Step By Step Guide to Packing Your Kitchen

A modern kitchen in a home.

The kitchen is probably one of the most challenging rooms in your house to pack. There are so many small and odd-shaped items to account for when packing the kitchen. Here is a step-by-step guide to save your sanity while packing this important room.

Gather all your supplies. You will need sturdy boxes of multiple sizes. The trick is to keep each box under around a 40lb limit whenever possible. Have plenty of unprinted newspaper or packing paper on hand. The ink on standard newspapers can bleed onto your belongings, causing discoloration, so be sure to choose the unprinted variety. Bubble wrap is suitable for wrapping fragile or breakable objects before placing them in a box. It can be used for dishes and glassware in the kitchen. The most time-saving tool for packing is probably a tape gun dispenser. It allows you to seal the bottom and tops of all your boxes quickly. Be sure to have a permanent marker or a pack of labels to place on all the boxes after they are packed.

Set aside a box for kitchen essentials. You can pack the majority of your kitchen up to about a week in advance of your move, but you will need to leave out some essentials to get you through the days surrounding your move. The bare necessities are a few dishes, mugs, cutlery for each family member, a good pan, a cutting board, and the coffee machine. Add any other kitchen items you can’t live without for a few days to this pile as well.

Start by packing less frequently used kitchen items like vases, serving dishes, special occasion items, wine glasses, wall hangings, cookbooks, and small appliances. Before packing each item, think about the last time it was used. If you haven’t used it in the previous six months, don’t pack and move it.

Pack the drawers and shelves. Sort your silverware according to type and give each group a tight wrap with a rubber band. If you have a cutlery tray, it is easiest to use plastic wrap to wrap around the tray and then place it flat inside a box—stack pots and pans with the smaller ones nestled into the larger ones. Add a piece of packing paper between them to prevent scratches. Keep like-items together as much as possible to make unpacking easier.

Wrap each plate or bowl separately before placing them in a box. Once you’ve wrapped a few plates, stack them and fully wrap the entire stack together. Place the stack into the box vertically instead of horizontally for the best protection. Use whatever material you have left to pad the bottom, sides, top, and empty spaces of the box – your extra packing paper or towels are perfect for this as they will need to be packed anyway. Extra room in boxes can cause them to collapse.

It is best to pack glasses and stemware in a divided box. Even with dividers, you’ll still want to wrap each item in packing paper. Don’t pack anything on top of glasses as they are too fragile. Fill out the box with packing paper and label “this side up” and “fragile” to help keep your cups and glasses safe while in transit.

Zippy Shell storage centers are equipped with climate control and added security to keep your belongings safe and secure. When you are ready, we can redeliver your storage container or move it to your next destination.

8 Kitchen Gadgets You Didn’t Know You Needed

Young woman making food in her kitchen

Holiday gift-giving season is upon us and whether you are purchasing for yourself or others, we’ve got a fresh list of kitchen gadget goodness that will amaze and astound you and your recipients. Feel free to go to any of your favorite online (or sticks and bricks) shopping destinations and pop these items in search to find all of the top brands.

Veggie Spiralizer or Noodle Maker: Paleo, keto and gluten-free are popular diet movements at the moment, which means limited or no pasta in the diet, but you can craft pasta out of sweet potatoes, zucchini or squash. The pre-made squash or zucchini noodles in the market area of your store can be very expensive and they might not necessarily be that fresh, so if you are craving a past-like experience minus the carbs, this may be the gadget for you.

Sparkling Water Maker: Interested in ensuring that your sparkling water is fresh and free of additives? Make your own! There are several CO2 infusers on the market. Grab some recipes off the Internet and create your own flavored sparkling water.

Ice Ball Makers: What, you didn’t know that ice balls were a thing? Cubes melt quickly, diluting those expensive beverages. Ice balls not only look really cool, but they take much longer to melt, thus keeping your beverage cooler longer.

Insta Pot: We’ve been told by Insta Pot addicts that it can replace up to 8 of your other small kitchen gadgets. There are a variety of these pressure cookers on the market, but these aren’t the pressure cookers your mom had. Oh, no. These new cookers take only 20 minutes to do what once took an hour and wash only a pot and lid, as opposed to multiple pots and pans. Some even come with pre-programmed recipes!

Griddle: Yes, we know that griddles aren’t a new thing, but these aren’t the griddles of the past. Today’s griddles are streamlined and loaded with features that make them indispensable on those days you don’t want to stand outside in the rain or cold to grill or use the expensive outdoor cooker. The newer countertop griddles boast a ridged side for a grilled look and snap in, non-stick plates. You could easily make an entire meal in one swoop.

Air Fryer: Air fryers are relatively new and most on your gift list won’t even know they needed one – until you give it. These gadgets use very hot air to “fry” your favorite foods, eliminating fatty oils. Most require no preheating, saving you time, too. Reviews are varied on this kitchen gadget, but for those trying to eliminate traditional frying and fatty oils, an air fryer may just be the ticket.

Electric Jar Opener: It’s ok to admit it – sometimes we have difficulty opening that pickle jar, no matter how many times we hit it with a fork! Fortunately, someone thought of that and an electric jar opener may be a great, inexpensive stocking stuffer for anyone. It’s simple to operate, too: position it, push a button, watch it rotate. Voila, that pesky jar has been opened!

Color-Coded Cutting Boards: Thinking about that cutting board soaking up the chicken while trying to slice a cucumber on it is no fun. Today’s cutting boards are hygienic, color-coded and do not transmit bacteria. They are nonporous and easy to store, too. Many come in their own carrier. They don’t crack and are long lasting. Even better these boards are colored according to the food: meat, cooked, veggies, seafood and more.

New and innovative kitchen gadgets are hitting the market every day. When you move into that new space, toss out the old and consider some new kitchen gadgets to save you time and money.

Kitchen Organization Hacks

Moving to a new home? Try out some of these tips to set up your kitchen in the most efficient ways possible!

Proper food storage

Know which foods must be refrigerated, don’t need to be refrigerated, and which should be frozen. This will help give you a guideline of where your food should go. Store your meats in the bottom of your fridge where it is coldest and where any leaks would avoid contaminating any other food. Dairy can be stored on the top shelf, where temperature is most consistent. Don’t store items with a short expiration date in the door, as this is the warmest part of the fridge.

Use up the empty space on the back of doors

The space on the back of your pantry or cabinet doors is going to waste. You can use a shoe organizer, pegboards, or mini shelves to hang up extra items on your door space such as pans, measuring cups, food, and more.

Uniform containers

In your pantry and cabinets, things can get messy quickly. Use clear, rectangular storage containers to keep your food sealed fresh and pest-free. This also allows you to easily see all your food items with no need to dig through cardboard boxes or bags.

Organize zones

Organize all your kitchen items by what they are used for. Create different zones for storing items such as food, cleaning supplies, cooking tools, and silverware and dishes. This will make your kitchen more organized by having related items all in the same location.

Declutter

Kitchens are one of the biggest clutter magnets. It’s not hard to get sucked into purchasing gadgets that you think will get a lot of use, when they will collect dust for years. Some of these helpful decluttering tips can get you started for when you don’t know what to get rid of first.

Have Zippy Shell Help

If you are moving to a new home, have Zippy Shell help move all your items for you! We will safely deliver your belongings to your new home and even help you move everything inside to allow for an easy set up.

7 Essential Grilling Tips You Need to Know

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.

2. Marinate

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.

10 Hacks for More Refrigerator Storage Space

Make your tiny fridge feel a lot bigger with these tips!

Install a lazy Susan

Have easy access to all the food in the back of the fridge without having to move everything around to find what you are looking for.

Label your drawers

Label your various drawers with what is in them to make it faster to find what you need.

Install a snack stack

Slide a small drawer stack to store snacks, cheeses, and more.

Use drawer dividers

Place drawer dividers to separate your different food items such as vegetables, fruits, etc.

Cover your shelves in plastic wrap

When spills happen, you can just peel off the layer of plastic wrap and put a new one down.

Cylinder holders

Use any cylinder container to hold cut up vegetables. Many recyclable containers can be very useful for this.

Masking tape labels

Label your containers with masking tape and a sharpie to write the date you made it and/or when it expires.

Add a condiment holder

Use a six-pack holder or an empty egg carton to organize all your condiments.

Plastic freezer bins

Put plastic bins in your freezer to separate your big bags of frozen items.

Use mason jars

Store your leftover food in mason jars. They will keep your food fresh longer and are not are bulky as Tupperware.

10 Refreshing Summer Drinks

Enjoy a hot summer day with one of these invigorating cocktails!

  1. Mango-peach Sangria

In a pitcher, combine 1 cup orange liqueur, 1 bottle of white wine, 2 peaches cut into thin wedges, 1 chopped mango, and ice.

  1. Classic Mojito

Combine 8 mint leaves, 2 ounces white rum, ¾ ounces lime juice, 1 ounce simple syrup, and ice in a cocktail shaker.  Finish with a splash of club soda.

  1. Strawberry-lemon Mojito

In a cocktail shaker, combine 2 ounces rum, ¾ ounce lemon juice, ½ ounce sugarcane syrup, 1 strawberry, 2 lemon wedges, and ice.  Top it off with more strawberries, lemon wedges, or mint sprigs.

  1. Watermelon Sangria

In a blender, puree 1 pound of watermelon until liquid.  Transfer the puree into a pitcher and add 1 bottle of white wine, 6 ounces vodka, 4 ounces Triple Sec, and 4 ounces citrus syrup.

  1. Blackberry Cabernet

In a pitcher, combine 20 blackberries, 12 ounces orange liqueur, 4 ounces Cabernet Sauvignon, 8 ounces orange juice, 2 ounces lime juice, and ice.  Top with fresh orange or lime slices.

  1. Cucumber Margarita

In a cocktail shaker, add 2 ounces cucumber-infused tequila, 1 ounce lime juice, 1 ounce simple syrup, and ice.  Garnish it with a slice of cucumber.  Dip the margarita glass in water and line the rim with salt.

  1. Pineapple-raspberry Refresher

Combine 1 ounce coconut water, 1 ounce pineapple juice, 2 ounces light rum, 2 tablespoons raspberries, and ice in a cocktail shaker.  Top off with a mint sprig.

  1. Long Island Iced Tea

Fill a cocktail shaker with 1 ounce gin, 1 ounce vodka, 1 ounce white rum, 1 ounce tequila, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ cup iced tea, and ice.  Shake well and top it with a lemon wedge.

  1. Pina Colada

Combine ½ cup diced pineapple, 2 ounces pineapple juice, 2 ounces coconut cream, 2 ounces white rum, 1 ounce dark rum, and 1 ½ cup ice in a blender and blend until smooth. Place a pineapple slice on your glass to finish it off.

  1. Spiked Root Beer Float

Combine 2 ounces bourbon with 2 dashes of orange bitters in a tall glass.  Fill the glass halfway with ice.  Add ¾ cup root beer.  Slowly add 1 ounce heavy cream and watch it float to the top.

The Best Food Hacks You Didn’t Know You Needed

1. Protect your Bananas

Put plastic wrap around the tops of your bananas to block the gases being released from your bananas which causes them to ripen.

2. Ripen your food

In the case of having food that is not ripe enough, put it into a brown paper bag. Trapping the fruit in the brown paper bag will concentrate the ethylene gas that is released from the fruit which will cause it to ripen faster.

3. Avoid the egg shell mess

If little parts of the eggshell have broken into your mixing bowl, use the already cracked eggshell to scoop them back up. This frees them from your bowl all while keeping your hands free from the eggs.

4. Deskin potatoes

Don’t have a peeler? No problem! Boil your potatoes in water then transfer them to an ice bath after. The skin will separate from the potato and you can peel it right off.

5. DIY strawberry cutter

Simply stick a straw through the bottom of a strawberry to break through the top to remove the leaves as well as removing the white center.

6. Brew your own coffee

You can still have coffee even without a coffee maker. Boil coffee in a pot of water with the same amount of coffee and water that is directed for a coffee maker. After about five minutes you can drain your coffee from the coffee grounds and drink up!

7. Reheat without drying out your food

When reheating food such as baked goods or pizza, place a cup of water in the microwave with the food to add moisture to the air and prevent the food from getting dried out.

8. Stop watering down your drinks with ice

When drinking juice, wine, etc. stop adding ice and drinking a watery drink. Freeze fruits like strawberries or grapes, then pop a few into your drink to cool it off without adding any water. If you’re looking to cool off your coffee faster or have iced coffee, fill an ice cube tray with coffee and use these cubes to keep your coffee nice and cold.

9. Avoid freezer burn

Put a sheet of wax paper over your ice cream when you put it back into the freezer to stop it from collecting freezer burn.

10. Measure out sticky foods without the mess

When measuring food like honey or peanut butter, put the measuring spoon under hot water for a few seconds prior to measuring the food so that it will slide right off with no trace.