6 Things You Must Do When You Move into a New Place

A family brings boxes into a home.

Whether it’s a new home or a new apartment, there are a few things that should be at the top of your to-do list on move-in day. Zippy Shell has compiled a vital checklist of these essential things so that everyone in your household feels safe and comfortable from day one.

  1. Clean it! Even if you’re moving into a brand new space, it’s essential to make sure it’s clean (and sanitary). You’ll want to pay particular attention to the kitchen and bathrooms where things can get extra dirty. Put some real elbow grease into place to make it shine. This will be not only beneficial for your health but also for your mental state of mind.
  2. Change the locks. “Better safe than sorry,” as the saying goes. It’s great to be a trustworthy person, but when you place all of your belongings in a new home that someone else has access to, you might want to be cautious. Plus, who knows to whom the last owner gave a key? It’s always a good idea to be safe! You’re not only protecting your assets but your family, too! A professional locksmith can have those locks rekeyed in no time. Set this up early in the moving process. (And while you’re at it, check those smoke detectors as another safety precaution. Make sure they are in working order.)
  3. Figure out furniture placement! Hey, the movers are about to arrive, and you’re going to want to take advantage of that muscle while you have it. You don’t want to be caught trying to move a sleeper sofa by yourself after everyone has gone home. Masking tape is a great way to mark the exact spots for your sofa, refrigerator, grandma’s huge bookcase, and even Fido’s doghouse. (Pro tip: Have some cash on hand to tip these guys!)
  4. Does the Wi-Fi work? Oh man, it’s true, and we don’t know what to do without it. Hopefully, you’ve thought ahead and had your utilities switched over by move-in day, including your Internet Service Provider. Remember, lots of new gadgets, including doorbells, thermostats, and security devices, work off Wi-Fi. So, as soon as you arrive, have someone in the family plug in the modem/router and get things set up. You will have plenty of time to troubleshoot before everyone’s ready to watch a movie tonight.
  5. Locate and inspect utilities. This is mostly in case of an outage or emergency water leak, but it’s good to know where they are at the outset of moving in. We’ve seen folks put heavy pieces of furniture in front of electrical panels, which makes them impossible to find or extremely difficult to get to in the dark. Keep these things in mind as you arrange furniture and store large items during move-in.
  6. Order some food. My goodness, after a long few days of moving and unpacking, the last thing you will feel like doing is cooking. Check for some coupons to some local restaurants and order food for the crew that’s been helping you make your move. It will be an excellent way to thank everyone for their assistance, and it means you won’t have to wash any dishes.

There’s plenty that goes on during move-in, but a few essential things that should come first. We hope you find our checklist handy and if you need extra storage while you’re getting everything situated, please think of Zippy Shell’s options for portable storage.

Small Space Living: Is it Right for You?

The living space of a small apartment

Do you ascribe to the saying “bigger is not always better”? Does the theory “less is more” appeal to you? These are signs that small space living may be right for you. Less space means fewer belongings, which means less to clean and maintain, giving you more time to enjoy life. From tiny homes to efficient apartments to co-living with others, small space living is a trend that is becoming more popular. Here are six signs that you have come to a place in your life where downsizing makes sense.

  • You desire more time to focus on the areas of your life that are important to you instead of spending all of your time maintaining a home. Simplifying your life is a great way to reduce stress offering the time and space to pursue your interests and create the life you truly desire.
  • You find yourself spending your free time cleaning, maintaining a home, and doing chores leaves you feeling frustrated and empty. Does the thought of cleaning your home with minimal effort appeal to you?
  • You are willing to give up some of your possessions if it means freeing your time to pursue things you love. Do you find yourself daydreaming about how you could spend all the extra hours in the day that would be a result of small space living?
  • You are comfortable living with less, and you already know that possessions don’t bring happiness. Are you the type of person that would much rather give or receive experiences instead of material items?
  • Reducing the amount of debt in your life has become a priority, and saving money on housing would help you meet your financial goals. Small space living means saving money on the purchase or rent of the home in addition to saving money on utility bills, furnishings, appliances, and more. Also, small space living drastically reduces impulse spending. Living in a small space usually means every spare inch of your home is put to use. You will think twice about purchases knowing you will have to clear out space to make room for a new item.
  • You don’t mind sharing your space. Unless you are single, small space living requires a certain amount of closeness with your partner, family members, or roommate. Small spaces can feel confining when shared with another person, but agreeing to set boundaries and discussing how your habits impact each other is an excellent place to start. It also helps to designate a specific area for each person to call their own.

Zippy Shell is the perfect solution for those looking to downsize or move into a small space. With portable storage, you can forego the hassle of having to drive your extra belongings to a storage location. A storage unit can be delivered to your home or business, where you can load your belongings into it directly. You can cut your work in half by only loading and unloading one time into portable storage containers versus multiple times with self-storage. Check us out today for answers to any questions you may have!

4 Packing Tips From the Professionals

A man packs boxes in his living room

Many special life occasions call for packing your belongings away – remodeling, relocating, downsizing, extended stay house guests, heading off to school, or extensive travel. Of course, you want all of your belongings to be intact at the end of their time spent packed away in boxes. We hope to alleviate some of your worries with these great packing tips from the pros to make packing as smooth as possible.

  • Be particular about the boxes that you use. Every box needs to be in good shape and sturdy enough to protect your belongings. Before packing, check all boxes for bugs, cracks, tears, or pre-existing water damage. Double tape the bottom of any box that will contain fragile or heavy items. Cardboard boxes are most commonly used because they are inexpensive, stackable, easy to label, and recyclable. But if you are planning on storing your items long-term in a place that is not climate controlled, you may want to consider using plastic bins. They will protect your belongings from moisture, heat, and pests.
  • Never skimp on packing materials. Packing paper is relatively inexpensive and can be used to wrap objects or crumpled up to fill empty spaces in boxes. Packing peanuts made of small pieces of styrofoam can also be used to fill empty spaces. Fragile items should be wrapped before filling your box with packing peanuts because they do not provide enough cushion on their own. Bubble wrap is best used to wrap around delicate or fragile items. You will still need to use crumpled packing paper or packing peanuts to fill the box around the bubble-wrapped item. You can save money by using packing materials that you already have on hand. Thick household blankets can be used in place of moving blankets, and towels or clothing can be used to wrap items before packing.  If boxes are not tightly packed, there is the potential for shifting and damage. So pack boxes as tightly as possible and fill any leftover space with your packing materials.
  • Protect odd-shaped items that will not fit in a box. The best thing to do is to wrap these items as securely as possible. Protect delicate elements and protruding parts with bubble wrap, covering the entire piece in moving blankets, and secure everything with packing tape or plastic wrap.
  • It is important to remember that not all of your belongings should be packed in a box. Important personal documents should be placed into a locked box or briefcase and transported with you. Items such as aerosol cans, fertilizer, pesticides, charcoal, disinfectants, ammunition, fireworks, pool cleaning chemicals, paint thinner, fire extinguishers, car batteries, and gas cans are considered too hazardous for moving. You can consider giving these away to neighbors before moving or properly disposing of them. Your delicate, leafy friends will almost certainly not survive a trip in a portable storage container or moving truck. You will be better off moving your plants yourself or gifting them to a friend before moving.

With Zippy Shell, you get the peace of mind your belongings will stay safe when stored at one of our secure warehouse facilities. When you are ready, we can redeliver your storage container or move it to your next destination. We want to make moving and storage simple for you and your family, so give us a call today to see how we can help you!

Top 4 Reasons to Move After Retirement

A nice suburban home in a good neighborhood

One of the most significant decisions many make when they retire is choosing whether or not to stay in their current home. Some already know precisely when they will retire and exactly where they want to live when that happens. For others, the answers are less clear. There are some definite benefits to making a move after retirement. Keep reading to see if moving is right for you and your situation.

Family – Without a job tying you down to a specific location, now may be the time to move closer to family. Many retirees want to spend their retirement enjoying the company of their children and grandchildren, and that means relocating. Having supportive loved ones close at hand can be crucial as you age. But before you take the plunge, consider how likely it is that your family will stay put and what you’re going to do if they have to move to another city or state for work or education.

Adventure – When you are retired, you will have more time to devote to your interests and hobbies. You are free to move to a destination that you’ve always dreamed about, to an area that will offer you new opportunities and new adventures. If you’ve always wanted to live near the ocean, in the mountains, or within a major city, retirement may be the perfect time to realize those dreams.

Finances – Moving to an area of the country with a lower cost of living can go a long way towards improving your financial situation. The idea is that reducing your daily expenses allows your retirement income to extend further so that you can maintain the same quality of life with less money. Be sure to calculate all the financial implications before you make a move during retirement. This list includes closing costs, moving costs, state income tax rates, healthcare costs, storage costs, transportation, remodeling expenses, etc.  

Downsizing – Another way to reduce retirement expenses is to downsize from a larger home to a smaller home in the same area or a completely different region or state. With a smaller home, there will be fewer maintenance costs, the utility bills will be lower, and you will pay less in property taxes. Of course, downsizing is not always about reducing expenses. The goal of downsizing could be to reduce the amount of time you spend maintaining your home, giving you more time to travel. Another reason to downsize is to find a home that better fits your needs as you age. It may be more cost-effective to move to a senior-friendly home rather than try to modify your current home.

Zippy Shell portable storage containers offer the perfect solution for those looking to downsize. Our portable storage containers eliminate the obstacles standing between you and your retirement dreams. We provide simple storage solutions for the home staging/home selling process, and we can safely store your belongings as long as you need. When the time is right, we will deliver your belongings to your new home. Zippy Shell has got you covered!

How to Avoid Some of the Biggest Moving Mistakes

A man and his son carry boxes into a room

Mistakes happen. Life is unpredictable, and even the best of plans can get derailed. So what do you do? You expect the best but prepare for the worst. Be prepared for moving day by reading the following tips for avoiding some of the biggest moving mistakes.

  • Be selective when hiring movers. Thoroughly research your moving company by asking friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations. Check online reviews to see what other customers are saying about the company you have in mind. Get a detailed estimate in writing. You want to be sure you understand all the fees associated with the estimate and be suspicious if an estimate is unusually low or lacks specifics.
  • Be prepared for rain on your moving day. When dealing with a rainy moving day, the goal should be to get everything moved to or from the truck/container and out of the weather as quickly as possible. This means parking your belongings at whatever door you can get physically closest to, with an added benefit if an awning or porch covers that door. If you are dealing with rain and not high winds, consider using pop-up canopies. You can line canopies up on the path between your container or moving vehicle and the door of your home. Protect your home by lining the entryway with old rugs and towels to catch the mud and water off everyone’s shoes. Dry cardboard or newspapers can be laid down throughout the home to keep carpets and flooring as clean as possible.
  • Pack an essentials box. In a clear tote, place cleaning supplies, a basic tool kit, garbage bags, light bulbs, box cutter, scissors, power strips, and paper products like toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, paper plates, and disposable cups/utensils. Keep this box in a personal vehicle that will be making the move. This could save you a trip to the store on an already stressful day by having these necessities on hand.
  • Secure your personal documents. Birth certificates, passports, wills, tax returns, financial statements, health insurance, medical records, moving documents, leases, and other personal documents should stay with you throughout your move. Place these important documents into a locked box or briefcase and transport them with you. Phones, tablets, laptops, and computers are also a treasure trove of personal data. Make sure that all electronic devices are shut off and password protected.  Identity thieves target those in the process of moving, so it is a critical time to keep your guard up and protect your personal data.
  • Be present. Supervise everything, especially if you are using a moving company. Your presence can deter ill intent. If you can’t be there, designate a trusted person to be your eyes and ears.

The best solution to avoiding moving day mishaps may be a DIY move with Zippy Shell. A portable storage container big enough to fit just what you need will be delivered, and you can pack it at your own pace. Check us out online today to see how we can help you!

Eliminate Safety Concerns on Moving Day

A young couple holds their newborn baby

The average moving day usually passes without incident or injury, but moving can be more physically challenging than most people realize. Protecting yourself and everyone involved with your move should be a top priority on moving day, especially if you have opted for a do-it-yourself move. On moving day, protecting yourself and your loved ones is even more important than protecting your belongings. Find out how to eliminate safety concerns with these top suggestions.

  • Dress appropriately on moving day. Extra thought should go into your shoe selection for the day. Select fully closed shoes that are comfortable but will also offer protection, flexibility, and traction. While you also want your clothing to be comfortable and flexible, avoid wearing clothes that are too baggy as they can easily get caught on things. Wearing high-quality work gloves will give you a better grip on items and protect your hands throughout the day.
  • Sturdy boxes are a must. Weak or overused packing boxes can break down when being carried, leading to an injury to the foot or toe. Before packing your boxes, double tape the bottom with strong packing tape to minimize breakage risk.
  • Don’t overpack your boxes with heavy items. As a general rule, smaller boxes should be used for heavier items such as books. Larger boxes should be used for bulkier items, not necessarily heavier items. Each box should not be packed to exceed over 50 lbs.
  • Prevent injury by using proper lifting techniques. When lifting a box or other heavy item off the ground, squat down, bending at the knees, never at the waist. Slowly lift by straightening your hips and knees, not your back. Carry heavy items close to your body while keeping good posture. Avoid lifting heavy objects above shoulder level unless you absolutely must.
  • Hand trucks or dollies are a safer way to move boxes or heavier items. When loading a stack of boxes onto a dolly for safety, be sure you have straight, balanced, fully aligned stacks that won’t topple over once you start rolling. Place heavier boxes at the bottom of each stack for stability. Also, make sure the top box is not blocking your view and that it is at least partially resting against the bars so that it won’t slide off.
  • Eliminate tripping hazards by keeping all hallways and pathways clear on moving day. The outside path leading to the storage container should be kept clear of debris, mud, water, snow, and ice.
  • If your moving day involves children, pets, or anyone with special needs, arrange for help to keep everyone safe. Ask a trusted neighbor, grandparent, or loved one to care for them on moving day or at least part of the day. Moving a day with a baby can be especially challenging. If baby proofing can’t be done right away, create a smaller space in your new home that is safe for the baby until you can get it completed.

If you have a move coming up this spring, give Zippy Shell a call. We would love to explain how our moving and storage services can help you achieve a smooth and stress-free move. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tips to Protect your Valuables When You Move

A young couple looks at their laptop

What is valuable to you? Each person asked that question would probably have a different answer. When speaking of material possessions, we all have different ideas of what we consider valuable. When discussing tips to protect your valuables during a move, we will define a valuable as any item that, if broken or lost, would be irreplaceable or hard to replace.

Have an up-to-date inventory list.  Keeping track of all the items you own can be a tedious process, but it can be a lifesaver if you’re ever in a situation where you need to replace your personal property after a loss. Sortly is a digital organization app that lets you catalog your home inventory in several different folders and subfolders to make things easier to locate. It also allows you to record an impressive level of detail for each item you own, such as serial number, purchase date, warranty expiration date, and up to eight photos.

Have adequate insurance for your valuables. The first step is to get an appraisal by a qualified service or individual. In addition to obtaining an appraisal, make sure you have clear photographs or video if you need to file a claim. While researching insurance options for your valuables while being stored or transported, contact your current renters or homeowners insurance company to see what might be offered. While insurance won’t replace the items that get broken, lost, or stolen, at least you know you’ll be financially compensated.

Protect your valuable identity. Unfortunately, identity thieves target those in the process of moving. Phones, tablets, laptops, and computers are a treasure trove of personal data. Make sure that all electronic devices are shut off and password protected. Consider transporting these valuable possessions yourself. Birth certificates, passports, wills, tax returns, financial statements, health insurance, medical records, and other personal documents should stay with you throughout your move. Place these important documents into a locked box or briefcase and transport them with you. This will also give you peace of mind that you can access them at any point during the move if necessary.

Pack and label with care. For valuables that will need to be boxed up and moved with your other belongings, take special care when packing. Choose a sturdy box that is the right size for the object or objects. Use extra packing materials such as packing paper, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and tape. This is not an area where you want to scrimp. Think carefully about how you label your boxes. You will want to mark the box as FRAGILE on all sides as a helpful reminder for everyone who touches the box on its journey. But depending on who is helping you move, you might not want to write the contents on the outside. One option is to label all sides of the box with a number corresponding to a handwritten or electronic inventory list. Creating an inventory list gives you more room to describe the contents in detail and keep the contents a secret. This is a list you will not want to lose!

If you still have questions about how to safely and securely move your valuables, give us a call and let us know what you need. Zippy Shell aims to make the moving and storage process as simple as possible!

6 Tips for Moving in With Your Significant Other

A couple unpacks items in their home

If you have decided to move in with your significant other, you may be wondering how you can combine two households smoothly and peacefully. We have put together a few points you should consider before taking the leap. With some preparation, we know you can work together to plan a pleasant and fulfilling move.

  1. OPEN COMMUNICATION: Before you make any tangible moves toward cohabitation, you should have a sit-down conversation to discuss any aspects of living together that are unclear or causing anxiety. Share your expectations, goals, and boundaries for the new living arrangements. If you enter the experience with open communication and understanding, the process will be more enjoyable, and you are less likely to have unexpected roadblocks.
  2. BE PATIENT: Remember, you are taking two separate lives and merging them into one. This is a big deal. Prepare yourselves in advance to be patient and kind with one another as you traverse this new landscape.
  3. BE READY TO COMPROMISE: Any relationship is going to require a degree of compromise. No two people are exactly alike with identical tastes and ideas. Be ready to make concessions and to work on compromises that will make both of you happy.
  4. EVALUATE YOUR STUFF: When two people each have an entire house or apartment worth of stuff, it will take some honest evaluation to decide what gets kept and what goes. You won’t need two sets of dishes, two sets of living room furniture, and so on. Work together to decide what is going to work best for the both of you. You can sell or donate what you don’t need. If you have any sentimental items that you do not have room for, you can put them into secure storage.
  5. DON’T FORGET TO DISCUSS FINANCES: Maybe even more important than going through all your stuff is going through the finances. Expectations on who is paying what should be discussed before the move. If you intend to share a bank account, you should consider creating a budget you both intend to stick to.
  6. ASSIGN HOUSE DUTIES: Okay, so assign is a strong word. Maybe you and your partner don’t need a chore chart on the fridge. You do need to have, at the very least, a loose understanding of who is doing what around the home. Maybe the house chores rotate based on each other’s work schedules or specific tasks they always do. Determine what is going to work best for both of you to keep the household running smoothly.

We hope these tips help as you prepare to move in with your significant other. If you have any other suggestions that we missed, stop by our Facebook page and share with our online Zippy Shell community and us. When you are ready for your move, give us a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. We offer services for local and long-distance moves, as well as storage for every need. We look forward to hearing from you!

4 Questions to Ask When Choosing a New City to Call Home

A young couple looks at their laptop

So, you are thinking about moving to a brand-new city? Maybe your job allows you to work from home, or you have the flexibility to transfer to a location of your choosing. Or perhaps you are just in need of a major change in your life. Before choosing which new city to call your home, we have some essential questions you should ask yourself. Take a look!

  1. Is this a permanent move? Do you plan to live in this new city for just a short time? If so, some issues may not be as important to you. But if you plan for it to be your “forever” home, you will want to make sure you cover all your bases before making such a big decision.
  2. Do I have any limitations? What needs do I have? Before choosing a new city to move to, something you should think about is any limitations that may hinder full flexibility. Maybe you do not have a vehicle and will rely on public transportation. Or perhaps, you do not want more than a certain distance between yourself and your family members. Do you have any chronic medical conditions that require a specialist or frequent doctor visits? If so, you need to make sure that there is someone nearby who will accept you as a patient. Do you have kids or plan to have children in the future? If so, you will need to research school districts and childcare in the cities you are interested in.
  3. Which cities might have friends, family, and activities I enjoy doing? You may want to consider cities where you have loved ones and familiar faces. If that is not a significant deciding factor, perhaps you consider cities where you are close to things you enjoy. If you enjoy museums, theatre, and concerts—this can influence the city you choose to reside in. If you love hiking or biking, you will want to make sure you are near some trails.
  4. Is the cost of living in this area in line with my budget? Different regions of the country can have vastly different cost-of-living expenses. Do your due diligence and research the areas you are interested in before making any decisions. You can do this by looking into rental and purchase prices for the homes in all the areas you are looking at to compare them. Be sure you can afford to live there first!

We wish you great success as you do your research and choose a new city to call your home. When you are ready to move, be sure to give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. We offer a variety of moving and storage options for local and long-distance moves. We can create a move customized to your needs, timeframe, and budget. For more information or to receive a free, no-obligation estimate, give us a call today! We look forward to hearing from you!

How to Cope with Relocation Depression After a Big Move

A couple sits next to the moving boxes in their new home

Everyone knows a big move can be one of life’s most challenging events, both physically and emotionally. So if you feel stressed or anxious during a move, that is perfectly normal. Many times just the sheer physical exhaustion of moving is enough to throw you into a temporary funk. Making a move can indicate a positive change in our life, like a new job or a new relationship. Still, no matter how positive you expect the move to be, there can be pre-existing depression or even a new feeling of depression that moves with us. It can also happen to anyone, so there is no shame if you begin to feel down during a big move. If you have recognized and determined that you are suffering from relocation depression, here are some things to focus on.

  • Feelings of depression or anxiety are often heightened when you are rushed or forced to move quicker than comfortable. Allow plenty of time to prepare for your move and start the process as early as you can. Expect to need time after the move to get back to normal. If you can, book some time off work to unpack and recover from the physical and mental effort. It will give you space to adjust to the changes.
  • Try to carve out space in your new home that will automatically “feel like home.” Set up a favorite rug, blanket, or pictures that make you feel like you are home. Having this little bit of comfort can help your new home feel safer and more settled. Find a way to integrate the things you love in your new home’s design, and you will see how quickly the space will gain personality and warmth.
  • Recreate some of your old routines. You may have a big desire to push ahead with unpacking, but it might be better for your mental health to stay on an established schedule. Little things such as familiar meals, regular exercise routines, reaching out to friends and family that you usually talk to can go a long way towards easing the transition. In other words, do the things that made you happy in your old place, even if you have to do them in a new way.
  • Find something to be excited about in your new city. Put on your tourist hat and head out and do all the touristy things your new city has to offer. This has the added benefit of giving you a chance to familiarize yourself with the city. Walking increases calmness, so explore the walkable sections of your new city on foot!
  • Try to make relationships in your new city by getting involved with local interest groups, taking a class, volunteering, or extending invitations to neighbors and coworkers to hang out. Just be sure to set realistic expectations about the amount of time it takes to foster new relationships; it can be tricky!
  • Above all else, if your relocation depression or anxiety is debilitating or lingers longer than you think it should, speak with a professional. You may need additional help. 

Moving is stressful, and we want to make sure that we go above and beyond what the competition does to ensure your satisfaction. Zippy Shell is here to take the stress out of your move allowing you to focus on your physical and emotional health during this exciting time. Give us a call today to see how we can help make your move simple.