Many of you have been following my moving saga from Atlanta, GA to Vancouver, WA (#ATLtoVanWA). I have the latest installment for you – probably the most important of any of the posts I've done so far. I'm so excited to share this with you today – Zippy Shell portable storage! I could title this post so many other things:
- Moving cross country on a budget
- How to store your “stuff” before your house is built
- The best way to move cross country
- Moving and storage options
. . . and on and on.
Because there are a few truths about our situation that you have to understand. First, we're on a budget. We're self employed, and not rich, and moving cross country is expensive. Also consider the fact that we're going about as far as you can go across the country . . . I suppose unless we lived in South Beach, Florida. Secondly, we have two places to move: a condo and a studio space. Both aren't huge, but they are about 20 minutes apart. Our condo was small . . . only 868 square feet. We never had enough room to run our business out of our condo, so the studio was always a necessity.
The third thing is really the most important though.
Our move requires a lot of coordination (don't they all?). And per our mortgage lender, our condo had to be closed before our house closing at the beginning of August. You see where I'm going with this. To ensure the purchase went through, we knew in May that we'd have to sell the condo sometime in June or early July and then move somewhere AND store our items somewhere until the house was ready. This made it a bit trickier than a house previously owned or already built. Basically, portable storage was our only option.
By portable storage, that meant we'd get a storage container dropped at our doorstep, we'd fill it, and then they'd ship it to the west coast. Once our home is ready, we'll place a call and it will get delivered again and we'll reload it. I'm sure you've heard of these before. After a lot of examination of the different services out there, we chose Zippy Shell!
I haven't moved cross country in a long time, so choosing a storage container service required a bit of research. I made some phone calls, and these are actual prices that I was given for my move (rounded slightly). Budget is a big thing for most people, including me. The pricing below includes 30 free days of storage, which seems standard for all companies. I called four total and this is how they shook out:
|ZippyShell 15′||Competitor 16′||Competitor 16′||Competitor 8′|
|$3,300||$4,500||$4,000||$3,500 and too small!|
For us it needed to be at least a 15′ container. You can see who clearly won out in the pricing game. Zippy Shell!
Having said that, I don't think you can pick a service based solely on price. If your items arrive in your storage container and you open the door and they are all broken, it's worth paying more up front to make sure that doesn't happen . . . right? Steve has mid century furniture from his parents that is in perfect condition, and that was another concern for us. We wanted to be able to secure our items and prevent things from rubbing together. And that is where Zippy Shell was LIGHT YEARS above the competition! I don't think we realized how important their system was until we started packing our items. Let me explain.
The Zippy Shell is delivered to your residence towed by a truck, and fits in one parking spot like most of them do. We allotted for two so as to give our neighbors enough room.
The Zippy Shell arrives in a trailer, and when you open the doors, this is what you'll see: a cage. This is the key to your perfect move because you can use straps to secure your items! For us, this part was crucial.
What happens is you will place your items in this large cage, and Zippy Shell will take it to their warehouse. They will remove the cage, shrink wrap it for safety, and ship. The cage is stored in a climate controlled warehouse until you want it again, then it will be loaded on a trailer and sent back to you, where you unload. It's seriously genius, and no other competitor has this cage structure to allow you to pack perfectly and efficiently.
And pack perfectly we did!
Oh, and if you're wondering how to load the thing, there's a ramp that's stored underneath the shell that you'll use. Of course, dogs can also use this ramp to enter your Zippy Shell. I think Yoshi was a little scared we were going to leave her behind!
We got stopped by SO many neighbors asking us about our Zippy Shell. I think they wanted to see Steve's amazing packing job too which he was more than pleased to show off! We were thankful for the cage “technology” the entire time, but especially at the end when putting in our mattress. We were able to put a strap up to support the mattress, then wrap one around so that it didn't bang on our items in transit. Portable storage made easy!!
I also have to mention something VERY important that I noticed. Everyone at Zippy Shell was amazing to speak with. I had to call the customer service line and then the warehouse to change the pick up time, and these folks had no idea I was going to blog about the experience – yet they were friendly as could be. I was really impressed and it made my day! Steve and I kept commenting to each other about how pleasant the whole experience was. And that's crucial when you are moving cross country and everything is stressful, right?
Keep following my #ATLtoVanWA adventures to see how our Zippy Shell arrives in Vancouver. Plus moving tips and more. Just click below!
Disclosure: Zippy Shell provided us a discount for portable storage services in exchange for writing this 100% honest review of their company. There was no additional compensation and all opinions are my own. I genuinely love Zippy Shell and was thrilled to write about them!