5 Ways to Brighten a Dark Room

bright room

If you have one or more dark rooms in your home, you may be wondering what you can do to easily brighten the space. This is a common interior design issue, but fortunately there are many ways to take a dark and drab room and turn it into a bright and beautiful space. Dark spaces in the home can negatively affect your mood and even your mental health, especially during the winter months. Take a look at 5 of our favorite ways to create an uplifting and bright space in your home.

MAKE USE OF BRIGHT COLORS

While you want your walls to be light colors to expand the space, your art and accent pieces should be bright pops of color. Using bright and vibrant accent pieces will give your room some cheer and will draw the eye no matter how dark the rest of the room is.

PAINT THE CEILING

This may be the most difficult of our suggestions, but if it is within your budget, it is certainly worth the effort. A glossy white ceiling will make a small room feel bigger and a dark room much brighter. Another idea we like is painting the ceiling a sky blue. It gives the appearance of being outside, creating an instant brightness to your home.

LET THERE BE LIGHT

Embrace whatever natural light that you have available. Take down the heavy curtains and install sheer window treatments or skip them altogether! One common mistake is relying on overhead lighting when you should be supplementing with lamps and other light sources, especially in a naturally darker room. Not only will lamps brighten your room, but they can help give the area a warm and comforting atmosphere in the evenings.

USE REFLECTIVE SURFACES

You have probably heard this tip before when talking about making a small room feel bigger, but reflective surfaces are also great for brightening a space. We love large mirrors that you can lean against a wall, glass tabletops, or even crystal décor. If you place your reflective pieces strategically where they catch natural light from the window, you will add instant brightness to your room.

USE GREENERY

Bringing a little of the outside indoors is another easy way to brighten a dark space. Don’t worry if you do not have a green thumb and need to use artificial plants. Artificial greenery has come a long way over the past several years and is practically identical to the real thing.

We hope these tips help as you work to brighten your dark rooms this fall and winter. Stop by our Facebook page and share with our online community your best tips for brightening a dark room.

If you have a move coming up soon, give Zippy Shell a call for a free, no-obligation quote. We offer storage and moving services to fit every need and would love to partner with you.

Curb Appeal Ideas for Fall

Fall Trees

Whether you want to sell your home, welcome your friends and family, or if you just want to feel a sense of pride every time you drive up, updating your curb appeal throughout the year is how to accomplish your goal. Now that the season of Fall has arrived in all of its gloriousness, get your home in the seasonal spirit by bringing some fall design trends to your curb appeal!

  • The simplest way to assess your curb appeal is to take pictures of your home from the sidewalk, focusing in on the front door, front walkway, and landscaping. Try to view the pictures with the fresh, critical eye of someone who has never been to your home before. Or evaluate the pictures with a friend whose opinion you value and whose style you admire.
  • Having a well-manicured lawn is essential to curb appeal and that doesn’t change just because the weather is cooling down! Giving your grass some autumn TLC now will ensure you’ll be seeing a healthy green lawn come spring. Take care of visible weeds, aerate your lawn, reseed bare patches, and overseed the whole lawn with added fertilizer if necessary. Stay on top of frequent raking throughout autumn. Allowing leaves to accumulate and lay on your lawn for more than a few days can cause damage to grass blades. Keep clean lines around walkways and flower beds and trim bushes and trees to set the foundation for curb appeal you can be proud of!
  • The days will get shorter and the sun will set sooner during the next few months so now is the time to update your outdoor lighting. Make a statement with a combination of wall sconces, lanterns, step, and path lights that highlight your architecture and showcase the landscaping.
  • Add a fresh splash of color by planting fall flowers either in your flower beds or get creative with festive combinations in containers. Mums, pansies, black-eyed susans, sweet alyssum, dianthus, perennial sage, goldenrod, and autumn crocus are all excellent choices. These varieties will withstand the chilly nights and bring vibrant color to the shorter days of autumn.
  • Highlight your front door by hanging an autumn wreath adorned with pumpkins, fall leaves, and other icons of the harvest. If you really want to turn heads, update your front door with a bright, bold colored paint. Updating the hardware with a new knocker and doorknob in a matching finish will complete the look.
  • Create an inviting walkway to your updated door. Pavers or stone are extremely popular options for a beautiful walkway, and this will be an update that will last for years. Flank the area with colorful landscaping and incorporate path lights to finish the look.
  • The mailbox area is often a forgotten space when considering curb appeal, but it can also use some fall flair!  Dress up your mailbox by adding corn stalks, pumpkins, some floral swag, or a seasonal flag.
  • Leaving behind the sweltering days of summer may mean more time in your outdoor space for you and your family. So, add some cozy fall blankets and pillows to your outdoor seating and some lanterns for a cozy touch.

Inspired yet? If you need extra storage space to work on big fall projects, Zippy Shell has onsite and portable storage solutions perfect for the job. You can learn more by visiting www.zippyshell.com today.

6 Decluttering Tasks Perfect for Fall

organization

Fall is the perfect time to declutter your home and life. The cooler temperatures are refreshing and the changing leaves provoke the feeling that it is time to move on from old ways. Decluttering is the first step to organizing and having an organized home can give you a feeling of control over what is happening in your world. With home organization comes order and with order comes calmness. Plus, the less clutter you have to deal with, the easier home maintenance becomes. And who doesn’t want to spend more time making memories and less time on home maintenance? Let’s get started!

  1. Summer Gear – Empty out the pool/beach bag and throw away any items that are worn, outdated, or broken. Store all of your summer gear and freshly washed beach towels in a plastic bin with a top to keep the dust away during the off-season.
  2. Summer Clothing – Before storing away those summer tops, shorts, bathing suits, cover-ups, and sandals, take a closer look at them. Be honest about what you really wore this summer and only keep those items. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that has warm temperatures all year long, keep your most worn summer clothing out. For those of you who must endure a cold winter, now is the time to make sure that the summer clothing you are keeping is cleaned and stored away until the spring.
  3. Beauty Products – Gathering all your makeup and beauty products into one area will give you a visual of how much you really have. We are all guilty of trying out products, not loving them, but not wanting to get rid of them because it feels wasteful. Keeping these unwanted items around can become discouraging by adding to your mental clutter and guilt. Now is the time to be thorough and toss anything you aren’t using. As a bonus, this will make getting ready so much easier, because you only have exactly what you need on hand!
  4. Pantry – Start by removing everything from the pantry, checking expiration dates, and wiping down the shelves. Take special note of the expiration dates in your spice rack. Spices don’t get used up as quickly, but they can lose potency over time and may need replacing. If you have an excess of some items, consider reaching out to elderly family and neighbors or donating what you don’t need.
  5. Freezer – Fall is the perfect time to get the freezer cleaned out to make room for soups, chilis, and holiday baking items. Take on this task the day before trash day so that if you do have to throw out mystery items or items past their prime, it does not have to sit in the trash for too long. Label everything you place back in your freezer with the contents and the date to make future freezer purgings easier!
  6. Gardening Tools and Supplies – Clean up, repair, and purge your garden tools and supplies so they’ll be ready for you in the spring. Decluttering and getting rid of any supplies that won’t last the winter will make it easier to know exactly what you need to get started gardening next spring.

During your fall quest for a decluttered, organized home, you may discover that your best option is to store some of your lesser-used items. Zippy Shell is open and ready to serve your storage needs in the best way possible. Call today or click here to get a quote!

4 Reasons to Get Renters Insurance

Couple at home on their laptop

If you rent your residence, you have probably heard of renters insurance and wondered if you needed to pay for this service. Some landlords or property management companies require their tenants to purchase a renters insurance policy. A common misconception is that renters insurance is not needed since the property owner likely has a homeowner’s insurance policy. But the policy that they pay for is for the home, not your belongings. Here are 4 reasons we think you should cover yourself with renters insurance.

THE COST IS WORTH IT—Renters insurance is very affordable. You can typically get a policy that works for you for under $20 a month. One mistake that some people make is undervaluing their belongings. Sometimes it seems like the things we own don’t actually cost that much, but if you look at what it would cost to replace a living room set, the $20 a month doesn’t seem that bad.

YOU GET LIABILITY COVERAGE—If you have a guest over that get hurts in your rental home and decides to hold you responsible for expenses and damages, if you have a rental insurance policy, you will be covered and not have to pay out of pocket for these bills. Most policies cover up to $100,000 in personal liability coverage, but you should double-check with the insurance company to find out what your policy limits are.

YOUR THINGS ARE COVERED OUT OF THE HOME TOO—This is a little known part of renters insurance. Your things are covered no matter where they are. If you take something out of your home and it gets stolen out of your car, you can file a claim to be reimbursed for a certain percentage of that item’s value.

LIVING EXPENSES WHEN YOU CAN’T BE AT HOME—If you are unable to stay in the rental home due a covered event, your policy will pay for your hotel and living expenses while repairs are being made. This is an important part of a renters insurance policy, so make sure the policy you choose has this included. Without it, you will be on the hook for finding a place to stay while your residence is being fixed.

Renters insurance policies are not all created equal. Get a few different quotes from different companies to find the best fit for you. And don’t forget, most policies will not include flood coverage. If you live in an area where flooding is an issue, we recommend you upgrade your policy to include flood damages.

We hope this helped you as you decide whether or not to purchase a renters insurance policy. If you have a move coming up soon, give Zippy Shell a call for a free, no-obligation estimate.

6 Houseplants Anyone Can Keep Alive

watering houseplants

You have probably noticed that houseplants are making a major comeback right now. Through this pandemic, we have all endured some stressful times. As people have been spending more time at home, a lot of us have turned to houseplants to bring some calming nature inside. If you have been tempted to pick up some plants but aren’t sure if you have the time or know-how to keep them alive, we have some suggestions for some of our favorite plants that anyone can keep alive. If you have small children or curious pets, be aware that most houseplants are toxic if consumed—artificial plants may be better for your household in that case.

SNAKE PLANT

The snake plant, or sansevieria, is one of the most tolerant plants in existence. Known for its air-purifying capabilities, there are over 70 varieties and they can adapt to many different atmospheres. Even if your home has low-light and you constantly forget to water your snake plants, it will forgive you and keep growing on. If you have bright light in your home, you can expect your snake plant to grow much more rapidly.

POTHOS

One of the many varieties of pothos will be a great beginner plant. It tolerates low-light but will thrive in medium or high light situations. The pothos will look beautiful in a hanging basket or even as a trailing centerpiece on your dining table.

IVY

Like the snake plant, the varieties of ivy are known for their air-purifying effects and can even help with mold spore issues in the home. While ivy will be content in low-light situations for a while, they prefer medium to high light to thrive. The ivy will forgive you for forgetting to water it now and again but be careful to not overwater it or it will turn brown and crispy on the leaves.

ZZ PLANT

The ZZ plant, or Zamioculcas zamiifolia, is a highly tolerant plant that is perfect for practically any situation. You can even grow a ZZ plant in your office under fluorescent lights. With beautiful waxy leaves, the ZZ plant is prepared to survive drought and low light situations. You can’t go wrong with this hardy plant.

SPIDER PLANT

These plants will grow best in bright light but will tolerate any low or medium-light areas in the home. This plant has long cascading leaves that will look beautiful in a hanging basket while offering you air purification capabilities.

PEACE LILY

You have probably seen the peace lily featured in interior decorating magazines or television shows. The big, green leaves and gorgeous flowers are known for their beauty and tolerance. A talkative plant that will let you know when it needs water with some drooping. But as soon as you give it water, it will perk right back up. They tolerate many light situations and is another great option for the office under fluorescent lights.

We hope these suggestions help you delve into the houseplant world. We’d love for you to stop by our Facebook page and share with us your favorite, low-maintenance houseplants.

If you have a move coming up, be sure to give Zippy Shell a call for a free, no-obligation estimate.

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.

Fresh Curb Appeal Ideas

House at dusk

Many people have transitioned to more of a “work from home” lifestyle. In many cases, this means a much shorter commute that can add hours to your day. So you may finally have the time to freshen up your curb appeal! Of course, now you may be wondering what exactly is curb appeal? It is essentially how appealing your home looks when first viewed from the street, like a first impression. Curb appeal matters if you want to sell your house, if you want to welcome your friends and family, if you want to feel a sense of pride every time you drive up, or if you just don’t want to make the neighbors mad!

Front Door – The entry door is artistically referred to as “The Portal to the Soul of Your House” – sounds important, right? Fix minor imperfections by sanding the area down, filling it with wood filler, and repainting or staining. Speaking of paint, a brightly colored door will definitely turn heads. Check out the inspiration found here to help your front door stand out from the crowd. When you update the front door, don’t neglect the hardware. A new knocker and doorknob in a matching finish will complete the look.

Bold, Vibrant Accents – If a boldly colored front door is not your style, consider adding vibrant accessories like flowers, planters, or door decorations. Welcome signs, welcome mats, and porch furniture are also a great place to incorporate pops of color.

Exterior Illumination – Well planned outdoor lighting is essential to curb appeal. Done right it will set the mood and welcome nighttime guests. Use the right combination of wall sconces, lanterns, step and path lights to highlight your architecture and showcase the landscaping. Also, fresh new light fixtures can cast a brighter light and they give the impression that your home has been updated recently.

Make it Shine – Making the exterior of your home sparkly clean can probably add more power to your curb appeal 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.

Landscaping – The simplest way to boost curb appeal is to have a well-manicured lawn. Healthy looking, weed free trimmed grass, clean lines around walkways and flower beds, and trimmed bushes and trees will set the foundation for curb appeal you can be proud of. Put in a few perennial flowers to brighten things up.

Paint Your Mailbox – Your mailbox sees a lot of wear over the years as it is constantly attacked by the elements so a little paint can provide an instant curb appeal boost. You can use inexpensive craft store stencils to let the kids add a creative design.

Looking for some extra storage space to clean up the outside of your home? Zippy Shell has onsite and portable storage solutions perfect for the job! You can learn more by visiting www.zippyshell.com today!

5 Summer Space Saving Tips

organization

Summer is officially here and it’s a little different this year. Most of our kids have been home from school for several months due to the global pandemic, and many will continue virtual schooling from home in August. It can get cramped when the entire household is home at the same time, so we have come up with a few tips to create some space in the home over the summer.

PACK IT UP

Perhaps one of the easiest and quickest ways to make some space in your home is to pack up things you are using this season. Grab some vacuum-space bags and pack up all your winter clothes, bulky coats, heavy bedding and put them away under your bed. You will be surprised how much space you can make in everyone’s closets.

GET RID OF IT

Many thrift stores have reopened to donations, and after months of being closed would welcome any donations you may have. Go through your clothes, books, toys, and furniture for anything you know is not getting much use and is just wasting space in your home. It’s also possible to hold a socially distanced yard sale if you have a lot of items that you would like to make some money on.

STORE IT

If you have a lot of items in your home that doesn’t get much use, but you are not ready to donate or sell, you may benefit from storing your items. Mobile or on-site storage is a good solution when you need a secure, weatherproof unit to keep your items safe, but out of your living spaces.

GET CREATIVE

One of our favorite ways to save space in the home is by using multifunctional furniture. There are many options for different areas of the home. For example, instead of a plain coffee table, you could replace it with a small table that has cabinets or drawers underneath for storage. Or maybe you have a bench in your foyer to make taking your shoes off a little easier—you could replace (or DIY!) a storage area underneath to hold shoes discreetly.

INVEST

If your budget allows, consider investing in expanding your living space. This doesn’t mean you have to hire a contractor and build an addition on your home. It could simply be taking an area of your backyard and creating a beautiful outdoor oasis that you and your family can enjoy on warm, summer nights. You can turn your front porch into a space where everyone wants to enjoy their morning meals and coffee. Utilize the spaces you already have and find creative ways to make them more usable and enjoyable.

We hope these tips are helpful to you as you start trying to find ways to increase the space in your home this summer. If you need help with mobile or on-site storage, feel free to give us a call at 888-947-7974 or visit us online for a free, no-obligation quote. We have a variety of solutions that are available to meet all your storage needs!

Four Ways to Make Your Small Space Feel Larger

living room

Small spaces come with both charm and challenges. Small spaces are easier to decorate, easier to keep clean, and easier to organize, but at the same time, they can feel cramped and claustrophobic. Everyone wants their home to feel open and welcoming, no matter what the size. So we’ve compiled some creative ways to give your home some space, or at least the illusion of space!

Make use of multi-purpose furniture. This will not only save space, but it will also save money as there’s no need to purchase multiple furniture pieces if you can have one item that can do more than one function. For instance, swap out your lounge chair or sofa for a sleeper couch. Replace your coffee table with an ottoman to double up as extra seating for guests. Try a room divider that includes built-in shelving. Buy tables with drawers whenever you can so you’ll have more storage space.

Clear the clutter. Don’t take up valuable space and mental energy with items you no longer use. Ask these questions as you are purging and really think about the emotional reasons you may be hanging on each item.

  • Does this add value to my life?
  • Have I used this in a year?
  • Do I have more than one of these?
  • Would I buy it again?
  • How many times have I used it?
  • Does it fit?
  • Do I have space for this?

Monochromatic decorating gives the illusion of space. Contrasting colors tend to break up a space, making it appear even smaller than it is. Drapes and furniture that match the wall color blend with the space, giving the illusion of a bigger room. Also, decorate with light colors to keep your rooms feeling airy and open. An abundance of dark colors in a small space can feel overwhelming and like the room is closing in on you. Of course, any room will look larger if it’s well-lit, preferably by natural light. Make sure light coming in from your windows is not being blocked by furniture or other stacked objects.

Add reflective surfaces. Try swapping some of the art on your walls for mirrors and see what it does to your home. The reflection will open up the room, making it look bigger. Mirrors not only reflect light, they also reflect the view, thereby tricking the eye into the perception of more space. Just remember that you don’t want the mirror to reflect a cluttered or cornered space – this will defeat the purpose!

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 small sanctuary of a home!

Tips for Transitioning Your Home from Spring to Summer

summer house

Summer is here and it’s the perfect time to update your home with a summery feel that will make you feel like you are in permanent vacation mode. No matter your budget or style there are simple ways to welcome the summer months into your home. It is also time to check off those summer home maintenance tasks. Then everyone can shout, bring on the sunshine!

Summer Decor

  • Summertime begs for more vibrant colors. It is time to replace spring pastel accent items with brighter colors. Keep the same neutral fabrics on large pieces of furniture, but add bold-colored accents such as flowers, throw pillows, area rugs, or artwork. Cheery yellows, oranges, coral, and marine blues and turquoise will transport you to the tropics.
  • Bring the outdoors in. Nothing says summer quite like flowers and tropical looking greenery. Decorate with botanicals by placing plants on the entry table, on the kitchen counter, in the dining area, or add small potted options on bookshelves in the living or bedrooms. Another idea is to incorporate brightly-colored floral fabric prints in your accent pieces.
  • Transform your patio or deck to a place that can be enjoyed all summer long. Incorporate simple furniture and fun decorations to create a comfy outdoor living area. Place some potted flowers and string some lights to create the perfect sanctuary for friends and families to gather.
  • Add storage for summer activities both inside and outside. Summertime means the kids will be home from school. Keep your organized home from being turned upside down by providing storage for activities that will keep them entertained all summer.

Summer Maintenance

  • Annual maintenance is essential for keeping your air conditioner running as efficiently as possible this summer. And if it has been more than 3 months since you changed the filter on your air conditioner, do that now! The dirtier your air filter, the harder the system has to work to keep your home cool.
  • Dust all the ceiling fan blades and check that fans are working properly. During the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down to the floor.
  • Sweep your porch or deck thoroughly and then scrub all the spring pollen off with soap and water. Look over your deck at this time for signs of rotting and hammer in any nails that are poking up.
  • Give your outdoor grill a deep cleaning to get it ready for all those summer bbqs!
  • Add a layer of mulch to your plant beds. This will keep weeds down and help the ground retain its moisture during the summer heat, giving your plants a chance to grow.
  • Wash your windows. If you didn’t tackle window washing in the spring, now’s the time to get your glass clean. Replace curtains and window treatments with light, neutral colors to allow in natural light.
  • Trim any landscaping that is overgrown. Deadhead both perennials and annuals to keep them producing well into the summer.

By checking off the items on this list, you can refresh and relax this summer in a beautiful space. Zippy Shell sends you wishes for a summer filled with wonderful memories!