Creating Space for College Students Coming Home for the Summer

College Students

What fun activities do you have planned for your college student who is home for the summer? Making their favorite meal, game night, movie night, or even a family vacation are all great ideas. But the more important question is, what are your plans for all the stuff your college student will be bringing home for summer break?

Inevitably, your college student will bring home more things than they left with last fall making your home feel more cramped and cluttered than usual. Check out our favorite tips for creating more space in the home so you can enjoy the time spent with your students in a peaceful environment this summer.

  • Find a proper “home” for everything. Staring at boxes for a few days is okay, but it is not something you want to do all summer long. Even if the boxes are going to remain packed, find a place out of sight for them to live for the summer. Trust us!
  • Invest in a few pieces of furniture that can double as storage. Multifunctional furniture such as ottomans, coffee tables, or benches that contain storage areas can stylishly hide items away.
  • Look up! Installing overhead ceiling racks in your garage and closets is a quick and easy way to store items that are not needed regularly. But don’t store anything too heavy up above – no boxes full of books or large appliances! Use small containers that you can easily maneuver up and down.

Store it. Create space in your home by storing everything that will not be needed by either you or your student over the summer. Pack those extra items in a Zippy Shell container and send them off to a secure, climate-controlled storage center. Then sit back and breathe a sigh of relief in your clutter-free space. When you are ready, you can bring everything back to your home.

ZippyU with 1-800-PACK-RAT Is Offering 30 Days of Free Storage to College Students

ZippyU with 1-800-PACK-RAT Is Offering 30 Days of Free Storage to College Students 

With Many Colleges Across the Country Closing Campuses Early Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), ZippyU Looks to Help Students Move out Quickly and Easily 

ZippyU, along with 1-800-PACK-RAT, LLC, a leader in the portable storage and moving industry, has announced today, it will give college students 30 days of free storage. With campuses closing early due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ZippyU and 1-800-PACK-RAT want to help students and families being affected. 1-800-PACK-RAT provides all-steel, secure, portable storage containers that can be delivered directly to a location. Students can pack the container at their own pace, lock it up with their own lock, then call 1-800-PACK-RAT for pick up. The container will be stored at a secure storage facility nearby until the student returns in the Fall. Alternatively, the container can be transported and delivered to a different location within the 1-800-PACK-RAT service area. 

ZippyU and 1-800-PACK-RAT are currently reaching out to universities across the country to see how they can help alleviate some of the stress college students and their families are experiencing during these unprecedented times. “Our goal is to make moving and storage simple; that is what we do at ZippyU and 1-800-PACK-RAT. We are already working with some universities, and we know the services we provide will help both the universities and their students with their move-out process. We make it simple – we deliver storage right to the customer, they can pack it, and we will store it until they’re ready. When the Fall comes around, we can bring their storage container right back to them. This eliminates multiple car/moving truck trips to a storage facility and having to unnecessarily load and unload their items multiple times,” said Andy McDade, President of ZippyU. 

“Helping college students and their families through this difficult period is a top priority for us all. It is incredible to have Andy McDade leading ZippyU with his extensive experience working with colleges and universities across the country,” said Mark Kuhns, Chief Executive Officer of 1-800-PACK-RAT and Zippy Shell. 

1-800-PACK-RAT will provide 30 days of free storage to college students within their service area. For more information about this program, contact 1-800-PACK-RAT at 888-282-3022 or commercialsales@1800packrat.com and mention promo code COLLEGE.

Tips to Up Your Spring Barbecue Game!

food being cooked on a grill

What is your favorite thing about springtime? We enjoy the longer days in spring, the colorful flowers, the warmer temperatures, and the newness of everything after the cold winter. The warmer temperatures and the longer days provide the perfect opportunity to host an outdoor party like a spring barbeque. This is a nice way to spend quality time with friends and family while maybe showing off your grill-master skills. Spring barbeques are also a great way to celebrate milestones like birthdays, engagement, graduations, or family reunions. What are your best tips for hosting a spring barbeque that will create memories to last all season? Here are some of ours:

  • Add a little fun and excitement to your outdoor barbeque with a theme! As an added bonus, having a theme will make the design and planning easier. Once you have a theme, select invitations, decorations, and food that will best showcase your idea. The possibilities are endless, your theme can be casino night, beach party, disco night, Hawaiian luau, or something goofy like a pirate party.
  • Do a little spring cleaning. Make time to clean out the grill, and clear any cobwebs, debris or weeds that may have grown over the winter. Hose off the deck and seating areas and scrub any surfaces that will serve as food stations.
  • Set up some yard games to keep everyone occupied. Games like cornhole, badminton, horseshoes, darts, giant Jenga, and bocce ball give guests a great opportunity to interact and get to know each other better.
  • Don’t forget to set the mood. Set the tone of the barbeque with a great playlist piping through outdoor or Bluetooth speakers. Strategically place string lights and other lighting around to turn the party area into a magical place. It still gets chilly during the evening in the Piedmont Triad, so a fire pit will help keep your barbeque cozy. It will also provide a fun spot to have guests make their own s’mores for dessert!
  • Prepare food and drinks beforehand. Make sure all the food is ready to go on the grill when the guests arrive and that any side dishes are assembled and cooked as needed. This will enable you to spend your time enjoying the company of your guests. Of course, you don’t have to do all the cooking yourself. Ask your guests to bring side dishes and desserts, people love to show off their signature dishes! For the drinks, consider making batch cocktails or mocktails ahead of time. Create drinks that will reinforce your theme to make them more memorable. Offer guests a beverage when they arrive, and then encourage them to help themselves after that.  
  • Pest proof your barbeque by using tightly sealed food and drink containers or coolers. Another option is to serve all food and drinks inside and save your outdoor space for eating and entertaining. You can also light some citronella candles or oil as it masks the smells of humans that are so attractive to insects.

Spring is certainly an extraordinary time of the year! If you are planning on a move this spring, allow Zippy Shell to make all the necessary arrangements. Let us take all of the guesswork out of the moving process!

5 Non-Traditional Spring Cleaning Tips

Smoke detector

Spring cleaning isn’t a new concept. Spring symbolizes “rebirth” and for many folks across the country it is a stimulus to engage in “spring cleaning”. However, there are a lot of things you may not know about “elbow grease” that could be super helpful when you decide to get down to the nitty-gritty.

Let’s explore some of the non-traditional spring cleaning tips outside of the regular spring cleaning protocol.

1. Media Detox: Constant stimulation from media sources can wreak havoc on your psyche, especially teenagers. It’s amazing how many hours we truly spend in front of a screen (think computer at work, phone in your hand, television in the evening, maybe a table before bed). We suggest taking a sabbatical from Instagram, Facebook, Snap Chat, and 24-hour news programming. Studies show that people become more anxious and depressed after being exposed to negative news reports. Trust us, you will feel less anxious by realizing that so much of the media is hyped up for dramatic results.

2. Smoke Alarms: If you already change out the smoke alarm battery on daylight savings dates, you are ahead of the game. The professionals recommend that you test your fire alarm units monthly. Always install new batteries (never mix old and new) as soon as the low-battery warning alarm sounds (or at a minimum once a year). Clean them regularly by lightly dusting or vacuuming them with a small brush connection. You should also replace smoke alarms every 10 years for the best performance. If you have yet to get on a schedule, put it on your spring cleaning list every year.  Avoid hearing the screech of your smoke alarm battery going off in the middle of the night!

3. Art of Mindfulness: It’s time to discover the art of mindfulness. It’s defined as the attentiveness to whatever we are doing – when we are doing it. It is deliberate and in the moment. Learn mindfulness skills and techniques to help you slow down and start living life in the present moment. Educating yourself on meditation is a great way to start this process. You could even embrace this movement with a simple task of adult coloring!

4. Change Filters: With the onset of spring in the south, we are already experiencing warm temperatures. Be sure and change your air conditioning filter so you can help keep out dust and other allergens from invading your home and your lungs!

5. Clean Your PC: This may seem like an odd tip, but it is quite important to help keep your computer performing more smoothly. Add defragging or optimizing your PC drive every spring to the spring cleaning list. Also, remember to set up a backup plan for your data.

These non-traditional spring cleaning tips should also spring clean your mind. Take the time to slow down, and remember that life is short, so enjoy it! And remember, if you need to store some items, consider a climate-controlled facility with Zippy Shell!

Help Your Feline Adjust to a New Home With These Tips

Cat

While some cats may seem aloof and unbothered by distractions, moving to a new environment can really shake them up. They are by nature territorial, so when a new home is introduced, the surroundings aren’t familiar and comfortable to them. Here are a few tips to help you ease your feline through the adjustment period, making it easier for your cat to manage in your new home.

1. Slow introduction: Because of the new surroundings, a cat is going to be unsure of its new environment. Slowly introduce your cat to your new home by assigning a room with all your cat’s essentials (litter box, scratching post, food, water, toys) and keeping your cat in there for a while. If possible, try and unpack as much as possible before introducing your cat to the rest of the home. The sounds associated with unpacking can be unsettling to your cat.

2. Have patience: It may take a few weeks for your cat to feel comfortable in your new home. Your cat may even “act out” or go into hiding during this time. Remember to have patience during this fragile time for your fur baby. Keep the familiar items and toys out and let them explore the new surroundings at their own pace. Before long your cat will feel right at home again.

3. Familiar smells: Try and have familiar scents around to include toys and bedding that will help them feel more comfortable. Cats are scent oriented, so the more you can surround them with familiar smells of “home”, the better they will acclimate to their new surroundings. Another option is synthetic pheromones that will help calm your cat.

4. Secure surroundings: If your cat is an indoor cat, make sure there isn’t an escape route such as an open window or air ducts. If your cat is an outdoor lover or spends time both indoors and out, make sure the outdoor plants are cat-friendly. There are poisonous plants that are very harmful to cats.

5. Outdoor adventures: In addition to making sure you don’t have poisonous plants outside for those cats that like to venture outside the house, be sure they are comfortable indoors. If they are comfortable with their new indoor surroundings, they will fare better when they are exposed to the outdoors.

The process of helping your cat adjust to a new home will take some time, but with these tips (and some patience) they should experience a smoother transition. And remember, if you need to store some items that aren’t making the move with you, consider a temperature-controlled facility with Zippy Shell!

7 Tips to Help You Stay Calm During a Move

happy moving couple

Studies show that moving is one of the most stressful life events. The level of stress may vary depending on the reason for the move (i.e. divorce vs. an incredible new job opportunity). No matter the level, there are still common factors that make a move stressful because of the number of details involved. The key is to stay calm during a move not only for your sake but also for the sake of your family. Here are 7 tips to help you stay calm during a move:

Time is your friend: The best gift you can give yourself to help reduce the stress of a move is ample time to plan your move. Organization is extremely important when balancing all the details of a move. You will not only be more productive; you will also have more time to work through any potential obstacles when you give yourself enough time.

Hit the ground running: The first day you decide to make a move, begin the process immediately. Whether you have the beauty of extra time or not, don’t procrastinate and wait until the week before to get started. Start packing your things as soon as possible, especially those items you won’t need early on. Planning is key in a move and a moving checklist can also help you prepare for success.

Let others do the moving: If planning a self-move is too overwhelming, save yourself the stress and let the professionals worry about moving day. Zippy Shell can help with the heavy lifting and refer you to professional loading and packing services.

Be mindful of your moving expenses: According to the American Moving and Storage Organization (AMSA), the average cost of a move is approximately $4,300 (for a distance of 1,225 miles). Create a budget, stick with it and keep more “green” in your wallet.

Keep important documents with you: Don’t take the risk of losing important documents (passport, birth certificate, bank records, school documents, etc.) during a move. Keep items in a secure folder or lockbox and make sure it stays by your side.

Beat stress with something you love to do: Beat the stress by taking some time to do something you enjoy such as taking a nature walk, reading a book, or enjoying time with friends and family. By “stepping away” from the moving process, you will feel refreshed and energized to keep working on the moving tasks at hand.  

Eat, sleep and focus on the positive: When we are under stress, it’s easy to gravitate to unhealthy foods, sleep deprivation, and negative thinking. Instead of scarfing down a pizza, packing until 3 am while cursing the moving process, fill your belly with healthy options, catch some zzz’s to avoid fatigue and focus on the positives of your move. Whether it’s a fresh start in a new town or city or a chance for a better job, try and keep the negative thoughts at bay.

Whether your move is exciting or a nuisance, focusing on staying calm will help the process goes much smoother. Exercise these 7 tips for moving success (and lower blood pressure!) And remember, if you need to store some items that aren’t moving with you, consider a climate-controlled facility with Zippy Shell!

Jumpstart Spring Cleaning with These 5 Tips

cleaning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Design Tips for Renovating Your Kitchen

kitchen

The kitchen always has and always will be the “heart” of the home. This is the place where family and friends gather, and it is usually the first room to get remodeled when looking to increase the value of your home before selling or just wanting to modernize the home. As an added bonus, kitchen updates boast the highest return on investment of the entire house. If you are planning a kitchen renovation, our best piece of advice is to be smart about the features you upgrade. You will get the biggest bang for your buck by making replacements that play up the best features of your kitchen. Here are a few design tips to take into consideration:

  • Paying for a bit of expert advice at the start of a project can take the stress out of the process and save you money in the long run. Even if you already have a good idea of what you want, a professional kitchen designer can help fine-tune your plan and help you avoid costly mistakes.
  • When considering the layout, moving around easily in your kitchen is a top priority. Create a classic work triangle with short paths between your refrigerator, stovetop, and sink. Position traffic paths to go around this work triangle, not through it. Provide adequate aisle space between counters and be aware of conflicting door swings from appliances, cabinets, or the pantry.
  • If you are changing the layout, let’s not forget to talk about all the benefits of a large kitchen island. An island can not only provide additional counter space for prep work, it can also serve as a buffet. If you include seating at your island, it will make a great place to chat with your family or visitors while you are preparing a meal.
  • Add in features that will simplify your daily routine – a self-cleaning oven, at least 36 inches of uninterrupted counter space for prep work, a microwave the kids can easily reach, an easy-to-clean cooktop, sturdy cabinetry with ample space for household staples, and cubbies fitted with bins to corral the clutter.
  • Of course, there is no such thing as too much storage in the kitchen. Any little nook and cranny that you can add or make better use of your kitchen storage space is going to put a smile on your face.
  • One of the most important features to consider in any renovation is the lighting. Bright and airy is the look you are trying to achieve in the kitchen and a well-planned lighting scheme is all it takes. You want to have adequate lighting to be able to complete all your kitchen tasks and show off those new countertops!

If you need space to store items during your kitchen renovation, give Zippy Shell a call! Our storage containers are a popular option during remodeling because they provide you with the ability to completely clear items out of your home while also maintaining the flexibility of having those items on hand when you need them. You can feel confident knowing that your furniture, appliances, and personal belongings are safe and within easy reach during the chaos of remodeling. Learn more about our storage solutions at www.zippyshell.com!

6 Tips on Preparing and Transporting Food for a Move

food

While this may be a seemingly odd topic to discuss, it really is an important task to consider for an upcoming move. Depending on if you make reservations or make weekly trips to a large food membership club, you have an investment of food items residing in your kitchen. In a similar fashion to packing up your clothes or household items, you need to determine what to keep, what to donate, what to toss and how to transport it to your new home. Here are 6 tips on preparing and transporting food for a move.

  1. Sizing up the new digs: How does your new kitchen size up to your old one? If you are moving from a one-bedroom apartment to a 5-bedroom house, chances are your kitchen will be larger and include more pantry space. If the situation is the reverse, you can pretty much bank on a smaller kitchen. Knowing how much space (fridge/freezer and pantry) you will have dedicated for food will help determine how much to keep, donate and/or toss.
  2. Clean out the fridge/freezer: Prior to the move, start decluttering your refrigerator and freezer. Toss out spoiled and expired items. Consider eating up as much of the food as you can in the days before the move to eliminate items being moved. The distance to your new home will determine what you should do with the remaining food. If you are on the road for days, you may want to donate or toss. If your move is less, grab a dependable cooler and ice your items down. If you are moving your fridge, it will need to be unplugged for at least 24 hours to ensure it is properly thawed prior to a move.
  3. Pantry purge: Decluttering is the key task with a pantry purge. As with the fridge/freezer purge, toss out spoiled and expired items. If space is an issue with transporting, donate dry and boxed perishable items to a shelter or soup kitchen. For items traveling with you, prevent spills by sealing boxes and lids with tape. You can also transfer items into airtight containers for extra safety measures.
  4. Eliminate glass: Consider donating, tossing out or transferring food contained in glass bottles or jars. If these heavy items were to fall and break, the mess won’t be pretty and could potentially ruin any dry and boxed items. If you must take these items, place at the bottom of moving boxes or coolers and surround with bubble wrap or softer items to cushion the glass.
  5. Pack lightly: Food items can become heavy quickly, especially with any glass bottles or jars on board. Store heavy items in smaller boxes and be sure and tape up boxes securely so items won’t fall out.
  6. Destination arrival: Unpack any items in ice-filled coolers immediately on arrival to avoid spoiling. Unpack dry and boxed perishable items when convenient. Create a shopping list to replace the items you had to donate, toss or eat to keep from spoiling.

Arrive at your new destination with your food items intact with these preparation and transportation tips. And remember, if you need to store some non-perishable items that aren’t making the move with you, consider a climate-controlled facility with Zippy Shell!

How to Store Your Belongings During a Piedmont Triad Move

zippy shell moving

Do you need to store your belongings during your Piedmont Triad move? Many times a move will require putting some or all of your belongings into short- or long-term storage for a variety of reasons. Maybe you need to move out some furniture or personal items to stage your home for selling. Or maybe your new place will not be available for immediate occupancy by the time you need to leave your current residence. No matter the reason for storage, you will, of course, want your belongings to be safe and secure until reaching your final destination. This is where the friendly folks at the Piedmont Triad Zippy Shell can help!

Consider the following tips when packing your items for an extended stay in storage.

  • Clean everything before it goes into storage. News flash – if you store something while it is dirty, it’s only going to be dirtier when you unpack it one, two, or twelve months later. Clothes, furniture, and all appliances should be as clean and dry as possible before storing them away during your move.
  • Make an inventory list. This is important during any move, but especially during a move that will include some or all of your belongings to be in storage. Take photos and make lists of how and where each item is packed.
  • Pack your boxes with intent. Use as many of the same sized boxes as possible to allow for easier stacking. A fully packed box will provide greater protection than one with gaps, so aim to fill each box without overloading it. Reinforce the bottom and top of each box with secure packing tape.
  • Fill your storage container with purpose. Pack heavier items such as furniture and appliances on the bottom, placing the heaviest items in the center of the storage container. Pack your items from floor to ceiling, creating wall-like layers. Fill any open spaces with boxes and other small items to provide stability. Odd-shaped items can go on top of boxes or near the doors. Furniture pads, blankets, and pillows work well to cushion fragile items. You can wrap couches, mattresses, and other soft furniture with stretch wrap. Taking the extra time and planning to pack your storage container carefully will make unpacking easier and keep your belongings secure while they are being transported and stored.

Zippy Shell storage containers are a particularly good choice when moving items to or from a more urban environment in the Piedmont Triad. We offer “street legal” containers with license plates and wheels, making it easy to park these containers in street parking spots. 

To keep your belongings safe and secure while you move, Zippy Shell storage centers are equipped with climate control and added security. When you are ready, we will redeliver your storage container or move it to your next destination. The Piedmont Triad Zippy Shell provides storage for moving that is convenient and hassle-free!