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!

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 Packing Up The Garage

packing a garage

The garage can be an overwhelming area to pack up. We all tend to let the garage get out of control with the amount of stuff we store there. With a little planning and some extra materials, you will have your garage packed up in no time. Check out our 6 tips for packing up the garage.

DECLUTTER FIRST

We always recommend taking some time to declutter before you move. The sooner you can get rid of any items you no longer use or want, the better! Your garage probably holds a lot of things that you don’t use anymore. Spend a weekend going through the garage and pulling out items for a yard sale or donation. You will be glad to have even less to pack up.

KEEP A SMALL TOOLBOX ACCESSIBLE

Make sure you put aside a toolbox with your most-used tools. You will likely need screwdrivers, a hammer, and other small tools as you continue to pack up your home. You will also want to know where your tools are when you get to your new home.

KNOW WHAT YOU CAN’T MOVE

There are several items that you will not be able to move or store. Flammable or hazardous items like propane tanks will need to be disposed of as a waste facility that accepts those items, or you can ask a neighbor or friend if they need any of the items. Make your plans in advance so you do not find yourself with hazardous materials that you cannot move but haven’t found anyone to take them off your hands.

KEEP ALL PARTS TOGETHER

If you are disassembling large furniture or appliances in the garage, be careful to keep all the pieces and parts together. You can put all screws or bolts in a tightly closed Ziploc bag and tape the bag to the inside of the item, so it does not get lost. Use a permanent marker to label the Ziploc bag just in case it falls off.

TAKE CARE WITH SHARP OR POINTY ITEMS

Any tools or items in your garage that have sharp edges or sharp points that could potentially injure someone need to be packed differently. You can use bubble wrap to completely cover the sharp parts and tape it down so those items can be moved safely.

BUNDLE LIKE ITEMS TOGETHER

Some things just can’t be packed in a box. Items like brooms, mops, and outdoor tools will have to be packed separately. You can use plastic shrink wrap to bundle them together so they are easy to move. You can also put them in a large outdoor trash can to keep them from moving around in your container.

We hope these tips will help you get your garage packed up quickly and efficiently. If you have an upcoming move, give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation quote. We offer a variety of moving and storage solutions that will make your next move a breeze. We look forward to hearing from you!

5 Ways to Use Portable Storage While Selling Your Home

Beautiful home exterior shot

You’ve decided to sell your home. Now what? There are a lot of other homes on the market, so what will help yours stand out? And how can you use portable storage to help you gain a seller’s edge?

Portable Storage offers you the ability to store your stuff without making multiple trips to a facility and helps you prepare your home, whether during a remodel or staging it for potential home buyers. We’ve gathered the 6 tried and true ways to use portable storage while selling your home.

Removing Clutter

As every good real estate agent will tell you, decluttering your home is one of the best things you can do. Not only will you feel better about a neat and organized home, it makes the home appear more spacious. It’s also good to remove some personal items so the potential buyer can envision their own stuff in your home. Having a portable storage unit on-site makes this fast and easy, giving you the time and space to go through your things and store or throw away those items you want to remove from the home.

Staging a Garage Sale

It happens. We collect a lot of stuff and when it comes time to put your house on the market you wonder what will I do with all this stuff!? The Zippy Shell portable storage container is a great solution. It’s delivered when you want it and you can move items from garages, attics, unfinished areas, and interior rooms into the unit and sort through it all. Mark them with tags, throw away what you don’t want to sell, and then make host your garage sale!

Updating Your Home

One of the key things that probably needs to be done prior to receiving potential homebuyers is investing in a few key updates. Having a Zippy Shell portable storage container on-site makes this super easy! Move the room contents into the Zippy Shell container, which is conveniently on-site, make your updates, and then move the contents back into the home.

Cleaning Your Home

Another great way to utilize an onsite storage unit is for thoroughly cleaning every square inch of your home. Potential homebuyers not only want to see a well-organized and neat home, but also a home that is clean and sparkling. To reach every nook and cranny, it’s best to move room contents into the portable container, thoroughly clean the room, and then put back only what you need.

Staging Your Home for Buyers

Finally, having a Zippy Shell container available means easily removing home contents or open house weekends or storing those special pieces that only are in the home when it is staged for sellers.

Summary

Preparing a home to sell is not easy, but these tried and true ways to use portable storage during the process can make it much simpler. Zippy Shell’s onsite portable storage containers are the super convenient way to make your home it’s best so it can sell fast and for top dollar.

Pack the Essentials for a Successful Moving Day

packing boxes

If you have moved before, you know that moving day can be chaotic. This is why it is very important to make sure your essentials are covered. It can be easy to forget a few small things that happen to make a big difference on moving day and in the days immediately following. Check this list for items you want to be sure you can put your finger on when moving day comes.

• Pack a “moving day” overnight bag for each member of the family just like you would pack when going on a trip. Include a pair of pajamas, a change of clothes, plus your personal toiletry items like toothpaste, a toothbrush, and your shower essentials (including a towel). For children, pack one or two of their very favorite belongings in their overnight bag. Keeping these items close by can provide assurance throughout the move and allow access as soon as you arrive at your new home.

• Come prepared with essential cleaning supplies. Before you even think about unpacking, you need to bust into cleaning mode. Now is the time to clean cabinet shelves, ceiling fans, light fixtures, and more -get it done while you have an empty space. You can also expect dirt and dust to be tracked into your home along with the movers and your boxes.

• Your moving day essentials kit should contain clean bedding and pillows. The first item of business in your new home should be setting up and making up the beds. You don’t want to get to the end of a long, tiring moving day and realize your bed is not ready for you to crash in!

• A basic toolkit with a hammer, drill, level, screwdrivers, tape measure, and pliers will also come in handy on moving day. Whether you need to assemble a bed frame or measure out where to fit the furniture, this will come in handy.

• Paper products like toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, paper plates, and disposable cups/utensils are a must. It is incredibly easy for these items to be forgotten during a move. Save yourself a trip to the store on an already stressful day by having these necessities on hand.

• Have your cell phone ready and fully charged on moving day and then keep your charger handy for the rest of your busy day.

• Keep your energy up by packing snacks and plenty of water for everyone involved with your moving day festivities.

• Extra supplies you will want to have in your essentials kit include garbage bags, light bulbs, box cutters, scissors, power strips, and a shower curtain/rod if your new place does not have a shower door.

We hope these suggestions will help your moving day flow smoothly. Zippy Shell is here to take the stress out of your move allowing you to focus on your family during this exciting time.

5 Things to Never Pack in a Portable Storage Container

Zippy Shell Mover

Furniture, kitchen appliances, hobby equipment, clothes, toys, books – the options seem pretty much endless for the type of items you can pack or store in a portable moving container. So while most things can be put into storage or transported to your new location, it is important to remember that not all of your belongings should be packed. There are some things that you never want to pack or store in a moving container and it’s important that you set those things aside well before your move. Some of these items you will want to handle personally and some you may want to dispose of or gift to a friend.

Important Personal Documents – Birth certificates, social security information, passports, wills, tax returns, financial statements, health insurance, medical records, employment documents, mortgage or rental contracts, 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.

Hazardous Materials – There are certain things in your home or garage that are considered hazardous when moving and should not be placed in a portable storage container. This list includes items such as aerosol cans, fertilizer, pesticides, charcoal, disinfectants, ammunition, fireworks, pool cleaning chemicals, paint thinner, fire extinguishers, car batteries, and gas cans. This also includes anything that is considered an illegal substance. Always consult with the experts at Zippy Shell if you are unsure about a particular item. You can consider giving these away to neighbors before moving or properly disposing of them. 

Perishable Items – Frozen and refrigerated foods can quickly spoil inside a moving container. Even packing pantry items or pet food in a moving container is a bad idea if it will be stored for any length of time. It may attract insects or rodents or grow mold that will cause significant damage to the rest of your belongings. You can donate food to a local food bank to help those in your community before you move.

Plants and Flowers – Your delicate, leafy friends will almost certainly not survive the trip in a portable storage container. You will be better off moving your plants yourself or gifting them to a friend before moving.

Dirty or Wet Items – Clean everything before it goes into a storage container, especially if it will stay in there for any length of time before being unpacked. If you store something while it is dirty, it’s only going to be dirtier when you unpack it one, two, or twelve months later. Clothes, furniture, and all appliances should be as clean and dry as possible before storing them away during your move. Anything that is wet or damp will start producing and spreading mold and mildew while in storage.

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

Whoa! You can’t pack that!

Zippy Shell Portable Storage Container

It’s moving day and you’re all geared up. You have the portable storage container, boxes, blankets, tape, packing foam, newspaper and, most importantly, the help! You’ve been organizing for weeks and your plan is set. The kids are at grandma’s and you’re exercising your supervisory skills when you see Brad pick up that tank of gas in the garage and start to move it into the storage container.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Brad!

There are some things that you never want to pack or store and it’s important that you set those things aside well before your moving commences. You may either want to dispose of them or haul them personally. This is a friendly reminder of what NOT to pack or store:

  1. Important documents: We mean things like birth certificates, marriage and death certificates, bank information, deeds, bills of sale, wills and social security information. These sorts of things should always be kept with you when you move to your new place. Ideally, they would be placed in a fire-safe place when you arrive at your new home.
  2. Illegal items: Seems like a no-brainer, but when you move across state lines, sometimes the laws change. Consider leaving firearms, ammunition, and even prescription drugs for someone to handle personally.
  3. Perishables: Food spoils quickly and can easily attract bugs and rodents into your things, as well as a stench that may stick to your items. The only exception to this rule is if you are moving a short distance on the same day. You might be able to pack a cooler and keep a few things, but your best bet is to toss it or give it to the neighbor and start over.
  4. Hazardous Materials: “No, Brad, you can’t pack that gas can in the portable storage container!” There are lots of things in your home that may be considered hazardous when moving. It’s best to consult your moving company for their specific list, but things like aerosol cans, fingernail polish remover, fertilizer, charcoal, cleaning supplies, ammunition, fire extinguishers, and gas cans are just a few you may not have thought about. Always consult with the experts at Zippy Shell if you are unsure.

If you’d like to know more about what can and can’t be packed in a Zippy Shell portable storage container, please ask one of our representatives for a complete list. We look forward to helping you move one day soon.