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Posted in Self storage

DIY: End of tenancy clean

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You’ve finally reached the end of your tenancy and now you’re ready to make a fresh start in your new home. But before you do, an end of tenancy clean looms. We’ll take you through exactly how to do an end of tenancy clean and show you some life hacks along the way, so that you get your deposit back without any problems. Your cleaning essentials Here’s a list of all the cleaning essentials you’ll need to successfully complete your end of tenancy clean: Vacuum cleaner Microfiber cloths Bucket Flat mop Dustpan and broom All-purpose cleaner Antibacterial spray or wipes Toilet bowl cleaner or bleach Toilet brush Sponge The kitchen Sink and countertops Use all-purpose cleaner or wipes to clean your kitchen sink and countertops. If you notice any stains, concentrate on that particular area until it’s removed using a cotton cloth or scrubber – making sure your chosen material is suitable for your worktop. Kitchen appliances Next, it’s time to focus your attention on the oven. Arguably one of the trickiest appliances to clean, the oven is often riddled with burnt sections, grease, and other traces of dirt – so this is going to require a little bit of elbow grease. Life hack: To make things easier, try using lemon combined with hot water. Citrus is a natural degreasing agent, and has all the necessary properties to effectively clean your oven. Remove the oven rack and wipe down in your sink. You can also use lemon to clean your microwave. All you have to do is cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice into a bowl, and add a cup of water. Then, microwave the bowl for three minutes, and leave it for an extra five minutes in the microwave. Once this is done, you can use a sponge to easily wipe the oven’s walls. Remember to wipe down any kitchen hobs too. If you have a kitchen hob stand, then it may be easier if you move them to one side. Cupboards and drawers Start by emptying out any food from your cupboards and dispose of any empty packaging (don’t forget to recycle whenever possible). Now that the cupboards are completely empty, you can begin removing any stains and crumbs with a cloth. Don’t be shy to make full use of your antibacterial spray or wipes, and remember if you want your deposit back, the cupboards must be spotless. Top tip: Gather any tins of food you don’t need, and take them to a local homeless shelter or food bank. Find the nearest one in your area here. The living room Flooring or carpet As we move into the living room, use the vacuum cleaner to remove any dirt, bacteria, and dust from your carpet or flooring. Make sure you vacuum on top of and underneath any rugs and use carpet cleaner to tackle any marks or stains. Don’t forget to clean underneath any sofas. Furniture Now, we need to deep clean any furniture you have in your living room. Try removing any stains from your sofa using antibacterial wipes, as well as all-purpose cleaner. This should leave your sofa smelling refreshed and free from any bad odours. The kitchen table is next on the agenda, where you’ll need a wipe and antibacterial spray to get the job done. As you’re cleaning the table, spend time wiping any areas with tea or coffee stains. Life hack: Combine vinegar, a tablespoon of washing up liquid, and two cups of water to effectively remove any tea or coffee stains. Afterwards, use a sponge to scrub off the stains. The bathroom It’s no surprise that the bathroom isn’t the most popular area in the house to clean, but don’t worry, you’ll be done in no time. The bathroom is relatively easy to clean, in that you essentially need to wipe down everything to remove any stains. This includes any mirrors, sink, bathtub, toilet, and tiles. To clean the inside of the toilet bowl, use toilet bowl cleaner or bleach, and apply around the perimeter of the bowl. Afterwards, use the toilet brush to scrub and remove any noticeable stains. It may even be a good idea to use a flat mop and a bucket to clean the bathroom floor. To do this, you should fill the bucket with warm water and detergent. Use washing up liquid if you don’t have any at hand. Other cleaning jobs Walls An end of tenancy clean isn’t complete until all the walls are left exactly how they were when you first moved in. So that means removing any posters and Blu Tack (mounting putty) that you’ve used to decorate your home. Life hack: Remove Blu Tack with Blue Tack. Simply roll any leftover Blu Tack into a ball and press onto the spots you’re trying to clear away. Left any marks? If so, spray chewing gum remover onto a cloth and gently dab onto the marked areas. After, use a paper towel to dry the area. Curtains Check the label of your curtains, as you may be able to clean them in the washing machine. If not, use a cloth and remove any stains with all-purpose cleaner. Also, you are responsible for fixing or replacing any damaged curtains. If you don’t before our tenancy ends, you may not get your full deposit back. At Space Station, we have a range of excellent self-storage units up and down the UK. With 24-hour CCTV around the clock, and a friendly onsite team, you can expect a quality storage experience. Get your free quote for safe and secure storage, today.

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Posted in Self storage

Space Station – 7 bike storage solutions

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Cycling regularly provides you with an abundance of health benefits, from strengthening your heart muscles to reducing blood fat levels. However, when it comes to storing bikes, it can be difficult to know where to start – especially if you have an entire family of bike enthusiasts. In this guide, we’ll reveal our go-to bike storage solutions, as well as other indoor bike storage ideas. Outdoors Whether you have a big country garden or need to be savvy with space in the city, there’s plenty of ways to store Here are a few outdoor storage ideas you can try: Storage shed Storage sheds are popular amongst UK homeowners, with AOL found that two thirds (62%) of UK homeowners owning a shed, they offer a safe and secure alternative for those who don’t have the luxury of a garage. Storage sheds are space efficient too, meaning they don’t take up too much room in your garden or patio. What’s more, if you’re a DIY enthusiast, you could even have a go at creating your own storage shed so it’s perfectly designed for bike storage. Bike tent or cover Cost-effective, simple, and practical – a bike tent or cover ensures your bike collection is well-protected from the elements. That also means your bike will be safe from any unwanted rusting that can often occur when exposed to water. It’s worth remembering that most bike covers don’t usually come with additional security precautions, like locks. So, to avoid leaving your bike vulnerable, you should think about purchasing a ground anchor to secure it. Bike racks Despite often being found in busy town centres or cities, bike racks can also be used domestically too. What makes a bike rack so useful is that they can accommodate all tyre types, making it suitable for the different bikes you may have in your family, from kids to adults. Garage The garage seems like the logical place to store your family’s bike collection, but if your car, tools, and other bits and pieces are in there, it can easily become cluttered. Here are a few suggestions to avoid this scenario: Ceiling bike storage If there’s not much room on your garage floor, you could attach your bike to the ceiling. There’s a couple of devices for you to choose from, either a pulley system or a rack. Conveniently, these can hold up to six bikes, making this perfect for a large family of bike lovers. Shelf and hooks Alternatively, a cheaper option would be to purchase some bike hooks. This works by hanging one of your bike’s tyre over a hook, where it will remain and hang securely in place. Hooks are an affordable way to organise your bike collection without taking too much space. Indoor bike storage For cyclists who live in an apartment block or flat, who don’t have outdoor space, these helpful indoor bike storage methods may be worth considering: Wall-mounted bike storage Wall-mounted bike racks makes excellent use of any free wall space. This particular type of storage is designed to support the front and rear tyre of your bike, meaning you can easily lift your bike, and effortlessly slot it into place. They’re effective, out of the way, and a great way to be economical with the space you have. Get decorative If your bike is going to be inside your home, why not try make them look aesthetically pleasing? Instead of regarding your bike as unwanted clutter, make it a part of your home’s decor. After all, your bike is a work of art, so you can even hang it on your wall like you would a painting or even transform a bike rack into a shelf. At Space Station, we have a range of safe and secure storage units that are perfect for your family’s selection of bikes. With 24hr CCTV around the clock, as well as our friendly on-site staff who are more than happy to give you a helping hand whenever you need it. We’re the bike storage solution you can always trust.

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Posted in Business, Self storage, SME

In safe hands

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Business Focus Magazine interview with our CEO Kevin Prince A very informative and in-depth article from the Business Focus Magazine, interviewing our CEO Kevin Prince about Space Station’s history and future growth plans.  Read full interview pdf With huge thanks to the following partners who have helped us on our growth path so far and whom we look forward to working with in the future. KuboidEurope’s premier self storage design & construction company.EDG securityProviding electronic Fire and Security services.3verestManaged cloud for business & healthcare.Templewood recruitmentA leading, independent recruitment consultancy.

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Posted in Family, Tidying

Simple spring cleaning checklist

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Once again, the time has come to do the annual spring clean, which is the perfect opportunity to transform your home into a fresh, relaxing paradise. We know how much planning can go into a deep clean, and we’ve created a checklist to help you spruce up every room in your home this spring. Essential products Before we get into it the spring clean checklist, here’s a quick overview of must-have products you’ll need to carry out a successful clean: – Extendable duster– A powerful vacuum cleaner– Microfibre cloths– Multi-surface cleaner– Bin bags– Disinfecting spray– Scented room spray, candle, or incense – Scrubbing sponges – Bicarbonate of soda – Polish – Vinegar Kitchen First things first, start your spring clean in the kitchen and inspect your pantry and cupboards. Are there any products that have expired? Notice any empty jars? If so, clear out the clutter and recycle any old packaging. This will organise your pantry and provide you with plenty more room for new items. A helpful tip when you’re clearing out is to place any half-opened packets, like muesli, in plastic square containers. This will allow you to easily stack your essentials and keep your food fresh too. Next, focus on cleaning any other kitchen cabinets, like those above the worktop or cooker. If you have time, remove all the items inside the cabinet first, give them a good clean, and then neatly reorganise. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to shift your attention to the oven. Often the most difficult appliance to clean, a quick hack is to use bicarbonate of soda and water directly onto the glass, leave on for 15-20 minutes and then simply wipe off the stain. Another appliance that needs some TLC is the fridge. Deep clean the inside of the fridge and wash the outside too with multi-surface cleaner. It’s also important to mop and vacuum behind it as well. Living Room Moving into the living room, grab the duster and begin cleaning any frames, mirrors, and decorative items. A great way to do this is by using polish and a microfibre cloth. What’s more, if your living room includes any cushion covers throws, be sure to put them in the washing machine for a good spring clean. For any homeowners who have carpet in their living room, use carpet cleaner to freshen up your carpet, and remove any stains you notice. When you’re happy with the results, vacuum the rest of your carpet for spotless results. Bedroom Cleaning your bedroom is crucial and can even have a positive impact on your sleep. So, remove all of the covers from your bedding (including pillowcases) and place them in the washing machine to be cleaned, that way you can enjoy the fresh scent of clean bed sheets – which is great for a good night’s rest. Afterwards, try and flip your mattress to ensure your comfort fillings are distributed evenly. It’s worth noting that if your mattress is king-sized or larger, you may need someone to give you a helping hand as they can be rather heavy. Once this is complete, examine anything underneath your bed and remove anything you don’t use or require anymore – this will leave you with more space, and no more untidiness. Bathroom Despite it being an unpopular chore, cleaning the bathroom regularly is vital in preventing any illness and infections. Start by disinfecting the bathtub and shower, do you notice any mould? Don’t worry, this is common due to humidity, and can easily be removed with vinegar mixed with baking soda. The best way to clean mirrors in your bathroom is to use lemon juice with dish detergent and vinegar. Quickly give your mirrors a wipe down and they’ll look as good as new, without any streaks. After that, get hold of any bathmats or carpets that you have in your bathroom, and place them in the washing machine for a clean. Mould can also be found on shower curtains, and can in fact be cleaned using the washing machine too. If, during your spring clean, you find yourself thinking that some self storage might be useful for the short term, get in touch. We like to keep things simple, safe, and secure. Which is why our storage spaces come with 24-hour CCTV surveillance, as well as a secure pin access system, to ensure your valuables are safely stored away. If you’re unsure what size storage is right for you, why not use our brilliant storage calculator? This helpful tool will calculate exactly what size storage you need – hassle-free. Find our quality storage units across London, Birmingham, and the Midlands, today.

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Posted in Help Guides, Home

Top tips for saving energy at home

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Saving energy at home is a great way to minimise the carbon footprint of your household, and cut the cost of your utility bills at the same time. With the cost of living on the rise in 2022, more and more UK residents are looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption, keep heat in, and find affordable, sustainable alternatives. Join us as we share our best tips for how to save energy at home in more detail below. 1. Turn things off This may sound like fairly obvious advice, but it’s a valid way to lower your electric bill. As well as switching lights off in rooms you’re not using, the Energy Saving Trust states that you could save up to £55 a year by turning your various household appliances off standby mode. That means flicking off the mains for your TV, microwave and even cooker could make all the difference. 2. Wash at 30°C Many washing machines have a standard cycle which runs at 40 or even 50 degrees, but what some don’t know is that washing your clothes at 30°C is actually very effective. Detergent and stain removers will work at this temperature, and this simple swap is better for both the planet and your bank balance. 3. Get a smart thermostat… Having a smart thermostat installed can help give you maximum control of your central heating, so you’re never paying to warm up an empty house. With a smart thermostat, you can make custom daily heating schedules for your home, in line with your household’s routine, and even turn the heating on or off remotely from your mobile. 4. …And a smart meter too Much like a smart thermostat, a smart meter uses a Wi-Fi connection to give you better control and visibility of your energy usage as a whole, allowing you to monitor your bills closely throughout the month. This is a great way to save on your electric bill, as you’ll be able to see exactly which appliances are using the most power, and check in on your bills at any time using your smartphone. 5. Replace your windows Windows and doors are two of the biggest culprits when it comes to poor domestic heat retention, especially if you’ve still got single glazing in your property. Double glazing is a worthwhile investment that can transform the energy efficiency of your home. But if that’s beyond your budget, picking up some draught excluders is a more affordable alternative, which can still make a noticeable difference. 6. Invest in insulation Adequate insulation is one of the most effective methods of preventing heat from escaping your home. As well as making sure your loft is properly insulated, you can also check for cavity wall insulation – but you’ll need a qualified installer to do a borescope inspection. If you have a hot water tank, it’s also worth checking that the jacket on the tank meets the recommended industry standard thickness (80mm), and adding foam insulation to your pipes too. 7. Avoid water waste Saving water is another good way to make your household more environmentally friendly, and cut the cost of your utility bills – particularly if you’re on a water meter, instead of a water rate. Here are a few things you can do to reduce water waste: – Choose a shower over a bath– Run your dishwasher when it’s full– Use a water butt for your garden, instead of a sprinkler system– Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth– Install a water-saving device in your toilet cistern– Fix any dripping taps or outlets At Space Station, we’re committed to reducing our carbon footprint and protecting the environment, which is why we’re exploring alternative sources of energy. Six of our stores are now fitted with solar panels, and we are well underway on our plan to be Carbon Neutral by 2030. Find out more about our commitment to going green.

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Posted in Family, Home, Moving

How to move house with a dog

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So the time has finally come for you and your furry friend to move into a new house, and begin your next big adventure. Not only is this a fresh start, but you can reap all the benefits of your new place, like more garden space, especially if you’re upgrading to a larger home. But before you move into your new abode, it’s important to make sure your pup gets settled in too. Here are a few tips and tricks you can do when moving , so that your dog is comfortable in their new environment. Dog appeasing pheromones Pheromones are chemical signals that dogs release and can function as an ‘invisible communication’. For example, a dog appeasing pheromone is a special type of pheromone that’s secreted by female dogs after they’ve had puppies. This scent is to help their puppies feel safe, secure, and comfortable. When you’re moving into a new home, you can purchase plug-in diffusers or dog collars that contain the dog appeasing pheromone, which creates a calming sensation for your pooch. If you’re moving into somewhere new, make sure you do this 24-hours before, so that when your dog is exploring their new home, they’ll experience the full effect. Stick to the same routine Another great trick to make sure your dog stays comfortable in their new home is to follow to your usual routine. By sticking to the same walking, feeding, and resting time, it will provide them with a greater sense of security and control over their new surroundings. Simply put, it’s trying to make it appear as normal as possible, so your dog won’t grow worried about the change of scene. Clean your new home Although this may seem obvious, cleaning your house ensures that your home is free of any germs, clutter, and improves the safety of your dog. This will allow your dog to feel more comfortable when they do get the chance to explore your new home. As most dog owners know, dogs are super sensitive to scent, so double check that everything is clean and tidy at ‘dog height’, so they can settle in much faster. Leave your dog with someone On moving day, it can be quite hectic for many people. This is because items will be moved and your home will look very different without all of your belongings there to give it that homely feel. That’s why when you’re moving house with a dog, it may be a good idea to leave them with a family member or friend for a few hours. This not only enables you to focus on moving out, but it also ensures your dog doesn’t become stressed by the upheaval. What’s more, when the time comes for you to move into your new property, try and leave your dog with someone if it’s possible. This gives you a chance to properly organise your home, create a space that your dog will recognise and feel familiar in, with items such as the sofa. Once you’re all moved in, allow the dog to explore your new property, this is a great opportunity for them to get settled How long will it take for your dog to adapt? Continue to follow these tips and slowly but surely, you should see an improvement in your dog or puppy’s behaviour. It may take up to a few weeks for them to feel 100% secure in their new environment, but this also depends on your dog’s temperament. At Space Station, we have a range of quality storage units available across London, Birmingham, and the Midlands. So, if you’re moving house soon, you can be certain that your valuables are as safe as houses, thanks to our brilliant 24-hour CCTV and secure PIN access. If you need any help, our staff are on site every day to give you a hand with anything you need. Unsure what size storage you require? Use our handy storage calculator, which will help you work out exactly what size unit you need. It’s simple.

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Posted in Decluttering, Organising, Storage, Tidying

Expert guide to clearing out your garage

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As we go through life accumulating belongings, spaces such as the garage quickly become a dumping ground for unwanted items. Whether it’s sports equipment, unused furniture or gardening tools, the garage is home to clutter that you often don’t need anymore. To make the most of your garage space, we’ve put together our top tips for clearing out the garage junk (and keeping it clear), to create a room free for use beyond storage. Work top to bottom When clearing through your garage, start with the items that are stored up high and work down to the ground. It is most likely that you will be storing the things you need or use the least in the less accessible spaces like on high shelves. It will be easier to decide whether to throw or keep these items, leaving the more challenging choices until last. Do you need it While it may seem obvious, ask yourself if you really need or use items when deciding what to keep and throw out. The garage often becomes a place to leave items that serve no purpose anymore, so make a rule to throw out anything that hasn’t been used in the past 6-12 months. Sell what you can Once you have decided what to keep and get rid of, see if any of those items can be sold to make a bit of extra cash. Hold a garage sale, or use re-sale sites such as Ebay, Depop and Vinted to get rid of unwanted items that are in too good of a condition to throw out. If you can’t seem to shift an item by selling it, donate it to charity. Plan a layout When everything is all cleared out, you need to organise the garage so that it stays tidy and useable. Plan the layout of the room so that everything that does need to be stored in there, has a dedicated location rather than getting dumped around the room. If you want to use the room for purposes other than storage, get decorating so that it feels less like a garage. A fresh lick of paint and new flooring will help soften the room, giving it a colour scheme to start decorating with. Store items up high To make the most of the space, if possible, store items on high shelves so that the floor space can still be used for other purposes. Use higher spaces for the belongings that are used the least and work down. This opens the garage space to be used as a home gym, office or to be rented out. If you find yourself struggling for space at home, we have a range of home storage options available.

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Posted in Decluttering, Family, Help Guides, Home, Moving, Organising, Storage, Tidying

Expert tips for clearing out sentimental clutter

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In the process of moving homes, living with new people and the general chaos of life, we often lose track of belongings and become swamped in clutter. Seventy per cent of Brits have admitted to keeping hold of belongings they no longer need. Some of the top items Brits hold onto include family photos, books and clothes. Explaining why we keep items, resilience coach and author, Natalie Reed, comments: “The attachment can be as a result of habit- doing what you’ve always done and not questioning whether or not this serves you financially, emotionally or energetically. “You may even be unaware that you are doing it in the same way that you become used to a dog smell around the house or become familiar with your untidiness.” However, the clear-out is usually more challenging than anticipated, especially when those belongings have sentimental values behind them. To help organise your clutter, we’ve put together our top tips for taking the stress out of the clear out. Divide into three main piles Before you start clearing anything out, place three boxes or bin bags (whatever takes your fancy) labelled ‘keep’, ‘throw’ and ‘donate’ in a central location. These three dividers will be key to making your de-cluttering process as easy as possible. Having a donate pile, for a lot of people, will make the idea of throwing an item out less daunting, as it will be going to a good home instead of the rubbish bin. It’s great for items such as clothes or homeware which aren’t past their best but no longer serve a purpose in your home. Not only will it make a new owner happy, but it’s more environmentally friendly. Does it have a home or a purpose? When deciding if you should keep an item or not, ask yourself two key questions. Does it have a purpose? It seems self-explanatory, but a lot of the time we keep items that we’re just not using anymore. If you get a lot of use out of it, keep it. If you haven’t used it in the past six months and it’s going to sit collecting dust, get rid. Does it have a home? Especially when looking at more decorative belongings, unless you have somewhere permanent to keep it, it’s probably one for the recycling. There’s nothing worse than constantly tripping up over household items. Read says: “Ask yourself, how does holding onto this object serve you? What does letting go of it bring up for you? What benefits would you have from reducing your clutter? If you made a decision, what would that be helping you to overcome? This will help you to be clearer about what you want from your life and take steps to move towards it.” Leave the sentimental items until last Start with the items that you know what to do with, or that you’re less attached to. Items such as clothes, old technology or kids’ toys are going to be easier to part with because it’s about how much use you get out of them. When it comes to photos, books and jewellery it gets a bit trickier. These belongings tend to have more sentimental value behind them. Leave them until last so you can see how much you’ve already got rid of and compare it to how much space is left. Typically, this part will take longer as well, so it will feel less overwhelming being the only job left. Create an organised storage system Now you’ve got a pile of things to keep, it all needs putting away. To make the most of the space you have and ensure you don’t begin to gather clutter all over again, keep everything well organised. Labelled boxes are always a foolproof method of storage, dividing them into item categories such as ‘children’, ‘holiday’ or ‘technology’. Then they can be stored under beds, in wardrobes, attics or garages, depending on how easily they need to be accessed. For photos, keep them neatly stored in labelled photo albums so they are easy to find and reminisce upon. If you find yourself struggling for space at home, we have a range of home storage options available.

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Posted in Help Guides

How to Preserve Furniture in Storage

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Whether you’re downsizing, moving abroad for a while or you’ve inherited some furniture you don’t currently have room for, keeping your belongings in a household storage unit is an easy solution. But before you move everything in, there are few things to consider when it comes to preparing your furniture for storage. All our units are humidity-controlled, so you don’t need to worry about dampness, but there’s plenty you can do to ensure your furniture stays in its best condition while you store it. Keep reading for our top tips on how to store furniture. Dissemble whatever you can Taking your furniture apart will not only make it easier to clean, but it’ll also speed up the whole transportation process, as each individual part will be easier to lift. You can go further than simply removing the drawers from dressers too; we recommend physically dissembling any furniture you can. By reducing flatpack pieces back to their original state, unscrewing sofa legs and removing slats from beds or chairs, you are making it easier to transport and store these items. Organisation is key during this process – be sure to keep all parts together in Ziploc bags or boxes, and clearly label the smaller fixings like screws and nails according to which piece of furniture they came from. Make sure it’s as clean as possible Cleaning your furniture before you put it into storage is a crucial step, as it can prevent mildew from accumulating. This process is bound to look slightly different according to what kind of furniture you’re storing, but the first step should always be dusting or hoovering or each item. After that, the products you need will vary slightly. While fabric pieces like sofas or armchairs can be treated with upholstery cleaner, you might use a gentle soap on wooden furniture – choosing a mild product will preserve the existing varnish on these items. Metal or glass furniture can be cleaned with polish and a soft cloth, but if you want to take extra precautions against tarnishing, you might also consider targeting rust spots on metal furniture with a metal primer. Wrap your furniture However long you intend to store your furniture for, it’s important to wrap it up safely; this will protect it from damage which could occur in transit, as well as exposure to everyday elements. Bubble wrap is ideal for cushioning metal and glass furniture, but it’s worth avoiding any form of plastic wrapping on fabric furniture, as this won’t allow the material to breathe, and can breed condensation or mould. Instead, encase your cloth furniture in dust sheets or special furniture covers – this is the safest option for wrapping wood furniture too. Running low on packing supplies? Your local Space Station branch is kitted out with an on-site shop that stocks all the essentials, including boxes, dust covers, tape and more. Efficiently pack your furniture Wherever you’re planning to store your furniture, arranging it efficiently can save space and money. Organise your furniture with ease of access in mind, so there’s a clear path to the larger pieces, and leave some space between items to make room for airflow. Try not to tightly cram bits of furniture in together, as this is can cause damage when you’re unpacking it later down the line. If you can’t get out to a storage base, Space Station offers a free removals service, where our expertly trained staff will come and collect your belongings, and pack your storage unit for you. Double check everything This is as much for peace of mind as it is for the welfare of your furniture! Do an inventory of your furniture to make sure everything is present and accounted for, and ensure that every piece is carefully wrapped, with no surfaces left exposed to the air. If you’ve stacked some items vertically to save space, double check that these pieces are in a stable pile, and won’t be easily toppled. Finally, it’s also worth scanning the area for anything perishable, as leaving food or food waste near your furniture while it’s stored can encourage mould and even mice. Don’t have enough storage for furniture? Space Station offers affordable household storage units to hire on both short and long term contracts. Check out our self storage calculator and find out exactly what kind of unit you need, then get a free quote today.

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Posted in Help Guides

How to organise your storage space to ensure cohabiting harmony?

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One of the main bones of contention after moving in with your partner is often storage space and who gets to use what. Whether it is decided on an even share of the wardrobes or who needs more room in the bathroom cabinet, the dispute over space can lead to arguments and frustration. In fact, our recent study shows more than one in five (22%) couples living under the same roof have arguments over space at least a couple of times a week. With this in mind, we’ve teamed up with Marie Kondo home organisation expert, Sue Spencer, to reveal some simple tips for organising some of those key storage areas and avoiding these common disputes. Wardrobes You simply never seem to have enough wardrobe space and deciding who needs more room between you and your partner can be a difficult process. For that reason, Sue recommends a full audit of your wardrobes before re-organising them to get the most out of the space. Sue’s tips for a successful wardrobe audit: 1. Before starting, think about how you’d like your wardrobe and bedroom to look. Browsing through magazines and Pinterest can inspire you and keep you motivated. 2. Put all your clothes in one place – I like to put everything on the bed. Separate the different types of garments (jumpers, dresses, suits etc) into piles. This is often when people are shocked to see how many similar items they own and find clothes they’ve forgotten they had. 3. If you’ve got lots of clothes it may be easier to manage one subcategory of clothes at a time (e.g. do tops first, then jeans, then suits. 4. Choose a pile to sort through – t-shirts or jumpers are an easy place to start. Look at the pile and select your favourite three tops that you really love wearing – think about why you like them, do they make you feel good, is it the colour you like or something else? 5. Once you’ve done this, set aside these items in your “keep” pile and work through the rest of the tops one at a time, holding each item in your hands to decide whether it’s something that you love. If it’s not obvious, compare it against your three top items to help you make the decision. If you don’t wear the item or it’s something you’ve kept hold of for quite a while to fit in to, now’s the time to let it go – put it in your discard pile (ready for the charity shop or eBay). 6. Continue with each category until you’ve made a decision about everything (including your socks!) Sue’s tips on keeping your wardrobe organised: 1. Don’t keep things ‘just in case’ as the chances are if you haven’t worn it for years, you’re unlikely to again. 2. Don’t keep things ‘for best’ – if you love it then put it in your wardrobe and start wearing it, you’ll feel great every time you put it on! 3. When you’ve sorted all the clothes, look at your storage space and decide how you want to organise the items you love – not everything needs to be hung. 4. Jumpers, t-shirts and jeans can all be folded and put in chests of drawers or baskets on shelves to maximise storage. 5. Consider storing seasonal items under the bed so they don’t take up shared space. Bathrooms Bathrooms are often limited on space to store toiletries and towels, making it important to have it well organised to allow you and your partner to share the space harmoniously. As such, Sue has shared advice on conducting an audit of your bathroom storage and how to keep it in tip top shape. Sue’s tips for a successful bathroom audit: 1. Gather all your toiletries, skincare, make up, even bathroom cleaners together and sort them into different categories (hair products, shower gel/soaps, moisturisers/face creams, perfumes/aftershaves, deodorants, make up, lipsticks, mascaras, nail varnish, etc). You can do this by person if it makes sense or merge the groups if you share products like shampoo. The tighter the category the better you’ll be able to see exactly what you have in the way of duplicate items. 2. Look at one category at a time and check that the items open are still in date – check the symbol on the container for shelf life and throw away any that are expired. Also check to see which products you actually use – there may be some that you bought and tried, but you didn’t like the fragrance, or you had a bad reaction to them – now is the time to move these on! 3. IMPORTANT! If it’s a joint item then you both have a say on whether to keep it or not – if one of you wants to keep it then it should stay (even if the other person isn’t keen!) The first rule of decluttering is that you don’t declutter someone else’s stuff. 4. As you work through each category, pull out the items that you definitely love using (Marie Kondo would say the things that ‘spark joy’) and use these as a benchmark to check whether you need to keep the other items. Be honest with yourself about whether you need or will use any similar items – do you really need five aftershaves if you only wear one? Similarly, with makeup, do you use five red lipsticks, nine different mascaras? Throw away any that you’re not going to use. 5. It may also help to consider whether things are for everyday use or special occasions – taking make up as an example – double check your special occasion make up fits with your current lifestyle. 6. If there are items that you find difficult to discard, get them out and start using them now – you will feel fantastic using that luxury perfume/aftershave/body lotion that you were keeping for a special occasion. 7. If one of you collects […]

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Ten ways to increase the value of your property

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The valuation of a property is a key moment for people putting their house on the market, so it’s only natural for owners to explore different ways of increasing the asking price when putting their home up for sale. Below, we’ve listed ten things a homeowner can do on a variety of budgets to increase the value of their property and make it more appealing to prospective buyers. 1. Create an open plan living area An open plan living area can create a lot more space and light in a property than enclosed rooms and it is also much more practical for day to day living. Remember to ensure that you make a thorough assessment before knocking anything down to ensure that you are not removing a supporting wall. Knocking down a supporting wall can be disastrous for the house and could result in thousands of pounds worth of damage. If in doubt, turn to an expert to complete the job. 2. Convert your loft Coverting your loft into useable space is a great way of maximising the value of a house. One of the main perks of a loft conversion is that it carries the same benefits of a full extension, but at a lower cost, and in many cases, it does not require planning permission. Converting your loft will allow you to increase the number of bedrooms or add an office or games room without removing any, which can significantly impact the value of a house. 3. Convert your basement Converting a basement can also add significant value onto a property without having to increase the building’s footprint. In some cases, a basement will not be suitable for a bedroom, but converting it will still allow you to increase liveable space or storage in the home, making the property more desirable and adding value. When converting a loft or basement, some people may find that they temporarily lose storage space. Whilst you’re working on the conversion you can easily rent storage, whilst in the long term you can look to include cupboards units or hidden spaces so you’re not losing useful storage space. 4. Add a bathroom Like bedrooms, the number of bathrooms in a property can also impact a property’s value. En-suite bathrooms are incredibly desirable, especially for a master bedroom. Many older houses do not contain an en-suite, and they may also be without a downstairs toilet. You can look to add an en-suite by slightly reducing the size of a bedroom and installing a small bathroom. This should only be done if the bedroom is fairly large, as making the master bedroom too small will have a negative impact on a property’s valuation. For a downstairs loo, you can make the most of under-stairs cupboards which would otherwise be wasted space. 5. Bring the house up to date Owning an older home is not without its charms, but in many cases, people desire modern amenities to ensure that the house requires less maintenance and uses less energy. Consider installing modern, double glazed windows and insulating the walls to create a more energy efficient property. You could also look to install modern electrical wiring and plumbing so that they require less maintenance. 6. Update key rooms Kitchens and bathrooms are vitally important to the desirability of a property, and if they look dated, they can make the home less appealing for prospective buyers. Consider adding a lick of paint to freshen up the room and bring it up to date. You could also replace components, such as toilet seats or kitchen unit cupboards, if your budget does not extend to a full remodel. This will allow you to freshen up these key rooms and make the entire home more attractive. 7. Refresh the flooring It’s worth looking at your flooring and replacing any that looks damaged or dated. Carpets especially can age badly and should be replaced if they are showing signs of wear and tear or discolouring. Updating the flooring to create a new and modern look can give a room a new style, as well as being more appealing to prospective buyers. 8. Consider an extension If you have a larger budget and are looking to increase the size of a property, an extension could be a good option. A conservatory or orangery is a good option if you’re looking to increase the amount of available living space, which could in turn allow you to convert other existing rooms into additional bedrooms. Remember that you will likely need to apply for planning permission for any extension. It’s also a good idea to ask an estate agent for an estimate of how much value an extension would add to your property, which will help you gauge whether the project is worth the investment. 9. Fix any issues A simple, but important, point is to ensure that any outstanding issues in the home are fixed before the property is put on the market. Problems like damp, mould or peeling paintwork will all detract from the overall value of the property and will also put off buyers who are not willing to undertake the required maintenance work. 10. Increase storage You can get creative to increase the amount of storage in your home, even if you don’t have a suitable room to convert. Look for areas of the house which are currently wasted space. These nooks and alcoves can be fitted with shelving or storage units to add character to your home, as well as making it more practical by increasing usable space. For more information on how you can create storage solutions for your home, visit here.

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Storage tips for keeping your nursery items in prime condition

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Welcoming a baby into the world is a huge change for any family and quickly changes the dynamic of your everyday life as well as the layout off your home. Babies grow quickly out of clothes, become too big for toys, prams and cots, which means you’re regularly buying new items to fit, amassing a growing collection of unused items which take up valuable space at home. In fact, UK parents’ desire for more space is widespread, with our recent study revealing that 74% admit they feel they need more space after having children1. British parents also feel like they have completely outgrown their home by the time their child turns five, on average, whilst 31% feel the same by the time their child turns just two years old. In order to help parents keep their nurseries or baby rooms from becoming cluttered, we’ve put together some tips on how best to store your baby’s belongings at home, which will in turn keep them in good condition should you ever look to sell them or pass them on. Baby clothes As a parent to a new baby, it can be hard to know whether you’re coming or going sometimes, with constant nappy changing and night feeds making any form of routine difficult. However, an easy solution for keeping your tiny tot’s outfits under control is to organise them by size. This can be done either in a wardrobe or in drawers to ensure the clothes you no longer need can be kept in good condition. Keeping your most-used everyday items by the side of the changing table will make sure you have everything you always need close by, whilst ensuring the space is tidy as well. Consider getting a basket to keep everything in, meaning they’ll be in one place and within easy reach. Drawer dividers are another great way to maximise storage space and will enable you to store all your baby clothes by size, keeping them neatly folded and ready to either use or sell when the time is right. Cots Cots are often quite bulky and difficult to manoeuvre in your nursery, but there are things you can do to make the best use of the space depending on what kind of cot you have.  If you have a fixed cot, consider using storage containers for other items, such as toys and shoes, and keep them in the space underneath the cot. This will minimise any clutter on the nursery floor and make it feel more spacious. Alternatively, you could go for a collapsible cot, one that can be simply folded down and kept to one side whilst not in use, leaving you more space in any room you use. Importantly, if you’re looking to put your cot into long term storage for future use, it is important to take the time to properly disassemble it, before covering the components in a dust sheet or blanket to avoid it getting dirty or exposed to moisture. Prams Prams come in many shapes and sizes but undoubtedly take up space in the home. However, virtually all prams can be folded down and stored and there are number of different solutions to maximise your living space. If you keep your pram in your nursery with everything else, consider fitting a sturdy hook on the back of the door and hanging it there, this will keep it out of the way. Alternatively, you can store it under your bed, in a space under the stairs or, if space is really tight, in the boot of your car, which would also remove the hassle of loading up the car for any trips out. Utilising out of the way spaces around the home will not only save space, but keep the pram from getting damaged and will therefore make it easier to sell or recycle in the future. Toys The age-old battle of storing toys is one that will always be fought by parents. As a really young baby, they won’t need much in the way of toys, but as soon as they start to crawl, walk and explore, the collection of toys will grow alarmingly.   To help avoid toys being scattered around every room in the house, introducing some colourful baskets or plastic boxes for your baby’s toys will make them easy to tidy up and keep them in one place. Then, as your child gets older, you can work with them to help them learn to put the toys away to keep floorspace free (which will also minimise risks of trips and falls). Keeping some spare, airtight containers in the loft or garage will come in handy when it comes to storing outdated toys without risk of damage or deterioration, which will be particularly useful if you look to sell them or give them to charity further down the line. If you find yourself struggling for space at home, we have a range of home storage options available. Sources 1 Study of 1,000 parents carried out by TLF Research on behalf of Space Station in June 2021

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Storage tips for keeping your nursery items in prime condition

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Welcoming a baby into the world is a huge change for any family and quickly changes the dynamic of your everyday life as well as the layout of your home. Babies grow quickly out of clothes, become too big for toys, prams and cots, which means you’re regularly buying new items to fit, amassing a growing collection of unused items which take up valuable space at home. In fact, UK parents’ desire for more space is widespread, with our recent study revealing that 74% admit they feel they need more space after having children1. British parents also feel like they have completely outgrown their home by the time their child turns five, on average, whilst 31% feel the same by the time their child turns just two years old. In order to help parents keep their nurseries or baby rooms from becoming cluttered, we’ve put together some tips on how best to store your baby’s belongings at home, which will in turn keep them in good condition should you ever look to sell them or pass them on. Baby clothes As a parent to a new baby, it can be hard to know whether you’re coming or going sometimes, with constant nappy changing and night feeds making any form of routine difficult. However, an easy solution for keeping your tiny tot’s outfits under control is to organise them by size. This can be done either in a wardrobe or in drawers to ensure the clothes you no longer need can be kept in good condition. Keeping your most-used everyday items by the side of the changing table will make sure you have everything you always need close by, whilst ensuring the space is tidy as well. Consider getting a basket to keep everything in, meaning they’ll be in one place and within easy reach. Drawer dividers are another great way to maximise storage space and will enable you to store all your baby clothes by size, keeping them neatly folded and ready to either use or sell when the time is right. Cots Cots are often quite bulky and difficult to manoeuvre in your nursery, but there are things you can do to make the best use of the space depending on what kind of cot you have.  If you have a fixed cot, consider using storage containers for other items, such as toys and shoes, and keep them in the space underneath the cot. This will minimise any clutter on the nursery floor and make it feel more spacious. Alternatively, you could go for a collapsible cot, one that can be simply folded down and kept to one side whilst not in use, leaving you more space in any room you use. Importantly, if you’re looking to put your cot into long term storage for future use, it is important to take the time to properly disassemble it, before covering the components in a dust sheet or blanket to avoid it getting dirty or exposed to moisture. Prams Prams come in many shapes and sizes but undoubtedly take up space in the home. However, virtually all prams can be folded down and stored and there are number of different solutions to maximise your living space. If you keep your pram in your nursery with everything else, consider fitting a sturdy hook on the back of the door and hanging it there, this will keep it out of the way. Alternatively, you can store it under your bed, in a space under the stairs or, if space is really tight, in the boot of your car, which would also remove the hassle of loading up the car for any trips out. Utilising out of the way spaces around the home will not only save space, but keep the pram from getting damaged and will therefore make it easier to sell or recycle in the future. Toys The age-old battle of storing toys is one that will always be fought by parents. As a really young baby, they won’t need much in the way of toys, but as soon as they start to crawl, walk and explore, the collection of toys will grow alarmingly.   To help avoid toys being scattered around every room in the house, introducing some colourful baskets or plastic boxes for your baby’s toys will make them easy to tidy up and keep them in one place. Then, as your child gets older, you can work with them to help them learn to put the toys away to keep floorspace free (which will also minimise risks of trips and falls). Keeping some spare, airtight containers in the loft or garage will come in handy when it comes to storing outdated toys without risk of damage or deterioration, which will be particularly useful if you look to sell them or give them to charity further down the line. If you find yourself struggling for space at home, we have a range of home storage options available. Sources 1 Study of 1,000 parents carried out by TLF Research on behalf of Space Station in June 2021

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Pets at home – Showcase your quirky pet spaces for the chance to win a fantastic prize

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We’re calling on all pet owners to showcase their creative flair and share some photos of how they have converted their unused space at home into a quirky living area for their pet. Be that a comfy sleeping area for your dog under the stairs or an entire spare bedroom decked out for your cats, we’re interested to see the best ways pet owners have adapted even the smallest spaces at home specifically for the use of their furry friends. By entering our competition, you’ll be in with a chance of winning a £100 Love2Shop voucher, which will be perfect for spoiling you and your pets. To enter the competition, please submit your best photo by using the link below, good luck!

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How the cost of upsizing varies across the UK

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All of us spent more time than ever in our homes during the various lockdowns, which has made many people realise they’ve outgrown their space and it’s time to start looking into upgrading to a larger property. With home working set to become a main stay for many even post-pandemic, additional bedrooms that can be used as home offices are in demand. Of course, investing to gain an extra bedroom varies in price depending on where in the UK you live, and our recent study revealed that the most expensive place to do this was Poole, with an eye-watering average cost of £517,818. By contrast, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire is the cheapest place to scale up, costing just £37,768, which is nearly 14 times cheaper than Poole. The ten most expensive places to upscale across the UK are: The ten cheapest places to upscale across the UK are: Unsurprisingly, London is the region that boasts some of the highest costs when it comes to upsizing, with the hefty £450,834 price tag of adding a bedroom on average, more than double that of the South West, which is the second most expensive, costing £202,496. The most expensive regions in the UK to upsize are: Outside of London, we have also looked at the most and least expensive places to upsize your property across all the regions of the UK. Have a look to see how much it would cost you. South West The South West is the most expensive place to upsize your home outside of the capital, and across that region you’ll pay the most to add a bedroom in Poole, averaging out at over half a million (£517,818) to do so. Amazingly, for the price of just one bedroom, you could buy two brand new Ferraris. This hefty price is nearly eight times more expensive that upsizing in Plymouth, where it’ll only cost you £65,678 to go up by one bedroom in house size, except if you’re looking to step up from a one- to a two-bed house, where Swindon (£43,793) ranks as the cheapest place in the South West. East In the East of England, it costs an average £158,696 to buy a property with one additional bedroom. However, residents of Watford live in the most expensive part of the region, paying way above the regional average at just under £300,000 (£294,439), a cost which could allow you to fully renovate your garden nearly 30 times. This is a stark contrast to those living in Peterborough, who would have to pay just £86,600. South East The price of upsizing your home in the South East is £140,806 on average, while Woking is the most expensive town in the area, costing residents £245,918 to add a bedroom. When it comes to upgrading from a three to a four-bed house though, Oxford is the priciest (£252,540). At the other end of the scale, the cheapest place in the South East to upsize is Gillingham, with an average price of just £81,692 to go up by one bedroom in house size. Wales In a region where it costs £102,635 to scale up your living space on average, Cardiff is unsurprisingly the most expensive location to do this, costing £112,830 for a standard household. Interestingly, although Swansea is generally the cheapest place to upsize in Wales (£90,117), it is actually the most expensive place to upgrade from a three- to four-bed house (£183,427). East Midlands Getting a house with an extra bedroom will cost you less than £100,000 on average in the East Midlands (£94,715) and this gets cheaper still for residents of Chesterfield, who can expect to pay just £82,122. The most expensive East Midlands location is the city of Nottingham, with an average cost of upsizing of £110,328 could get you ten luxury watches for the same price. West Midlands Moving west, it is marginally cheaper still to buy a bigger home, costing £91,221 on average, and the most expensive town across the region is Solihull, where it’d cost a house buyer more than double the regional average (£216,974) to buy a house with an extra bedroom. At the other end of the scale is Stoke-on-Trent, costing less than a quarter of Solihull prices at just £37,768, making it the cheapest place in the UK to upsize. North West Buying a bigger house with an additional bedroom in the North West would set you back an average of £89,087 but this again is dependent on where you live. Stockport is the most expensive place in the region to upsize, costing £126,517 on average which almost doubles to £241,141 when looking to jump from a four to a five-bed house. By contrast, Salford is the cheapest, almost a third of Stockport’s average at £52,796 and it’s actually cheaper to buy a five-bed house over a four-bed house there. Yorkshire and The Humber If you’re looking to take the next step on the property ladder to a home with more space, you would expect to pay an average of £75,585 in Yorkshire and Humberside. Upsizing in the historic walled city of York is notably more (£128,251) whilst picking out a bigger home in Doncaster is considerably cheaper at just £38,224, the second cheapest location in the UK and that price difference would actually cover the average cost of an extension on that size of property. North East Living in the North East will allow you to upsize your home for the lowest average price in the UK, costing just £73,968 across all house sizes. Darlington is the priciest location in the region, costing Brits £80,819 to buy a house with an extra bedroom whilst Middlesbrough is the cheapest, setting residents back £69,478. If you’re looking to upsize or downsize your home, making that transition can often be time consuming and sometimes stressful. To ease this process, we have a removal system available across the UK. For more information, visit https://www.space-station.co.uk/removals

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Ten ways to increase the value of your property

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The valuation of a property is a key moment for people putting their house on the market, so it’s only natural for owners to explore different ways of increasing the asking price when putting their home up for sale. Below, we’ve listed ten things a homeowner can do on a variety of budgets to increase the value of their property and make it more appealing to prospective buyers. 1. Create an open plan living area An open plan living area can create a lot more space and light in a property than enclosed rooms and it is also much more practical for day to day living. Remember to ensure that you make a thorough assessment before knocking anything down to ensure that you are not removing a supporting wall. Knocking down a supporting wall can be disastrous for the house and could result in thousands of pounds worth of damage. If in doubt, turn to an expert to complete the job. 2. Convert your loft Coverting your loft into useable space is a great way of maximising the value of a house. One of the main perks of a loft conversion is that it carries the same benefits of a full extension, but at a lower cost, and in many cases, it does not require planning permission. Converting your loft will allow you to increase the number of bedrooms or add an office or games room without removing any, which can significantly impact the value of a house. 3. Convert your basement Converting a basement can also add significant value onto a property without having to increase the building’s footprint. In some cases, a basement will not be suitable for a bedroom, but converting it will still allow you to increase liveable space or storage in the home, making the property more desirable and adding value. When converting a loft or basement, some people may find that they temporarily lose storage space. Whilst you’re working on the conversion you can easily rent storage, whilst in the long term you can look to include cupboards units or hidden spaces so you’re not losing useful storage space. 4. Add a bathroom Like bedrooms, the number of bathrooms in a property can also impact a property’s value. En-suite bathrooms are incredibly desirable, especially for a master bedroom. Many older houses do not contain an en-suite, and they may also be without a downstairs toilet. You can look to add an en-suite by slightly reducing the size of a bedroom and installing a small bathroom. This should only be done if the bedroom is fairly large, as making the master bedroom too small will have a negative impact on a property’s valuation. For a downstairs loo, you can make the most of under-stairs cupboards which would otherwise be wasted space. 5. Bring the house up to date Owning an older home is not without its charms, but in many cases, people desire modern amenities to ensure that the house requires less maintenance and uses less energy. Consider installing modern, double glazed windows and insulating the walls to create a more energy efficient property. You could also look to install modern electrical wiring and plumbing so that they require less maintenance. 6. Update key rooms Kitchens and bathrooms are vitally important to the desirability of a property, and if they look dated, they can make the home less appealing for prospective buyers. Consider adding a lick of paint to freshen up the room and bring it up to date. You could also replace components, such as toilet seats or kitchen unit cupboards, if your budget does not extend to a full remodel. This will allow you to freshen up these key rooms and make the entire home more attractive. 7. Refresh the flooring It’s worth looking at your flooring and replacing any that looks damaged or dated. Carpets especially can age badly and should be replaced if they are showing signs of wear and tear or discolouring. Updating the flooring to create a new and modern look can give a room a new style, as well as being more appealing to prospective buyers. 8. Consider an extension If you have a larger budget and are looking to increase the size of a property, an extension could be a good option. A conservatory or orangery is a good option if you’re looking to increase the amount of available living space, which could in turn allow you to convert other existing rooms into additional bedrooms. Remember that you will likely need to apply for planning permission for any extension. It’s also a good idea to ask an estate agent for an estimate of how much value an extension would add to your property, which will help you gauge whether the project is worth the investment. 9. Fix any issues A simple, but important, point is to ensure that any outstanding issues in the home are fixed before the property is put on the market. Problems like damp, mould or peeling paintwork will all detract from the overall value of the property and will also put off buyers who are not willing to undertake the required maintenance work. 10. Increase storage You can get creative to increase the amount of storage in your home, even if you don’t have a suitable room to convert. Look for areas of the house which are currently wasted space. These nooks and alcoves can be fitted with shelving or storage units to add character to your home, as well as making it more practical by increasing usable space. For more information on how you can create storage solutions for your home, visit here.

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How to organise your storage space to ensure cohabiting harmony?

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One of the main bones of contention after moving in with your partner is often storage space and who gets to use what. Whether it is decided on an even share of the wardrobes or who needs more room in the bathroom cabinet, the dispute over space can lead to arguments and frustration. In fact, our recent study shows more than one in five (22%) couples living under the same roof have arguments over space at least a couple of times a week. With this in mind, we’ve teamed up with Marie Kondo home organisation expert, Sue Spencer, to reveal some simple tips for organising some of those key storage areas and avoiding these common disputes. Wardrobes You simply never seem to have enough wardrobe space and deciding who needs more room between you and your partner can be a difficult process. For that reason, Sue recommends a full audit of your wardrobes before re-organising them to get the most out of the space. Sue’s tips for a successful wardrobe audit: 1. Before starting, think about how you’d like your wardrobe and bedroom to look. Browsing through magazines and Pinterest can inspire you and keep you motivated. 2. Put all your clothes in one place – I like to put everything on the bed. Separate the different types of garments (jumpers, dresses, suits etc) into piles. This is often when people are shocked to see how many similar items they own and find clothes they’ve forgotten they had. 3. If you’ve got lots of clothes it may be easier to manage one subcategory of clothes at a time (e.g. do tops first, then jeans, then suits. 4. Choose a pile to sort through – t-shirts or jumpers are an easy place to start. Look at the pile and select your favourite three tops that you really love wearing – think about why you like them, do they make you feel good, is it the colour you like or something else? 5. Once you’ve done this, set aside these items in your “keep” pile and work through the rest of the tops one at a time, holding each item in your hands to decide whether it’s something that you love. If it’s not obvious, compare it against your three top items to help you make the decision. If you don’t wear the item or it’s something you’ve kept hold of for quite a while to fit in to, now’s the time to let it go – put it in your discard pile (ready for the charity shop or eBay). 6. Continue with each category until you’ve made a decision about everything (including your socks!) Sue’s tips on keeping your wardrobe organised: 1. Don’t keep things ‘just in case’ as the chances are if you haven’t worn it for years, you’re unlikely to again. 2. Don’t keep things ‘for best’ – if you love it then put it in your wardrobe and start wearing it, you’ll feel great every time you put it on! 3. When you’ve sorted all the clothes, look at your storage space and decide how you want to organise the items you love – not everything needs to be hung. 4. Jumpers, t-shirts and jeans can all be folded and put in chests of drawers or baskets on shelves to maximise storage. 5. Consider storing seasonal items under the bed so they don’t take up shared space. Bathrooms Bathrooms are often limited on space to store toiletries and towels, making it important to have it well organised to allow you and your partner to share the space harmoniously. As such, Sue has shared advice on conducting an audit of your bathroom storage and how to keep it in tip top shape. Sue’s tips for a successful bathroom audit: 1. Gather all your toiletries, skincare, make up, even bathroom cleaners together and sort them into different categories (hair products, shower gel/soaps, moisturisers/face creams, perfumes/aftershaves, deodorants, make up, lipsticks, mascaras, nail varnish, etc). You can do this by person if it makes sense or merge the groups if you share products like shampoo. The tighter the category the better you’ll be able to see exactly what you have in the way of duplicate items. 2. Look at one category at a time and check that the items open are still in date – check the symbol on the container for shelf life and throw away any that are expired. Also check to see which products you actually use – there may be some that you bought and tried, but you didn’t like the fragrance, or you had a bad reaction to them – now is the time to move these on! 3. IMPORTANT! If it’s a joint item then you both have a say on whether to keep it or not – if one of you wants to keep it then it should stay (even if the other person isn’t keen!) The first rule of decluttering is that you don’t declutter someone else’s stuff. 4. As you work through each category, pull out the items that you definitely love using (Marie Kondo would say the things that ‘spark joy’) and use these as a benchmark to check whether you need to keep the other items. Be honest with yourself about whether you need or will use any similar items – do you really need five aftershaves if you only wear one? Similarly, with makeup, do you use five red lipsticks, nine different mascaras? Throw away any that you’re not going to use. 5. It may also help to consider whether things are for everyday use or special occasions – taking make up as an example – double check your special occasion make up fits with your current lifestyle. 6. If there are items that you find difficult to discard, get them out and start using them now – you will feel fantastic using that luxury perfume/aftershave/body lotion that you were keeping for a special occasion. 7. If one of you […]

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Creating ample storage space in a small apartment

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Living in an apartment or studio flat has its pros and cons, often providing the ideal location for a busy lifestyle working in the city, but sometimes leaving you bursting out of wardrobes and drawers fighting for space. It is very easy to feel cramped in a one bed apartment packed with your belongings, especially if you’re building up furniture ready for to buy your first home, and so it is important to be clever and organised when trying to free up space with limited storage. There are many easy and cost-effective solutions you can put in place within your flat to really make the most of the space you have available. So, whether it’s freeing up space to make your living areas more comfortable, or finding a way to store furniture your building up ready for your first home, our experts have shared their top tips below: 1.Install coat hooks These affordable and easy to install items instantly create places to store your belongings. Putting up a few hooks in your hallway will allow you to hang bulky winter coats, as well as hats and scarves, which will save you a lot of wardrobe space. 2.Use storage containers A lot of studio flats have very limited built in storage, meaning space is at a premium. One easy way to ensure you make the most of the space you have is by organising your belongings and condensing them down. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using storage containers, which you can stack on top of each other to allow you to fit more into the space that you do have. 3.Turn your décor into storage Having a stylish and homely apartment is often a high priority, with many choosing to hang art and photos on the walls. However, one way you may be able to maintain a strong look whilst also storing belongings is to go one step further and hang items such as jewellery or even hats on your walls whilst you aren’t using them, to merge storage and style together perfectly. 4.Invest in foldable furniture A go to storage solution for those living in small apartments is to use furniture you can easily fold up and put away. Items such as fold out chairs and desks are affordable, easy to use and can be set up anywhere that is convenient in your home, before being condensed down to a smaller size making them easier to store and freeing up floor space in the process. 5.Organise and store upwards If you organise your belongings well, this will allow you to make the most of the space you have available to you, especially if you store things upwards, rather than outwards. Having a cupboard where containers are stacked on top of one another will help you be more efficient with your space, whilst installing high rise shelving would have the same benefits. Take a look at our blog for more storage tips and tricks, or if you’re in need of some self-storage space, check out our calculator to work out how much you might need.

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Room for improvement: How much space and storage is on offer in homes across the country?

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When it comes to our homes, having the right amount of space allows us to create comfortable and practical living areas, but not all homes are made equal. It may be no secret that Londoners, for example, have been priced out of buying larger homes, but how do UK homes shape up across other regions? We wanted to find out just that. We’ve analysed almost 4,000 data points from 650 live property ads across the country, in order to share exactly what you can expect to buy in each UK region based on the UK’s average house price. We’ve also taken a look at Britain’s five largest housebuilders to get data on new builds, so we can also uncover trends in this market and get a view of what future homes may look like. Our findings reveal some interesting trends, so whether you’re on the hunt for more built-in storage, or you’re craving a home with a garage, read on to find out more about our research. Size matters Within the average UK house price bracket (£210k – £250k), floorspace averages out at 81.6 square metres, but Greater London, South East, Wales, the South West and Scotland all fall below this benchmark. Unsurprisingly Londoners can expect the smallest living spaces, at a tiny 45.74 square metres on average, with some of the properties measuring as low as just 21 square metres. Outside of the capital, it’s South East residents who don’t measure up, coming in at 62.91 square metres, followed by Scotland at 72.31 square metres. Those in the West Midlands are likely to afford the most spacious homes, with more than double the average floor space compared to Londoners at 104.92 square metres. The UK regions with the most living space: It’s also West Midlands residents who can expect the highest number of bedrooms for their money in England, averaging 3.02 against a UK average of 2.64. Northern Ireland takes the top spot though, offering an average of 3.26. Storage is everything When looking for a new home, one of the things buyers often look for is the amount of storage on offer – it’s also a big selling point from an estate agent point of view. It’s with good reason too, as storage space provides you with the room to stash away anything you want to keep out of sight, letting you maximise the floor space you have available in your living areas. And it’s not just about cupboards under the stairs or pantries in the kitchen. Utility rooms and garages can have massive appeal for buyers and offer up huge storage potential – in fact, having a garage can add up to 5% on top of the value of your home. So, where are you most likely to find these added extras? New builds on the block When it comes to new builds, the average asking price is higher at £302,749, but for that price, you can expect just short of 12% more living space at an average of 91.19 square metres. There’s clearly a trend emerging among new builds for utility space too: 46% of the new builds analysed included a utility room, which is more than six times the national average. Utility space is clearly in high demand, as it’s an attractive feature for prospective buyers, so perhaps something to consider for those looking to get their house on the market this year. Born in the 80s While the new builds we’ve analysed do offer more space and storage, many still prefer pre-owned homes or older properties with a bit of character, but how have trends in size and storage developed over the years? Well, while the 80s were all about big hair and big personalities, it appears the same can be said for homes built during this decade, which average out at 84.48 square metres. The noughties aren’t too far behind at 81.98 square metres, followed by the 2010s at 78.47 square metres. Homes built in the 90s were found to have the least amount of floor space, coming in at just 74.05 square metres. When it comes to built-in storage space in pre-owned homes, however, properties built in the 2010s come out on top, while also having the highest chance of offering a garage; 54% of the homes analysed in this decade had garage space.  When deciding on a new home, space is up there with one of the most important deciding factors for buyers, so it’s important to know how your property, or the property you’re planning on buying, measures up. If you are short on space, however, there are plenty of things you can do to really maximise the storage space you do have available. Take a look at our blog for all of our tips and tricks, or if you’re in need of some self-storage space, check out our calculator to work out how much you might need.

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The packing advice you need to know before your next house move

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With the average UK household owning £35,000* of contents within their home, it’s no wonder why moving house is one of life’s most stressful events** As the housing market picks back up, with thousands looking to take advantage of Stamp Duty relief, we have a few tips for safe and efficient packing before a big move, to save time, money and stress. 1.  Use what you have to keep costs down and save on space To keep packing material costs to a minimum, use items you already have to pack your contents securely and safely. Wrapping glassware and china in large towels and securing with tape or string can ensure these items are transported safely, while also reducing the total number of boxes you have to move, which should bring removal costs down. 2. Triple check removal boxes are secure before moving Don’t risk your carefully packed contents getting broken or damaged because they fall through the bottom of a box during the move. It’s always worth reinforcing the bottom of any heavily packed boxes with a strong adhesive tape, to ensure that items won’t fall through. 3. Avoid using bin liners and plastic bags We have all heard a horror story when it comes to moving house, one of the most frequent is somebody mistaking a bin liner packed with precious clothes for rubbish and throwing it out. Not only is using cardboard or reusable plastic boxes better for the environment, it also reduces the likelihood of mistakes being made during the move and will better protect your belongings, as plastic bags can be easily snagged and damaged. 4. Bring in the experts As tempting as it is to recruit a couple of friends and family members to help you move house, hiring a removal service is a good investment. They are experts in this industry and can make the move as efficient as possible. Removal experts will also have the correct equipment to move your house contents in a safe and secure way, which will likely reduce any associated stress on moving day. What’s more, most will offer some sort of cover or insurance for extra piece of mind. 5. Use vacuum storage bags Investing in vacuum storage bags ahead of your move will be something you’ll never regret. They are perfect for transporting bulky material goods such as sofa cushions, duvets and bedding, as they reduce them to less than half the size. These bags are also waterproof, will prevent dust building up on your contents, and will prevent any snagging during the move. Using these products will ensure removal boxes can be saved for heavier goods, saving a massive amount of space in the removal van. What’s more, once the big move is complete, these bags can then continue to be used for storage in your new home. 6. Pack precious goods in a wheeled suitcase When it comes to precious jewellery, photos, books and other items such as family heirlooms – wrap them carefully in bubble wrap or towels and secure with a strong adhesive tape. It’s a great idea to pack such items in suitcases as opposed to boxes – this will ensure you can identify them easily during the move and if your suitcase has wheels, it will remove the need for lifting up and down, reducing the risks of a drop or fall. 7. Protect corners The largest items in our home are usually the trickiest to move safely. It’s important to protect the corners of any large items of furniture being moved, as these are the most likely parts of to get scratched or cause damage to another piece of furniture or your home during the move, no matter how careful you are. Cardboard corner protectors are often cheap to buy, or as an alternative, use strong adhesive tape and bubble wrap. Preparation and planning are the most important things movers can do when packing up their belongings into storage ready for a move. If this isn’t handled well, you’re at risk of added lots of unnecessary stress during something that should be exciting – not to mention the huge financial implications if your contents are damaged or destroyed during a move. These simple tips can help to ensure you don’t damage or lose any precious or pricey goods. Damaging them could leave you with a hefty bill in repairs or even replacing them completely. Ensuring you make time for the little things can vastly reduce the likelihood of damaging goods during the move. Consider removing light bulbs from standing lights and bedside lamps to protect the bulbs, and ensure lids are secure on cleaning products that you have likely had out whilst cleaning your previous home. Also, pack a box of essentials that you can open straight away in your new home making sure the kettle, tea bags, a few cups and pint of milk is in included – everyone will thank you for this. For more tips and tricks when it comes to self-storage and moving house, including How to Preserve Furniture in Storage, 7 Ways to Make a Small Home Feel Bigger and Top 10 Tips on How to Add Value to Your Home, visit our blog. * https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/blog/how-much-is-the-average-cost-of-home-and-contents-insurance **https://www.benenden.co.uk/be-healthy/lifestyle/mental-health-moving-house-7-ways-to-reduce-the-stress-of-moving-home/

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