Storage Miscellany

Eek – My eBay Business is Expanding!

Many an eBay business has been started from a kitchen table. Some have started as a result of getting rid of second-hand items from the home. When the sellers realise how much money there is to be made they start looking for sources of brand new stock to sell instead. And thus many a business has been born in this way.

 

The great thing about starting a business from home is that you have no overheads. You don’t have to pay for office space or a shop because everything can be stored at home and sold online. If you have a business like this it means you have fewer outgoings in the early stages of your venture.

Of course you’ll hope your business is successful – and if it is you then start to expand. What do you do when your eBay stock starts taking over your home and you suddenly find you have nowhere to store it?

The answer lies in your local self-storage facilities. More and more small businesses are realising these facilities are ideal for storing stock in and even working from. Another major bonus is that many of them will take delivery of stock from suppliers, so you don’t even have to be there at that point. When you arrive you can sort through your new delivery, sort out orders and make sure you package up all the post to go out at the end of the day. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

 

Now you’re probably wondering what you should do when your business expands even further. Simple – ask to rent a bigger space. You can either stay with the one you have and get another one to go with it (ideal if you sell more than one type of item and you want to keep things separate) or you can move to a larger one. This is fast and easy to do providing the space is available, so it could be the best way to keep overheads down and be able to enjoy a rapidly-expanding business as well.

The year-on-year figures for business use of these units is going up. It seems as if more and more people are discovering the benefits of using self-storage for business purposes. When it comes to small business owners the benefits are even more pronounced. Maybe it’s time to move that small business off your kitchen table after all.

 

Storage by the box – a brand new concept comes to a town near you

Local self storage provider Lok’nStore has launched a brand new storage concept called “Box’nStore”, which provides customers with an ingenious solution to the secure storage of important paperwork and other belongings without the customer needing to leave their home. Box’nStore delivers the boxes for free to your door and then picks them up when you have filled them to securely store the box for just £1 per box per month which you can pay by direct debit. The customer can now store one or hundreds of boxes this way for as long or as short a time as they want without ever leaving their home or office and only paying for exactly the storage they require when they want it.

Anita Gallop, Centre Manager at Lok’nStore on Hawley Lane, Farnborough said “This is a fantastic new flexible storage product for our customers which has only been available in London before. Many customers come to us wanting to store just a few boxes of belongings and we have now got a service that is both simple and affordable for our local customers. We wanted to keep the service as simple as possible so a customer can order online at www.boxnstore.biz and before they know it the boxes will be delivered for free, ready to fill and have collected for free.”

A Box’nStore customer said “Box’nStore has solved my storage problems – I needed secure storage for a range of documents and it was straightforward to set up an account, order online and have it delivered and collected, for free, when I wanted. This has proved so good I’m ready to order more boxes!” John B.

A recent survey by the Self Storage Association UK showed that self storage space in the UK grew by 3% in 2013, with an average of 0.5sq.ft of self storage space now available for every person in the UK*. This new service means that Lok’nStore can provide customers with access to more storage space without ever having to leave their homes.

*SSA UK Annual Survey 2014

Do We Have to Forget Something to Really Appreciate It?

 

Storage spaces are practical, useful and very appropriate in many situations. For the most part we pack things up in boxes or crates and store them in the space for an indefinite length of time. Sometimes it might only be temporary owing to a move, but at other times we might rely on the additional space for a long time.

This invariably leads to us going back to the storage space after months or perhaps even years, ready to see what is in there. They say something that is out of sight is also out of mind, and this is definitely the case with a storage space. It’s quite usual to forget what is in that box or that odd-shaped crate with things sticking out of it you can’t even identify. Life moves on and yet we can leave a huge portion of it in storage. It’s a strange concept when you think about it, particularly as we can go straight back to that chunk of our lives whenever we want to.

 

Various things can trigger memories in us – sounds, smells, things we see and touch and so on. So it is perhaps not surprising that many people get these kinds of sensations when it comes to storage lockers. Think of how much is in there, stored away out of sight for prolonged periods of time. Items wrapped in boxes or kept in hermetically sealed plastic crates can retain their smell too, which is a powerful trigger for memories.

Even though we will grow out of some things – not just as children but as adults too – we will undoubtedly respond to the memories they bring up in us when we are older. And that is the reason why forgetting what we have in our storage space can be an exciting experience when we do eventually go back to it.

Why Are People Paying To Store Stuff They Never Use?

Many self storage users are making the most of their units, storing their cars, holding stock and even running businesses. However, some people seem to be simply paying for something they don’t use or need. Why are they willing to pay for space they don’t use?

Communities have always had some hoarders, but these days it seems that almost everyone is reluctant to throw out their old belongings. Maybe this is due to the fact that the recession has scared everyone into thinking anything we own is worth keeping because of the money value it might bring us one day, or maybe this is simply because we can’t let go of the past. Whatever it is, it’s a fairly new thing.Britainwasn’t the first to jump on the self storage bandwagon and it wasn’t until the 1990s that self storage facilities first arrived inLondon. In 2000 self storage began to grow in popularity in the UK and now in 2014 almost everyone knows that the option is available for them if they need it.

 

It is likely that we will end up like America, with over 50,000 self storage facilities already counted for and with more and more businesses recognising the benefits it really could have another wave of public recognition.

The average family household is cluttered in one way or another, whether it is just all hidden away in one room or scattered across the kitchen floor. It can be difficult to keep things in order when you’ve got high quantities of unused goods lying around the house, and although it probably would be easier to throw these things away a lot of people find it hard to part with their once-treasured possessions.

Self storage is often used by those that are making home improvements or those that are moving house. Initially self storage is just a stopgap, not a long-term investment, but this often changes. The saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’ comes to mind – people simply leave their junk in storage units for much longer than they first intended to. A clear example of this can be seen in some data produced by the UK Self Storage Association. The data shows that the average length of stay in self storage has risen from 22 weeks to 38 weeks in just three years. In those three years something has shifted in the way we use self storage, but what and more importantly why?

A very likely reason is that we are having to move into smaller homes, meaning that we have no other option but to store our possessions away from our home. The property ladder is becoming increasingly hard to get onto for young people and as a result they are living in much smaller environments than what they are used to.

 

It is also important to note that private business users are now staying much longer too. The same shift has been recorded in business users showing us that they stay for 56 weeks compared to individuals who stay for 38 weeks on average, and of course this number has risen dramatically in the last three years. This can also be related back to the recession as many businesses have struggled to stay afloat, meaning that they have turned to low rent self storage units instead of your typical office or walk-in shop. More and more businesses are changing their business models by taking advantage of the new pop-up shop craze and online sellers and buyers’ community, allowing them to simply store their stock in a storage unit and run their business remotely with flexibility and no tie downs such as rent or council tax.

There are many different reasons for people to use self storage, but it might simply be that people find it just too taxing to go through a closet full of clutter. People don’t like to make decisions and therefore they find it much easier to box it up and deal with it later.

Why do you use self storage? Tell us your story using the comments section below.

 

Where You Store Your Boat In The Winter Matters More Than You Think

Where do experienced boat owners store their vessels?

No matter where you live or how often you use your boat, at some stage all boat owners will face the dilemma of where to store your boat when winter falls. Having a boat to take care of is almost like having another child, tough if that’s a little too far-fetched you could say it’s just as much responsibility as having a pet dog.

Not only do you need to ensure you have safe storage arranged for the winter, you also need to store it somewhere when you go on long trips, when a sudden storm approaches or when you don’t plan on using it for some time. Many new boat owners find this concept a difficult one to grasp. They find the task inconvenient and unnecessary and are often unwilling to make a decision about where to store it when the time comes.

Having to make a hurried and unexpected decision about spending money on boat storage is one you want to avoid as much as possible. If you fail to find a safe place for it to stay your boat may end up seriously damaged or completely destroyed, so it is important that owners arrange storage solutions as soon as they purchase their new boat. Being organised is a bonus when it comes to boating – it means that you don’t have any added stresses to take care of when you’re already busy with upcoming Christmas celebrations and a nine-to-five job.

Which storage solution best suits me?

Plenty of boat owners choose to store their beloved boats outdoors. The reason people pick this option is simply down to laziness. This option isn’t necessarily the best option when considering the boat’s health, but it is convenient. Most people that choose to use the outdoors to store their boat choose this option because it means they can have easy access to a lake, meaning it takes little to no effort to move it and get it going. Although this option is a great one to have as it means you can take part in spontaneous boat activities, for those of you that do not leave near water it means leaving your boat stranded on its own for long periods of time.

Some boat owners simply cannot afford to dock their boats on a lake permanently. Alternatively they decide to store their boats in their own homes. Many people use their backyards or garages as a solution, but if you live in a flat or shared accommodation this may not be suitable for you. A lot of boat owners just simply do not have the room to store such a large item in their garden or on their private property, which is why other storage options are used frequently.

Why is it dangerous to store my boat outside?

Before we move on, it is important to note that leaving your boat outside, whether it is on the lake or in your backyard, is dangerous. An unexpected storm could take you by surprise and as a result your boat could be ripped to pieces alongside any other boat that is near it. When you leave your boat sitting outdoors for long periods of time it will begin to rust and deteriorate as it is relentlessly fighting against the elements. The damage that is caused will be yours to cover, and boat repairs are often expensive.

Why is self storage a good alternative?

 

Self storage facilities eliminate the risk of any of these things happening and although you do have to pay a small fee to store your boat you will save plenty of money just by not having to make any repairs. Self storage facilities are great for a number of reasons. Not only can you rest assured knowing your boat is safe and sound, you will also be able to find a storage unit local to your home or your favourite lake. Indoor boat storage facilities are often spacious, giving boat owners a proper chance to maintain their boats.

 

Is It Time to Sort Through Your Storage Space?

There are all kinds of reasons why people rent storage space. Moving home is a popular reason, not to mention de-cluttering your property. But many people rent storage space, put the things in there they don’t currently need and then forget about it (other than paying to keep it all there of course).

If this includes you it might be worth thinking about having a look through the things you have stored away from time to time. You don’t have to do it often but if there are things you want to preserve and take good care of, it helps to ensure they are stored properly. Imagine having a stack of prized comics for example – comics that could be worth something. The last thing you want is to have them in a haphazard pile in the corner where you could tread on and ruin them the moment you walk in the door.

A good sort out therefore gives you some time to go through your possessions to ensure everything is properly stored and stacked. Some people simply open the door to their storage unit and throw things inside when they have stuff to store. It’s unbelievable but it does happen. It doesn’t make it any easier to reach things at the back though. Sorting out your belongings from time to time definitely makes sense, especially if you have quite a few of them stored away.

We’ve mentioned the idea of de-cluttering your home already – after all that’s the reason why some people have a storage space elsewhere. But it doesn’t mean you can’t de-clutter your storage space too. Even if you only go through things a couple of times a year it gives you the chance to see exactly what you’ve got there. Take some black plastic bags with you and some boxes and get rid of anything you don’t need or want any more. You can always sell it on if you don’t want to bin it. This could turn out to be a great way to free up more space to store other things and to make some extra cash too.

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Weird and Wonderful Storage Finds

Storage units can be used for all kinds of things – not everything of course, since there are exceptions – but some owners do keep some weird things in there. Most of these finds are discovered when people stop paying for their self-storage space and it gets auctioned off unseen to the highest bidder. You hear about this kind of thing a lot in America and boy, have they found some unusual items over the years!

For instance how about stepping inside the unit you just paid for and discovering there were hundreds of records by Michael Jackson inside? This may not sound too amazing by itself but these records were unreleased – no one had ever heard of them before. Now that’s what we call a good find!

Another amazing find also occurred in America and concerns a discovered manuscript written by the well-known author Pearl S. Buck. The Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winner (the first American woman in history to win the award) died in 1973, and nobody expected to find any work that she hadn’t published. However, The Eternal Wonder, a coming-of-age story about a boy who travels from New York to North and South Korea, was discovered in an unpaid storage unit in Texas, and will now be published in October in a move sure to delight many of Buck’s fans – it’s the kind of find storage hunters dream of, and the finder could potentially have made a decent sum from selling the manuscript, but the price it was eventually sold for, by all accounts, was relatively modest. Perhaps they were a literature lover who just wanted to see the book published?

It just goes to show how many odd things can be left in storage or turn up in storage at some point. We’ve covered some of these before but we think the Michael Jackson find has to be one of the best ones of all. What would your idea be of a great find in a storage unit?

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Hoarding: how can you spot it and how can you help?

We’ve all seen the programmes on television about people who have their houses filled to the brim with things they can’t possibly want or need to keep, like old newspapers and knick-knacks that aren’t valuable and can’t have a great deal of sentimental value to their owners. These items make the home an impossible place to live in because of fire, health and access problems, but it’s been asserted in the last few years that people who have this kind of problem may be suffering from a precursor to conditions like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

 Symptoms which can help to diagnose compulsive hoarders include excessive levels of junk that seems more important to the hoarder than it actually is, to the point that it blocks access to different rooms, prevents things like beds and sofas from being used for their intended purposes and attracts vermin which bring health problems into the home. At this point, family members or friends might feel as though they have to step in to help the hoarder take control of their life again.

You can see how easily a hoarding obsession might begin – most of us find it extremely difficult to throw anything away as it is, as we think that we might need it again or that it might be useful in the future. An item might also have sentimental value, making the decision to throw it away a very difficult one. Before you know it, you’ll have towers of clutter reaching up to the ceiling and you’ll be in trouble.

A good solution is (obviously) to use a self storage unit to relieve some of the pressure on your home, but you could also have a good spring clean every year and set aside a weekend to make those tough decisions about what to throw away and what to keep. If you’re getting a payoff from keeping something (a CD has your favourite music on it, a deflated football can be blown up and taken to the park) then do so, but if you’re keeping junk for the sake of it, take it the dump or to a charity shop where someone might have a use for it.

If you think that anyone you know might have a problem with hoarding, you can get in touch with experts at the NHS or talk to people who have dealt with the same thing on various help pages and websites online.

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