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 email@example.com.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon is a known for its fabulous views, a charming town centre and, of course, its theatre. It’s built on history and tourism. But, what keeps it thriving is the multitude of businesses, small, independent and high street brands, that keep the streets vibrant and commerce flowing.
Our own business, Cookes Storage Service, opened here around five months ago. We’re a family-ownedbusiness started by Cookes Furniture, which has over 75 years of experience in exceptional customer service. And, as a family business we know the importance of being part of the community. So, we’ve taken time to get to know exactly how we can be part of Stratford-upon-Avon, and how we can give back as well.
The face of Cookes in Stratford-upon-Avon
It’s important to us that when you come into our self-storage facility, for a look about or to pop into your own unit, you’re greeted by a welcoming face. Those faces are likely to be either Louise, our site manager, or Carl, our sales assistant.
Our team are ready to answer all your questions about self-storage and our flexible contracts. The most common question has to be “Which size unit will I need?”. We do have a handy guide on our website, but we are always up for the challenge of a little mental maths as we help you calculate square feet. We’re also pretty good at advising you on packing, so you can maximise on your space by safely piling things up as well as around your unit.
Cookes in the community
We love being involved in the town. It’s our home as well as place of business. Cookes is a proud member of the Stratford-upon-Avon BID, which allows us to be a visible part of the community. We work alongsideother businesses to support initiatives and events that bring in visitors and keep our town buzzing.
We are also members of the Chamber of Commerce, which is another great way for us to meet local business owners and find ways to work together. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the local economy, and we are always keen to help them out.
Self-storage offers so much potential for a small business. Being a secure facility means we are a far better option that your garden shed or commercial van for keeping all your tools and equipment safe, or as a spare room to keep boxes of stock out of the way of your family. Open your own small storage unit and you’ve got a home for your business that’s cost effective and closes when you want it to.
That’s why we offer 10% off the original quotation if you are a local business. Just come on in to find out more.
Supporting local charity
Cookes is also committed to supporting local charities. Since they opened in 2015 our sister store in Sutton Coldfield has been helping charities in the Midlands by collecting funds, offering discounted storage space or acting as a drop zone for seasonal donations.
Now it’s our turn to help charities here in Stratford. We’ve recently provided discounted space to a charity after their own building was knocked down. But we know we can do more. So, if you are a local charity that needs a helping hand, please get in touch to see whether we can help. We consider every request.
Proud to be part of the Cookes family
We have very much enjoyed settling in over the last five months. We’ve been welcomed by the local community with open arms, and we can’t wait to be more involved. So, whether you’re a business in need of a home, a family in need of a spare shed, or just moving home, we have a solution for you. Give us a call. We’re here to help you.
Every new year we want to start it off right and we make resolutions we end up not following. We think of the new year as an occasion to reinvent ourselves, which we totally can, but maybe instead of making big plans, we could start small instead. This way, it’s easier to achieve what we set for ourselves.
Here are some ideas and some totally realistic resolutions we can all work on for 2022.
Start the new year off right by being more environmentally conscious
Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a big focus on climate change and being environmentally friendly. As good as it sounds, buying an electric car or having solar panels installed is very expensive, and not everyone can afford it. Instead, there are plenty of small acts that can make a change. Taking public transport instead of driving is one easy step.
Or for example, turning the tap off when it’s not needed is a great start. Buying second hand clothes is also a great option, and if you can’t afford not buying from fast fashion brands, there’s plenty of things you can still do. For example, instead of buying clothes that are only fashionable for a short period of time, buy timeless pieces of clothing instead. Also, making the most of the clothes you have and wear them until they break can make a difference.
Also, ditching plastic as much as possible whenever you can really helps the environment. Eating less meat is also a good option, even though vegetarian and vegan options can be quite expensive.
Start the new year off right by sticking to a healthy routine
Everyone wants to be healthy, join the gym, exercise every day, never have cheat days and so on. As good as these plans sound, they’re hard to stick to. Having a routine can be hard when you are busy and have long shifts. If you see that going to the gym isn’t doable, instead of signing up and only going once, there’s other options. For example, there are plenty of 30 minutes workout videos on YouTube that you can follow from the comfort of your living room. Another option is aiming to walk at least 10k steps a day, or trying some yoga.
Balance is key, and never having cheat days is definitely not healthy. Instead of not eating food like chocolate or pizza, or drink alcohol, you should include them to your diet, just in controlled amounts among many other nutritious foods.
and keeping your house tidy
Having a tidy house is a big ask, but one easy thing that can be done is to recycle or donate items that you don’t need. By unclogging your garage or your spare room, your house will automatically be tidier. And if you still want to get rid of items you don’t use as much but you don’t feel the need to throw them away yet, a storage room is a good option.
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
Sutton Coldfield is a town in the suburbs of Birmingham, West Midlands. Also known as Sutton or Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, it’s considered the most affluent area in the county, with low crime rate and low level of unemployment. Whether you’re spending the weekend around the area or you’re about to move to Sutton, you can find some tips on exciting things to do.
Here’s a list of things on why Sutton Coldfield is a great place!
It’s incredibly popular
Looking for a house can be stressful, especially when deciding what zip code to move to. According to reports, Sutton is an incredibly sought-after town, as well as one of the most expensive post codes in the West Midlands.
Families are attracted to Sutton because of the local schools, which are some of the best in the Midlands, and it is renowned to be one of the best places to raise children in the UK! While this may not be of interest if you’re just passing by, it’s important to know that Sutton is super close to Birmingham city centre, less than 20 minutes away by train!
One of the main reasons why it’s so popular is the green space. It is home to Sutton Park, a national nature reserve and home to many activities, such as horse riding, jogging and golf. The Park is also home to a wide variety of animals and plants and is one of the largest ones in the whole of Europe. Quite impressive!
More specifically, some of the most popular activities include a kid’s playground, ideal if you’re spending the day with your family. The Park is also home to the Birmingham’s Donkey Sanctuary, where you can interact with a group of lovely donkeys throughout organised activities. Ideal if you’re with children or if you’re an animal lover! The Sanctuary will soon be open to the public.
Vibrant town centre
While the park is a big plus and buyers are attracted to the green in the area, let’s not forget the town centre. Outside the centre of Birmingham, Sutton is the place with the most restaurant and shops. This is great to spend a day shopping away from the busy Bullring, while enjoying a different scenery. The restaurants vary from chains to local businesses, and there is a great variety depending on what you’re craving.
While the town is mostly known to attract families, it’s also attractive for young people looking for some fun, with many clubs and pubs all in the centre.
And for any history lovers, the town sure is rich of it! The town was given the name of Royal back in the 16th century, by a charter of King Henry VIII. Sutton was definitely great back then, and it still is now!
And of course, we couldn’t not mention the one and only Cookes Storage Service.
If you’re moving to Sutton for either domestic or business reasons and need extra space to store your belongings, Cookes is the right spot for you. With an easily accessible location, 24/7 CCTV, affordable prices and flexible solutions, we make sure your needs are met. For more information on our services, contact our friendly staff members. You can either give us a call at
0121 250 5055 , get a quote from our website or simply pop into our store.