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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
- 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.
Check for drafts
Check around windows and doors if there are any spaces where cold air could leak in. Seal these spaces with new frames, drapery, insulation, etc.
Turn off outdoor faucets
To prevent water from freezing within your pipes, turn off your outdoor water faucets. Disconnect hoses and sprinklers so the remaining water can drain out.
Put away all seasonal furniture
If you haven’t done so already from summer, clean off and stow away all outdoor furniture. This will ensure they will not be moldy or pest infested in the spring.
Inspect your chimney
If you have a wood fireplace, and use it often, consider having it cleaned out to have it in good shape for when it gets cold.
Stock up on snow gear
Buy salt for your driveway and sidewalks so that you are ready for when the first snowstorm of the season hits. If you live in an especially cold area that receives a lot of snow, consider buying a snow blower.
Look around to make sure none of your trees have weak branches that could result in thousands of dollars of roof repairs if they were to land on your house.
Clean your gutters
As the leaves start falling from the trees they are going to fill up your gutters. Make sure to get up there and clean them out, so that when it rains water does not overflow onto the foundation of your home.
Fertilize your lawn
After fertilizing your lawn in the fall, it stands a better chance to survive the winter with minimal damage to your yard.
Drain your lawn equipment
Any machines you use for your yard that require gas, such as your lawnmower, should be drained. Keeping excess gas in the tank can lead to a messy buildup and make it hard for the machine to return to work in the spring.
1. Clean your grill
Before even starting to grill anything, you must make sure your grill is clean. Scrub the grill grates with a grill brush to remove any leftover debris. Make sure to clean out the grease tray too.
Marinate what you are cooking. This simple step doesn’t require much time and will bring out the flavors in your food.
3. Keep it closed
It is very tempting to check on your food while it is cooking but try to avoid doing so. Opening the lid lets the heat escape which will make it take longer to cook as well as possibly dry out the meats.
4. Perfect burgers
When grilling burgers, make an indentation in the middle of the burgers with the back of a spoon. The center will rise as it cooks, allowing the burger to puff up perfectly.
5. Soak your skewers
If you’re making kabobs, soak your wooden skewers in water for an hour prior to grilling to prevent them from burning on the grill.
6. Tin foil
Wrap your food in tin foil when using a saucy marinade that you do not want dripping down into the grill. This will keep the flavors centered around the food and will allow the taste to be at its full potential. This also makes for an easy cleanup.
7. Remove from heat
The food will continue to cook briefly after removing it from the grill. Take your food off the grill slightly before it is cooked to perfection.