cardboard boxes

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!

The world of storage boxes

A slightly tongue in cheek look at the world of storage boxes….

Each person has specific storage demands, depending on their lifestyle, on their professional lives and on various other factors. But apart from the storage needs that you are looking to address, you can always find the appropriate solution on the internet.


You can find a huge collection storage boxes found on the net, which can be properly addressing your storage needs, ranging from the most invaluable of your belongings to every other ordinary household item. Not only that, but you can even search for good quality storage boxes for the lowest price tags, which will truly offer you the benefits of online shopping.


Wooden storage boxes are mostly chosen by the individuals who want to store their belongings in an elegant manner. But despite of its artistic aspect, the wooden storage boxes are a requirement most of the time. Wooden storage boxes are among the most attractive storage boxes and are used for storing a wide range of material. Wooden storage boxes can be very specifically built for the particular goods that they store, just like the ones used for storing instruments, wines or lenses, and are available with various modifications, for example the ones with partitions and racks.


Perhaps the most favourite storage boxes of all are decorative storage boxes. Decorative storage boxes represent a much broader category, since they can be manufactured of a number of materials other than wood, such as cardboard and plastic. Decorative storage boxes are usually well admired by women for storing the items of their use such as cosmetics and jewellery. Other than that, decorative storage boxes with vivid cartoon themes are widely used and accepted by children too. Decorative storage boxes are appropriate for keeping invaluable and precious belongings, which is a perfect combination due to the elegant appearance of these storage boxes.


Cardboard storage boxes are also brought into use by many people for storing almost all types of usual items found at residences and professional organizations. You can find quality cardboard storage boxes, wooden storage boxes and decorative storage boxes on the internet. You can search for thousands of storage boxes of different kinds in a huge variety making your task of choosing the right storage boxes that fit your needs much easier.

You can search for storage boxes of various sizes, shapes, designs, prices and other particulars, which would be sufficient for satisfying all kinds of storage needs whatsoever. If you are looking for just the right storage boxes, the internet can provide you the best solution to all your storage needs.


Lok’nStore Self Storage can provide you with a full range of cardboard storage boxes at the lowest prices in the industry.  Visit our website at for more information or give us a call on 0800 587 3322.


Cardboard speakers bring art, music on the road

We’ve seen foldable cardboard speakers before by MUJI and others, but the lively patterns on these OrigAudio versions caught our eyes (or should that be ears?). The foldable, self-powered speakers (no batteries or external power required) come in designs with names like Cityscape, Lake, Daydream, and Surf Break. You can even create custom artwork, but you’ll have to order 500 units to go that route, so…


Perhaps best of all, they’re recycled, made from old newspapers, phone books, and the like. The speakers, which are 3.15 inches on each side, cost $16 a pop, with a six-pack going for $60, and are universally compatible with any device that has a headphone jack (MP3 players, laptops, cell phones, CD players).


As for sound quality, don’t count on using the 1-watt device at your next big house party. The company stresses that they’re best used for more modest auditory applications, such as travel, the beach, dorm rooms, and cubicles.



Lok’nStore Free Boxes

Do you need cardboard boxes for your house move?  Or are you archiving documents for your business?  Pop into your local Lok’nStore Business & Household Self Storage centre for the lowest prices.


Multi Save Mix & Match


Buy any 20 boxes

and get an additional


4 Free Boxes



with the cheapest item free


Call 0800 587 3322 to find the location of your local Lok’nStore Business & Household Self Storage centre or visit


Cardboard Boat Racing Gains Popularity

Sink or swim- that’s the question every cardboard boat captain must face on race day. After all, a cardboard box isn’t usually the first material to come to mind when designing a seaworthy vessel. Preferred material or not, the popularity of cardboard boat, also called cardboard regatta, races continues to grow each year.


Although its exact origins are up for debate, most believe the cardboard boat originated in1962 at Southern Illinois University.


Professor Davis Pratt, in an assignment aimed at testing his students creativity in design, asked the seniors to design and build human-sized boats made only of corrugated cardboard. More than 45 years later, cardboard boat races are going stronger than ever.


There’s even a book on how to build a cardboard boat. The Cardboard Boat Book: How to Build and Environmentally Friendly Boat with Recyclable Resources, by Dave Friant, provides step-by-step instruction on how to build a kayak style boat with corrugated cardboard.


The boats do not have to be made kayak style as outlined in the book. From pirate ships to riverboats and airplanes to animals, boats can and have been designed in any fashion that will float, so long as they are made of corrugated cardboard. Boats should be capable of completing at least three trips around a 200-yard course, to meet the challenge of The Great Cardboard Boat Regatta races.


But Can it be Recycled?


We’re always advocates of reusing materials to make new creations, and cardboard boat races definitely fit the bill. That being said, it is necessary to check your local recycling program rules as most recyclers will not accept wet cardboard for recycling.

There are various reasons recyclers may not accept wet cardboard, from the extra water weight skewing the cost of purchasing the material to the potential of jamming the recycling sorting machines.

Let the cardboard dry before placing it in a recycle bin. Paint and other decorative additions to the cardboard boats should also be considered, as those will usually render the cardboard non-recyclable.



Not just cardboard and duct tape

Between 40 and 50 boaters raced Saturday along Crystal Lake’s Main Beach to join the 25th annual America’s Cardboard Cup Regatta as spectators cheered all ages who designed boats using cardboard, duct tape and creativity.


Taking five weeks to build was a Mystery Machine from the Scooby Doo cartoon, proving that vans can float.


“This is the one fun thing we do every year,” Lynette Collins said. “We put more into it than cardboard and duct tape.”


Some racers used oars or water wheels to move. Members of Lost Cause used snow shovels to cross the finish line first. Team member Josh Brownell of the eight-member crew said he was surprised, as they expected that their boat would sink halfway through.

“It doesn’t hurt we had twice as many people as the other boat,” Brownell said.


Races were filled with dramatic moments when team Down, who designed the house with balloons from the movie “Up,” took an early dive. There also were close races, such as when Shark Steaks defeated POS #4 by a nose.

“It was adrenaline that got us to the end,” teammate Joe Fike of Crystal Lake said.



How many boxes do you need?

If you’re looking for cardboard boxes why not pop into your local Lok’nStore Business & Household Self Storage centre. 

We have a huge range of boxes in stock from just £2! and bubblewrap from just 40p per mtr.  Have a look at what these guys did with their boxes:

Architectural studio Fantastic Norway has created this suspended installation for the Centre for Design and Architecture in Oslo, Norway, as part of an exhibition showcasing young Norwegian designers. The hanging display forms a pixelated cloud comprised of 3000 cardboard boxes that plays with ideas of packaging, recycling and affordability, while simultaneously breaking up the open layout of the space in unusual ways. The student work is arranged inside and around the boxes, adding an interactive quality that re-imagines the normal “look, don’t touch” museum experience – blending elements of curio cabinet curiosity with retail store familiarity. 

By Scott Lachut

Cardboard Furniture Back in Fashion

In 1965 Riki Watanabe created the cardboard furniture series which was critically acclaimed then for its safety and elegance. Safety, because Japan falls under seismic zone and cardboard furniture pieces are always safer.


The Metropolitan gallery of Tokyo has reproduced these furniture pieces again and the Kids’ Set can hold the weight of an adult. The stools and tables are sturdy enough and even a hefty adult can sit on them without them breaking. They come in soft and pastel colours which make your interiors look great and stylish.



Jaiyant Cavale, Trends Update