Orange seagull nothing to do with us

There are rumours flying (no pun) around at the moment that Lok’nStore may have been involved an incident with an orange seagull.

As reported by BBC Wales, this seagull was scavenging for food at a curry factory when it slipped into a vat of tikka masala. The result was a bright orange seagull in Lok’nStore’s very own brand colours. We would like to make it clear that this gull was not pushed into the vat by anyone who is employed by The Big Friendly Storage Company.

Orange curry seagull

Lok'nStore had nothing to do with this orange seagull

New Self Storage Facility In Bristol

LoknStore Self Storage Bristol

A brand new self storage facility is about to open in Bristol at the Longwell Green Trade Park.

At Lok’nStore head office we are proud to announce the opening of our newest storage centre in the City of Bristol. Anyone who has driven through the trade estate over the last few months cannot have failed to notice the massive orange building taking shape on the corner of Aldermoor Way. We have been busy with contractors over the winter months building an incredibly modern, state of the art self storage facility that will have room for household and business customers all around the local area. For more information on this store please visit our Bristol location page.

LoknStore Self Storage Bristol

Make space, declutter and get a lodger

It’s not only buy-to-let landlords who get to make a fortune from renters, as the government is about to relax the tax threshold on the amount you can earn from getting a lodger in under your own roof.

  • From 6 April 2016 the tax free allowance for a lodger increases from £4,250 per annum to £7,500 meaning that any household with a spare room or three can benefit from some extra income.

Given that information from the Office of National Statistics suggests that there are approximately 16.1 million empty bedrooms in the United Kingdom, it’s a wonder that more property owners don’t try to use these unloved spaces to make a bit of extra income.

  • There were 16.1 million households with at least one spare bedroom and out of these 8.1 million had two or more spare bedrooms.

Why don’t people make more use of these profitable spaces that are right under their noses?

Sometimes the effort required to clear out and declutter that spare bedroom is just too much.  The spare room can be a monster that homeowners would like to close the door on and forget about, if only the monster in the room wasn’t spilling out so far that it’s impossible close the door!

Spare bedrooms in the UK fall into 3 categories:

  1. Genuine functional spare room.  Contains a wardrobe, chest of drawers and a double bed for use when family occasionally visit. Obviously the wardrobe in this room is supposed to be ‘spare’ but it does contain at least 14 pairs of shoes and the winter coats. This is also the room in the house most likely to contain fluffy animals as though any relative visiting will be made to feel more at home by the sight of a couple of teddy bears. Of course the question the homeowner with this type of spare room should be asking themselves is: ‘Do we really want the in-laws coming to stay for the weekend?’
  2. Home gym. Really, don’t make us laugh. That Cross Trainer being substituted as a clothes horse or the weights that are currently being used as a door stop aren’t really constituting much to your fitness drive are they? That cycle machine with half an inch of dust on the saddle has seen less use than Sir Bradley Wiggins’ sideburn trimmers. The only things that ever break into a sweat in this spare room are the homeowners when they have to think about clearing it out.
  3. The junk room. We love this spare room. Full of the detritus of years of non-conformist storage. Don’t put that box in the loft: throw it into the spare room. The snooker cue that hasn’t seen a baize since Steve Davis was last World Champion. The two sets of golf clubs (all golfers have more than 1 set) that have been standing next to the broken hoover that you ‘really’ are going to look at one day.  Why bother to take that unused trouser press to the dump when it can be used as a hanger for that three piece suit that last fitted in 2006. Somewhere in the junk spare room is a spare double bed that hasn’t seen any use since Thomas went off the University 10 years ago – well that’s if he did go. He might still be hidden in the bed underneath a decade’s worth of unwanted Christmas presents and last week’s yet to be ironed laundry.

What do homeowners need to do to take advantage of this lodger scheme?

The property must remain your main home and you must stay there for at least some of the time – so no; you can’t get a houseful of lodgers and move to the Bahamas. Surprisingly the government claims that this scheme is also available to those renting in the private sector as apparently; ‘your landlord cannot stop you subletting on a short term basis’ – we are not sure that this information from the government is correct, so best to check you tenancy agreement first.

Obviously before the homeowner gets to this stage they might need to declutter the room and that’s where your local self storage company comes in. Go through the spare room and see which items you really want to keep.  It might be bits and pieces that may have no monetary value but are special and can’t be replaced. Buy a couple of good quality boxes online or use a company who will drop a box off to you and then collect and store safely for you. Anything that you truly don’t need send to the charity shop or the dump.  Make space and declutter that spare room for you perfect, profitable lodger!

Happy 10th Birthday Lok’nStore Farnborough

Aerial photo of LoknStore Farnborough

2016 marks the 10th Anniversary of the opening of Lok’nStore’s first purpose built self storage facility on the Hawley Lane in Farnborough.

Up until 2005 Lok’nStore had usually acquired sites which already had a building that could be converted. For example an old warehouse or factory which could be stripped down, smartened up and brought back to life. Orange cladding, some new signage and the construction of a few hundred storage spaces would get a smart new storage centre up and running – obviously this is simplifying the process of converting an ugly old building into a shiny new Lok’nStore which is extremely complex and possibly involves more work than the construction a brand new building!

Aerial photo of LoknStore Farnborough

LoknStore Farnborough

Hawley Lane, Farnborough: A game changer for Lok’nStore

The existing building on the site had stood on the Hawley Lane for over 50 years. Its black, rusting corrugated cladding had seen better days and the plastic cabling business that had been trading there previously; had moved into its own new site in Aldershot. Lok’nStore made the big decision to demolish the building. The site was cleared down to ground level in 2005 and a new modern building put in its place. The footprint of the new building is bigger than the one that stood on the site previously due to some clever architecture. In early 2006 the new Hawley Lane storage centre opened as Farnborough’s first and only, purpose built self storage facility. The inside of the building was completed in 4 phases with the first 150 storage spaces available immediately. As the customer based increased the other 3 phases were gradually completed.

Facts about Lok’nStore Farnborough

  • 60,000 square foot of lettable storage space
  • 600+ private storage spaces
  • 2 lifts with the capacity for an 8 foot long sofa
  • 4 floors of various sized storage spaces
  • 20 square foot lockers
  • Huge 800 square foot storage spaces
  • 25, 35, 50, 75, 100, 120, 150, 175, 200, 250, 300 square foot lockable spaces
  • Large covered loading bays for customer use
  • Trolleys for moving goods to customer storage spaces
  • Pallet trucks for customer use
  • An onsite forklift that staff use to off load deliveries for customers
  • Kitchen facilities for free tea and coffee
  • CCTV and smoke detectors
  • Large customer car park

The successful development and opening of the Farnborough centre which is the first purpose build for Lok’nStore represents an evolution of the business model, creating value through larger new-build centres. It is the first centre where Lok’nStore has managed the entire process of buying the land, gaining planning permission, building and fitting the store. With its prominent design and position adjacent to the M3 motorway it has raised the profile of the whole Lok’nStore brand.’

Simon G Thomas – Chairman

New Storage Centres For 2016



Lok’nStore will be opening 3 new storage buildings in 2016 making it one of their busiest years to date (apart from 2001). A converted building opened early January in Chichester – a new location for Lok’nStore – which is already seeing a huge about of interest from local householders and business in the area.  This conversion took a grubby old building that used to be used for car storage and gave it an orange facelift, turning it into what will soon become a local landmark (2nd obviously to Chichester’s beautiful cathedral).


This converted building in Chichester is only the start for Lok’nStore in 2016 because we also have 2 other storage centres opening. The first of these will be in Southampton where we have built a brand new building just around the corner from our old site in Manor House Avenue where Lok’nStore have been trading since 1999 / 2000.  This new Southampton site will be at Third Avenue, adjacent to the A33, Millbrook Road.  Lok’nStore will be moving the customer belongings from the tired old site at Manor Avenue to the brand spanking new building during the summer. How do we do this? Lok’nStore’s operations department have great experience of this having successfully relocated customer goods from our site at Kingston (now closed), Reading and Swindon without mishap or any cost to the customer.  We will keep you all up to date on the move when we know more.


We are very excited about Lok’nStore Bristol! This store is being built on a very busy retail park in Longwell Green and we are expecting it to be in great demand. Reservations were being taken at this store as soon as we placed a phone number on the fencing around the derelict land! It looks as though the folk of Bristol are desperate for more local storage space.

For more about these stores or any of our locations please visit our main Lok’nStore website.

Lok’nStore Chichester Update: NOW OPEN

LoknStore Self Storage Chichester

LoknStore Self Storage Chichester

Artist impression of Lok'nStore Chichester.

Lok’nStore is pleased to announce the opening of a new self storage facility in Chichester. 

The Lok’nStore building in Terminus Road, has been renovated during the Summer and Autumn as we prepared for its opening. Formally a car dealership, the tired outside cladding of the building has been stripped away to reveal the original steel superstructure. Over the last few months our contractors have been busily replacing the cladding with the now famous Lok’nStore orange and refitting the inside with lifts, storage units and all the things that make up a modern self storage facility. The ground floor of the original building had no real reception for customers or office area for staff, so contractors have been busy putting up walls and running electrics in preparation.

Old Lok'nStore Chichester

The original building in the early Summer.

Lok’nStore has already appointed a manager for the Chichester store; a very experienced member of staff from our Portsmouth storage centre who will soon be out and about in Chichester meeting local businesses and householders. Amazingly we already have reservations for this store.


How Do You Sort Out an Untidy Storage Space?

Picture this. You’ve spent the last couple of years gradually putting more and more stuff into your storage space. You’ve never quite got around to putting it in there tidily or in any kind of order. Think haphazard and you’ve got the idea.

When the time comes to have a proper tidy up, where on earth do you begin?

It’s a good question and one you’ll need to find an answer to if you want to make sure your storage space looks better than it did when you started. Firstly we’d recommend taking a whole roll (or two) of bin liners with you to get rid of anything you don’t want to keep anymore. If you know there are going to be items you can sell, take some crates or boxes and put those to one side… but only if you know you’re going to shift this stuff straightaway. If not, give it away to charity shops to get rid of it.

Now comes the time to start searching through the boxes and stuff you have. Don’t decide where to start – just pick the box or bag closest to you and go through one at a time. This is going to take longer than you thought but the best bet is to go right in there and make a start.

After a while you might feel as if you’re making headway. This isn’t the time to slack off (although we feel a cuppa would be well-deserved at this stage). Instead, keep right on going so you don’t lose the momentum. Remember too that if it has taken you some time to build all this stuff up, you’re going to end up taking quite a while to clear some of it out as well.

The key is to keep on going and to make sure you do things in an orderly fashion. It’s also good to remember Lok nStore has brand new boxes and other items that are useful for storage right here for you to buy. So get rid of all the old dented ones while you have the chance and begin as you mean to go on. With the right approach and the determination to have a proper clear-out, your storage space could soon be looking as good as new. You’ll know where everything is too, which is definitely a bonus!

Relocating? Think Self-Storage

People relocate for all kinds of reasons. Maybe they have a job in another area and they need to move to be closer to it. Maybe they want to move to get closer to family members (or in some cases, further away). Perhaps they simply find an area they fall in love with and want to move there.

In any situation there is the chance you’ll end up moving somewhere smaller than the place you’re leaving. If you have to relocate in a hurry you may not have time to organise all your stuff. The best bet in this situation is to make sure you hire some storage space close to where your new property is going to be.

You may actually want to put the majority of your possessions in storage until you know what to expect with regard to your new property. For instance you may not realise until you get there how much decoration is necessary. If you move in with the bare basics – bed, sofa, chairs, tables, etc. – you can simply get settled in first. You can then gradually move other stuff into your home as and when you need it. In fact you might find you can make the most of this process to go through everything you own and pare stuff back that you really have no use or need for anymore.

As such, self-storage can be an essential part of any relocation you ever have to make. Whatever the reason might be for moving a considerable distance, you can make sure you settle in properly by making life easier for yourself. When you have a storage locker you can use as well as the surroundings of your new home, you’ll find the whole thing is much easier than you may have thought.