Storage World

Self storage and VAT: Keep calm and carry on at Lok’nStore

It’s not very often, that good news comes out of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s budget.  Usually it’s all about your costs spiralling ever upwards: cigarettes up, alcohol prices up, petrol up (although the cost of petrol seems to go up constantly, regardless of anything else that’s happening around the world), road tax up, income tax up, national insurance contributions up, and value added tax up!  No matter what the state of the economy, successive governments seem to find countless ways to remove a little extra money from your wallet and purse every year, without fail, and this year’s March 2012 budget was no exception.

But…one of the key changes in the 2012 Budget that we obviously noticed at the Lok’nStore Blog; is this announcement about the self storage industry:

Over time, significant anomalies have developed in the VAT system.  These cause very similar products to be taxed very differently.  Budget 2012 announces that the government will take steps to correct certain anomalies. From 1st October 2012, VAT will be extended to reduce anomalies, including the use of self storage (to align it with other forms of storage) and alterations to listed buildings (to align with the existing VAT treatment of repairs).”

Now for those of you still awake, and left wondering whether we’ve gone mad at the Lok’nStore Blog, I’ll explain the Chancellors announcement in plain English:  Basically, this means that from October 2012 ALL self storage companies will be required to charge VAT on self storage rental to both new and existing customers.

Oh no, what terrible news!  Well actually it’s not really that terrible at all if you’re a Lok’nStore customer:  Why’s that? –  Because Lok’nStore already charges VAT on storage, so there will be no change for our customers.

That’s correct: because Lok’nStore has always charged VAT (enabling our business customers to claim back the VAT), we won’t be making any changes in regard to the Chancellors announcement for existing or new customers – nice that isn’t it?

Lok’nStore has always strived to provide low cost, safe, secure, friendly self storage for personal and business customers alike, and they will continue to do so in the future.  The changes to VAT just means that we can provide the same great service as we always have; at the same lowest price – guaranteed.  So if you’re an existing or new Lok’nStore customer, it’s all good news really, you can just “Keep calm and carry on at Lok’nStore.”         

Security matters at Lok’nStore Self Storage

Lots of people in the media have been talking recently about the security measures at ‘other’ self storage companies and facilities, in and around the UK.  It seems that this would be a good time to remind everyone of the excellent security methods, procedures and features at all Lok’nStore’s 21 Self Storage centres.

All Lok’nStore Storage centres are fully staffed

Lok’nStore maintains a full staff presence at all our storage centres during opening hours.  When our facilities are closed, all the centres are locked shut, with absolutely no customer access available! They are protected by motion and fire alarms (linked to the Police and security company) and 24hr CCTV: until they reopen.  Your goods and belongings are safe and secure at Lok’nStore, until you return to collect them.

Only ‘you’ have a key to ‘your’ storage unit

When you leave your goods with us, you padlock your private storage unit and take the key away with you. Only ‘you’ the customer has a key; meaning that only ‘you’ can get access to your precious belongings in your storage unit.

24hr CCTV in all storage facilities

All Lok’nStore centres have fully monitored 24hr CCTV for your safety and protection.  Staff are present at all our storage sites during opening hours and monitor all CCTV areas for your safety and security.

Customers and visitors sign in and out at Lok’nStore

All customers visiting any Lok’nStore storage centre have to sign in and out whenever they visit us.  This is for ‘your’ security and safety, and lets centre staff know when you are in the centre.

If you have any questions regarding our very successful security measures and controls; please call your nearest storage centre.  All our storage locations area available at www.loknstore.co.uk

 

Safe and secure at Lok'nStore.

Safe and secure at Lok'nStore.

Book storage

Finding creative ideas for book storage in the home can be tough, but looking around on the web, we decided one of out favourite ideas was this:

An old disused fireplace that is being used to store books looks so cool, and is much nicer than the standard “vase with dried flowers.”  Try stacking the books in different directions to create a little chaos within your fireplace.  Of course we don’t advise the storage of books in a working fireplace!

For more free friendly advice on book storage; self storage, and any of Lok’nStore’s products or services; call us on 0800 587 3322 anytime.

 

Lok’nStore powered by renewable energy

Lok’nStore, the big friendly self storage company, is proud to announce that it has agreed to move onto Green Energy’s, Deep Green Tariff which will supply Lok’nStore with 100% renewable electricity across its 21 self storage locations, spread across the South East of England. Green Energy use the power of falling water, the sun, the wind, and organic waste material to provide energy that is completely renewable for their Deep Green Tariff.

Lok’nStore is fully committed to improving its impact on the environment and has engaged Trucost, the environmental consultancy, to monitor its performance over the last seven years with annual audits. Lok’nStore has successfully reduced the impact of greenhouse gases by over 60% from a peak of 1227 tonnes CO2e in 2007 down to 485 tonnes CO2e in the year to July 2011. Last year 36% of our Green Energy electricity was generated by renewable energy, with the rest from combined heat and power accredited sources.

The shift to 100% renewable energy will help further reduce Lok’nStore’s impact on the environment. Lok’nStore is now saving the 1240 tonnes of CO2 which would be produced if the electricity were obtained from typical electricity supplies. That would be enough CO2 to fill 237 hot air balloons or to fill up every one of Lok’nStore’s storage centres with gas every year,

Andrew Jacobs, Chief Executive of Lok’nStore Group comments:

“I am pleased to announce that Lok’nStore is getting even greener. Our environmental policy has always been an important part of the Company and we are thrilled to have increased our use of renewable energy to 100%. So if you want to store your goods in a safe and secure place with the lowest prices, and you also want to help save energy come to Lok’nStore.”

Weird & Wonderful Things In Self Storage #11

Although these cars aren’t actually in storage at a Lok’nStore facility, it seems to us that this should be included in our section on weird and wonderful things in storage.

This photo was taken at the Volkswagen car storage facility in Wolfsburg, Germany.  The footprint of the facility only occupies about 20% of a comparable facility with the same traditional design that is used in the United States.  This German structure is not only much cheaper to build, but the retrieval of new cars can also be completed with much more speed.  Collecting a new car from the Volkswagen storage facility is an occasional in itself. In a fully automated procedure, your brand new car is brought down to you, from one of the twenty-story car towers. Large signboards in the Volkswagen customer centre show you when your turn has come. Then, you’re handed the keys, your picture is taken, the glass doors open and your brand-new car appears. You’re all set to go”.

Some Lok’nStore facilities can also store cars for you, from one week to as long as you need.  Give our friendly staff a call today to find your nearest local Lok’nStore centre on 0800 587 3322.

Rustic storage boxes

It’s amazing how many cool storage items there are out there on the internet to help you keep your house or flat tidy.  We found this storage box which we love.  It has a unique rustic industrial look, simple and rough, but yet sophisticated.  The seat or lid, lifts and the inside can be used to store all manner of household things including extra bedding, towels, even clothes or magazines and books, basically its very flexible (a bit like Lok’nStore).

Each piece is crafted out of weathered wood slats, hand tied with wire.  Every box also has a number stenciled onto the side ranging from 1 to 99, and the overall colour of each boxes varies.  It also has cut-out handles making it very easy to move to another part of your home.  The overall dimensions of this product are 20″H X 29 1/2″W X 20″D, while the inside measures 15 1/2″H and the top is 2 5/8″H.

Because of its simplistic design, and industrial look, the box can be used in the bedroom, or living room, even in the bathroom, basically anywhere you want in the house. It’s a very functional extra storage unit and it can also be used as a bench.

Lok’nStore also sells a range of cheap storage boxes at all our centres.  Visit our website at loknstore.co.uk for more details.

 

Creative shoe storage ideas

We love shoe storage ideas at the Lok’nStore blog.  Having previously found lots of solutions about this subject before, we thought it seemed such a popular discussion point that we’ve been searching the web for even more.  We’ve been looking round for designers who have mastered creative, yet good looking ways of storing shoes.  Rather than throw your shoes into the bottom of the cupboard under the stairs you could find inspiration in any of the beautiful artistic ideas below.

When it comes to shoe storage people want something functional, but also beautiful

Our favourite of the shoe storage ideas is the one by Charlotte Tangye Design called Footprint.  Made in England, this wall mounted wire shoe rack comes made from powder coated steel.  They are designed to save you space and to also celebrate your shoe collection.  Footprint comes in the four colours of black, white, red and blue.


Guide to moving house with pets

Although moving can be a big ordeal for humans, it can be even more stressful for pets. This is because most pets spend the majority of their time inside, and as such become very familiar with their indoor surroundings.

So if you move into a new home or even simply change out a large piece of furniture in your current place, you’re essentially changing your pet’s world as they know it.  But moving doesn’t have to be a stressful situation for you or your pet. A little bit of planning and patience can go a long way in terms of helping you and your pet adjust to a new environment. If you and your furry companion have a move lurking on the horizon, here are a few tips to ensure that it’s an easy transition for you both:

  • Make sure your pet is wearing proper identification tags. This is always an important practice, but it’s even more crucial during a move because with all the commotion there are more opportunities for your pet to get lost.
  • Pay extra close attention to your pet’s behaviour during the move.  All the unusual activity during this time may cause them to misbehave or become destructive. 
  • Pack a separate box for the pet supplies you use most frequently (such as bowls, food, toys, leashes and blankets) and keep it readily available.  
  • Don’t wash pet beds or blankets before the move. The familiar smell of the old house may comfort them during the transition into the new house.
  • Pets enjoy routines. During the move, try to maintain the same meal, walk and play times in order to ease any anxiety your pet will most likely be experiencing.
  • If you’re travelling on a long-distance car ride with your pet, plan your route ahead of time. This includes mapping out where you will make your overnight stops as well as which hotels nearby are pet-friendly.
  • If your move includes air travel with your pet, contact the airline ahead of time to find out what the requirements are regarding crates, costs and pre-travel medical treatment for your pet. 

Another very important thing to consider when moving with a pet is making sure your new home is pet-friendly. This means informing your landlord or association about your pet ahead of time to ensure that you are in compliance with any weight or size restrictions that might be in place.

Trying to “sneak” your pet in to a new house or apartment is never a good idea, nor is it the responsible thing to do as a pet owner because it jeopardizes your pet’s safety and could ultimately leave them homeless. Sadly, moving is a major reason why people surrender their pets to local humane societies and animal shelters. Needless to say, having to give up a pet can be a very difficult situation for both parties involved.  To ensure you and your pet never have to experience such a heartbreaking separation, take the necessary precautions to make sure your move is a seamless, well-planned transition for both you and your pet.