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!
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.
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
email@example.com or give us a call on 0121 250 5055 .
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.
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.
Move over spring clean, that time has gone. Now we’re planning ahead for the long winter to come.
There’re plenty of things to do to prepare our homes for winter, not least those chores we all try to avoid, like clearing out the gutters, filling the log store and insulating the pipes.
Not all jobs are outdoors ones. We’ve spent the summer travelling, enjoying the weather, spending time with friends. And while we enjoyed plenty of time outdoors, the interior of our homes can become a little bit neglected.
Throughout the house, the clutter just seems to gather. Tupperware lids multiply, shoe piles mysteriously grow, filing is neglected, the paperwork mounts up and children’s toys seem to manifest themselves into a toy shop.
It’s time for a winter clear out.
Sort through toys
Hula hoops, buckets and spades, paddling pools, swingballs and kites – the toys children play with in the summer lie unused through the wet and windy days of winter. Some will be beyond repair, others are worth saving for another year.
Put away the summer clothes
It’s time to say goodbye to the beach dresses, fold the sarongs and dig out the thick coats and spare wellies. We’re heading into boots and hat season now.
Garden chairs and BBQs
Save furniture from discolouring or rotting in the damp winter air. While you can cover the frames, cushions and soft furnishings need to be stored somewhere dry and away from tiny teeth if you want them to last the winter.
Clear out the cupboards
Take a look at the piles growing around the home, where things have been put ‘for now’. It’s time to put stuff away – especially now you’ll be spending more time indoors looking at it.
The difficulty comes in finding places to keep all the extra items that we seem to collect. Garden sheds, if you have the room, are no place for soft furnishings, and stuffing everything in the wardrobe just makes your home feel more cluttered, not less.
So if you’re looking for extra space to pack away summer, it’s time to look at storage. Flexible contracts, as much space as you need and no more, and dry, indoor units that make sure your summer shorts are ready to wear next time you need them.
Are you ready for winter? With our free collection service (T&C’s apply) we’re on hand to make sure your season starts smoothly. Call now for more information on 0121 250 5055.
If you plan to start the year with a fresh outlook, one great way to begin is to remove some of the clutter from your life. Our homes, workplace, and lives in general are filled with excesses of goods that we could honestly do without – and may be adding to the stress in our lives.
We know that the busier our lives, and the more we try to fit in, the more stressed and anxious we feel. The same applies to the space we live in. If you are surrounded by clutter, with overflowing wardrobes, piles of toys or bursting cupboards, your home is likely to be over stimulating, rather than the place of restful tranquillity you can escape to at the end of the day.
Here are some top tips to decluttering your home – and restoring some calm and control in your life.
Clear your wardrobes
We all keep items of clothing because we love them, or they were expensive, or they hold special memories – even when they no longer fit. You may be planning on a new year diet and aim to get into your designer jeans once more, but now is the time to be honest. Ask yourself, have you worn it in the last year? If not, it’s time to put it aside.
Go through your cupboards
Cupboards and drawers are a great place to dump things throughout the year that have no obvious home. Everyone has a drawer in the kitchen full of screws, keys, and ‘might be useful’ items. Speaking of kitchens, what about the spiralizer, the egg cooker or the doughnut maker. There’s a variety of must-have gadgets we buy but rarely use. Now’s the time to have a sort out and make some room.
An ornament free zone
Whether it’s candles, collectibles or home-made art, every surface in your office or lounge probably holds some sort of dust-collecting ornament that you rarely look at and likely don’t need. Be brutal – is it a special piece, or is it adding to your distraction and stress?
The difference between unnecessary and unwanted
Sometimes it’s hard to see past the piles. You don’t need to throw away special memories or give all of your children’s favourite toys to charity. The aim is to declutter your home, not break your heart.
Put everything you feel you may want to keep into storage and see how often you need to go and get it. It’s a great solution for those designer jeans – if you are going to stick to your diet, you don’t want to bin your entire wardrobe, only to replace it later when you succeed. But you also don’t want piles of too tight clothing taking up space and nagging you every day. Move everything into self storage and it’s there when you need it, without taking over your bedroom.
The same principle applies to your kitchen gadgets. Self storage companies allow you to rent as much or as little space as you require, and to visit your unit whenever you want to get something out. That means your doughnut maker is on hand when you are feeling adventurous, but out of sight while you work on your new year diet.
As the clutter leaves, your home will start to feel like a restful haven, somewhere to relax and enjoy yourself again. With the new year ahead, there’s no better time to get started.