5 Tips to Help You Safely Move Your Aquatic Pets

Fish

Many people are familiar with the benefits of having a pet, especially a dog or cat. But you may not know that there are also benefits of having an aquatic pet, specifically fish. According to Deborah Cracknell, a marine biologist, “Fish tanks are often associated with attempts at calming patients in doctors’ offices and dental waiting rooms.” Besides helping to alleviate anxiety, here are some more benefits of our aquatic friends:

  • Helps people with insomnia
  • Helps decrease high blood pressure
  • Helps people suffering from dementia
  • Helps kids with behavioral problems
  • Helps children learn about biology & chemistry
  • Helps teach children responsibility & inspire learning

Now that we know how beneficial it is for pet owners of all ages to have aquatic pets, let’s learn how to safely move them to a new destination. If you have more specific questions regarding the health of your fish during a move, we recommend you contact a veterinarian with aquatic pet knowledge.

Tip #1: Before the move, do not feed your fish for approximately 24-48 hours. Don’t worry! Healthy fish can survive a week or more without food.

Tip #2: Have the proper materials to store your fish in for the move. For short moves, bag the fish individually and keep in a dark place. For long-distance moves, add pure oxygen to the bag. Maintain a normal temperature for your fish by storing in a sealed cooler. Do not leave fish in extreme heat or cold.

Tip #3: Be sure and pack your aquarium last and unpack first to help get your fish back into its normal habitat quicker. Take measures to safely pack your aquarium to avoid damage.

Tip #4: To preserve as much of the good bacteria needed to maintain the tank environment and cut down the cycle time for your tank, store as much of the water and rocks from the tank as you can. If your move lasts longer than six hours, you will need to do a complete refresh of the water and system.

Tip #5: When you reach your destination, set up your aquarium as soon as possible. Allow fish to acclimate to the new temperature and environment by keeping them in the bag, in the tank, for approximately 60 minutes. Once you release them from the bag, they may act a little unusual as they get use to their new habitat. Go ahead and feed them as well.

Continue enjoying the many benefits of your aquatic pets by reducing the risk of harm during a move with these tips. And remember, if you need to store some items that aren’t making the move with you, consider a climate-controlled facility with Zippy Shell!

Top Questions from Our Customers: The “How”

Couple unpacks and uses a checklist

Have you ever wondered how the Zippy Shell process works? How does one receive their container or how does our storage process work? We have the answers to some of those frequently asked questions for you!

A recurring inquiry is a pretty basic one: “How does your process work?”
It’s so easy! You pick the appropriate size container for your project and we will deliver it in our Zippy Shell, which is our trailer on wheels. We bring it directly to you, and you are allotted three days to pack it full. The container has a convenient ramp that pulls out for easy loading. Then, when you’re all done, we’ll swing back by to pick it up and store it at our secure, climate-controlled facility.

Deliveries are usually between 8:00am and noon. Zippy Shell process may vary location to location. To find out the hours of your local Zippy Shell, give us a call at 888-947-7974!

We should add that for insurance reasons, we only allow our certified drivers to move the Zippy Shell. We park it for you and then we place a block on the hitch so that no one can hook up and steal your belongings.

Lots of customers also ask, “Can I just bring my belongings to your facility?”
Sure thing! We can pull a container for you at our facility for you to load on site (and this will save you a delivery fee, too).

Now the big question: “How does payment work?”
Zippy Shell secures 50% of your fees two business days prior to your initial delivery date. The other half is billed once your portable storage container arrives at the Zippy Shell destination warehouse, or on the 31st day after your initial origin delivery date, whichever dates comes first.

Finally, “What if I get the one container and I need another one?”

We will be happy to bring another one to you. We can let you fill up that first one, and when we come to pick that up, we’ll bring an empty Zippy Shell with us for you to load. Just give us a call and let us know what you need and we will make it as simple as possible for you to meet your needs.

So, there you have it! Moving and storage with Zippy Shell is super convenient. Your first step is getting a quote. We are eager to hear about your upcoming move, so that we may provide an affordable quote!

How to Properly Clean Out a Fireplace in Your Piedmont Home

A nice fire going in a home fireplace.

Curling up in front of a wood burning fireplace is one way to stay cozy when the weather turns cold in the Piedmont Triad. If you are lucky enough to own a wood burning fireplace, you know that the comfort and warmth it provides requires a bit of maintenance from time to time. The National Fire Protection Association recommends both your chimney and fireplace be inspected for safety and cleaned annually. Creosote, which is an oily wood-tar by-product that can cling to chimney walls, can cause fires to flare out of control. If you are searching for a potential new property in the Piedmont Triad, be sure to ask for details about recent chimney inspections and cleanings. 

In addition to the annual heavy duty cleaning of the chimney, you will want to regularly clean out your fireplace to keep it looking tidy and keep it burning cleanly. These steps can take it from filthy to flawless!

  1. Wait at least 12 hours after your last fire before attempting to clean a fireplace in order to give all of the ashes and embers a chance to fully cool down.
  2. Wear old clothes or an apron because this can be a messy task. Also, it is a good idea to put on gloves, a face mask, and protective eyewear to keep the soot from irritating your lungs and skin.
  3. Lay a plastic tarp or old sheet in front of the fireplace to catch the mess.
  4. Using a handheld broom, sweep any soot and ash from the floor and walls of your fireplace and collect it into a dustpan. Dump the ash into a heavy duty paper or plastic bag as you work. Do this gently to keep as much dust as possible from flying around. Pro tip: Sprinkle a handful of used coffee grounds on the ashes to minimize flyaways.
  5. For good measure, you may want to vacuum the area to catch any remaining dust. But don’t forget to clean the vacuum brush attachment afterwards – you don’t want to spread soot around the rest of your home!
  6. Now it is time to scrub! Water and hearth cleaner work well for the brick and iron parts of your fireplace. But if you have brick front or facing that’s more than 50 years old, just use water with a light scouring. Old brick is more susceptible to crumbling. For marble and stone, scrub with water and dishwashing detergent. Use old rags to wipe each area after scrubbing.
  7. If you fireplace features glass doors, they can be cleaned with a 50-50 solution of water and vinegar. You can also put the discarded ashes to good use by sprinkling some onto the towel to act as a light, natural abrasive.

Once everything is clean and back in its place, you will need to decide what to do with your ashes. If you would prefer a professional clean your chimney, make sure they are a certified specialist before hiring them. You can find a certified chimney sweep technician near you by visiting the Chimney Safety Institute of America’s website and search for a pro today, as well as get other helpful tips.

If you’re looking for a place to dispose of your ashes and your Piedmont Triad home has a garden, we recommend spreading them there. Ashes are a great source of calcium, potassium, and other nutrients for plants and they also repel some garden pests! If you are making plans on moving to a home in the Piedmont Triad area that has a nice fireplace to curl up by, then give Zippy Shell of the Piedmont Triad a call! We would love to make you moving and storage needs simple!

Zippy Shell Continues Support of Wreaths Across America

A Zippy Shell mesh container with wreaths stored inside

For its fifth year in a row, Zippy Shell is proud to donate portable storage units to Wreaths Across America this December. Zippy Shell, in conjunction with sister company, 1-800-PACK-RAT, is providing containers for storage in preparation for Wreaths Across America Day on December 14th, with Zippy Shell donating six portable storage units this year.

Formed in 2007, Wreaths Across America was formed by Veterans and other groups and individuals with a simple mission in mind: Remember. Honor. Teach. In 2008, Wreaths Across America participated in helping lay over 100,000 wreaths at military cemeteries, including Arlington National Cemetery, with the help of over 60,000 volunteers. Thanks to these efforts, Congress officially declared December 13th as “Wreaths Across America Day.”

Wreaths Across America has continued its amazing work, and in 2014, the organization and its network of volunteers laid over 700,000 wreaths at over 1,000 locations across the United States and abroad. Other sites the group has visited include Pearl Harbor, Bunker Hill, and the sites of the September 11th attacks. The group also met its goal of covering the entirety of Arlington National Cemetery in 2014 as well, laying 226,525 wreaths across the hallowed grounds. The work was made possible through the donations, in-kind contributions, and fundraising from 2,047 different groups.

Today, the wreath laying is still held on the second or third Sunday in December, with Wreaths Across America making the trek from Harrington, MA all the way to Arlington National Cemetery in what is known now as the world’s largest Veteran’s parade.

This year, Zippy Shell and 1-800-PACK-RAT will be donating a total of eight units, giving Wreaths Across America convenient and safe storage right where they need it, when they need it. These units will be used to store items for Wreaths Across America’s wreath laying at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, TX. The group will have approximately 20,000 volunteers to help lay around 50,000 wreaths on December 14th.

If you would like to learn more about Wreaths Across America and how you can donate your time or money to the organization, please visit their website.

How to Acclimate When Moving to the Piedmont Triad Area

Happy couple unpacking in new home

The Piedmont Triad is becoming an increasingly popular place to move to, and we can see why! It is a great community, in a great location, with great employment opportunities. Whether you are moving to Greensboro, High Point or Winston-Salem, North Carolina, you may be wondering the best way to get acclimated to your new city. We are certain you will grow to love this area, but initially moving to a new city or town can be overwhelming. Zippy Shell has tips to help you lay down roots and get to know this exciting area.

Make Yourself at Home

Whether you have already found your Piedmont Triad dream home or you are in temporary housing, you will want to make your new space feel like home as quickly as possible. Set up your personal spaces first, like closets and bedrooms. Being able to find your favorite comfy shirt and having a relaxing place to turn in each night will provide comfort. Hang family photos, fill the fridge with your favorite foods, and try to set up familiar routines in your new space. 

Get to Know Your Neighborhood

Go for walks around your neighborhood to make yourself familiar with the area. As you are walking, make conversation with your new neighbors. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and ask for recommendations and advice for living here. Ask your neighbors about their favorite restaurants and area attractions. If your neighborhood has a social media group, be sure to join for valuable local and neighborhood information. 

Explore Your New City

Make a list of all the fun and exciting things you want to do and try in your new city. It is okay and even fun to act like a tourist when you move to a new place! Don’t forget to add some natural beauty to your to-do list. On the outskirts of the three cities that form the Piedmont Triad there are mountains, lakes, trails, and rivers for you to explore. Power down your devices and soak in the energy of our beautiful region.

A central location, thriving economy, and vibrant culture and history makes the Piedmont Triad in North Carolina a great choice for career and lifestyle! Check out Zippy Shell of the Piedmont Triad today if you need assistance moving to the region or if you need temporary or long-term storage while you are there!

4 Steps to an Organized Garage in the Piedmont Triad

Woman sits on a box in her garage

With the temperature dropping in the Piedmont Triad area, now is the perfect time to give your garage the organizing attention it deserves. Garage organization presents some unique challenges. The garage is a place that can house automobiles, tools, toys, lawn equipment, cleaning supplies, outdoor gear, seasonal decorations and more. How can you effectively organize all of these different items into one space? The Piedmont Triad Zippy Shell team is here with tips to help you reclaim your garage and restore order.

  1. Remove everything. The only way to begin a major organizational overhaul is to start with a clear slate. As you are cleaning out, you can begin the decluttering process by tossing anything you know at first glance should be in the trash. An empty garage opens up the possibility to do clean-up, maintenance, and upgrades. This is the time to sweep the floors, clean up stains, get rid of spiderwebs, add some extra lighting, and maybe give the floor some love by installing a protective epoxy floor coating.
  2. Utilize the walls. Get the most storage space out of your garage by taking advantage of the available wall space. Pegboards, cabinets, wire grids, and shelving are all options for getting your gear up and off the ground. 
  3. Look up. The ceiling in your garage is also valuable square footage. A garage ceiling is a perfect place to hang bikes or suspend a hanging platform to place boxes of seasonal decorations or rarely used outdoor equipment.
  4. Categorize and group like items. This will save you frustration down the road when you are searching for a particular item. Also, use your garage storage in a way that makes sense to you. Make sure you can get to your most used gear with the least amount of effort. 

If you are working on a big reorganization project in your garage or any other area of your home and need temporary storage, the Piedmont Triad Zippy Shell has options! Visit Zippy Shell online or call your local Piedmont Triad location at 336-499-3386 to receive a quote for all your storage needs.

Finding Your Dream Home in the Piedmont Triad

House at dusk

If you are searching for a new home, you have probably envisioned your dream home in your mind over and over. Now is the time to make those dreams a reality! Chances are you will find exactly the home you and your family are looking for in the Piedmont Triad area. This area is a thriving region that features tons of fun things to do including arts, shopping, botanical gardens, breweries.

To follow are a few things to keep in mind when you are looking for your dream home:

Prioritize

Make sure that you have a solid list of priorities in order of what is most important to you. The key is knowing which items on your dream home checklist are negotiable and which are non-negotiable. Coming up with a list of “must haves” will help narrow down the search.

Do your Research

You may already know what part of the region you want to live in, but neighborhoods can be very different across the landscape. To find the perfect community for your family, take some time to investigate the area online and then take a drive or walk through the different neighborhoods. Do you like the schools, restaurants, athletic facilities, emergency services, etc.?

Set a Budget

Before you start looking for homes, it helps to get pre-approved. You want to buy a dream home that fits into your financial situation now and in the future. In addition to the price of your home, you should leave room in your budget for moving expenses, closing costs, and possible renovations to the home.

Be Flexible

Go into the process with the expectation that you probably won’t find a home with every single item on your wish list. You can always add your own style to turn your new home into your dream home. The key is looking past the exterior cosmetic blemishes to the home’s bones. Look for a well-built home that has the space you need, some features you love, a layout that serves your lifestyle and a price point that allows you to make some changes. Stay flexible, be willing to compromise, and you’ll be sure to find your dream home.

Welcome to the area! The Piedmont Triad Zippy Shell is here to make sure your treasured belongings arrive at your dream home safely and securely. 

5 Ways to Make a New Space Feel Like Home

Congratulations on your new space! Whether you’ve moved into a new apartment, a dorm or a house, making this new space feel more like home means relaxing more quickly, especially after a move.

Start with the closet: Designers and home organization specialists agree that it’s important to handle your personal spaces first, not necessarily the common areas. Making sure that you can put your hands on sleeping clothes, play clothes, or a favorite shirt and pair of jeans means feeling more comfortable. This also includes prioritizing the kids’ rooms, too. The quicker they feel at home, the easier it will be on you.

Unpack a “self-care” box: Pack a self-care box that includes special candles, clean linens, fluffy towels or essential oils. These items can quickly make an unfamiliar space feel and smell more like home.

Keep to your routine: Packing, moving and unpacking really throws your routine for a loop. Try to mimic a familiar routine, at least for the first few days, whether it be when you eat, when you rest, or when you walk the dog. Animals, kids and seniors, in particular, appreciate a routine that makes sense.

Get your Wi-Fi working:  Nothing says home like snuggling up and watching your favorite streaming channel with a bowl of popcorn.

Do a little grocery shopping: Some food in the fridge makes everything feel a little homier. Yes, we know there are a million things left to do but make some time to go pick up something for lunch, dinner or breakfast. Put some snacks in the cupboard.

New spaces can feel overwhelming or foreign, but with a few quick touches, you’ll be on your way to feeling right at home.
Visit www.zippyshell.com today to learn more about the services we offer. 

Budget-Friendly Seasonal Decor Ideas for Fall

Fall Trees

Fall is in the air! Pumpkin Spice Lattes, cozy sweaters, colorful foliage, bonfires, and college football are sure signs that fall is here. Another favorite of the season is decorating our homes with festive, seasonal décor. Here are a few ideas to display your love of fall décor without breaking the bank.

  • Pumpkins: The holy grail of the fall season! This time of year you can find pumpkins of all shapes in sizes at grocery stores, farmers’ markets, road-side pumpkin stands and even in your own garden! Display pumpkins in your home and on your porch. Carve or paint them to make your Halloween more spooky! Create great family memories by visiting a local pumpkin patch and baking pumpkin pies!
  • Colorful gourds, squash & corn: Again, easy to find at your local grocery store or farmers’ markets. Arrange them in a wide round straw basket for a great centerpiece for your table. Add a few miniature pumpkins for the full fall effect!
  • Fall flowers: For a quick and easy fall decoration, add flowers to your décor. Visit your local nursery or home décor store for ideas to include potted flowers such as mums, pansies and other fall offerings. Give your green thumb a try and plant an autumn garden.
  • Door wreaths: Pick up a fall wreath at your local décor store or get crafty and make your own. Make it a fun fall project by having your kids collect natural items to use such as wheat, leaves, branches, pinecones, acorns and berries.
  • Collect & display fall leaves: For a simple and fun, kid-friendly project, gather leaves of different colors and sizes. Laminate leaves and hang with clear fishing line around your home or doorframes. For a different touch, add a framing mat around the laminated leaves and make a display collection on the wall in your foyer or living room.

For more information regarding storage or moving solutions, please give us a call or visit our website www.ZippyShell.com.

Real Reasons to Ditch a Moving Truck

Couple celebrates move in their home

You’re moving! Congratulations… right?

It’s only natural to have some anxiety over the moving process. After all, it’s one of life’s more stressful events under the best of circumstances. Fortunately, though, there are ways to minimize the anxiety and maximize the efficiency of your upcoming move. One of those ways, believe it or not, is to ditch the moving truck and consider using a portable storage unit instead.

The pricing is rarely what it seems: Budgets are important, and you want to stay on yours during your move. Renting a truck may seem cheap and easy, but the pricing isn’t always it seems. When you see a “rate” on that truck, that’s usually just the beginning. Be sure to check any fine print to determine the mileage rates, the late return rate and more. It adds up fast.

Time is money: One of the most annoying parts of trying to rent a truck for your move is the time it wastes. It’s not like you don’t have a lot of other things going on already. You surely don’t need to waste time picking up the truck (assuming the last person dropped it off and it’s even there), getting the truck back to your home, loading, moving and then stopping to return the truck to a destination that may or may not be close to where you are.

Driving a moving truck isn’t fun: One of the best things about a portable storage unit, aside from its flexibility and convenience, is that you don’t have to drive it anywhere. We come and pick it up when you are ready and drop it off when you are ready. Those rickety moving trucks may have mechanical issues between here and there, are supremely uncomfortable and can be pretty big, too, making them unwieldy for a novice driver. Added tip: If you are moving to or from an area with intense traffic, you really don’t want to be weaving in traffic with a word-out truck full of your precious things.

There is value in everything when it comes to your move, including time and safety. Rather than investing in time, money and effort into a potentially unreliable vehicle, why not explore our portable storage solutions? It will be one less thing you have to stress about. Give Zippy Shell a call today at 888-947-7974 or go online to get a free quote and see how we can make moving and storage simple for you!