggest making your more expensive purchases first. Make sure you have all the furniture you plan to buy in the home before choosing the color of the paint. Often times, people paint first and then realize the furniture they move in doesn’t complement each other.

NOT TRYING PAINT SAMPLES

Another mistake people make with paint colors is choosing the color in the store without bringing home samples to see how it will look on their walls in the current lighting. According to what kind of lighting you have in your home, colors can look dramatically different. Paint samples are a cost-effective way to make sure you choose the color you love.

CHOOSING STYLE OVER COMFORT

This is an easy mistake to make. Some of the most comfortable things are often less aesthetically pleasing. When you are choosing furniture, keep in mind that if you choose style over comfort, people in your family will be less likely to use that space.

HANGING ART TOO HIGH

Another common decorating mistake is hanging pieces of art too high to try and give a more dramatic look. Standard sizes should be hung at eye level to give the viewer the best view of the art.

NOT MEASURING SPACES BEFORE BUYING FURNITURE AND RUGS

This is usually an unintentional mistake that happens when you are shopping for a certain thing but come across a piece of furniture, rug, or another home item that you just love. A purchase is made, it is brought home, only to find that it doesn’t fit the space. If you the vendor doesn’t accept returns, you are just out of luck. It is a good idea to go ahead and take some of the main measurements in your home and save them to your phone so making spontaneous purchases don’t have to end badly. And always check the return/exchange policy!

RELYING ON OVERHEAD LIGHTING

Decorating your home is not all about art, furniture, and accent pieces—it’s also about ambiance. The best way to achieve a nice ambiance in your home is by using other types of lighting besides your overhead lights. A nice corner lamp or chandelier with dimming feature are just two great options to consider in your home.

We hope these tips help as you get ready to decorate your home. If you aren’t quite there yet and are still working on planning a move, give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. We would be happy to equip you with a free, no-obligation estimate to help you make the best moving and storage decisions. We look forward to hearing from you.

How to Ship a Vehicle Across the Country

freight truck

Moving a long distance such as across the country comes with its own unique set of challenges. One of those challenges is figuring out how your vehicle will get to its new home. Will you drive it yourself or use an automotive transportation service?

Driving Yourself

In the majority of situations this will be the most cost-effective option, but don’t act so fast! There is of course the cost of gas to drive your vehicle to your new destination, but depending on the distance there are other costs to consider. Will you need to stay in a hotel overnight because the drive is so long? How many times will you need to stop for food? What about the wear and tear on your vehicle? Each part of your vehicle, from the tires to the engine, has a limited number of miles it can drive before it should be replaced. Driving your vehicle 1,000 miles in just a few days can take an average of one month off of its life expectancy. You also have to consider the time it will take to drive across the country. Will driving your vehicle yourself require you to take time off of work, therefore, reducing your wages?

Automotive Transportation Service

  • How does it work? While you are focused on moving your stuff, you can leave the transporting of your vehicles to a professional automotive transport partner. Your vehicle will be picked up or driven to a nearby location where it can be loaded onto a vehicle transporter. The auto transport service will then deliver your vehicle to your new home, either dropping it off at your door or at a nearby spot where you can pick it up.
  • What are the advantages? Shipping a vehicle via an auto transport service saves more time than driving it by yourself, especially in the case of a long-distance move. You can fly to your new place without having to make changes in your schedule and having to drive all the way to your destination which is often tiring. Having your vehicle transported by a professional auto transport service will save you a lot of stress when managing your overall move. By leaving the driving to auto transporters, you also will save a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle. Since auto transport services have employees that are knowledgeable about the rules and regulations connected with auto transportation, they can advise you about the documentation that’s required to transport the vehicle.
  • Are there any disadvantages? The biggest item to consider when using an automotive transportation service is your timeline. When you transport your vehicle by yourself, you’re in control of the entire operation, meaning that you can control exactly when it arrives at your new home. When hiring professionals, the delivery date is often decided by the company. The number of vehicles and the location of the vehicles the company is transporting can affect delivery times.

Before you decide whether you would like to employ the services of an auto transport service to transport your vehicle, weigh the pros and cons carefully. By getting quotes from various companies you can trim the expenses involved. Zippy Shell partners with automotive transportation services that provide professional services at competitive rates. Contact us today!

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!

6 Home Improvements to Make Before Selling

House at dusk

If you are getting ready to place your home on the market, now is the time to sneak in some home improvement projects. Sometimes even the smallest home improvements can have a huge impact on potential buyers. All of the improvements listed below have the potential to immediately change the buyer’s perception of your home and raise its value.

Landscaping

Great landscaping can create a lasting first impression. Even if you don’t really have a green thumb, it’s important that your landscaping looks neat and that it complements your home’s exterior. Make sure your yard is looking its best by clearing out debris, watering the grass, trimming the hedges, mowing the lawn, and putting in a few annual flowers to brighten things up.

Exterior Shine

Making the exterior of your home sparkly clean can probably add more power to your curb appeal potential than anything else. After everything is cleaned up, take time to repair any places that need attention. Focus on chipping paint around the windows, missing shingles, or siding that needs repair.

Interior Paint

Painting is a great cost-effective way to completely transform the look of your home. Freshly painted rooms are a natural attraction. Using a light or neutral shade will allow buyers to more easily picture themselves living in your home. Plus, lighter colors will make your home seem larger, cleaner, and more appealing. If your walls are still in pretty good shape, washing them can give the same desired look.

Updated Fixtures

Light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, kitchen fixtures, doorknobs, cabinet hardware… making updates in these areas can make a huge difference. Fixtures go in and out of style pretty frequently and can easily make a beautiful home look dated.

Refresh Cabinets

Kitchen and bathroom cabinets are highly visible because they are at eye level. For cabinets that are in good structural shape, a deep clean may be all that is needed to get them in showing condition. If that fails, painting or refacing them is a much cheaper option than replacing them altogether.

Depersonalize and Declutter

To prevent potential buyers from getting distracted, you should remove all personal memorabilia, such as family photos, collections, hobby items, and personal hygiene items. Your goal is to help prospective buyers visualize the space as their own. Clutter makes rooms look smaller and distracts buyers from seeing the beauty of the space. Make your home look bigger and more desirable by editing down to just the basics.

To give the illusion of space in your home, it may prove useful to store excess items off-site. We can deliver all-steel, weatherproof storage containers to you for all your storage needs. Zippy Shell delivers the container directly to your door to be loaded then safely stores all your furniture and other belongings back at our climate-controlled facility – out of sight and mind for you and your potential buyers. If you want a simple way to store your stuff, look no further than Zippy Shell.

6 Tips to Babyproof Your New Home

Baby in a House

Moving can be tough enough, but if you are moving into a new home with a baby, it can pose even more challenges. Not only do you need to consider how to get everything unpacked and put away, you will need to make sure your home has been babyproofed to keep them safe in their brand-new environment. We have a few tips to help you get started on creating a safe home for your baby.

  1. SECURE FURNITURE: While you are moving your furniture in is a great time to go ahead and anchor each heavy piece to the wall. Heavy cabinets and even televisions can be dangerous to small children once they start pulling themselves up. You can order furniture and television anchoring kits online or in most local home improvement stores.
  2. COVER ELECTRICAL OUTLETS: The easiest solution for keeping small fingers away from electrical outlets are the plastic inserts that you can purchase very inexpensively at most stores. But these are fairly easy to pull out, and if you find your child is especially curious, then perhaps replacing the outlet plates with ones that have sliding covers that automatically cover the outlet when you remove a cord will provide a higher level of safety and peace of mind.
  3. BLOCK THE STAIRS: If you have moved into a multi-level home, be sure to block the top and bottom of each set of stairs. There are different types of gates to choose from, but ones that swing open are generally the easiest to use for stairs.
  4. CHECK THE HOT WATER HEATER TEMPERATURE SETTINGS: This may not be a big deal before your baby starts walking, but it would be good to go ahead and check that your water heater temperature is not set any higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Any higher than that and your child could get severely burned in the water.
  5. WATCH FOR CHOKING HAZARDS AND CHEMICALS: This can be difficult during the unpacking process when you have things all over the place. Be mindful of items like household cleaners or small screws left out from furniture assembly.
  6. INSTALL DOORKNOB COVERS AND CABINET LOCKS:  When your child becomes mobile, you will want to make sure they can’t open up the cabinets in your kitchen and bathrooms and you should make sure they can’t move freely unattended in the home. Doorknob covers and cabinet locks are a great way to make sure they aren’t getting into anything when you turn around for a second.

When you move into your new home, it may feel overwhelming trying to do all the babyproofing that is needed while you are also trying to get your belongings put away. If babyproofing can’t be done right away, consider creating a space in the home that is safe for the baby until you are able to get it completed.

If you have a move coming up this fall, give Zippy Shell a call. We would love to speak with you and see how our moving and storage services can help you have a smooth and stress-free moving process. We look forward to hearing from you!

How to Safely Move Your Grill

grill

Some of your belongings are harder to pack and move than others. One item that can pose some difficulty is a gas or charcoal grill or a smoker. This is not something that you can easily put in a box and stick in the mobile storage unit for transport. Take a look at some of our tips for properly preparing your grill for a move to your new home.

MAKE SURE IT IS COOL

We know this sounds obvious, but make sure you don’t underestimate the time it takes for a grill to cool down from its last use. If you had a barbecue the night before packing, be sure that it has completely cooled down before you start getting it ready for the move.

REMOVE PROPANE AND CHARCOAL

Propane is not allowed in moving trucks or mobile storage units, so you will need to disconnect the propane gas canister and dispose of it or give it away. If you use something like charcoal, you should clear it all out of the grill.

TAKE OUT REMOVABLE PARTS, CLEAN, AND PACK SEPERATELY

Grills can have a lot of different parts that come out easily. You don’t need to disassemble your entire grill, but you should take out the racks and other removable parts. Make sure you scrub everything down well. You do not want grime and grease from your grill to get on other items in your mobile storage unit. Plus, it will be nice to start fresh when you are settled into your new home.

STRAP DOWN THE LID OR ANY MOVING PARTS

Once your grill is all clean, strap down the lid to make sure it does not open while it is being moved or in the storage unit. Any other moving parts that cannot be removed should also be secured.

USE MOVING BLANKETS TO WRAP YOUR GRILL

You don’t have to wrap your grill, but if you want to protect the exterior finish from scratches, you can use moving blankets to wrap around the grill. Just be sure to leave the handles and the wheels exposed. You will need those when it is time to move the grill!

DETERMINE THE EASIEST WAY TO MOVE THE GRILL

Most grills have at least two wheels which will make moving the grill from your patio to the mobile storage unit much easier. If you don’t have wheels on your grill, ask someone to help you lift the grill by the handles. Take breaks as needed to make sure you or the person helping you is able to avoid injury.

SECURE IT IN THE MOBILE STORAGE UNIT

Once you have made it to your unit with the grill, make sure it is secured so it does not tip over or slide around. You can use bungee cords or you can use other pieces of furniture to keep it in place.

We hope these tips will be helpful to you as you prepare your grill for your move. Let us know if we can help you with your local or long-distance move. Give us a call at Zippy Shell and we will provide you a free, no-obligation estimate for all your moving and storage needs. We look forward to hearing from you!

8 Things That Every New Homeowner Should Do

Brick Home

Congratulations on making it through the long and stressful process of homebuying! If you are getting ready to settle into your very first home, you may feel overwhelmed as you navigate this last step. Some things need to be done immediately—like turning on utilities—but others you can start as you get settled in and through the next few months. Take a look at 8 things we think every new homeowner should do in their first year.

INVEST IN A HOME WARRANTY

A home warranty can be a lifesaver if a major appliance, or the HVAC system goes out in the first year of owning your home. Not every company or policy is created equal, so make sure you do plenty of research before deciding who to go with. We recommend asking your friends and family, or even your real estate agent, for recommendations.

START AN EMERGENCY FUND

Even if you do have a home warranty, it is still a good idea to start an emergency fund in the event something breaks that is not covered or even for a potentially bad financial month where your emergency savings could help you make all your payments on time until things improve.

TEST FIRE AND CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS

This is something that should be done sooner than later. Just because you see smoke and carbon monoxide alarms installed, doesn’t mean that they are working. Replace all the batteries and set a reminder for six months out on your phone or in your planner to change them again. Be sure to test each alarm after replacing the batteries to make sure they are working as they should.

MAKE A PRIORITY LIST

If you had a home inspection, you may have a report full of small to medium things that need to be fixed. Go through the report and prioritize the things that are safety issues and most important to you and your family. You don’t have to do everything all at once, so take some time to research the issues, determine costs, and make a long-term plan.

START A FILE WITH RECEIPTS AND INVOICES

As you start to make improvements and repairs around the home, keep a file with receipts and invoices. If you were to try to sell the home, many improvements can be shared on the home listing to draw in buyers. Things like septic tank maintenance can be very important to a potential buyer.

HAVE A HVAC CHECKUP

HVAC maintenance is important to making sure your system doesn’t break down on you, especially during extreme temperatures. Have a professional come out and do an assessment and “tune up” to make sure it is in good working order. Don’t forget to replace the filter.

KNOW WHERE ALL YOUR SHUTOFF VALVES ARE

If you have a home inspection report, the inspector may have listed where the gas and water shut off valves are located. It is important to familiarize yourself with these so you can act quickly in the event of a burst pipe or a gas leak. You should let the other members of your household know where they are as well.

LEARN (AND LABEL) THE BREAKERS

You probably have seen the circuit breaker by now, but have you opened it up and check to see if it is clearly labeled? If the previous owners didn’t already label each one, it’s now your very important task to complete. You can essentially map your home by turning off all the circuit breakers and turning them back on one at a time to determine which lights, outlets, and major appliances are on each one. This information will come in handy one day.

Do you have any other tips to share with a new homeowner? Stop by our Facebook page and share with our Zippy Shell community. If you are getting ready to move into your new home, be sure to give us a call and we will provide you with a free, no-obligation quote. We look forward to hearing from you!