Self Storage Blog
Figures from the Trade Union Congress earlier this year revealed that over four million Brits work from home – an increase of 13% since 2011.
For businesses that operate from home, having a space where you can work comfortably and without distractions is key. Whether you have the luxury of a home office, a spare room, or work from your kitchen table, here are our top tips for making the most of your space.
1. Think scalable
When planning and furnishing your space, think about your business in the long-term. If you plan to expand, you need solutions that are scalable and can grow as your business does. Practical storage units that can be built on and added to, whether you need extra drawers, rails or shelves, will be a good investment.
It can be tempting to expand to fill your space – particularly if it’s small – but always leave a little ‘give.’ You’ll be thankful for it later.
2. Make the room within your existing space
Think about what you might be able to offload in order to fit your work life into your home life.
• Shred sensitive documents and recycle old reports, magazines and newspapers. You could even use Big Yellow’s business storage solutions for archiving old files
• If you have bulky or unsightly stock, consider whether it would be better housed elsewhere, i.e. a secure self-storage unit
3. Space savers are life-savers
Make use of those awkward spaces in your home (e.g. an alcove, the hallway or under the stairs) by investing in built-in office furniture. Opt for a corner unit or a series of mountable shelves if all you have is just one wall.
Look for furniture that can be put away when not in use – for example, foldable chairs or nesting tables that can sit neatly underneath each other.
Some retailers specialise in space-saving furniture. Try Bonbon or One Deko.
4. One size doesn’t fit all
While it’s important to think practically, also consider what space will suit your working style. Some people prefer a more formal, closed-off environment, while others find themselves more productive with extra comfort.
If you’re easily distracted but don’t have a dedicated office, you can cordon off your space with a room divider. Check out eBay for a selection that are both practical and stylish.
Sometimes, no matter how much you de-clutter and organise, you still need a little extra space. At Big Yellow Self Storage we offer a range of secure storage units, from the size of a wardrobe up to a warehouse, perfect for whatever space you need.
With our flexible plans you can store from as little as seven days, with prices starting from just £5 per week. Head to Big Yellow’s business page to find out how we can help.
After weeks of training, a team of six brave souls from the Big Yellow store in Chiswick took part in Push it for the Peace, a demanding five mile obstacle course in aid of the Peace Hospice in Watford.
The gruelling challenge saw Nikki, Gino, Aqua, Darren, Anna and Ali climbing, crawling, swinging and splashing their way through miles of testing obstacles set around Cassiobury Park, Watford.
Nikki Wilson, Big Yellow charity co-ordinator, comments: “This is the second time this year that we have been involved in this terrific initiative and it is a cause that we feel extremely passionate about. We will continue our support to help the charity reach their targets. The mud won’t defeat us!”
Each year The Peace Hospice aims to raise £3.8 million in order to run and develop their services, which are free to patients and families. They continue to provide care for those people across South West Herts with life limiting illnesses.
Well done to the team for raising almost £700 for this fantastic cause!
Ali Velayat from Big Yellow Chiswick is the toast of the store after raising £700 for Macmillan Cancer Care, as part of a gruelling London to Brighton running challenge.
Ali, store manager, took on the punishing test, covering over 100 kilometres and 1,400 metres of ascent on varied terrain completing the race in 12 hours and 47 minutes – far ahead of the other 1,750 competitors.
Starting in Richmond Upon Thames, the route headed south into the suburbs of London, then on through the heart of Surrey and Sussex, over the South Downs towards the finish line in Brighton.
Well done, Ali, from all at Big Yellow!
Enjoyed by the likes of Hollywood heartthrobs, George Clooney and Brad Pitt, the trend of the ‘Man Cave’ is also taking off in the homes of Brits. In a recent survey we commissioned, 61% of British men say they have created their own ‘Man Cave’ in their home.
Any why are they creating this space? Over a third (36%) of men say that they are at the end of their tether from arguing with their partner at least once or twice a week about the space their possessions take up.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. 79% of men believe that having a place where they can store their possessions and indulge in their pastimes is actually beneficial to their relationship – this sentiment was mirrored by 60% of women, despite 40% worrying that a ‘Man Cave’ is merely a place for their partner to hoard unnecessary belongings.
Anthony Chenery, Head of Marketing & Ecommerce, says: “With a rise in the number of couples co-habiting, space is more precious than ever and men are demanding a private sanctuary to call their own.”
Anjula Mutanda, counseling psychologist believes that it’s important for men to have their own retreat. She says: “Couples often don’t see eye to eye when it comes to the possessions that take up household space, which leads to tension and arguments. Both men and women can benefit from this time apart. Why? Because this freedom and space is key to a healthy and balanced relationship.”
Men are most likely to use their ‘man space’ to stash books (51%), a TV (34%), comics and magazines (31%), old gadgets (30%) e.g. mobile phone and computers, music collection (29%) and games console/s (26%).
So think of Big Yellow Self Storage units as the spare room you’ve always wanted – whether that’s to de-clutter to make space for a Man Cave, or to use our facilities as ‘man spaces’ in themselves.
Whatever your needs, we have a range of safe and secure storage spaces, from the size of a wardrobe to a warehouse, for as little or long as you need.
Upcycling is the process of using something that is worn out or broken and making something better and more useful from it. Whereas ‘recycling’ is about taking waste and producing new raw materials, upcycling is about creating a new and useful product. Both are important in reducing waste and landfill as well as making better use of the dwindling resources of the planet. Before throwing anything substantial away from your home or place of work, always have a quick think about whether it can be recycled, or better still upcycled into something new and useful.
In this article I have found a few examples of some imaginative and creative ways that people have used objects to make something interesting rather than throwing them away.
In the world of art and design many people are looking towards ‘upcycling’ for inspiration – and of course a very cheap source of raw materials. There is probably not a town or city in the country where you could not go within a few hundred yards of a supermarket (or a river) and find a discarded, rusting and wheel-less trolley. A design company in Bedford have come up with a stylish shopping trolley chair which took pride of place in Prince Charles’ eco home at the Ideal Home Show 2011. It may not be to everyone’s taste but you couldn’t argue with it being a great talking piece in any home and is a wonderfully creative use of one of the most commonly discarded items on the planet!
Although you are unlikely to find a car engine lying around, if you do you could perhaps use it to make a coffee table. An original Rover V8 has been chrome powder-coated and set on ball and socket height adjustable feet with a toughened safety glass top – amazing!
Sticking with a design theme, one of the hottest items in the fashion world at the moment are book clutch purses. The example below shows Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with the inner cavity lined with wading, gold satin fabric, purple headed pins and lilac velvet ribbon edging to finish off the look. Although they require considerable time and effort plus trial and error to make, they are certainly a beautiful way to re-purpose something which could otherwise just be collecting dust on a book shelf or in a box in the loft.
On a less glamorous note, an area that is fertile territory for the avid upcycler is the commonplace door stop. The idea here is to find something fairly small and heavy and which you would not expect to be used as a door stop. Talk about money for old rope (old bricks, old hammers etc).
The grey metal filing cabinet is an icon of the pre-computerised office and a good example of an object that gets tossed away on the scrap heap. However, with a little bit of paint, some self-adhesive vinyl and multi-coloured film, the cabinet is completely transformed into something that you would actually want in your home and would be highly useful.
One Friday afternoon we sat in the office and decided if we could make something interesting out of an old kick step that someone was about to throw out. It was a struggle but as we had a Dr Who fan in our midst we set about re-making the kick step into a Dalek. An old hexagonal recycling bin (ironically!), some cardboard, blue paper and the mandatory toilet plunger later and we had a working Dalek.
Ok, the Dalek wasn’t great but it certainly glided beautifully and managed to go downstairs when we pushed it! There are some brilliant examples of other creative and innovative examples of upcycling – if you do a search for ‘upcycling’ on Pinterest you’ll see some wonderful images and possibly even our Dalek.
Richard Bloomfield is website editor for The Workplace Depot.
A team from Big Yellow gave up their free time this month to help out the Farleigh Hospice in Chelmsford with some DIY painting. Matt, Dave, George, Hayley and Samantha set to work painting the walls in the hospice’s private gardens. These tranquil areas are hugely important to the hospice, providing a welcoming and peaceful place for people to visit.
The Farleigh Hospice is one of Big Yellow’s chosen charities which provides hospice care to people affected by life limiting illnesses across mid Essex. Since being established in 1982, the hospice and its team of healthcare professionals has grown and evolved to meet the needs of the community it serves.
Find out more about the charity here www.farleighhospice.org
The team at Big Yellow Swindon recently took on the challenge of cycling the distance from London to Paris in aid of Cystic Fibrosis…on exercise bikes!
Mark, James and Gemma, along with Jon, Anthony and Justin from removal company, Robbins Removals, joined forces to cycle a staggering 212 miles between them. The feat was supported by Fit 4 Less who kindly donated two exercise bikes for the team to complete their challenge.
All six participants are hugely proud of completing their bike ride in just 16 hours and 40 minutes and have raised over £800 for Cystic Fibrosis.
Cystic Fibrosis is one of the UK’s most common life-threatening inherited diseases with over 9,000 people in the UK affected.
The Big Yellow team in Watford are in strict training after entering “Push it for Peace,” a five mile obstacle course in aid of The Peace Hospice. The challenge sees participants climbing and crawling through a series of obstacles in Cassiobury Park, Watford, the muddiest course in Hertfordshire.
The Peace Hospice cares for people across South West Hertfordshire living with life-limiting or terminal illnesses and provides support for their families. They offer care, outpatient and family services, therapy and a hospice-at-home service.
Each year The Peace Hospice aims is to raise £3.8 million in order to run and develop their services, which is free to patients and families.
With the support of Big Yellow customers the team are keen to help the charity reach their target, led by the area charity co-ordinator, Nikki.
You can make a donation at the Just Giving page.
Big Yellow is proud sponsor of the Southwark Tigers, the first inner city rugby club for young people in England.
On the 10th April, we were lucky enough to be invited to the House of Lords, where Lord Tim Clement-Jones held a reception for some of the players, parents and sponsors, thanking them for all the work they do for the club.
The founder of the Southwark Tigers, Vernon Neve-Dunn, says: “Our parents were pleased to be recognised for the work that they do for the club. And it was great for me to be able to thank your company personally.” The children also performed the ‘Tigers Haka’, a dance they want to do pre-match.
For more information about the Southwark Tigers click here.
The team at Armadillo Hull has always been big on sport. So when John Colley spotted an appeal for sponsors from the chairman of North Ferriby United, he knew he wanted to do something to help. John felt particularly strongly about backing the team as he knew that all sponsorship revenue would be put towards supporting the community club, rather than individual players.
Enlisting the backing of his colleagues at Armadillo, the business dug deep and got behind their home team by sponsoring six match balls. Armadillo’s support has contributed to both the men’s and women’s teams from the Under 7’s, right up to the seniors.
North Ferriby’s First Team is currently sitting top of the Evo-Stick North League and if they achieve promotion this season, it’ll be their highest position in team history.
John Colley says: “As a local business it’s important for us to be supporting local causes and as an avid footie fan, I was immediately drawn to North Ferriby. The team had really struggled for sponsorship after a flurry of businesses withdrew their support, but now they are storming ahead in the table this season.”