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!

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.

Going Up or Down?

It sounds like something the guy in the lift in Are You Being Served would say, in the sitcom that was a big hit years ago. Now I’m showing my age. Hey ho.

Anyway, there are other reasons why you might be asked this question. If you currently have some storage space you’ll know one of the perks is the size of the space in question. You can start small and scale up, or start with a huge one and then de-clutter to reduce the size of the space you have to work with. In short there are countless different ways you can use a space, and plenty of options on the size of the space too.

So what kind of space should you rent? Well it all depends on what you intend to do with it. If you only have a few odds and ends to store in there you can rent the smallest space you can find. And if you discover plenty more stuff that could really do with being stored? All you have to do is scale up and rent a larger one instead. Move everything out of the small space, add the new stuff and hey presto – everything is sorted.

Maybe the best thing to know is that even if you get the wrong space to start with, it’s pretty easy to go up or down in size without having to wait ages to get the ideal space. Providing the ideal space for you is free you can be moved in there as soon as you like.

So there you have it – you can go up or down to any extent within the options your friendly self-storage facility has available. And since there are lots of options, your stuff will always have somewhere to be.


The Glory of a Tape Gun

Yes we’re aware that’s rather a dramatic title for an essentially very undramatic item. Although, we reckon if you have ever used a tape gun you’ll know why we chose that title – and you probably agree with it too.

You see here’s the thing. When you move into a self-storage unit you’re likely going to have boxes – lots of boxes – to move. If you want to store things properly you’re going to need to get some decent boxes rather than re-using old and battered ones. That means making the boxes up, and once you’ve done one or two of them with a large roll of tape and nothing but your hands to complete the job, you’re going to wish there was an easier way to do things.

Fortunately there is, and that’s where the tape gun comes in. Seriously, once you have loaded a roll of packing tape into the gun and had a couple of goes with it, you’ll wonder what you ever did without it. You can have a whole collection of boxes made up and ready to pack in a fraction of the time it takes you to do one or two by hand. Now what could be easier than that?

Actually one thing could be easier – and that’s sealing the boxes up again if you’re not planning on opening them for a while. Grab your trusty tape gun, fold the flaps of the box inwards, whack the gun over the top of them and you’ll have them taped up in a jiffy. And thanks to the serrated edge it automatically cuts the tape off in just the right place too.

Now we’re guessing you probably want one of these guns and the tape to go with it. Not a problem – you’ll find them to buy on our website with our discounted click and collect price. That way, when you arrive at your local Lok nStore facility next time you have some boxes to store, you’ll be ready to get the entire job done more easily than ever.

And since you’ll probably want to get your storage solutions sorted out as quickly and easily as possible, you may well wonder why you never thought to get a tape gun sooner. Still, at least once you have one, getting those boxes organised will be a simple matter of forming, taping and closing. Job done.


Be a Minimalist by Using Self Storage

Don’t you love walking into homes where it feels like the owners don’t actually have any possessions to speak of at all? They’re spacious, tidy and clean and filled with smooth surfaces not cluttered up with anything. I mean, literally nothing at all.

It makes you wonder where they store all their stuff doesn’t it?

Minimalism has a lot going for it, that’s for sure. However it’s also quite challenging to live your life like that when you think of all the things you do need to get by from day to day. For example we all have paperwork we have to deal with. Even if you have a good filing system you’ll still need somewhere to store it. Then there are clothes, books and other possessions to think about. In fact the more you do think about it, the less space you seem to have.

We think these minimalists might just be hiding a secret. We reckon some of them (maybe the vast majority) have a storage unit tucked away somewhere nearby, within a short drive. That’s where they keep all the things they need to have without wanting them cluttering up their home. It’s the perfect way to get the minimalist look without giving up anything, isn’t it.

The good news is this could work for you too. Of course it’s worthwhile to have some great storage solutions at home too. You won’t be able to keep everything in your storage space because some of it will be needed more often. However once you’ve got organised you can store everything else in your local storage facility. It’s the best way to get the best of all worlds so you’re able to show off your minimalist look whenever you have friends round for dinner.


Is Bigger Better?

One of the first things you’ll consider when you want to rent a self-storage unit is size. How much room do you need to store what you have?

That’s a reasonable question, but here’s a better one. How much room will work best? Should you rent the minimum amount of space you need or splurge a little and go for a bit more?

A lot depends on how often you’re going to use your storage space. If all you want to do is use it to store stuff you’re not going to want to see again in months, then by all means get the smallest space you can. However if you’re going to need to access your belongings fairly regularly it makes sense to go large.

When you think about it this does make sense. Let’s say you are using your storage unit to keep paperwork and you know you’ll need to visit periodically to access files or store new ones. The last thing you’ll want to do is spend an hour or two squeezed in among shelving trying to read paperwork. With a slightly bigger storage unit you can add a chair and maybe even enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit while you work. You don’t automatically have to view your space as somewhere you want to spend the minimum amount of time.

Of course it’s important to balance your needs. You don’t want to rent more space than you have to if you’re not going to use it. For example, if you know how much space you will need you can rent just that and nothing more. It’s easy enough to upgrade whenever you need to and it’s a great way to save some money as well. So if you’re thinking of renting some storage space, put some thought into how big you’ll go to begin with.


Running a Business from a Spare Room – It’s So Yesterday!

Remember when we first started hearing about people running businesses from kitchen tables and spare rooms? It still goes on, but there comes a time when the spare bedroom or boxroom (so-called because of its tiny size) just isn’t big enough anymore.

This used to be a real issue. It meant scouring the neighbourhood for a small office space or lock-up you could use instead. Hardly the most appealing of solutions – and quite often it would mean investing a lot more cash in the new space, all of which would eat into your profits.

So don’t be too surprised if on the way to your self-storage space you wander past some other spaces that are used for small businesses. At this time of the year you’ll probably end up walking past people packing up Santa hats, toys and who knows what else, before sending out dozens if not hundreds of parcels every day to customers around the country (and indeed the world).

Welcome to the world of the 21st century flexible business – run from a self-storage space that can increase or decrease in size as and when required. Who knew there could be such an easy solution as this? While no one knows quite how many of these businesses are around, we do know there are more storage spaces rented out to small businesses than ever before. Will this trend continue? Maybe – and while rents in the high street and other similar places remain so high, it makes sense to rent out spaces like this instead.

We’re proud of the flexibility we can offer our customers, regardless of whether you’re storing old musty books or new items to be sent out to customers. Whatever the case may be, it’s quite a flexible solution, wouldn’t you say?

Are You Redecorating? Where Does Everything Go?

If you’ve ever redecorated even the most basic room you’ll know how challenging it can be to find space for everything. You have to clear out the room you’re decorating in otherwise you run the risk of getting paint, dust and dirt all over your possessions. It’s fine to move things into other rooms but then you’ve got more than just a single room out of commission during the process. You could have as many as three or four rooms out of use, depending on how much stuff you have to move. Suddenly your simple redecoration project turns into something of a nightmare.

In this situation it can be so much easier to get stuff out of the house for a while so you can redecorate more easily. You may not want to move everything but it would certainly be better to have a lot more room to work in when you’re decorating. You’ve probably been in a situation before where you end up shuffling things around time and time again as you move around the room. How many times have you ended up touching wet paint when you did so? How many times did you almost damage a piece of furniture or curse at the fact you had so little room to move in?

Just imagine how much easier it would be to clear out the room to be decorated completely before you start. You’d have the whole room to manage paint pots, ladders, dust sheets – in fact you may not need the dust sheets at all, not if you’re doing the floor as well. Wouldn’t that make life so much easier? You can get on with decorating and still have all the other rooms to use as well, without tripping over paint pots every five minutes. Ah, sounds like bliss.