Don’t Let Mosquitoes Ruin Your Summer Fun

Family having dinner in backyard

Is there any insect more annoying than a mosquito? And central North Carolina definitely has our share of these annoying pests! While there are other insects that rank pretty high on the annoying scale, mosquitoes are infamous for spreading harmful diseases. Meaning they can leave behind more than just itchy, red bites. Your best defense is to make your Piedmont Triad yard as inhospitable to them as possible. Don’t let these pesky pests ruin your summer fun!

Tips to Reduce the Amount of Mosquitoes in Your Yard

  • The number one way to achieve mosquito control is to reduce the amount of standing water on your property. Without water, mosquitoes don’t have anywhere to lay their eggs. Buckets, toys, tarps, watering cans, and other containers that can collect water should be stored indoors or emptied at least twice a week.
  • Clean leaves and debris out of roof gutters so that water flows freely and does not attract mosquitoes.
  • Fight off these pests with strategically placed fans. Flies and mosquitoes are not strong fliers and do not like moving air. As an added bonus, the breeze tends to dissipate all the body odors and the carbon dioxide that people give off which attracts mosquitoes.
  • Place specific plants in your yard to naturally deter mosquitoes. Here are a few to try: lavender, garlic, sage, eucalyptus, mint, basil, citronella, marigolds, and lemon balm.
  • Frequently change the water in wading pools, bird baths, and other outdoor water features. Keep swimming pool water treated and circulating.
  • If you have a mosquito infestation that persists despite your best efforts, it is always best to call in the professionals. A reputable pest control service can evaluate and treat your yard accordingly.

Use these tips to enjoy a magical Piedmont Triad summer without the risk of bites and potential infections. We live in a fast-growing area and your local Zippy Shell of the Piedmont is here to meet all your moving and storage needs!

7 Activities to Do When the Summer Heat Is Too Hot

As Summer is coming to a close, you may have had enough of the heat. Have fun while staying indoors with some of these activities!

See a movie

Avoid the spoilers by being one of the first to watch a new film! Watching a movie at a movie theater can be a fun activity for date night, a family activity, or an outing with friends. Sitting on your couch watching a movie doesn’t compare to the movie theater experience, not to mention the movie theater popcorn!

Do crafts

There are plenty of locations that offer crafting classes for your kids and you as well! Attend a local kid-friendly crafting class where you can create art with your child. You can also go purchase art supplies and create something from home as well. Often times, you won’t even need to buy supplies; the materials you have at home can be pieced together into a fun craft. For an evening craft activity, check out a wine and painting class closest to you.

Go ice skating

Many people may forget that ice skating rinks are open in the summer! This makes it the perfect opportunity to go because you will not have to worry about dealing with a crowd!

Go bowling

Bowling is the perfect, inexpensive activity to do for some fun out of the house. People of all ages can have fun bowling so make the most of it!

Go to the aquarium

The aquarium is the perfect balance of fun and education for your kids. They get to learn about various sea creatures, all while having fun doing it! Plus, you get to have some quality bonding time with your children while you all have fun.

Play board games

Don’t spend a dime by staying in for game night. Play any of your favorite games for a whole night of fun. Turn it into family bonding time or invite a few friends over for some food and fun.

Tidy up your home

If you are really this bored, use some of your free time to clean your house. Although it may not be one of the most fun activities, you will feel very productive and clear of mind afterward. Start with easy locations such as your closet or kitchen with these simple tips!

5 Important Summer Safety Tips

Man in Summer staying cool

Sweet summertime is just about upon us and it’s prime moving and storage season! It’s also that time of year when the kids are out of school, relatives visit and folks enjoy the longer days. Summer has its own set of safety concerns, though, and we’ve collected a number of great tips to help you and your family stay safe during the summer season!

Beat the heat: It’s already very hot in many parts of the country, so if you are moving or just enjoying events outside, be sure to be heat-safe. The National Safety Council suggests several ways to avoid heat-related stress, including:

  • Staying hydrated: Whether your friends are helping you pack or laying on the beach, ensure you have enough water on hand.
  • Work shorter shifts: If you are working outside, don’t push it! Take frequent breaks.

Be food safe: Picnics and BBQs abound during the summer season, but you don’t want them to result in an ER visit. Keep any foods made with mayo out of the sun and ensure they remain refrigerated right up until it’s time to eat.

Protect your skin: Sunburns not only can ruin a great time outdoors, but also increase your risk of skin cancer. Be sure to apply sunscreen before any outdoor activity, even if it is cloudy outside! Reapply after fun in the water.

Stay bug savvy: Insects love summer, too, and it’s important to protect yourself from painful stings and tick bites. The CDC suggests that you apply an effective insect repellent and use these tips to create a tick-free backyard.

Make safety a priority: Ensuring a safe summer may take a little planning. When you plan your events and outings, take into consideration who will be there (kids? pets?) and what could happen (sunburn? stings?). Make a kit to have on hand to ensure all goes well.

Whether you are experiencing your first summer in a new location after a move or just gearing up to enjoy a staycation, we want you to stay safe. If you are looking to make a move soon as well, then check out what Zippy Shell has to offer and see how we differ from traditional moving services!

It’s Time for a Summer Clean Out!

Family cleaning their home

One of the best things about Summer is the longer days giving us what feels like more time to tackle projects. If you have been wanting to take on a big clean out or full force home organization project, now is the perfect time. We have the best tips for getting your home organized at the beginning of the North Carolina Summer, giving yourself time to relax in a tidy home the remainder of the year!

But first, here some positive reasons to get cleaned out and organized:

  • It makes for an easier to clean your home.
  • Everyday life will become less stressful when you know where to find your stuff.
  • You may save money by not shopping for items you already own.
  • You will be able to use the space in your home to its full potential.
  • An organized home just feels peaceful.

Make a plan.

Sometimes with less glamorous projects such as this, the tendency is to let it fall to the wayside after the initial excitement wears off. A plan will help you stay the course and see this project to completion. Think about the work that needs to be done in each room of your home and make a master list. Remember this list whenever your enthusiasm wanes and check items off to fuel the feeling of accomplishment!

Commit to a timeline.

Look over your plan and realistically set a start and end date. You can even break your to-do list down into smaller sections with a deadline set for each. Refer back to the positives listed above when procrastination rears its ugly head.

Find motivation in a playlist.

Create a playlist of fun, upbeat, energy inducing music to play for the sole purpose of cleaning out and getting organized. Figure out the amount of time you have each day to devote to this project and choose the amount of songs needed to cover that time. Crush your organizing plan by playing this list loud and proud during each clean out session. Did you know: Zippy Shell’s portable storage units are perfect for storing items from the home, giving you more space to clean and organize. Check us out today for answers to any questions you may have and a free quote!

Top Ideas for Summer Fun in Philadelphia

Philadelphia

Moving to Philadelphia? There are so many fun things to do in this historic city. As the city of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania and is rooted in tons of community involvement. The city is home to the Liberty Bell and the Declaration of Independence and is famous as the birthplace of liberty and the pursuit of happiness. With five counties, there are endless things to do: parks, museums, parks, historic sites and amazing food. Welcome to Philly!

Festivals

There are tons of festivals to attend during the summer months. From music to fashion and cars and more, you’re sure to find a festival that calls to your passion. Get out there an mingle!

  • Manayunk Arts Festival, Saturday, June 22, 2019
  • Wawa Welcome America (Philly’s multiday birthday party), June 29 – July 4, 2019
  • Concacaf Gold Cup Quarterfinals, Sunday, June 30, 2019
  • XPoNential Music Festival, July 18-28, 2019, July 26-29, 2019
  • East Passyunk Car Show and Street Festival, Sunday, July 28, 2019
  • Opening of the Franklin Square Fountain Show, Summer 2019 (TBA)
  • BlackStar Film Festival, August 1-4, 2019
  • Made in America Music Festival, August 31 – September 1, 2019
  • Fringe Festival, September 5-21, 2019
  • Kennett Square Mushroom Festival, September 7-8, 2019
  • Fashion District Philadelphia Debut. Summer TBA

Rediscover Nature

Philly boasts some of the most scenic parks in the area. Enjoy hiking, biking, jogging paths, gardens and more.

Sports Fans

Steeped in more than 100 years of hanging out with professional sports teams, Philadelphia offers a host of sports-fan fun. Check out these top picks for sports fans in Philly.

Nightlife

No place does nightlife like Philadelphia. From hipsters to jazz, everyone has a favorite spot in this incredible city. Take some time to review this list of top picks for nighttime entertainment in Philly before you head out. Add to this list music, theaters, dance and shopping and you have the full range to create a very busy social or hobby schedule this summer. Have fun!

How to Pack Up Your Outdoor Furniture

Now that summer is coming to an end, it’s time to start thinking about packing up your outdoor furniture. Here are a few actions you should take before stowing away your furniture.

Cleaning

Make sure your items are not covered in any dirt or debris from outside. Don’t forget to check around for any bugs who may have found a new home in your stuff. Make sure to clean off your grill after its final use of the season so that when next summer comes around there isn’t old food stuck to the grill.

Drain

You may need to drain out rainwater from some of your pieces of furniture. Also make sure to empty out all the sand in sandboxes and charcoal from grills. Lastly, drain the remaining gas from your lawnmower leaf blowers and more to prevent leakage during storage.

Disassemble and package

Carefully disassemble your furniture without causing any damage. Keep everything together for each individual item. Put all loose pieces that belong to an item in a labeled bag and/or tape or secure this bag to the item.

Moving and storing

Whether you are moving your items to a new location, or want to store them at your house, call Zippy Shell.  We can store your outdoor furniture in one of our portable storage containers right at the convenience of your home or we can store your items at our climate-controlled storage facility.

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.