household self storage

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

Winter bike storage tips

Bicycles and snow don’t mix very well so what should you do with that bike before you put it into storage.

Remember that bike that carried you to work all summer that’s now next to useless in this horrible weather?  The bike that’s sadly sitting out in your garden storage shed.  Before storing it away for the winter you should follow these tips so that in the spring its rust free and ready for those lovely warm evening bike rides.

  • Thoroughly clean your bike or take it to a bike shop for a professional clean.
  • Put the bike into a safe and secure storage area – not just outside the back door!
  • One of the best places to put your bike is in the garage (if you have room) or maybe into self storage?
  • Oil and lubricate the chains etc to prevent rust.  keep the bike in a dry storage location!
  • There are different opinions on what to do with bikes that have shock absorbers.  Some people say that you should store the bikes upside down to keep the seals in the shocks lubricated.  Others like me think that you should just stand it up on two wheels – upright.
  • Pump up the tyres before you put your bike into storage to prevent flat spots.  If you can it’s a good idea to give your tyres a rest by hanging the bike up off the floor on a hook.


If you need advice on any self storage issues, please give Lok’nStore a call on

0800 587 3322 today.

Bike storage for winter


Cool Staircase Storage


Is the most efficient way to build storage – vertical?


This fantastic ‘stairway storage’ saves space by using minimal floor space.  Designer Danny Kuo has focused on height rather than width to make the most of the available storage space.  Although high storage designs can be problematic because they are difficult to reach.


This 2.6 metres high storage system solves the problem by using the bottom shelves as steps to gain access to the higher storage shelves.  Danny tries to make storage products that improve people’s lives, by making storage products enjoyable and efficient.


Danny should have a look at my ‘stairway storage system’ at home.  Shoes, boots, coats are all thrown into the storage space under the stairs!

Staircase storage

Why do you need Lok’nStore Self Storage?

As a householder, why do you need Lok’nStore Self Storage?

Customers come to use Lok’nStore for a variety of reasons including; cheap, low cost storage in secure surroundings, but why you might ask is ‘anyone’ looking for self storage?

·         You could need storage whilst moving from one rented property to another.  If your next property wasn’t ready for a few weeks, you would need to put all your furniture and household belongings into self storage.  Lok’nStore could provide you with short term storage at low cost until your new home is ready. 

·         Furniture storage may also be needed if you are having building work undertaken on your property.  For instance: loft conversions, extensions or redecoration to your home can mean that you need self storage.  You don’t want your best furniture in your home whilst the builders are covering everything with dust and rubble!

·         Self storage can also be needed by those people who are moving off the sunnier climates.  If you were to go aboard to work and you wanted to rent out your property here in the UK, storage maybe needed for you furniture.  Or you may have sold your property here altogether and need self storage until you get settled overseas?

·         Decluttering seems to be one of the biggest and most popular reasons (at the moment) for needing self storage.  It could be that you are in the process of selling your property, and to make it look slightly bigger and more minimalistic you want to get rid of belongings and furniture that you may want back after the sale.  Lok’nStore Self Storage would be your best option for this sort of storage.   It seems like we all have too much stuff these days hence:

            ‘Too much stuff?  Don’t ignore it… Lok’nStore it!’

·         Students always need storage during the summer holidays.  They just don’t want to lug all that stuff back to mum and dad’s, and instead just rent a storage unit from their local Lok’nStore over the holidays until they return.  Lok’nStore has always helped students out with all sorts of offers and deals (call on FREEPHONE 0800 537 3322 for more details).


·         Don’t forget that Lok’nStore also sells a wide range of low cost products to help you move house or declutter - even if you don’t need our storage services.  We have a range of boxes and bubblewrap to help you move house at the lowest costs in the storage industry. 

If you find that you need cheap self storage at Lok’nStore, give us a call for free advice or visit for the location of your nearest local store. 

Uten.Silo storage device for the kitchen

This lovely kitchen wall mounted unit is great for the storage of spoons, scissors or any of the other stuff that normally goes in the ‘junk’ draw.

Designed in 1967, the ‘Uten.Silo’ can be used anywhere in the home or office for storage and can be fitted to a wall or even the back of a door.  In comes in black, white or red and large or small size are available for this household storage device. 


If you’re having problems with storage solutions in your home, give Lok’nStore a call!  We offer a range of storage ideas and services to suit all budgets and situations.  Call our Free-phone number on 0800 587 3322 or visit our storage help website at


Kitchen Storage Unit


Lok’nStore storage in the Mail!

Small homes, lots of stuff…  No wonder self storage is thriving.

 This article was posted on the Daily Mail Online 2nd July 2010.

The bearded man seemed strangely familiar as he wheeled a large trolley towards the bank of lifts. We had clearly seen each other before, but I wasn’t sure where.


Then I realised that he was a neighbour, albeit not in the conventional sense. His self-storage unit and mine were on the same floor, just around the corner from each other in a newly-built self storage facility. But we had never spoken, until now.


‘It happens every time,’ he said. ‘I go up to my unit with the intention of throwing stuff out – but I just can’t do it. So I lock up again, go home and repeat the whole thing a few weeks later. What a performance.’


Oh, I know the problem only too well. Hundreds of thousands of us do much the same thing. Which, in part, explains why the self-storage industry has taken off in the past decade, with spectacular results.


They’re everywhere: Self Storage facilities are all over the south east. And they’re not just to be found in out-of-town industrial estates but bang in the middle of residential communities, with people coming and going 7 days a week.


Here are the figures: in 1995 there were a mere 60 self-storage sites in Britain. By 2000, that number had risen to 187 and today there are no fewer than 800.


The Self Storage Association UK, which represents 150 companies in this burgeoning sector, estimates that 240,000 of us rent a self-storage unit and that increasingly we regard them as spare rooms to help ease the burden on our cluttered homes.


And it’s good business. The industry generates revenues of around £350 million and directly employs almost 3,000 people.


Self-storage companies prosper best when the housing market is thriving. You sell your home but haven’t found anywhere to buy, so you rent a smaller house or flat and bide your time. But you have excess furniture and several boxes of possessions.


So whats the solution? You could get your removal company to store everything, but the snag is that you won’t be able to get access to it until the day you move permanently. And that’s where self-storage comes in.   ‘It’s like having a garage or an extra room that just happens to be off the premises, ‘The great bonus is that it gives you flexibility. You can go round any time you want and you can easily change units if you want a bigger or smaller one. You are the person in control.’


All kinds of factors have led to the self-storage boom. The increase in divorce has played a part, as has the trend for downsizing. But it’s also the case that most newly-built houses in the UK are too small and don’t have enough storage space.


A report by the Commission for Architecture and the Built environment last year concluded that 47 per cent of those surveyed thought their homes weren’t big enough for all their furniture and 35 per cent said their kitchens were too small even to accommodate a toaster.


Some of the other things people get up to in their storage spaces include: band practice, keep-fit classes, ballet lessons and entertaining.  Hosting a party in a square box might not sound especially glamorous, but the chances are you won’t annoy the neighbours. And, afterwards, you can lock up the mess and go home!


Lok’nStore Self Storage offers the cheapest most secure storage in the industry.  For more information call, 0800 587 3322 or visit our website at

For full article visit Mail Online

A checklist for your moving house day

A checklist for your moving house day


After dealing with your solicitor; chartered surveyors, removal and self storage companies and mortgage company, most probably with the help of a home information pack to get your home on the market and an exchange in place, its then on to the moving part which can potentially more difficult and stressful.

First make sure you have a documented resource of all the information above and keep it safe and secure as you will it no doubt in the future and things get lost and moved in the packing and removal process.

Then, conduct a list of all your main and most precious possessions, it may also be easier to start with larger items such as your televisions, sofas, beds, wardrobes etc and also try making a floor plan on which you can plan where the items will go in your new home.

This will help you to make the decision of what to keep and what to get rid of before the items go into your new home. It is very common for homeowners to sell or pass on to charities many items that they once believed that “may need” in the future. Keep things simple and in turn your new house will give a clean, uncluttered and more modern appearance.

It’s important to remember, of course, not to pack important items such as passports, jewellery, driving licenses etc as not only can they be lost but it may be rather difficult claiming theft with a removal company. Save the hassle and keep them in a purse, bag or somewhere close and safe during the move.

In fact it may be best to find a reliable and professional insurance company who will cover the possessions; you may find that the removal company you are thinking of moving house with will be able to provide you with cover too.

Then its time to start moving your possessions that are undecided on or not easily placed into your new home into storage and also travel to your new home or hire cleaners to completely revive your new home, this can also include painter and decorators and carpet fitters to move in before your possessions are in the house.
Transfer your Childs school records, and register with new doctors dentists in your area, this also may be a good time to arrange pet and child care on the day you move and purchase moving cards or an online post to inform friends and family of your new address and contact numbers.

Remember to arrange your gas, electric, water, TV license and phone lines too. This can be a nightmare if not sorted and once they are all done, it will allow you to settle into your new home stress free.