We love this time of year. The reception is filled with mince pies and sweet wrappers, the Christmas tree is up and carols are playing on the radio. We see a lot of families popping in to collect their festive decorations from their personal storage and drop off garden furniture to keep dry until the summer. It’s a busy time, but a fun one.
However, we know that everyone is suffering a little this year with the cost of living. We all want to be able to relax and give our families the best holiday season we can, but we need to do it on a tighter budget. Well, self-storage is an industry that is all about cost-saving and sustainability, so we thought we would look at ways to make your Christmas eco and budget friendly. Read on for our top tips.
Choose recycled wrapping paper.
Did you know that your shiny wrapping paper is not recyclable? If it’s laminated, glittery or contains foil, it can’t be recycled and ends up in landfill. Consider these shocking statistics. It’s estimated that it takes 50,000 trees to make our wrapping paper and then we throw around 227,000 miles of it away, every year.
If you choose to use wrapping that is made entirely from 100% paper, such as plain craft paper or tissue paper, it can be fully recycled. Be aware that sticky tape is plastic, so consider using recyclable paper tape, string, or ribbon to seal your presents. You could even consider fabric wraps, which double up as an extra gift for your crafty friends. But, if you’re looking for an option that saves hours of backache and sticky tape anyway, why not use gift bags instead? Your wrapping time will be drastically reduced, and you can re-use them next year as well.
Save costs with your shopping.
If there is one thing we all enjoy, it’s giving and receiving gifts. Unfortunately, you can’t get to the present part without doing some shopping, which can be one of the most stressful parts of the season. But there are ways to budget this year and still have a wonderful day.
First, talk to friends and family and be honest. Agree on who you are buying gifts for in advance. Rather than choosing one per person, you might suggest a secret santa for your siblings, joint presents for couples, or choose to just concentrate on children this year. You may well find that your family are happy to agree and relieved you spoke up first.
Then, before you head to the shops, agree a budget and make a list. It’s easier to stick to your limit if you have a plan. Better yet, take a look at second-hand sites first. You can often find new products on these websites.
Consider your storage options.
Much as we love to see the twinkling lights, we know that having a tree in your home does take up a lot of room. Furniture needs moving around, ornaments are put away to make room for decorations and the sofa gets shoved back into a corner. If your home is anything like ours, before you even start putting up the tinsel, you need to tidy up your clutter to make a little space.
This is the time when a lot of us start to have a clearout. But before you get rid of things to create some room, consider storing them in your own unit instead. That way you have all the space you need for the season, and you can reuse those items again in the future. It’s like having a personal home furnishing store, where you can refresh your home as often as you want without re-buying new décor every time.
To find out more about what self storage can do for you this Christmas, give us a call on 0121 250 5055 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support your local businesses and charities.
One thing we are very keen on here at Cookes is supporting our local businesses. We know how important this time of year is as the main shopping season for local shops, independents and boutiques. We are busier than ever at this time as extra stock arrives in storage units, ready for the Christmas rush.
You may also consider picking up gifts from charity shops – there are often handmade or brand new items that cost much less than retail price and support a worthy cause. Charities like Oxfam also offer donation gift options, where you can purchase necessities such as clothes, livestock and school supplies on behalf of someone else for those facing poverty; this can be a great present for those who have a heart for others.
So, when you do start planning your shopping this year, please head down into the town and explore the fabulous local shops and charities we have here in Stratford-upon-Avon and Sutton Coldfield. Buying from a local shop rather than a big international brand online not only supports the local economy, it means you’re supporting a family in town to have a wonderful Christmas too.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from all of us here at Cookes!
Shopping for Christmas decorations is very exciting. You want new baubles for your tree, and you have decided on a specific colour palette. You want the tree to match your new garland, and you can’t get enough of LED fairy lights and Christmas candles to give your house that extra cosiness.
It’s a lot of fun to set everything up, and it’s very rewarding too. If you’re a family, maybe there’s a couple of arguments about how to set up the snowman fairy lights and where to place that special bauble. But overall, it’s a great activity. The house is lit up, Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve all pass and suddenly it’s the new year. It feels like a chore to take down all the decorations, and the big question comes.
How do I store Christmas Decorations?
Buy some containers (made of recycled materials if you can)
Probably obvious, but the best way to store your decorations tidily is by buying containers. Labelling them is also a great idea, making it easier to find what you need when it’s time to put up the tree again.
Make use of what you already have at home
Use clear bags to store your baubles and assort by colour.
By doing this, it’ll be easy to find exactly what you need. Instead of just placing everything as it comes in a big box with the risk of the decorations breaking, you can store them in smaller boxes to the fit inside the big ones.
You don’t have to necessarily buy small plastic boxes. You can easily get tiered ornament boxes, so that you don’t have to worry at all about your ornaments breaking.
Use existing household items to store your ornaments
For example, you can store your baubles in cardboard drink holders or egg container from the supermarket.
If you have done a bit of online shopping, you can also use the packaging boxes to store your items.
If you have plastic water bottles that you don’t want to throw away yet and want to repurpose, you can easily use them store your garlands and fairy lights. This works with any sort of container that you don’t know how to repurpose. For example, a tennis ball container works well.
Ingenious ways of storing your Christmas tree
A tree takes most of the space. The first advice would be not to throw away the box that came with the tree.
If you have already thrown the box away, there are plenty of other options. You can buy specific storage bags of different sizes for your tree. A wardrobe box, even if harder to come by, can be a great option. If you have a small tree, you can wrap it around with a bin bag to protect the branches.
If you have a spare room at home or a garage, it can be straightforward to store your Christmas decorations. However, if they’re already full or you don’t have any available storage space, self-storage can come in very handy. With Cookes, your belongings are stored safely: only you have access to your storage room, and with industry leading security, you don’t have to worry about thieves.
For more information give us a call on
0121 250 5055 or email us at email@example.com
Did you start the year off with every intention of being organised, being on time, and finding a better hiding place for presents rather than the boot of your car? Every year, many of us will say ‘I will be more organised this Christmas’ but every year Christmas comes around with bang, and organisation is the last thing on own minds.
If there is anything this year has taught us, give yourself a break! As we are all in the same boat!
No late night shopping trips, no panic buying, no day trips trawling the shops. It will most likely just be you up late with a laptop and a cup of tea, however do not fear, this can work! We have a few helpful tips to make Christmas run as smooth as possible while still being totally enjoyable.
Make a list.
Who are you buying for? It may seem so simple but without warning you can end up buying something for your next-door neighbour’s dog. Stick to the list! It is key for the when starting to think about Christmas.
Set yourself a budget.
Being honest with how much you want to spend on each person gives you control along with keeping things sensible. It is so easy to spend online without realising the cost. Once you’ve bought an item write it down next to the persons name; it is a great visual reminder of what you have spent!
Order 6 different wrapping papers.
1 for each person you will be able to see at Christmas. This means you don’t have to worry about labels, simply wrap each person’s presents one at a time to know exactly who’s is who’s. (Do make a note of which wrapping paper you use for each person!)
Instagram and Etsy are fantastic platforms for small businesses. Over lockdown, small businesses took full advantage of the time and ensured they had an online presence. For Aunty Sue, why not get her a nice handmade soy candle rather than a plant. Instead if socks for other half, why not get them a hand designed and printed memory book. Your little girl, why not get a handcrafted dolls house to finally house all her dolls.
Think outside the box.
This year has been a little tospy turvy to say the least, so maybe you could arrange to have your very own Santa’s grotto at home? What about making a family hamper that you all share on your 6 person Christmas day? Make handmade cards and post them to your elderly neighbours (they will appreciate this more than you think)
Arrange a virtual gathering!
We did this so amazingly in lockdown, with family movie nights, quiz nights and virtual social gatherings to stay connected whilst keeping our loved one safe. Christmas is about connecting with people so get organised and arrange a date and time where all the family tunes in to celebrate.
Get yourself a hiding place.
Under the bed, in the loft, in the cupboard or maybe even in the car! Wherever you have tried to hide presents; I am sure that you had a few slip ups! With your very own private present cupboard surely this would make life a little easier? STORAGE ROOMS! We have you covered, with storage rooms from just 16sqft to over 270sqft. We also accepted your deliveries so you don’t even have to bring them to us, they will be ready and waiting for you to hide away out of prying eyes! Head over to our locations page to find out a little more about our facility.
Following those simple tips and ideas might just make your 2020 Christmas that little bit easier!
Happy Christmas Everyone!!
The Cookes Storage Service opening hours over the Christmas period are as follows:
- 23rd December: 9am to 5pm
- 24th December: 10am to 2pm
- 25th December: CLOSED
- 26th December: CLOSED
- 27th – 31st December: 10am to 4pm
- 1st January: CLOSED
- 2nd January: Normal Operating Hours
If you require access outside of these operating hours please give us a call on 0121 285 5197 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may already know that at Cookes we love to work with local businesses to help them grow, but you may not know that we also do what we can to support small charities as well.
It’s possibly not something you’ve thought about, but charities are often recipients of large amounts of donations, and they just don’t have the space or resources to manage them all at once. Particular times of year can get quite busy, and the winter season is one of them.
This month we’ve been pleased to help three separate charities, each of them unique and in need of some space, just for a couple of months.
Snuffles Hedgehog Rescue
Hedgehogs are synonymous of a British countryside – we all know that the prickly little creatures love to hide in leaf piles and trundle through gardens at night. However, before the team from Snuffles approached us, we were not aware that hedgehogs are endangered. There are now just under a million in the UK today – down from 36 million just 70 years ago.
Snuffles Hedgehog Rescue in Four Oaks aim to save as many injured hedgehogs as possible and help them get back into the wild. They’ve put together a fantastic website with lots of information, so you know whether the hog you found is really hurt or just out for an evening stroll. This time of year is particularly busy, as everyone starts to have garden fires just as our spiky friends are looking for cosy woodpiles to settle down and hibernate.
Local business Wheelers Timber and Builders Merchants were on hand to help the Snuffles team move into their temporary storage unit – a fantastic example of local businesses coming together to help out.
Duke of Edinburgh
In recent months we’ve seen a lot of teenagers hiking around the countryside earning their Duke of Edinburgh awards. It’s a charity aimed at helping young people achieve more. However, they also receive a large amount of donated goods and clothing, that need sorting out. We’ve been pleased to be able to offer them the space they needed.
Toys 4 Tots
While we get caught up in the frenzy of the Christmas planning, it’s easy to forget that some families just don’t have the resources. Toys4Tots UK was launched just four years ago by Matt Parkes, and is growing rapidly, collecting money and donated gifts for less fortunate children.
Not all the funds are spent on gifts though. Some is donated directly to charities that help underprivileged children to have a wonderful experience and create some happy memories, while some of the gifts are passed on to women living in refuges.
Of course, when we think about donating toys, we tend to think about smaller children, and forget that there are many teenagers also looking for a happier Christmas. So, if you would like to help out Tots4TotsUK in bringing Christmas to more homes and families living in refuges this year, take a look at Matt’s Facebook page to see how you can help.
A helping hand, when we can
If you are a local charity and need a helping hand, then get in touch.. Unfortunately, we cannot offer space every time, or store certain items such as flammable goods, plants, perishable items or animals. But, we do consider every request, and help where we can.
The Cookes Storage Service opening hours during the Christmas and New Year break are as follows:
- 23rd December – 9.00am to 5.00pm
- 24th December – 9.00am to 2.00pm
- 25th to 27th December – CLOSED
- 28th December – 10.00am to 3.00pm (Existing Customer Access Only)
- 29th December – 10.00am to 4.00pm (Existing Customer Access Only)
- 30th December – 10.00am to 4.00pm
- 31st December – 10.00am to 4.00pm
- 1st January 2017 – CLOSED
- 2nd January 2017 – 9.00am to 5.00pm
- 3rd January – Normal Opening Hours
If you require access outside of these core Christmas operating hours please give us a call on 0121 2505055 or email email@example.com.