‘Handle With Care’ live theatre show in Harlow this weekend

Handle with Care live theatre
Handle with Care

Handle with Care live theatre

As part of their ‘Pay what you can season’ Harlow Playhouse with Dante or Die will be performing live theatre at a self-storage facility in Harlow this weekend. Handle with Care is a live show where the audience can get so close to the main action that they are virtually taking part as they immerse themselves into the life of the main character.

Based in a self-storage facility, the audience joins Zoe from 1998 through to the present day on her journey through life and get to witness some extraordinarily intimate moments.

Amazingly the audience are asked only to ‘pay what they can’ at the end of the show by way of a collection box!

Created by Dante or Die’s Co-Artistic Directors Daphna Attias & Terry O’Donovan with Chloë Moss is a co-commission with Harlow Playhouse and is supported through funding from Arts Council England.

Hurry because there are just a few tickets are left for the shows this coming weekend. Please visit Harlow Playhouse.

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?


How Do You Sort Out an Untidy Storage Space?

Picture this. You’ve spent the last couple of years gradually putting more and more stuff into your storage space. You’ve never quite got around to putting it in there tidily or in any kind of order. Think haphazard and you’ve got the idea.

When the time comes to have a proper tidy up, where on earth do you begin?

It’s a good question and one you’ll need to find an answer to if you want to make sure your storage space looks better than it did when you started. Firstly we’d recommend taking a whole roll (or two) of bin liners with you to get rid of anything you don’t want to keep anymore. If you know there are going to be items you can sell, take some crates or boxes and put those to one side… but only if you know you’re going to shift this stuff straightaway. If not, give it away to charity shops to get rid of it.

Now comes the time to start searching through the boxes and stuff you have. Don’t decide where to start – just pick the box or bag closest to you and go through one at a time. This is going to take longer than you thought but the best bet is to go right in there and make a start.

After a while you might feel as if you’re making headway. This isn’t the time to slack off (although we feel a cuppa would be well-deserved at this stage). Instead, keep right on going so you don’t lose the momentum. Remember too that if it has taken you some time to build all this stuff up, you’re going to end up taking quite a while to clear some of it out as well.

The key is to keep on going and to make sure you do things in an orderly fashion. It’s also good to remember Lok nStore has brand new boxes and other items that are useful for storage right here for you to buy. So get rid of all the old dented ones while you have the chance and begin as you mean to go on. With the right approach and the determination to have a proper clear-out, your storage space could soon be looking as good as new. You’ll know where everything is too, which is definitely a bonus!

Enjoying a Hobby in a Self-Storage Space

Most of us have hobbies of one kind or another. Yet some take up more space than others.

For example some people decide to collect classic toys. These have to be kept in pristine condition and ideally in their original packaging. This means if you have more than three or four of them you’ll end up struggling to find room to store them all. You’ve probably seen news stories about ardent collectors of all kinds of things over the years. Normally they’re pictured in what was their spare bedroom, standing among piles of whatever they collect, surrounded by shelves from the floor to the ceiling.

It’s no wonder then that some people opt to keep their ever-expanding collection in a storage space instead of at home. This is particularly true if they have an expanding family too and need the space. It does make a lot of sense and it ensures the entire collection is kept in pristine condition too. This applies to all kinds of collectable items. You can always keep your favourite pieces at home if you want to hang onto some of them, maybe rotating your stock from time to time to give you something fresh to look at.

This works for all kinds of collectables too. All you need to do is to make sure they’re kept off the floor and are safely stored in boxes or in other things that will keep them safe. For instance in the case of classic comics you can put each one in a sealed plastic bag designed to keep it safe.

So if you’re looking at a collection of items that form part of a collectable hobby, think about making the most of that collection and storing it in a self-storage space now. You may just be glad you did.


Relocating? Think Self-Storage

People relocate for all kinds of reasons. Maybe they have a job in another area and they need to move to be closer to it. Maybe they want to move to get closer to family members (or in some cases, further away). Perhaps they simply find an area they fall in love with and want to move there.

In any situation there is the chance you’ll end up moving somewhere smaller than the place you’re leaving. If you have to relocate in a hurry you may not have time to organise all your stuff. The best bet in this situation is to make sure you hire some storage space close to where your new property is going to be.

You may actually want to put the majority of your possessions in storage until you know what to expect with regard to your new property. For instance you may not realise until you get there how much decoration is necessary. If you move in with the bare basics – bed, sofa, chairs, tables, etc. – you can simply get settled in first. You can then gradually move other stuff into your home as and when you need it. In fact you might find you can make the most of this process to go through everything you own and pare stuff back that you really have no use or need for anymore.

As such, self-storage can be an essential part of any relocation you ever have to make. Whatever the reason might be for moving a considerable distance, you can make sure you settle in properly by making life easier for yourself. When you have a storage locker you can use as well as the surroundings of your new home, you’ll find the whole thing is much easier than you may have thought.