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.

As a result of the global growth the self-storage sector is experiencing, its expected value by 2026 stands at £4.10 billion in Europe alone. In 2019, the Self-Storage Association (SSA) reported that there are over 1500 self-storage facilities in the UK, for both domestic and business purposes. Although this number is smaller when compared to other countries such as the US or Australia, the UK still ranks highest in Europe with the number of facilities it has, followed by France and Spain which both have an estimated 450 self-storage facilities.

So why is the number of self-storage facilities so high in the UK and why is it expected to keep growing?

The reason is that the domestic need in the country is almost 10 times higher than in continental Europe, with common reasons for using self-storage including divorce and old age. It’s not surprising then that most customers making use of self-storage facilities are between the age of 40 and 70. Another reason is that the urban lifestyle is attracting an increasingly higher number people each year to move houses, and while the sector has seen steady growth recently, it still appears to be young as no major key players have fully established themselves within it. In the UK, there are larger brands that can be found around the country, as well as local self-storage brands recognised around their area and trusted by the local community, such as Cookes Storage Service.

Cookes Storage Service entrance

Also, what role does the pandemic play in this industry?

Throughout the pandemic, people have been moving homes, causing these facilities to fill up. In addition, such facilities have also been taken over by new businesses, causing most warehouse spaces to be occupied last year.

With house prices increasing, tenants moving into new homes are spending more time at home and have made more use of self-storage facilities to de-clutter their homes and free up space where they live, keeping only what is necessary. A similar reason is that people seeking to sell their homes will need to temporarily store some of their belongings in a storage space while they look for a new home. De-cluttering appears to be one of the main reasons for picking a storage facility during the pandemic, which could be due to the higher quantity of time spent at home, or due to more home space having to be sacrificed for a work-from-home set-up.

Self-storage firms have reported an increasing demand as a consequence of the pandemic, and to meet these new consumer needs, flexible companies have expanded their sites around the UK, providing more space such as containers.

So, what’s going to happen?

It is predicted that the price for self-storage units will be skyrocketing in the near future. In addition to families and tenants making use of self-storage for de-cluttering related reasons, increasing the occupancy of such facilities, prices are also rising due to investors looking to invest in new assets during the pandemic.

However, with the uncertainties that come with Covid-19, for how long will this increase last? The pandemic has made one thing clear: things can be very volatile.

Over the last year, we have seen many businesses – such as high street shops – closing. On the other hand, brands such as Amazon and sectors related to real estate and workspace solutions seem to have profited from Covid. With a flexible remote-working approach being implemented as a long-term plan by employers, and with working from home suiting many employees, it seems like the pandemic has changed our office space in many ways and with reports predicting an increase in self-storage use, it is possible that this industry will only become more popular with time.

However, only time will tell.

For more information on Cookes Storage Service call us on
0121 250 5055 or check cookesstorage.co.uk/.

At Cookes, the health and well-being of our customers and colleagues is and always has been our number one priority.

Safety for everyone.
Our store is generally low intensity in terms of use. Nevertheless, we have conducted a risk assessment as per the latest Government guidance and have taken appropriate measures to ensure our store is “Covid-secure” premises.

Our store will continue to maintain the same COVID-19 protections such as Perspex reception screens, hand sanitizing stations, floor distancing markers and safety signage as before.

To keep our customers and store staff safe, we ask that you continue to wear a face mask when visiting our reception, unless you have a medical exemption.

Furthermore, our reception opening hours may be subject to change at short notice as at times we might have reduced staffing; your understanding is appreciated.

A summary of additional measures we’ve taken:

  • We have supplied personal protective equipment (PPE) to our colleagues and customers. This is in addition to provision of hand sanitisers and hand washing facilities.
  • We have reconfigured our reception and installed transparent safety screens on all of our reception desks.
  • Customers are kindly asked to pay by card or direct debit as our stores will not be accepting cash or cheque payments. Payments can also be made by phone or via customer’s online accounts.
  • We request that customers and visitors scan the QR code when they arrive, using the NHS COVID-19 app. This is to help trace and stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • We have established an enhanced cleaning schedule of all trolley handles, pallet truck handles and regular touchpoints such as lift buttons, door handles and toilets.

Changes to storage services:

  • Deliveries: Our store still accepts deliveries on your behalf. We will place them in a secure unit and notify you of receipt of a delivery however, we will not sign for deliveries.
  • Boxes and packaging: Available to purchase from all store receptions, over the phone or online.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers and colleagues for their patience, courtesy and considerations during these testing times. Our colleagues are happy to answer any questions or discuss any concerns. 

For more information, please email: info@cookesstorage.co.uk or call 0121 250 5055

As Christmas is fast approaching, we wanted to share with you our opening hours.

You can access your unit at any different times over the Christmas period, so please do check if the facility is open before arriving.

Reception Opening Hours;

Even the Cookes Self Storage elves need a bit of time to eat turkey – here’s when you can contact us or pay us a visit.

OPEN: Thursday 24th December; 10am – 2pm
CLOSED: Friday 25th December
CLOSED: Saturday 26th December
CLOSED: Sunday 27th December
OPEN: Monday 28th December; 10am – 4pm
OPEN: Tuesday 29th December; 9am – 5pm
OPEN: Wednesday 30th December; 9am – 5pm
OPEN: Thursday 31st December; 10am – 2pm
CLOSED: Friday 1st January
OPEN: Saturday 2nd January; Normal Operating Hours

Our Storage access hours as the same as our reception hours.

New bookings

To sign up for storage, get in touch before Wednesday 23rd December and we’ll make sure you’re sorted smoothly.

Don’t forget – although our office is closed, our website is still open so you can find information and reserve online at any time, whenever you need.

We wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Best Wishes, Cookes Storage Team

At Cookes Storage Service, the health and well-being of our customers and colleagues is our number one priority.

Following the latest government announcements regarding the national lockdown, we would like to confirm what this means for the self storage industry. This time around we are much more informed and have been able to react much faster.

Our self storage facility will remain open for use by essential services, those businesses that remain open and those individuals permitted to travel under government advice. This includes key workers, online retailers, construction and trade workers, teachers, home movers to name but a few.

Our opening hours remain unchanged:

Monday           9am – 5pm
Tuesday           9am – 5pm
Wednesday   9am – 5pm
Thursday         9am – 5pm
Friday                9am – 5pm
Saturday          9am – 5pm
Sunday             10am – 4pm

Social Distancing

In the reception, we have installed perspex shields for yours and our protection. When visiting a self storage facility you are required to wear a mask throughout the storage facility and observe social distancing, keeping apart 2m where possible.

One in, One out

With immediate effect only one customer at a time will be allowed into our reception areas. Whilst our reception areas are not high traffic areas, you may be required to wait until the area has been cleared by a previous customer.

Sanitising Stations

You will find sanitising stations throughout the storage facility. We kindly request that you sanitise your hands upon entering and exiting the self storage facility. Although we will be conducting thorough cleaning of equipment you are more than welcome to use sanitiser to clean any equipment that you use.

Specific changes to customer processes and services

  • No payments by cash or cheque will be accepted. We continue to accept payment by card, contactless and direct debit.
  • The process for new customer enquiries remains unchanged; customers can enquire via our website, call us or email us for a quote.
  • Customer signup process including ID checks will take place electronically.
  • Customers with extended access via pin code or a security fob can continue to do so as normal.
  • Although we are still willing to accept deliveries on your behalf we will not sign for them and they will be left for collection.
  • Packaging materials are available to order by email, over the phone or in person. Orders can be collected from the store or can be delivered to you at home.

Finally, colleagues and customers are reminded to observe social distancing and hand hygiene per the Government guidelines. Anyone with coronavirus symptoms should not visit our store. For more guidance please visit nhs.uk/coronavirus.

If you have any questions about our protocols please give us a call on
0121 250 5055 or email info@cookesstorage.co.uk

Buddy Bag Foundation bag pack

Our warehouse team are quite used to carrying large boxes into storage, but it’s rare we have to actually pack them ourselves. This February we teamed up with EcoMaster to pack something a little different – around 200 bags for The Buddy Bag Foundation – and to find out a little more about the work this fantastic charity does at the same time.

Buddy Bag Foundation bag pack

The Buddy Bag Foundation

Imagine that you have to leave your home without warning. You don’t have time to pack – you just go.

As a child this is an incredibly frightening experience, but it happens every day. Hundreds of children are taken into emergency accommodation by a parent, usually the mother, leaving behind everything they own and all sense of security.

The BBF aims to provide a sense of safety and normalcy to these children by providing a few essential items – the things you wouldn’t think about until you didn’t have them – like a clean pair of pyjamas and a toothbrush.

Buddy Bag Foundation bag pack

The Buddy Bag Brigade

On 15 February the team from Cookes Storage and our partners from EcoMaster, led by Paul Gresty and Jenny, joined the Buddy Bag Brigade by packing around 200 bags to be sent off to emergency refuge around the country.

The BBF holds bag packing events every month, and everyone is welcome to join in. Not knowing what to expect, we assembled together on a Friday afternoon to have an introduction by BBF founder, Karen Williams. Our bag pack was the 95th – Karen aims to hold the 100th bag pack this year.

What would you need?

It had not really occurred to us before what children might miss when they leave their homes. Friends, yes; but we’d not really thought about the need for a clean pair of underwear or a hairbrush. It might be obvious that younger children need pyjamas, but not that teenagers need deodorant and face wipes so that they can start a new school without having to worry about personal hygiene on top of everything else.

items places in Buddy Bags

All of these things have been carefully thought of for the Buddy Bags, as well as simple colouring activities to occupy younger children and give mum a rest, books for older children, and a pencil case and basic implements for school children.

Each table in the room was piled high with donated items, split by age. Our teams separated out to pack every bag – a picture frame to record a new memory, a postcard to send back to BBF, and the one vital thing in every bag –  a lovely teddy bear for comfort.

Crank up the music

Despite the importance of the work done by the BBF, a bag packing event is a friendly and relaxed day. We cranked up the music and enjoyed a change of pace from the usual working day, plus the chance to spend a bit more time with the team from Ecomaster, furniture and French polishing repair specialists.

Thank you to the BBF for inviting us to join in. We’re sure we’ll team up again for more events soon.

Buddy Bag Foundation bag pack