Child playing with trucks in snow

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 furniture in autumn

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.

Housemates sharing coffee together

Sharing a house with another person can be exciting, but leaves plenty of room for tension as well. Whether you’re leaving home for the first time, sharing with friends or moving in with a partner, there’s a few tips to making sure your new home doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

Sharing money

Money is always a source of arguments, even between long term couples. It’s important to work out, probably even before you move in, how you will share the bills and shopping. You might choose to keep separate food cupboards, or to create a kitty for essentials such as bread, teabags and washing up liquid.

Keep track of any furniture or decorations you buy for the house as well, so that if you do move out you know who owns what.

Sharing space

Even if you have your own bedrooms, you and your new housemate will be sharing living space, so start by making each room into a place you both enjoy.

Enjoy picking out pieces of furniture together and discuss where you’ll put them. You may have pieces from home, and you will most likely end up with duplicates of some things, such as pots and pans and other kitchen utensils. If you do, consider putting them in storage until you move into your next home and need them.

Sharing jobs

No one likes clearing out the bins or cleaning the bathroom, but if these jobs don’t get done regularly and equally, tensions will rise. So it’s worth making a rota from the very beginning for the worst jobs and make sure you do your share.

Sharing things

Eating each other’s food isn’t the only way to cause friction. Helping yourself to shampoo, clothes or other personal items will just irritate your housemate. Remember as well that the furniture might belong to one of the others, even though it’s for everyone to use. So take care of it, just as you would your own.

Sharing issues

No matter how well you plan or what good friends you are, there will be times when you get irritated. It’s important to discuss issues and be open with each other.

Spend time together to build strong bonds and – importantly – to have fun. Why not make it a habit to watch a favourite soap, share a meal or have a film night with popcorn once a week. That helps keep communication open and build shared bonds.

House sharing can be great fun, and create friends for life. It’s all about showing each other some respect, and getting through each issue together.




lifestyle storage

Lifestyle Storage

If you are one of the millions in the UK living in apartments or city centres, you’ll be fully aware of how important your space is. With little or no garden and likely no garage, how can you manage all of your belongings? And let’s face it, as a population we are gathering more and more belongings in every generation. Lifestyle Storage can make your life easier.

If you are a family that loves the outdoors, just where do you keep all of your extra equipment? A 2-parent, 2-child family means 4 bikes. Keen campers require tents, sleeping bags, gas cookers and canisters, cooking utensils, chairs, camping beds . . . the list goes on.

Then there’s the sports gear – hockey sticks, tennis rackets, footballs – or for the more serious outdoor enthusiasts – canoes, surfboards, climbing gear and so on.

That’s where offsite lifestyle storage options really do make all the difference. With your own personal storage unit you effectively have your very own garden shed – but with many added benefits.

Damp and rodent free storage

There’s nothing worse than arriving on your campsite after a fraught 4 hours in the car with shrieking children, traffic jams, diversions and torrential rain, than putting up your family tent and discovering it’s covered in mildew. Or worse – full of tiny but well-chewed holes from the resident family of mice.

With an indoor self-storage space like Cookes Storage in the West Midlands, you know that your precious canvas is protected from rain and wildlife – at least until your next camping trip.

Mess free solutions

If you do live in an apartment, then the last thing you want is to be bringing the great outdoors back into your home. So, if you are a keen mountain biker, after a full day shooting through muddy ravines and down dirt tracks, it’s far better to take that bike back to your lifestyle storage unit than to trek it into your hallway.

Especially if, as any biking enthusiast knows, your collection of bikes expands to provide options for every terrain.

Wet canoes, wetsuits, muddy waders or fishy jackets – keep the mess and smells of your outdoor hobbies away from the inside of your home.

Out of sight – until you need it

Many of our extra curricula activities are seasonal, and that means that the gear we need spends a good portion of the year taking up precious space. The great thing about your storage unit is the flexibility it gives you to prioritise your belongings, so you don’t have to choose between sports.

Take out your skis for the winter, bring home the sled, and get all the tobogganing in you can for the few days a year that we have snow. And don’t forget your hockey sticks and rugby balls.

Once the seasons change, you can deposit all your winter gear back into your lifestyle storage room – and get out the tennis racket and surfboard, ready for the summer sports season.

Live without limits

Your home space may be limited, but your lifestyle doesn’t have to be. The great thing about storage is that it gives you space to expand your horizons and enjoy all of the sports you love, without compromising on your equipment.

For more information on the self storage services offered by Cookes Storage please call 0121 250 5055 or Get a Quote.