Storage Miscellany

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!

Lok’nStore to host ‘Handle With Care’ play

Lok’nStore Reading, Harlow and Poole are to host the play ‘Handle With Care’ by South Street’s Sitelines. The Dante or Die theatre company with perform the play which follows the character Zoe from 1988 to the present day as she stores her belongings.


Fri 13th (7.30pm), 8.15pm, 9pm

Sat 14th (7.30pm), 8.15pm, 9pm

Sun 15th 2.15pm, 3pm


Thurs 19th 7pm, 7.45pm

Fri 20th 7pm, 7.45pm, (8.30pm)

Sat 21st 7pm, 7.45pm, (8.30pm)

Sun 22nd 2pm, 2.45pm (3.30pm)


Thurs 26th 6.30pm, 7.15pm, 8pm

Fri 27th 6.30pm, 7.15pm, 8pm

Sat 28th 7pm, 2.30pm 3.15pm, 7.15pm, 8pm

Sun 29st 2pm, 2.30pm 3.15pm,

Contact the stores concerned for more information.

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

How Do You Unload a Pallet?

Do you run your own business? Have you ever received stock delivered on a pallet? This won’t be a problem if you have your own business premises, but what if you run your business from home? How would you react if you suddenly realised a whole pallet of stock had been deposited in the road outside your house?

Firstly you’d have to unload it pretty quickly otherwise you’d be cluttering up the pavement and the road. Not a good situation to be in. Secondly, you’d have to hope you were there to see it safely delivered in the first place. And thirdly, you’d have the task of figuring out what to do with the pallet once you’d done everything else.

It’s not the best situation to be in, is it?

That’s why more and more businesses are opting for self-storage spaces. These spaces make pallet deliveries far easier to cope with. You don’t even need to be there to have them safely taken in when they arrive. You’re also safe in the knowledge your stock won’t be damaged and you won’t be in a tearing rush to take the order in off the street.

In fact, renting a storage space might actually open up new possibilities in terms of the amount of stock you can order. If you’ve been restricted to avoiding pallet deliveries because your business was run from home, this might just be a bigger leap up than you thought.

As you can see this could be the best move you’ve ever made. Not only do you have more room for stock you also have more room to take delivery of more stock, and so on it goes. When you think about it, it’s quite a smart move up the ladder to get ahead isn’t it?


Can You Earn Money From Your Storage Space?


Now that’s an intriguing question isn’t it? Some people do just that every day, perhaps by running a small business out of it. There are people who run eBay businesses and similar ventures who end up expanding into larger spaces because they’re doing so well. This is one of the advantages of having a storage space like this in the first place.

However you should think about other ways to earn money from your space too. One of the most obvious things you can do is to search through what you have in there to see if there is anything you’d like to get rid of. Sometimes people put things in storage because they don’t want to get rid of them. Over time they realise they’ve got things in there they will never use, so the time comes to sort out the items they are willing to sell or throw away.

Do you have anything in your storage space you’d like to sell? It can be an excellent way to make a little extra cash. The auction site eBay is still a good place to run an auction or two, and you’d be surprised how much people will pay for things in some instances. It all depends on what you have of course, but it will always be a good way to sell on a few things.


It also has the advantage of freeing up more space in your, er… space. This means you can de-clutter some more at home and not have to increase the size of the space you’re renting. So it all works well and it could be a great way to make a little extra cash. Besides, it is rather freeing to sell things from time to time when you know you don’t need them anymore.


What Lies Behind the Self-Storage Doors?

Self-storage units are all pretty much the same on the outside. All the doors look the same, except for perhaps having different padlocks depending on which ones the individual owners want to use.


And yet behind each identical door is a different story. You never know what lies behind each one and that is part of the curiosity and charm these units bring out in people. One might contain all a person’s belongings while they travel thousands of miles around the world to explore undiscovered countries. Another might have a person’s belongings in it as a result of a divorce. A third could have a small business operation behind the door, with stock, packing materials, paperwork and other essential items that need to be packed up and sent out to customers.

Of course when you have a self-storage unit of your own, you will be the only person that knows every intricate detail of what lies behind your own particular door. In the case of every other door you walk by on the way to your own storage unit, well… you can let your mind wander and ponder the likelihood of what is in each one. Some may rarely be visited while others, especially those owned by small businesses, may have people there every day to handle orders and manage the stock.


In a sense, while most storage units look the same on the outside, there are many stories here to be told. We just don’t know what they are, thanks to the security and privacy offered to each and every self-storage renter. It’s quite a fascinating concept really when you think about it – each space plays host to secrets no one else will ever know. How far would you let your mind run riot when looking at those doors?


Need More Space and Can’t Move Home?

Moving home can be a real challenge, especially nowadays. People regularly outgrow their properties, perhaps because of children or simply because they acquire more things as time goes by. In some cases they might even find the business they began on the kitchen table no longer fits there, and they need somewhere they can easily move into and expand in.


If you are looking around your home and can barely move for the possessions you have and don’t want to get rid of, there is a solution. It’s called self-storage. Many people still think about moving into a bigger property when they outgrow the one they’re in, but it’s not the cheapest or easiest thing to do. Mortgages are harder to get than ever, and you may not have the finances to move elsewhere. In fact you could end up staying where you are for many more years to come. This doesn’t exactly help with your current problem of having too little space to work with.

Some people would say these are signs of having to downsize and get rid of things you no longer want or need. Certainly there is some truth in this. But you shouldn’t have to get rid of things you don’t want to get rid of, just because you are lacking in room.


This is where a self-storage space makes perfect sense. You can find one close to home so you can go and get things if you should ever need to. You can also rent a space that is ideal for your requirements. You even get the chance to expand that space or reduce it if ever you need to make alterations or store other things there. In short it provides a good solution for finding more space when moving home isn’t an option.


The Importance of Insurance


How much do you value the items you keep in your self-storage unit? As far as security is concerned they are exceptionally safe. After all you’re the only individual with a key and there is security on site as well, so your possessions are very secure. However this doesn’t get rid of the need to have insurance in place to cover whatever you have in there.

Indeed if you want to rent some space at Lok nStore you’ll need to have insurance before we can arrange your space. It could be you already have an insurance policy that provide coverage for anything you keep in storage. If this is the case you’re already sorted – you just need to show us proof of the cover.

Don’t worry if you don’t have anything sorted out yet though. You can always save shopping around for cover simply by getting your insurance through us. You can ask us for more information or look on our website at the guide to storage section for more details.


Insurance is essential because it covers all the items you are going to store just in case anything should happen to them. The chances of this are small, just as the chances of anything happening to destroy your home are small. But it doesn’t mean you don’t have insurance, does it? Think of it as peace of mind to protect whatever you have in there. Some people use their storage space to store business stock, and if this is the case for you, you’ll need to ensure your cover is suitable for business items.

Whatever you need it for it is good to know the insurance is in place in case anything did happen. It would guarantee a pay-out to cover the cost of the items lost – in the unlikely case you’d need it.