We don’t know about you, but we feel like the last few years have just zipped by. It wasn’t that long ago that we were living through unprecedented times. The whole world stopped for a while – and it’s been on fast forward ever since. There’s been a huge amount of change in such a short time, and we’re still adapting to it as families, as businesses and as nations.

Of course, we know that sometimes change is scary. Sometimes it’s not that great. But it can lead to exciting things – it’s a matter of uncovering a new perspective. In the self-storage industry, as with all businesses, we are impacted by events in the world. So, what changes have been happening in the self storage industry, and why are we looking forward to the future?

A change in the way we see things

The pandemic hit us all in different ways, and many businesses are still finding their way back. In the self-storage industry, we’ve seen a number of changes in the way people use our facilities as a result. 

For a time, almost all office-based workers were sitting at their kitchen tables trying to work remotely. It was a new experience for many – and apparently a popular one, as many of us didn’t want to go back to the routine of a daily commute. That means turning what was a temporary solution into a more permanent one, as we carve out spaces in our homes for desks, ergonomic chairs and a fixed home office. And all the things we kept in the spare room or the living room corner are moving out to storage. 

But that’s not the end of the home office movement. As those who have worked from home for a long time know, having your office at home makes it a lot harder to switch off. There’s been an increase in small business owners moving out of the home and making a workspace in self-storage units. And self-storage companies are rising to meet demand, with many now adapting units or creating office space on site. And it’s not just computer-based businesses who need a desk and WIFI– units are being adapted for all sort of industries; if all you need is space, what could you do with a unit? 

So, whether you need more space at home or an alternative option for growing your own business, the storage industry may be the unexpected solution. 

House moves are not slowing down

Interest rates are rising and house sales are slowing down, although this has not necessarily impacted the number of people moving. Instead, as the cost-of-living increases and budgets get tighter, more people are downsizing or staying in rented accommodation for longer while waiting for rates to improve before jumping on the property ladder. 

This means that more people are storing their excess belongings in storage, and often for longer than they planned. But that’s not a bad thing, because it means you don’t have to make snap decisions, and as storage is more often cheaper than you would be spending on a larger property, you’re still saving.

Thinking about health

Another result of the pandemic is the hugely increased awareness of mental health. Something that had been quietly growing for decades suddenly became the focus of the nation, as it should. We’re more aware of the impact of isolation caused by working alone for some, or the stress caused by returning to work on others. But we also need to recognise that the state of our homes can also impact on mental health.

Living in clutter or working in a messy environment has long been shown to negatively impact on our mood and our productivity. Clearing unnecessary items out of homes creates a more welcoming space and relives stress – all good for our health. 

But that doesn’t mean we should just throw out everything in the house. By using self-storage, you can keep items safely put away for another day – clothes that will come back into fashion, furniture that is too sentimental to sell but too bulky – or ugly – to have at home, children’s toys that will keep for the next generation. By storing items long-term, you not only preserve memories, you also save these items from going into landfill. 

As we look to the future and ongoing changes, the self-storage industry has a place in the circular, sustainable economy and that can only be a positive for the planet. 

Self-storage is changing, and we’re excited to be a part of it

The self-storage industry is rapidly growing in the UK. As more homes are built across the country, more self-storage facilities are opening as well. 

Successful companies are adapting and embracing the changes, from showing our customers new ways to use the space available, to adopting new technology such as mobile entry apps and state-of-the-art security. 

In the ever-evolving landscape of the modern market, Cookes self-storage has emerged as an indispensable solution for individuals and businesses alike. As space becomes an increasingly precious commodity, Cookes comprehensive self-storage services offer a secure and accessible option for storing belongings, inventory, and valuables. With our state-of-the-art facilities and customizable storage options, Cookes aims to cater to diverse needs while ensuring utmost convenience and peace of mind. For more information and personalised assistance, please feel free to contact us at info@cookesstorage.co.uk or call us on 0121 250 5055. Our team of experts is ready to provide tailored solutions that meet your unique storage requirements.

For an industry that is relatively young in the UK all this change is happening fast; it’s exciting and we can’t wait to see what more we can offer.

Having an office space is great, whether it’s a designed space at home or at your company’s headquarters. However, having an extra bit of space also means it can get a bit messy. If you struggle with keeping your office tidy, this blog article is for you.

Having a cluttered desk has plenty of downfalls. Working in a messy environment may also decrease your levels of productivity and effectiveness. If your desk is tidy, you will spend less time looking for documents and items around your desk. Also, with a clear space your mind won’t be distracted by the thought of having to sort things out. So let’s get into it.

Remove everything

By removing everything from your desk and office, you will have the opportunity to sweep and clean your furniture too. At the same time, you can actually go through everything you own. Which bring us to point 2.

Divide your things in different piles: throw away, donate and keep

The most important part of this step is to be rational, and only keep objects you know you will use, for example a mouse pad or a photo of your dog. When it comes to donating and throwing away, the best way to divide your stuff is to think whether someone else will make use of it.

Consider investing in space organisers and shelves

Clearing things up is helpful, but with time your office space will get clogged again. The best way to prevent this is to get some space organisers, such as bookends and pen cups. Shelves are also great for books and documents you don’t need to access as often. Another tip would be to get some drawers to have under your desk.

Fix your cables!

Cables really do make a difference when it comes to space tidiness. There are some options for cable management, such as buying sticky labels or even cable management boxes, bars and sleeves. Having tidy cables also makes it so much easier to clean your office space.

Don’t forget to clean regularly

Once you’ve invested in decorations and space organisers, and sorted out what you need, cleaning regularly comes next. At the end of the day, cleaning regularly is the best tip on how to keep your office space tidy! It’s important to have a routine and do this whenever you can. It doesn’t have to be every day, but even once a week or once a month works. It’s important to set aside some time for cleaning and sorting our your space. If you do this regularly, it will only take 1h tops every so often.

Storage is your friend

Sometimes getting rid of old things just isn’t an options, and that’s when renting a storage unit can help you keep your space tidy. Cookes Storage can support you throughout your business journey with a variety of storage room options, and more. If you’re based around Sutton Coldfield and have any questions, please email us at
 info@cookesstorage.co.uk or give us a call on 0121 250 5055

Self storage is a valuable service that allows individuals to securely store their belongings away from their home or office. Whether you are moving house and need a temporary solution or wish to store important files over a long period of time, you can find a storage solution to suit. Some people consider self storage expensive, and there is no doubt that it may incur significant costs depending on what they are storing and how long for.

But when calculating the cost of self storage, the main consideration needs to be why you need it. Here at Cookes, our customers value the investment for protecting both your possessions and your peace of mind.

Safe storage

So, what do you get for your money in self storage? Well, firstly you get the peace of mind that your belongings are secure. Storing your stuff in the garage or at a friend’s house is all well and good, but can these locations offer 24hour security? Are they 100% damp free and unlikely to cause damage to delicate files or valuable heirlooms? At Cookes Storage Service, you receive a clean, dry, lockable space in which to securely store your belongings.

No two units are the same, and we treat every single one as if it held our own precious possessions. This is why Cookes provide state of the art security through out our site. With personal padlocks on all units, and 24hour CCTV surveillance, you can be sure that your stuff is secure when stored with us.

Flexible storage

Your storage needs can fluctuate month by month, year by year, so the idea that a one-size-fits-all contract can suffice is simply not feasible. Growing families and booming businesses will have constantly changing storage requirements. Rather than seeking to buy a property or premises that is ever increasing in size, simply invest in self storage that puts you in control. With solutions from as little as two weeks, we offer flexible storage contracts that can be increased or decreased in both size and duration at any time.

Simple storage

Unlike other storage companies, here at Cookes we prioritise simple pricing, so what you see is what you get.

We offer a huge range of storage units to suit every need. From 16sq.ft for to 270sq.ft. we have a space to suit you! The larger the storage need, be it in value or size, the higher the tariffs. However the longer you store with us, the lower the rates. Thanks to our simple pricing you don’t get any hidden surprises when it comes to settling your bill.

Want to know more? Drop us a line on 0121 250 5055 or get a free online quote today.

Are you one of the many people supplementing their income by selling goods on Ebay and Amazon? Or would you like to be? Whilst starting off storing your goods at home is perfectly OK, more and more people are using self storage services for their home businesses. Why? Take a look at some of the benefits…

Claim back your living space!

If you’re currently storing your Ebay or Amazon goods at home, wouldn’t you love to claim back your living space? It can be hard to run a successful business if your surroundings are far from perfect. Although storing it home has very little financial costs associated with it, there are other, social, emotional and environmental costs and these can come at a heavy price. Why not consider using our self storage facilities? You’ll be pleasantly surprised at our prices and the feeling of getting the space back in your home is absolutely priceless.

Peace of mind

Whether you sell high or low cost goods on Amazon or Ebay, if you’re storing them at home you may have thousands of pounds of stock tucked away. Are you confident that your current home security arrangements are sufficient? If you have older children, are you confident that they are locking the door each and every time they leave the house empty? The other matter to consider is insurance. Storing goods at home could even invalidate your home insurance if you’ve not declared the fact to your insurer. Why not give yourself peace of mind by ensuring your stock is safe at our storage facility? You’ll enjoy the highest levels of hi-tech security all for one low monthly price.

Access 24/7, 365 days per year

The key to a good Ebay business in particular is ensuring you have the highest feedback score possible. That can sometimes mean going the extra mile and getting orders ready into the early hours. With our self storage services, you have access 24/7, 365 days per year with your own PIN code. With staff on-site all the time and with our enhanced security and CCTV, you can work with your stock when you want and in complete safety.

Flexible storage

One of the great things about having an Ebay or Amazon business is the flexibility that it provides you with. If you’re wanting to expand your business, you’ll need more room for stock, and that’s easy to facilitate at our premises. Need less space? That’s easily done too. Worried about entering into long term contracts for storage? There’s no need to, you can store with us for as long or as little as you need to.

Get your stock delivered straight to our storage facility

One of the big benefits of using our self storage service for ebay businesses is that we’re happy to accept your stock deliveries on your behalf. If you work elsewhere or simply don’t have the time to wait around for stock deliveries, our professional warehouse staff will do it for you, leaving you to free to do other things. Once we’ve accepted and stored it, we’ll contact you to let you know it has arrived. Simple, easy and efficient.

If you’re interested in self storage for your online business, get in touch today by calling 0121 250 5055  or email info@cookesstorage.co.uk

When you are planning to build an online business, understanding your marketplace can be key. There’s a number of things to consider to make the most of your e-commerce shop, with the main one being where you decide to sell your items.  

E-shopping Online Business Promotion Shopaholic Concept

Where should you be setting up shop?

There are plenty of online platforms for selling your products, but the best known have to be eBay or Amazon. Are these right for you though?

Both are huge, established marketplaces, which gives you the advantage of a large consumer base. Plus, your buyers already trust the platform and protection it gives them. However, you are competing against large numbers of established sellers, and both Amazon and eBay have higher seller fees than other platforms. 

One of the main differences between the two is that you have a fixed price on Amazon, while you can choose to auction items on eBay, or sell them with a fixed Buy It Now price. Another is the way listings appear on each platform. On Amazon, if you have the same product as other sellers you are often listed on the same product description. The main way to stand out is to keep your prices low enough to be competitive, which could be a problem for small sellers. 

On eBay, you have control over the pictures and wording you use to list your item, so spending time understanding how to make the best use of headlines and keywords can be beneficial. You can also compete more directly with large sellers, as buyers may have other priorities than just cost, such as timeframes – how soon the auction ends – distance and options to collect goods themselves.

woman buying online

Other options for online sellers

Etsy is a fabulous online marketplace for handcrafted and vintage goods. If your products fit into these areas, this could be the best option. Your goods will stand out more than on eBay or Amazon, and buyers come to Etsy specifically for something unique. 

Another growing marketplace can be found on Facebook. However, it has limitations. Firstly, you need to understand the platform. There’s the Marketplace where you can list secondhand items, but you don’t actually sell them. If a buyer wants your goods, they contact you direct to arrange the details. 

Then there’s your Facebook Shop. You need to set up a business page and then learn how to set up the selling element. Then there’s the marketing to bring buyers to your page. And that’s where Facebook can be hard work, as you need to build up engagement with your audience to be found. Starting your e-commerce business on Facebook can be a slow process, especially when you already have an established consumer audience on other platforms. 

Building your own website

Another option for selling is to set up your own website and online shop. You have the immediate advantage of controlling everything yourself – prices, listings, descriptions and costs. You also won’t face immediate competition from other sellers, although you do have to consider that other people may be selling the same items, and today’s savvy buyers always shop about to compare prices.

To make the most of selling on your own site, you need to start with a great website. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune – in fact you can build your own online shop fairly easily. But you do need to understand things like SEO (search engine optimisation) and have an idea of how to market your shop to build up presence. 

With your own shop you are also building up your brand, so if you also have a bricks and mortar shop, this is an obvious choice. Your customers will get to know you through your reliability and reviews, and you appeal to customers who don’t like the big platforms or prefer to support the local and smaller business. 

freelance online seller

A little bit of everything

When you are just starting your online shop, you might want to try everything. List some items on eBay and Amazon – or Etsy if your products fit – and build your own website as well. Then you can monitor and compare sales to see where you make the most profits. 

Once your business takes off, you’ll need more space for your products. Keeping stock safe, organised and undamaged means you need a place for shelving, packing and a desk, with wifi to manage your orders. That’s where we come in. Call Cookes today to see how we help support online retailers to grow on 0121 250 5055.

Running a business from home has always been a bit stressful, but over the last month or two we’ve faced even more challenges. For the sake of peace and calm in your home, now might be a good time for a little home office revamp. 

Designate a work space

If you haven’t got a separate room to use as an office, choose a corner of a room and designate it the official office space. This will allow you to separate work from home life, which is important for a number of reasons. 

1 – A separate place for your important work papers will keep peace in the home. The family will know that it’s a no-play area, meaning you are less likely to have sticky fingerprints on your documents, or cereal spilt over your keyboard. 

It also means that your papers stay in their designated spot, and the only person to blame when they are left lying about the coffee table or get mixed in with the school textbooks is yourself. 

2 – Your working hours may not follow the traditional 9am-5pm – particularly at the moment. But when you do ‘leave work’, you’ve left. That’s it – business day is done and your evening can begin. 

Separating your work from your home life is essential to allow your mind to rest and keep your stress levels down. 

3 – Productivity improves when you are sat in your home office. You’ll find it far easier to concentre when you are sat at a desk in your workspace than lounging on a sofa or squeezed onto the kitchen table with domestic life going on around you. 

And, if you can reach an agreement with your family that office time is also ‘do not disturb’ time, you’ll get more done faster, so you can finish up and have plenty more time to relax and play.

Home office space

What do you need for your home office space

It depends on the type of business you are in, but you will probably find you need very little in the way of furniture to get set up. 

The right type of desk

If your home office is going to be a permanent space, put some thought into your desk. An antique roll top might look glamourous, but have they got enough room for your monitors and keyboard? Meanwhile, a standard basic desk from a national chain may be cheap and practical, but will it wear well or look scruffy quickly. 

If you like to spread out, a large table might be better, but it does need to be the right height to allow you a comfortable seating position. 

A comfy seat

Talking of seating positions, your chair is, possibly, one of the most important purchases if you will be spending a lot of time at your desk. Long hours sat down will be hard on your back, and poor posture can have long term consequences. Selecting a comfortable, ergonomic chair that fits nicely under your desk and is supportive on your back is essential. 

A clutter-free zone

Although many of us keep digital files, very few offices are completely paper-free. If you do have lots of paperwork, samples, stationery or other business necessities to keep, having adequate storage will keep it out of sight and tidy.

If your business requires a lot of stock, you may not have the cupboard space for it. A small self-storage unit can be the extra cupboard that you need – neatly stacked with shelving so that your stock boxes are tidy and undamaged, and more importantly, not blocking up corridors and taking up space when, especially now, you all need a little more room at home to manoeuvre.

A pleasant working environment

One final thing that is important is that your home office is a nice place to work. No one feels motivated surrounded by mess, or in a drab, dark space. You might, out of necessity, be slotted into a corner of the living room, but you can still make it feel like a pleasant work environment. 

Bring plants in to add greenery and to lift your mood– and they’ll also add oxygen to the air which helps you concentrate more. Add some pictures that cheer you up; how about one of your favourite holiday spots as an added incentive to work towards that holiday goal? Include a standing lamp or desk light so that you have a brightly lit space – reducing eye strain and headaches.

Of course, if you do have a separate room you can bring lots more to your décor in terms of colour, style and shelving, making your home office completely your own. 

If you would like to talk about self-storage options as a way of expanding your business, or keeping peace in your home, call us today on 0121 250 5055.