3 Ways to Naturally Remove/Reduce Mold in Your Home

Young couple cleaning their kitchen

Whether you are preparing your home for sale, have just moved into a new home or are cleaning your current home, you may be surprised to learn that mold can be found anywhere. Mold is not limited to moisture-heavy areas like bathrooms. It could be floating invisibly throughout your home and can trigger serious health risks, including allergies, headaches, sneezing and more.

Here are 3 tips to naturally help keep mold out of your home:

A) Remove moisture from your home: Clean, dry air is important since mold thrives in moisture-rich environments. Keep a close eye on areas that could be prone to mold, including kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.

  • Be sure to change your HVAC filters on schedule.
  • If you live in an area that has high humidity, consider a dehumidifier.
  • Pro tip: Declutter, especially in areas that are damp or prone to leaks. Don’t give mold places to hide and grow. Consider throwing out and storing items you don’t need to improve air flow.

B) Put the white vinegar to work: Vinegar has long been valued as a “green” cleaning option and for good reason. Vinegar has mild acidic properties and is an anti-bacterial agent, as well. Spray the mold and mold-prone areas with full-strength white vinegar and let it set for an hour. Wipe the area clean and let dry.

C) Use Baking Soda: Another natural cleaning staple, baking soda is great not only because it is safe for your family and pets, but because in addition to great scrubbing properties, it absorbs moisture, which is key to keep mold away. Add baking soda to a little water and then spray it on the mold. Scrub it clean, wipe it off and let it dry.

A clean, decluttered, dry space is one that doesn’t help mold grow. Consider storing unused items with Zippy Shell in a climate-controlled facility, reducing moisture in your home and tackling any moldy areas with natural cleaners.

5 Hacks for the Organizationally Challenged

Woman carrying box of stuff in home

If everyone in the world excelled in the same areas, the world would be a very boring place! Some people are naturally gifted at organizing, while for others it can be a struggle. These tips are for those that fall into the organizationally challenged group. So, check out these hacks, create a plan, and get organized.

  • Magazine holders are inexpensive and provide so many ways to organize your home. Use these multi-functional organizing wonders for a gift wrap station, toilet paper storage, stacking items in your freezer, lid storage, to hide your router, arrange flip flops or water bottles, and so much more.
  • Shoe organizers will become your best friend. Cut them to size and use them for all your organizing tasks. Toys, pantry items, cleaning items, beauty supplies, baby clothes, gardening tools, school supplies the possibilities truly are endless for what you can organize with these space savers.
  • Tension rods are next on the home organizing hack list. Stagger two rods to create a shoe holder, organize scarves, display artwork, hang cleaning products underneath the cabinet, and use them to divide drawer space.  
  • One of the secrets to getting organized is knowing that paper towel holders don’t have to be used just for paper towels! Use standing paper towel holders to stack rolls of tape, ribbon, cookie cutters, or bangles. A side hanging paper towel holder can organize necklaces, scarves, belts, and can make a roll of garbage bags easily accessible. 
  • It’s time to finally put those shoe boxes you have been holding onto to good use. Cut them in half and use them as draw dividers for your undergarments. Create a charging station out of decorated shoe boxes. Plastic shoe boxes are perfect for organizing single serve snacks and packets in your pantry.

To achieve a truly organized home, you might find that your best option is to store some of your lesser used items. Zippy Shell provides simple, climate-controlled storage solutions. Learn more by visiting www.zippyshell.com today!

Top Tips to Reduce Summer Energy Bills

Person changing the temperature on a thermostat

When the dog days of summer meander in, it can get sweltering in both the city and the country. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Dog Days of Summer run from July 3 through August 11, coinciding with the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. Without question, those are some of the warmest days of the year, requiring your home’s a/c to run overtime to keep things cool and to keep the occupants comfortable.

You can help reduce summer energy bills during the hottest days of the year with a few simple tips.

  1. Choose a higher thermostat temp: A consistent 78 degrees is the suggested temp if you want to conserve energy during the summer. If you have others in your space who prefer it cooler, put additional fans in their area. If you are going to be gone for extended periods and are not leaving pets in the space, move the thermostat higher for the duration of your absence.
  2.  Cover your windows: Keep your blinds closed and your shades drawn during the hottest part of the day. You may even want to consider reflective or room-darkening curtains to keep the sun from baking your home.
  3. Cook outside:  It doesn’t take long for a stove or oven to heat up the home. Every chance you get, grill outside or make dinners ahead of time for microwaving. It’s also a great time of year for chilled soups and fresh salads.
  4. Change the filters: Increasing your a/c efficiency keeps things cooler and extends the life of your unit. Check it monthly and change it if in doubt.
  5. Close off rooms: If you have rooms in a house that are not occupied or don’t have items that require a consistent heated/cooled temp, then close the vents. The same goes for fans that may be in running in rooms with no occupants. Turn them off and save energy.

It sometime feels hard to stay cool during the hottest months of the year, but with a little planning you can cut the energy costs. Stay cool! And if you need help making a move during these hot Summer days, give Zippy Shell a call or go online for a free quote today!

7 Simple Steps to Protect Your Home When You Travel

A nice home exterior on a sunny day

According to a recent AAA travel survey, nearly 100 million of us are planning to take a family vacation this year, with 70 percent of those getaways happening during the summer months. And it is hard to imagine a worse ending to a summer vacation than returning to find that your home has been damaged or burglarized. To have peace of mind while you are on vacation, take time to protect your home with this checklist:

  • If you have a home security system, alert them of your travel plans and make sure the alarm is set properly when you leave. Display your security stickers prominently near your most obvious and accessible entry points like your front and back door.
  • Set timers on interior lights to give the illusion that someone is always home. Motion-sensor exterior lights can also prove to be useful for general home security when you are home and away.
  • Place a hold on mail, newspapers, and packages in your absence. Overflowing mailboxes and newspapers piled in the driveway are dead giveaways that you aren’t home.
  • Make a plan for lawn care maintenance. Have a friend or lawn care service mow the lawn at least once a week during your absence.
  • Alert a trusted friend or neighbor of your travel plans and have them check in every few days. They can take care of any unexpected deliveries and carry on with normal routines such as watering plants and bringing trash cans to the curb. 
  • Be prepared for a power surge while you are away. Unplug all electronics or make sure they are plugged safely into a surge protector.
  • Do not broadcast your travel plans on social media sites either before or during your vacation. Before your trip, inform only those who need to know. There will be plenty of time to share thoughts and photos of your vacation after you are safely home. 

If you are taking an extended leave from your home, we would love to talk to you about the storage solutions that Zippy Shell has to offer. Contact us today for a free quote and see how simple storing your belongings away while you travel can be!

5 Important Summer Safety Tips

Man in Summer staying cool

Sweet summertime is just about upon us and it’s prime moving and storage season! It’s also that time of year when the kids are out of school, relatives visit and folks enjoy the longer days. Summer has its own set of safety concerns, though, and we’ve collected a number of great tips to help you and your family stay safe during the summer season!

Beat the heat: It’s already very hot in many parts of the country, so if you are moving or just enjoying events outside, be sure to be heat-safe. The National Safety Council suggests several ways to avoid heat-related stress, including:

  • Staying hydrated: Whether your friends are helping you pack or laying on the beach, ensure you have enough water on hand.
  • Work shorter shifts: If you are working outside, don’t push it! Take frequent breaks.

Be food safe: Picnics and BBQs abound during the summer season, but you don’t want them to result in an ER visit. Keep any foods made with mayo out of the sun and ensure they remain refrigerated right up until it’s time to eat.

Protect your skin: Sunburns not only can ruin a great time outdoors, but also increase your risk of skin cancer. Be sure to apply sunscreen before any outdoor activity, even if it is cloudy outside! Reapply after fun in the water.

Stay bug savvy: Insects love summer, too, and it’s important to protect yourself from painful stings and tick bites. The CDC suggests that you apply an effective insect repellent and use these tips to create a tick-free backyard.

Make safety a priority: Ensuring a safe summer may take a little planning. When you plan your events and outings, take into consideration who will be there (kids? pets?) and what could happen (sunburn? stings?). Make a kit to have on hand to ensure all goes well.

Whether you are experiencing your first summer in a new location after a move or just gearing up to enjoy a staycation, we want you to stay safe. If you are looking to make a move soon as well, then check out what Zippy Shell has to offer and see how we differ from traditional moving services!

Pet Health and Safety Tips for the Summer

French Bulldog lays flat on the floor

June is National Pet Preparedness Month and Zippy Shell knows that pets are part of the family! We have some fresh tips on the best way to keep them safe and happy all summer long.

Make a plan for pets: This time year sees tornadoes, hurricanes and flooding. Be sure your emergency preparedness plan includes how you will evacuate all of your pets, including birds, reptiles, fish, dogs, cats and rodents. Some shelters will not take pets, so plan on where you can go or who can house your pets if the disaster strikes.

Create a first aid kit for your pets: Do you take advantage of the longer days at the park? Go hiking or camping? Then you will want a first aid kit for every type of pet that goes with you with enough items for all of your pets. The ASPCA has a checklist for a general first aid kit. Find it here.

Make a disaster preparedness box just for pets: If the power goes out, your neighborhood is under curfew due to disaster or if you evacuate in your car with your pets, be sure to have a box for each of them. Items could include litter, small litter pans, food, collapsible water bowls, treats, pet-specific blankets or beds, medication, harnesses and carriers (even for cats), toys, and any grooming equipment.

Probably most important is that you should always have all paperwork available. If you camp, then a copy of all vet records should remain in your camper. If you hike, keep a copy in your backpack. Also put a copy in your emergency box for your pets. The records should include vet information and all up to date shot information, especially rabies, photos and descriptions of pets and any medication needs. It doesn’t take much to include your during your planning. Make sure Fluffy and Fido are ready when something happens.