5 Ways to Trim Moving Expenses

saving money

Moving to a new home can involve a down payment, closing costs, first and last month’s rent deposit, and many other expenses. So, the last thing you want to add to the list is an expensive move. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your moving costs. Take a look at 5 of our favorite tips for saving money on your move.

Watch for Added Fees

There are many sites where you can receive a free online moving quote, and although these numbers are a good first step, you may find that some of them leave out fees and surcharges that are buried in the fine print. Did you know that moving companies can charge for mileage, fuel, tolls, and even windshield wipers? Little fees can add up to a huge difference in your bottom-line budget. Verify all fees in writing upfront with any company you decide to partner with during your move. If you would prefer to have a little more control over the moving process, consider using Zippy Shell. Whenever you’re ready to move, we’ll drop off our Zippy Shell container at your home. When you have it all packed up, we’ll pick up the container and drive it to your new home. You can even track your container online to see where it is in its moving journey!

Move in the Off Season

If you have any flexibility in the timing of your move, try to move in the off-season. May through September is the typical peak season for moving because children are out of school and parents desire to get into their new place before the new academic year starts. You may find different moving services to be less available or cost more during that time. The first and last days of the month are also peak moving periods as leases expire and renters prepare to move in and out of apartments. Schedule your move for off-peak times for the best prices.

Purge Before Moving

Spend extra time downsizing your belongings before you pack. You should always get rid of unwanted items before any move, but especially if you are trying to trim your moving expenses. Did you know some moving companies charge based on the weight of your items and the distance of your move? You certainly don’t want to end up paying to move items you no longer want or need at your new home. So if you don’t use it, love it, or need it to survive, it doesn’t need to make the move with you!

Save on Packing Supplies

Use packing supplies that you already have around the house. Use thick household blankets in place of moving blankets, wrap fragile items in towels and sheets before packing, and fill extra space in boxes with newspaper instead of purchasing packing peanuts. The most popular places to look for free boxes are grocery stores, office supply stores, book stores, package stores, bars, and restaurants. Many times neighbors will post moving boxes that can be picked up for free in local online neighborhood, trade, or garage sale type groups.

Ask Friends for Help

Your friends can lend a hand in many different ways to help you save money on your move. So often people want to help, but they don’t know how. While not everyone has the physical ability to help you move a couch up a flight of stairs, you can ask for assistance in organizing, packing, providing meals, watching children or pets, or being on the hunt for those free boxes.

Did you know Zippy Shell offers 30 days of free storage for customers who are moving cross country and need to store items until they’re ready to move into their new home? Call Zippy Shell today to get a quote.

Tips for Packing Unusual Items

organization

The portable storage and moving containers used by Zippy Shell offer tons of flexibility with a predictable cost for all your moving and storage needs. Of course, the first step is neatly packing your belongings in boxes and organizing them all with color coded labels. The challenge begins when you come across an oddly shaped or unusual item that doesn’t fit neatly into a typical box. Unusually shaped items are at greater risk of damage during a move. So before loading your container, take a look below for great tips and tricks to pack those challenging items into your storage container.

Fragile Items – For breakable or sentimental items, your first priority is to choose a sturdy box that is secured on the bottom with a minimum of two strips of packing tape. Fragile items require extra packing materials. Have plenty of packing paper, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts on hand before packing. Label all sides of the box with FRAGILE.

Large Appliances – Refrigerators, washers, dryers, stoves, and lawn equipment come with their own set of challenges when packing your container. This first step is to thoroughly clean these items and take off all removable parts. Drain lawn equipment and tools of gas and oil before packing them, as these contents are flammable. For packing appliances, it can be helpful to use manufacturer boxes and packaging if you still have them available. If not, secure moving blankets around appliances with packing tape to prevent damage. Place these heavy items on the bottom layer of your storage container near the center.

Furniture – It is best to disassemble your furniture by breaking items down into the smallest possible components for transporting. Label smaller pieces and place them in boxes. Wrap everything else in moving blankets to prevent scratches and clearly label the screws, nuts, and bolts needed to reassemble your furniture upon arrival.

Televisions – When moving televisions, most people just loosely pack them into their moving trucks or rental containers. This heightens the chance of the TV falling over and cracking or shifting during transportation. A heavy duty TV box kit will protect your televisions from unwanted shifting.

Floor Lamps – Remove the lightbulbs and any lampshades to pack in separate boxes. Wrap the floor lamp base in a moving blanket and secure the blanket with packing tape. Stand it up between two heavy pieces of furniture to keep it from moving during transit.

Odd-Shaped Items – Some things simply will not fit in a box. All you can do is wrap them as safely as possible with bubble wrap, moving blankets, and tape. Protect delicate elements and protruding parts with bubble wrap, then wrap the entire piece in moving blankets and secure with packing tape or plastic wrap. Handle these items with care throughout the move.

We hope these solutions will be beneficial for moving those unusual items that don’t fit neatly into a basic box. If you still have questions, just give us a call and let us know what you need. Zippy Shell aims to make the moving process as simple as possible!

Tips for Moving During the Winter

snowy house

Moving in the winter months can present a unique set of challenges that can cause additional stress during an already difficult time. According to the region you live in, you may have to deal with below freezing temperatures, ice, snow, and wind. Moving in the winter season may require more preparation than moving during other times of the year, but it is not impossible. Take a look at some of our winter moving tips that we hope will help you as you get ready for your upcoming move.

PREPARATION IS KEY

If you live in an area that gets frequent snow and ice, you probably already have most of the supplies that you will need. You will want to make sure you have snow shovels and salt to ensure you can keep all walkways and the driveway clear of snow and ice. Weather can be fairly unpredictable but try to plan your move on a day where conditions are more suitable. 

PROTECT THE FLOORING

Whether you have helpers or not, you should lay down cardboard or rugs in order to protect your flooring from the people going in and out. If the ground is wet due to snow or ice, you are going to have people leaving tracks in the house. If you have something laid on the high-traffic areas, especially around the doors, you can protect your carpet or hardwoods.

GET STARTED EARLY AND PLAN FOR SHORT DAYS

We don’t get as many hours of daylight in the winter season, so you will need to plan your moving days around that. Try to get started early when the sun comes up, so you don’t find yourself working in freezing temperatures and in the dark. Any weather app can tell you the approximate time of sunrise and sunset so you can better plan your moving days.

STAY WARM

Hypothermia can be a real threat in some areas of the country. Be sure that you and anyone helping you move is dressed in appropriate clothing and that everyone is taking breaks from being outside and has a heated area they can go to warm up. Keep some warm beverages on hand—coffee, tea, hot cocoa—for an extra warming boost.

TAKE YOUR TIME AND USE CAUTION

Moving is hard work and people tend to go as fast as they can to get it done and to meet deadlines and time restraints. But if you are moving during freezing temperatures with snow and ice on the ground, you need to slow down a little in order to move safely. If you were to slip and fall on the ice, you could seriously injure yourself. We also recommend using caution when you are driving and if conditions get bad to delay your move until you can do it safely.

If you haven’t scheduled your move with Zippy Shell yet, give us a call at 888-947-7974 for a free estimate. We can answer any questions you have about our many moving and storage services to make sure we find the right fit to your moving needs. We look forward to hearing from you!

5 Tips to Save Money on Your Move

saving money

The costs involved with moving add up fast! Not only do you have moving expenses, you likely will be spending money to get your new home set up and ready for your family to settle in. Fortunately, there are ways to cut some of those costs. Take a look at 5 of our favorite tips for saving money on your move.

COLLECT FREE BOXES FROM LOCAL STORES

If you don’t mind using different sized boxes, give your local grocery and package stores a call. These locations are a treasure trove for free boxes. Just be sure to call a couple of weeks in advance and reserve some. If no one claims them, they get recycled.

IF YOU CAN, MOVE IN THE OFF-SEASON

If you have any flexibility in the timing of your move, try to move in the off-season. Yes, even moving has a peak and off-season! May through September is the typical peak season for moving. You may find different moving services to be less available during that time. You may also find prices are higher during the high demand months. Schedule your move in the off-season for the best prices.

CHECK FOR MOVING SPECIALS

Before you commit to any moving services, check around for moving specials. You will likely find more ways to save money with these specials and coupons during the off-season months. But be careful if you see an offer that seems far too good to be true—these often turn out to be scams.

DON’T FORGET TO SHUT OFF YOUR UTILITIES

In the chaos of moving, it is common for people to forget to shut off the utilities or transfer them out of their name. You really do not want to have two utilities bills simultaneously. Also, be sure to schedule the utilities turn-on date for your new home in advance. If you arrive and have forgotten to do that, you will either wait a day or two with no utilities, or you will have to pay extra for same-day service. Save that money and schedule them before you move in!

DON’T RENT A TRUCK

Rental truck costs add up very quickly. Not only are you charged by the time you have it rented out, you are charged for mileage. Even the gas costs for a big truck is costly. We recommend using a portable storage unit. You will have a secure unit delivered to your location and it will stay there as long as you need. When you are ready, it will be picked up and either stored at a secure location or transported to your new home. Skip the rental truck costs and save money with an easier way to move!

We hope these tips help as you get ready to plan your move. Zippy Shell is ready to partner with you on your move. Give us a call for a free, no-obligation estimate.

How to Ship a Vehicle Across the Country

freight truck

Moving a long distance such as across the country comes with its own unique set of challenges. One of those challenges is figuring out how your vehicle will get to its new home. Will you drive it yourself or use an automotive transportation service?

Driving Yourself

In the majority of situations this will be the most cost-effective option, but don’t act so fast! There is of course the cost of gas to drive your vehicle to your new destination, but depending on the distance there are other costs to consider. Will you need to stay in a hotel overnight because the drive is so long? How many times will you need to stop for food? What about the wear and tear on your vehicle? Each part of your vehicle, from the tires to the engine, has a limited number of miles it can drive before it should be replaced. Driving your vehicle 1,000 miles in just a few days can take an average of one month off of its life expectancy. You also have to consider the time it will take to drive across the country. Will driving your vehicle yourself require you to take time off of work, therefore, reducing your wages?

Automotive Transportation Service

  • How does it work? While you are focused on moving your stuff, you can leave the transporting of your vehicles to a professional automotive transport partner. Your vehicle will be picked up or driven to a nearby location where it can be loaded onto a vehicle transporter. The auto transport service will then deliver your vehicle to your new home, either dropping it off at your door or at a nearby spot where you can pick it up.
  • What are the advantages? Shipping a vehicle via an auto transport service saves more time than driving it by yourself, especially in the case of a long-distance move. You can fly to your new place without having to make changes in your schedule and having to drive all the way to your destination which is often tiring. Having your vehicle transported by a professional auto transport service will save you a lot of stress when managing your overall move. By leaving the driving to auto transporters, you also will save a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle. Since auto transport services have employees that are knowledgeable about the rules and regulations connected with auto transportation, they can advise you about the documentation that’s required to transport the vehicle.
  • Are there any disadvantages? The biggest item to consider when using an automotive transportation service is your timeline. When you transport your vehicle by yourself, you’re in control of the entire operation, meaning that you can control exactly when it arrives at your new home. When hiring professionals, the delivery date is often decided by the company. The number of vehicles and the location of the vehicles the company is transporting can affect delivery times.

Before you decide whether you would like to employ the services of an auto transport service to transport your vehicle, weigh the pros and cons carefully. By getting quotes from various companies you can trim the expenses involved. Zippy Shell partners with automotive transportation services that provide professional services at competitive rates. Contact us today!

How to Move with Aging Parents

Older man with moving boxes

As a result of the pandemic, circumstances have changed for many families across America. There are many scenarios in the current climate that involve the need to move an aging parent. This could mean moving a parent into your home or moving with an aging parent into a new place altogether.
Moving is a stressful life event and it can be even more stressful for older adults. Fortunately, there are steps you can take throughout the move to make the experience easier for your aging parent.

  • The first step is to have an open discussion. The best thing you can offer to yourself and your aging parents is a candid assessment of the situation. Even if a sudden illness or a financial setback seems to be forcing a decision, it’s worth exploring how that decision is going to impact the entire family.
  • Moving your elderly parents will most likely require downsizing their belongings. For some, downsizing is an exciting prospect to be able to let go of possessions that require so much time and maintenance, but for many it can be emotionally and physically challenging. Having others around to share memories with can make the process less painful. Even though it will take more time, go through the house item by item with your support team. Honor the emotional attachment to personal belongings and allow your senior parent to reminisce as you help sort out their possessions.
  • Evaluate the new home for accessibility. Consider major changes that may be needed in order to accommodate any disabilities or mobility problems, for example, wheelchair-accessible bathroom and shower, grip bars, different door handles, lower light switches. If you need to make modifications in the home for your aging parents, hire professionals with accessibility improvement experience who can complete the work successfully. 
  • After all of your planning, packing, and preparation, when moving day finally arrives, you’re going to want to take some measures to ensure everyone and everything is safe. Get sufficient help even if that means hiring help. When we are under stress, it’s easy to gravitate to unhealthy foods, sleep deprivation, and negative thinking. Make sure everyone fills their belly with healthy options and stays hydrated.
  • Be prepared for the emotions. You can eliminate some negative emotions by making sure your parents have a fair amount of control over as many aspects of the move as is reasonable. Also, engage in regular talks about current feelings and fears of what may be to come. Your parents will need time to adjust to their new living environment and role with your family.

Aging parents may need a lot of help and support during a move, but they are usually the expert on exactly what they need. Your communication, patience, and support will help make this transition smoother. The most important thing to focus on bringing to the new home is their physical and emotional health! Zippy Shell can service moves of many sizes, and even offer storage options if you need it. Go online and get a free quote today!

7 Tips For a Successful Yard Sale

Yard Sale

If you are getting ready for a move, it is a good idea to go through all your belongings and try to downsize what you will need to pack up and move to your new home. One way you can achieve this is by having a yard sale. As we enter the cooler fall season, it is a great time to plan an outdoor sale where you can make a little extra cash for your move while purging things you no longer need. Not every yard sale is successful, however. Take a look at seven of our favorite tips to make sure your yard/garage sale gets good traffic and sales.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

If you live in a location that doesn’t get a lot of traffic, consider changing the location of your yard sale. Ask a family member or friend that lives in a large subdivision or off a busier road if you can borrow their yard for a weekend.

INVITE NEIGHBORS AND FAMILY TO SELL WITH YOU

If you don’t have a lot that you plan to sell, ask your friends and neighbors if they would like to join you for a multi-family yard sale. More stuff displayed outside will draw in more buyers than just a few tables.

GET ORGANIZED

Don’t wait until the morning of your yard sale to start throwing things together. Plan ahead so you have time to go through each room in your home to purge unwanted and unneeded items. Organize your items so they can be displayed in an intuitive way that makes it easy for a customer to browse. If everything is just thrown in boxes, people will be less likely to look through and find things they want to purchase from you.

LABEL EVERYTHING

Most people who go shopping, whether at a store or a yard sale, want to know the price of an item they are interested in without needing to ask someone. Invest in some good stickers and put a price on each item, or at least have specific value tables (example: everything on this table is $1) to make it simple for potential customers.

PRICE TO SELL

Unless you are on the fence about selling something, price your items to sell quick. Remember, you don’t want to have to pack all this stuff up and take it with you to your new house. Priced right, you will clear out a good bit of your unwanted things and still make some extra money.

PREVIEW ONLINE

If you have large furniture or pieces that you intend to price higher, consider taking good pictures and posting them for sale online prior to your yard sale. This will give you a longer time frame to make sure you get these items sold.

ADVERTISE

With social media, neighborhood apps, and local advertisement websites, advertising your garage sale may be the easiest part of this process. You don’t need to spend any money to advertise online, but you may want to spend a little to buy garage sale signs that will allow you to give drivers on the road clear instructions on how to get to your yard sale from the main roads. We hope these tips will help you host a successful yard sale before you move to your new home. We offer a safe and secure way to move and store your stuff. Give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 for a free, no-obligation quote. We look forward to hearing from you!

6 Tips to Babyproof Your New Home

Baby in a House

Moving can be tough enough, but if you are moving into a new home with a baby, it can pose even more challenges. Not only do you need to consider how to get everything unpacked and put away, you will need to make sure your home has been babyproofed to keep them safe in their brand-new environment. We have a few tips to help you get started on creating a safe home for your baby.

  1. SECURE FURNITURE: While you are moving your furniture in is a great time to go ahead and anchor each heavy piece to the wall. Heavy cabinets and even televisions can be dangerous to small children once they start pulling themselves up. You can order furniture and television anchoring kits online or in most local home improvement stores.
  2. COVER ELECTRICAL OUTLETS: The easiest solution for keeping small fingers away from electrical outlets are the plastic inserts that you can purchase very inexpensively at most stores. But these are fairly easy to pull out, and if you find your child is especially curious, then perhaps replacing the outlet plates with ones that have sliding covers that automatically cover the outlet when you remove a cord will provide a higher level of safety and peace of mind.
  3. BLOCK THE STAIRS: If you have moved into a multi-level home, be sure to block the top and bottom of each set of stairs. There are different types of gates to choose from, but ones that swing open are generally the easiest to use for stairs.
  4. CHECK THE HOT WATER HEATER TEMPERATURE SETTINGS: This may not be a big deal before your baby starts walking, but it would be good to go ahead and check that your water heater temperature is not set any higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Any higher than that and your child could get severely burned in the water.
  5. WATCH FOR CHOKING HAZARDS AND CHEMICALS: This can be difficult during the unpacking process when you have things all over the place. Be mindful of items like household cleaners or small screws left out from furniture assembly.
  6. INSTALL DOORKNOB COVERS AND CABINET LOCKS:  When your child becomes mobile, you will want to make sure they can’t open up the cabinets in your kitchen and bathrooms and you should make sure they can’t move freely unattended in the home. Doorknob covers and cabinet locks are a great way to make sure they aren’t getting into anything when you turn around for a second.

When you move into your new home, it may feel overwhelming trying to do all the babyproofing that is needed while you are also trying to get your belongings put away. If babyproofing can’t be done right away, consider creating a space in the home that is safe for the baby until you are able to get it completed.

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

How to Safely Move Your Grill

grill

Some of your belongings are harder to pack and move than others. One item that can pose some difficulty is a gas or charcoal grill or a smoker. This is not something that you can easily put in a box and stick in the mobile storage unit for transport. Take a look at some of our tips for properly preparing your grill for a move to your new home.

MAKE SURE IT IS COOL

We know this sounds obvious, but make sure you don’t underestimate the time it takes for a grill to cool down from its last use. If you had a barbecue the night before packing, be sure that it has completely cooled down before you start getting it ready for the move.

REMOVE PROPANE AND CHARCOAL

Propane is not allowed in moving trucks or mobile storage units, so you will need to disconnect the propane gas canister and dispose of it or give it away. If you use something like charcoal, you should clear it all out of the grill.

TAKE OUT REMOVABLE PARTS, CLEAN, AND PACK SEPERATELY

Grills can have a lot of different parts that come out easily. You don’t need to disassemble your entire grill, but you should take out the racks and other removable parts. Make sure you scrub everything down well. You do not want grime and grease from your grill to get on other items in your mobile storage unit. Plus, it will be nice to start fresh when you are settled into your new home.

STRAP DOWN THE LID OR ANY MOVING PARTS

Once your grill is all clean, strap down the lid to make sure it does not open while it is being moved or in the storage unit. Any other moving parts that cannot be removed should also be secured.

USE MOVING BLANKETS TO WRAP YOUR GRILL

You don’t have to wrap your grill, but if you want to protect the exterior finish from scratches, you can use moving blankets to wrap around the grill. Just be sure to leave the handles and the wheels exposed. You will need those when it is time to move the grill!

DETERMINE THE EASIEST WAY TO MOVE THE GRILL

Most grills have at least two wheels which will make moving the grill from your patio to the mobile storage unit much easier. If you don’t have wheels on your grill, ask someone to help you lift the grill by the handles. Take breaks as needed to make sure you or the person helping you is able to avoid injury.

SECURE IT IN THE MOBILE STORAGE UNIT

Once you have made it to your unit with the grill, make sure it is secured so it does not tip over or slide around. You can use bungee cords or you can use other pieces of furniture to keep it in place.

We hope these tips will be helpful to you as you prepare your grill for your move. Let us know if we can help you with your local or long-distance move. Give us a call at Zippy Shell and we will provide you a free, no-obligation estimate for all your moving and storage needs. We look forward to hearing from you!

5 Major Moving Mistakes to Avoid

Frustrated while Moving

Knowledge is power, and the more you know before you make your big move, the better. Packing, moving, and settling into a new home can be a chaotic and stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be. Take a look at 5 common moving mistakes and how you can avoid them.

MISTAKE #1: NOT SCHEDULING MOVING PARTNERS IN ADVANCE

If you intend to have any assistance with your move—movers, a mobile storage unit, childcare or pet care, or even last-minute repairs and touch-ups—these services need to be scheduled in advance. Certain times of the year are heavy moving seasons and it can require more advance notice of moving-related services. As soon as you know when you will need to move, start making phone calls for quotes and get everything you will need scheduled.

MISTAKE #2: USING A MOVING TRUCK WHEN YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABLE DRIVING ONE

Driving a moving truck is intimidating for a reason! It takes some practice before you can comfortably drive something so large. A better option is to schedule a mobile storage unit to be left at your home so you can pack at your own pace, and have the unit picked up and delivered to your desired location. This can also save you money in the long run.

MISTAKE #3: NOT PURGING BEFORE PACKING

We all have things in our house that we don’t need, or even want. Take the time to go through your belongings and get rid of anything you don’t use or want at your new home. You can hold a socially distanced yard sale or donate to a local organization that can put them to good use in the community. You will be glad to reduce the amount of clutter in your new home, especially if you are moving to a smaller home.

MISTAKE #4: WAITING UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO PACK

Waiting until the last minute to pack will inevitably lead to problems. You don’t have time to purge, things will be packed incorrectly and can potentially be damaged and broken, and you are unable to take the time to create a packing list and inventory. For a smooth and stress-free move, we recommend starting the packing process a few weeks before your move so you can take your time and do it properly.

MISTAKE #5: FORGETTING TO CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS AND SHUT OFF UTILITIES

If you don’t have this important step on your moving list, make a note now. Out of all the moving mistakes, this is one of the most common. Plan a day to call your bank, credit card companies, and other important accounts that you must update your address. You can also change your address with the USPS which will stay in effect for up to a year. You also need to call all of your utility companies and trash service company and give them the date you intend to move out so they can act accordingly. Don’t forget to schedule your utilities to be turned on at your new location either! Having no water or electricity while you are trying to move in will complicate things.

We hope sharing these common moving mistakes will help you tweak your moving plan to make the process a little easier. If you are ready to schedule a moving partner like Zippy Shell, give us a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!