Top 8 Reasons Why Downsizing is a Good Idea

Downsizing often has a bad reputation, but there are indeed many benefits that can be overlooked. Whether you are choosing to downsize on your own, or you need to move to a smaller home for other reasons, don’t fret because this can be a good change for you!

  1. Financial benefits

By downsizing, you are going from a larger home to a smaller home. This will enable you to sell your large house, allowing you to buy a more modest home outright or put a sizable down payment on it. Not to mention that your new home should have lower maintenance costs and bills due to its smaller size.

2. Fresh start

Those making a move often have a reason for it, such as children moving out or the loss of a family member. Whatever your reasoning is, use this opportunity to give yourself a fresh start. Your new home will allow you to explore a new area and create new memories for yourself.

3. Bigger is not always better

Because you will have less space, you’ll need to have fewer belongings. This does mean there will be less to clean, organize, and furnish, thus reducing the amount of time you’ll spend on daily chores. A smaller home also means a smaller yard and less time spent in it cleaning. You’ll have fewer things to worry about and more time to enjoy yourself you can use to travel, pick up a new hobby, etc.

4. Fun additions

With the extra money you are saving from downsizing, you can spice up your new home with some fun décor or entertainment. You can even create a whole new room that you never had in your old house. This can include a game room, a library, or a gym in an empty room.

5. Bonding opportunity

Having a smaller home allows the occupants of the house to be closer to each other. It provides better space to bond with one another and creates a cozy living area together.

6. Save energy and water

Running a large home can add up to a lot of utilities. Cooling, heating, and water usage alone are much higher in a large house compared to a smaller home. Decrease your carbon footprint, all while enjoying a lower utility bill in a smaller home. Save additional water and energy with these tips too!

7. Necessities

When you have less space, you are going to be forced to have fewer things. This isn’t a negative though because now you will only have the belongings that you need. You will no longer have the option to hoard countless appliances and clothing that never gets any use. Take advantage of this opportunity and have a yard sale with all the belongings that don’t have a place in your new home. Any items that don’t sell in the yard sale can also be sold on eBay or Craigslist, or you can donate it.

8. Less splurging = less clutter

A smaller space will mean you will be less tempted to buy items that you don’t really need because you won’t have anywhere to keep them. This will help you become a smarter shopper and only buy the necessities.

If you are in the process of downsizing, contact Zippy Shell to help you move all of your belongings to your new home! We can service moves of many sizes, and even offer storage options if you need it.  Call us at 888-947-7974 or go online and get a free quote today!

7 Family Vacation Travel Tips

Family with kids at airport traveling

July is the most popular month for many families when it comes to going on a vacation. Whether your family is traveling locally or going out of the country, make the most of your time and money and use our tips to make it a perfect vacation!

1.    Give yourself extra time

When planning out a trip with the kids, remember that everything is going to take longer to do than it normally would. Children will naturally be fussy on any long trip, and will need to stop frequently for bathroom breaks, to eat, etc. Build in some extra time into your travel itinerary so that you are not rushing to the airport or miss out on activities you want to do because you are short on time.

2.    Make plans ahead of time

When having a whole family to keep track of, making plans on the fly can be tricky. Make sure to book your flights and hotel arrangements way ahead of time, so you know exactly where and when you will arrive. From there, you can also book sightseeing activities, tours, theme parks, and much more.

3.    Be transparent

Let your children know exactly what is going to happen throughout the trip and try to set behavioral expectations up. This will help them behave at each point on the trip at the airport, hotel, restaurant, etc. While kids will be kids no matter the situation, if they have a general idea of the timeline of events, they might be a little more behaved throughout the vacation.

4.    Bring entertainment

When your children start to get antsy on the trip, you are going to be the one they complain to. Electronics are always an easy portable activity they can use during the downtime moments of your trip. Consider also bringing toys or board games for when you are all hanging around the hotel.

5.    Pack snacks

Hunger may be the difference whether you have a good trip or a bad trip. A hungry child is never a happy child, so keep your children provided with food throughout the journey. Pack some easy to grab snacks for your children when they get hungry, and don’t forget to pack some for yourself as well! Just keep in mind your mode of travel; if you are flying, travel rules may prohibit you from taking some food items and drinks on a plane.

6.    Get your kids a disposable camera

Children love to imitate adults, so while you are taking pictures with your fancy camera, give them a disposable camera to take photos alongside you. They will love getting to join in on the fun and it doesn’t cost much to buy a couple or to replace if it gets damaged.

7.    Ask for child discounts

There is almost always a discount for children when participating in vacation activities, especially at theme parks and restaurants. Check online or ask at the venue if there are any discounts that are available for families with children. The money you can save from all of the places you visit and stay at can add up.

Tips to Ward off Summer Procrastination

A man sitting at a computer looking bored

Tips to Ward off Summer Procrastination

The Summer season can be a tricky time when it comes to balancing relaxation and work. While it may be easy to fall in a bit of a Summertime malaise, prevent yourself from slipping into that trap with these tips.

Write down and prioritize your goals

Having all of your goals written out will help you remember what is important to you and what you need to focus on. Once you know what your goals are, decide which ones are the most important or most challenging. It can be helpful to get the most challenging tasks out of the way, so then you can relax and complete the more manageable goals afterward. You can then create deadlines for when each task needs to be completed will also help you stay on track.

One step at a time

Don’t try to take on too many projects all at once. If you can, only focus on one to-do at a time to avoid spreading yourself too thin and ultimately taking longer to complete each separate task. Complete the objective at hand, then move to your next project.

Mark your calendar

Once you know when each assignment must be completed, create a timeline of how you are going to space out your work. This will help you achieve your work over time, without the hassle of trying to cram it all in at the last minute.

Give yourself a break

If you try to complete several tasks in a short amount of time, it could very well lead to a burn out. Once that happens, it can be very difficult to pick a project back up again. Be sure to take a break every once in a while. This will help give your mind and body the rest that it needs to fuel up and get back to work at full force.

Use incentives

Rewards are always a great way to help you accomplish your goal. It can be as small as treating yourself to your favorite snack or taking a trip to your dream location. Just be sure to stick to your word and only reward yourself once you have met your goal(s).

Tips to Increase Your Home’s Value

Beautiful home exterior shot

If you are in the process of trying to sell your home, and you want to increase its value before its sale, use these tips!

Clean it up

A house can never be too clean, and when it comes to home buying, appearances can often mean everything. If a buyer is choosing between a tidy home or one that has been professionally cleaned, , they likelihood of them leaning towards the thoroughly clean home is higher. Frequently cleaning your home gives it a better appeal, as well as helps you locate small problems that need fixing before they become a home buying deal breaker.

Prioritize improvements

Take a little time to figure out what improvements you quickly make to your house. Start from the first one on that list and slowly make your way down what needs to get done. It doesn’t need to be all done in a single day and even quick touchups or additions can add a lot to a home’s curb appeal and value.

Balance

It is okay to come up with a list of dream goals for your home to increase its value but be realistic at the same time. Decide what absolutely needs to get done versus what you really want to do while also including a couple of fun additions as well.

One room at a time

Focus your efforts on one room at a time to be more efficient. You can quickly become overwhelmed if you begin multiple projects in different rooms. The last thing you want is to have a room half painted when you are planning to show it to buyers the next day! Better to have one or two rooms touched up than several half completed.

Start small

If you cannot take on many big upgrades to your home, start with a few small ones. Simple fixes like replacing lights or old faucet pipes can go a long way.

Curb appeal

Add some color to the front of your house to give it a more attractive look. You can add a coat of shiny new paint to your shutters or plant a few bright flowers in your front yard. Be sure to rake up any stray branches or leaves and trim your bushes, to give your yard a nice clean look.

Once you are ready to make your move to your new home, contact Zippy Shell to move your belongings to your new location! We can service moves of many sizes, and even offer storage options if you need it. Contact us today for a free quote and see how we can make moving and storage simple for you! 

How to Unpack Your Kitchen

New home with a clean kitchen

Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home, so you are going to need to get it unpacked right away when you first move into a new home. Use these tips to help start the process off on the right foot! 

Prioritize 

Make sure all of your boxes are clearly labeled before you make your move. This way you can unpack your most essential items first, like pots, pans, plates, bowls, cups, and silverware. You are going to use these every day, so keep them close at hand when moving your belongings inside. 

Organize  

Unpack your most used items in easy access areas, such as cupboards that you can easily reach for simple everyday use. Organize your silverware in the drawer next to your dishwasher to increase your likelihood of putting away these items right away. Follow by placing dish towels in the drawer below this. Keep your cooking utensils such as spatulas or pans in cabinets next to the stove. 

Purge  

Depending on whether you upgrade or downgrade, the amount of purging you may have to do will vary. However, in either case, it will be necessary. Consider donating, selling, or throwing out unnecessary mugs or dishes that haven’t been used in years to make room for your essentials. If you are moving with kids, get rid of all the extra sippy cups they have outgrown, and maybe allow yourself to save just one for sentimental value. Be sure to discard duplicate items, such as multiple can openers. 

Keep areas free 

Except for a few items like your beloved coffeemaker or toaster oven, keep your counter free of clutter, so it does not become a habit to unload items on the countertops frequently. Having open counter space allows you to prepare food easier and makes cleaning a breeze. 

If you are looking to make a move soon and are looking for an experienced moving partner, then check out Zippy Shell today! We can service moves of many sizes, and even offer storage options if you need it. Contact us today for a free quote and see how we can make moving and storage simple for you! 

How to Maintain your Yard Under the Heat of Summer

As we enter the hottest month of summer, use these tips to help your yard flourish. 

Trim  

Trimming bushes or shrubs provides for many benefits. Animals may burrow in the underside of untrimmed bushes, so this prevents them from finding a new home in your yard. Trimming your hedges will cut out the overgrown sections of your shrubs and leave the tips fresh and alive, allowing for proper regrowth. Trimmed bushes also cause less debris to fall around the bush resulting in less cleanup for you, all while looking more pleasing. 

Check for dead branches 

Thunderstorms can be frequent and unpredictable in the summer season. To prepare for a storm out of the blue, make sure you have cleared all the dead branches hanging in trees or bushes around your house. This will give your tree and yard a better appearance, all while protecting your home from falling branches. 

Cut your grass 

This may seem like a simple task, but often, it can get forgotten. Make sure to cut your grass about once a week to keep it fresh and healthy. Cutting more often than this or ignoring to cut it this often can both lead to damage. 

Water  

Even though the high heat may make you think that your plants are dying, this is not always the case. Often plants die in the summer from overwatering when they don’t need it. To be safe, water your yard 2-3 times per week, depending on how much rain you receive. 

Fertilize 

Provide your yard with some extra nutrients before it takes on the heat of the summer. This will give the growth process a kickstart and give your yard a better chance at thriving. 

Rid your yard of weeds 

Weeds can take over a yard and suck out many of the nutrients in the soil that your plants need to survive. Although it may be an annoying task, it is crucial to weed for the success of your yard.  

Decluttering Tips to Turn Your North Texas Home into a Sanctuary

A clean and immaculate kitchen

Keeping a tidy home feels like an impossible task at times, especially if you have kids! Our homes should be our sanctuaries, a place to rest and relax after a hard day. A cluttered home can make relaxing out of the question. It’s time to bring peace back to your North Texas home! Continue reading to discover how to tackle your clutter once and for all.

A Place for Everything

If every item in your home does not have a designated space, guess what is going to happen? It is going to end up as clutter. Try giving items that normally turn into clutter an assigned place, and then adjust as you learn more about what works well and what doesn’t.

Identify Clutter Traps

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

Purge Again and Again

Don’t take up valuable space and mental energy with items you no longer use. As you are purging, think about the last time you really used the item and the emotional reasons you may be hanging on to it.

Baby Steps

If your house is extremely cluttered, it might be easy to get discouraged. Make it a point to deal with a little clutter every day. Dedicate 15-30 minutes each day to clutter busting with no distractions. Focus on one area at a time. Set up a box for donations and haul it away as soon as it is full.

Out of Sight

If you own items that you don’t have room for, but you want to keep – a mobile storage unit may be the answer you seek. Pack your extra items in a Zippy Shell and send them off to a secure, climate-controlled storage center. Then sit back and breathe a sigh of relief in your clutter free sanctuary of a home!

If you are looking to declutter your home and need some extra storage, give Zippy Shell a call today to see how we can help you!

5 Simple Ways to Save Water in the Summer

old fashioned water pump

In the high heat of the summer, water can become a luxury, and it is tempting to overuse it when we have so much access to it. Use these tips to help save your wallet as well as the environment this summer.

  1. Be precise with your watering

When watering your yard or plants, water them when the sun is not strong, such as in the morning or the evening. This will prevent water loss from evaporation. If using an automatic sprinkler system, make sure you are only watering your yard and not the sidewalk or driveway to avoid wasting water.

2. Check for leaks

Leaks can cause gallons of water to be wasted if you don’t catch them. Test to make sure your toilet isn’t leaking by putting a drop of food coloring into the tank, then see if color appears in the bowl. If it does, there is a leak. Double-check that none of your sinks are leaking from the pipes below them onto the cabinets or floor too. These are leaks that can be easily fixed if you take five minutes to check.

3. Don’t hand wash

Washing anything by hand always ends up using more water than if you had used a larger water appliance. This applies to scenarios such as using your dishwasher or going to a car wash instead of hand washing your dishes or car.

4. Turn off wasted water

Make sure to turn off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth, even if you tell yourself this is just going to be a quick brush. The water will add up. On a larger scale, turn off the showerhead while you are soaping or shaving.

5. Use water buckets

In the shower you can collect runoff water that would otherwise be drained and put it to use in your home for activities such as watering your plants. Outside, you can also use a rain bucket to collect rain water. This can also be used to water your plants and prevent runoff from polluting our local rivers.

De-Stress Your Move to the Piedmont-Triad Area

happy moving couple

The Piedmont-Triad area of North Carolina is made up of three major cities: Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem. And we understand why you would want to move here! It is a fast growing, economically thriving area with a wide array of entertainment and recreation options.

After the initial excitement of making a move, the emotion that sometimes takes over is stress. Zippy Shell aims to make your move to the Piedmont-Triad as stress free as possible with the following tips:

Accept the inevitable: Let’s make it clear from the beginning that at some point along your moving journey, you will feel stressed. Recognize the stress, but don’t let it overwhelm you or deter you from the tasks at hand.

Plan ahead: There are many steps involved in the moving process and you need to give yourself adequate time to devote to each one. The more you leave to the last minute, the more stress you’ll inevitably feel.

Stay organized: Make a detailed list of all the tasks you need to complete by the day or the week. Keep all the important documents required during a move organized and in an easy to access place. Devise a system for packing and labeling boxes that will make your belongings easy to find when needed. There is no such thing as too many labels! You can also consider an inventory list for this task.

Ask for help: Having help from family and friends during the sorting, packing, and moving processes is a great distraction and more importantly it makes the work go faster! Also, lean on your family and friends for emotional support when you feel overwhelmed.

Take care of yourself: We know it feels like the moving process takes over your life, but don’t let your healthy habits suffer. Continue to eat a balanced diet to give yourself energy and make time for an adequate amount of sleep.

Zippy Shell wants to help de-stress your move to the Piedmont-Triad area. We offer affordable and convenient options that will simplify your move. Having someone in your corner who cares about your belongings just as much as you do should definitely cut down on your stress level!  

Top Father’s Day Gift Ideas

father and son on pier

If you have the dad who already has everything he “needs,” use some of these gift ideas to give dad a present he will love for his special day.

Yeti™ cup

For all of his travel drink necessities, yeti cups serve all purposes. They easily fit in all car cup holders, as well as are capable of holding hot or cold drinks at their preferred temperature.

Baseball tickets

If Dad’s favorite team is playing on Father’s Day, consider buying some tickets and go!  If there isn’t a professional game available, going to a minor league game is always a good alternative.

Grilling equipment

Whether it’s time to replace your old grill, or acquire some new grilling utensils, buy some for the dad who loves to grill.

Lawn games

While enjoying a fun BBQ or family gathering, lawn games are always a hit.

Tile mate™

Attach a tile mate to dad’s keys or something else he frequently loses to help him quickly find it by summoning it from his phone.

Gravity blanket

This weighted blanket will encompass dad in a big, comfy bear hug to help him get a great sleep at night.

Kindle Paperwhite™

This latest edition of kindle allows for access to thousands of books in a waterproof material. Provide dad with his favorite classics that he can read by the water.

Digital picture frame

Give dad not one, not two, but multiple pictures in one frame! A digital picture frame allows you to display various images in a slide show all on the same frame. This is perfect for dad’s desk or any cozy countertop at home too.

Fitbit™

Give dad some subtle help to assist him in losing a few pounds with this fitness watch.