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Did You Know: Storage started in Texas

… that the first self-storage facilities originated in Texas in the late 1960s? In fact, it was nothing more than a decision to build a series of garages in an open space one day. After the owners realised that they had no real need for them, they rented them out, and then built more. The idea started to catch on, and others did the same. Back then, they were little more than tin garages, usually situated on the industrial periphery of cities and suburbs, and built on former infill sites or among drive-in theatres. The idea of keeping your possessions outside of the home suddenly blossomed into competitive commerce in the space of a few years. Some say it was because households, in step with the global economy of the early 1970s, lurched into a crisis of over-accumulation. Nowadays, we […]

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Did You Know: 3D Films

Did You Know: 3D Films

… that because DreamWorks is now releasing all of its films in 3D, the film company has to double the amount of data storage capacity required to store its movies? A new reference library was installed that was large enough to store around 36,000 DVDs as standard, and the volume was then increased four-fold to allow DreamWorks to keep everything they create. The reason for this is that 3D animation requires every film frame to be created using two images instead of one (one for the viewer’s left eye, and one for the right). Those special bi-coloured glasses handed out at the theatre polarise the images on the screen and combine them in order to give a perception of depth. The move to this type of animation also requires a move away from tape-based storage systems to disk in order […]

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Did You Know: Recycled Packing Materials

…that for over a year, Big Yellow has sourced information on the environmental credentials of packing materials for our customers? This includes the distances travelled from source, right through to the make up of the cardboard and plastics itself. All cardboard packing materials have a recycled content ranging from70% to 100%, and plastic storage containers are predominantly recyclable polypropylene (our collapsible ones are in fact made from 100% recycled polypropylene). Loose fill packing material is made of a minimum 90% recycled polystyrene and all of our packing tissue paper is 50% recycled content. We’re currently looking into additional suppliers for biodegradable loose fill packing material to try to make this figure higher. You can find out more about this and our other sustainable initiatives by looking at Big Yellow’s website, which will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis.

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Did You Know: UK Storage Companies

… Did you know that there are around 1.6 billion square feet of rentable self-storage in the USA, in comparison to against 22 million in Australia and around 25 million in the United Kingdom? There are now well over 250 companies operating in the United Kingdom, varying from large multi-centre companies like Big Yellow (operating over 250 centres nationwide between them all), to single-centre independent enterprises. It is estimated that the industry in the UK now generates revenues of about £360m and has over 230,000 customers using the service. The average rentable square footage per head of population in the UK is 0.42 and the largest concentration of centres is in the London area as well as the South East.

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Tips and Tricks: Over Packing

… Don’t attempt to pack more items into a box in order to pack it tightly and save on boxes. Doing this will lead to a box full of broken glass and hurt feelings! Instead, fill all loose space with any available soft item, even clothing if there’s nothing else available. Packing delicate items for self storage around a handful of clothing would save money and help ensure the safety of all delicate items.

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Did You Know: Temporary Self Storage

…that most self-storage needs are in fact temporary instead of permanent? According to a recent poll on EasyStorageSearch.com (a directory of self storage facilities nationwide), the most common reason for people to seek out self-storage is a temporary need for more space. Of the 100 respondents, nearly half (43 percent) of those polled were looking for self storage for this reason and only fifteen people had a more permanent need for more space. Perhaps surprisingly, only 32 percent of storage seekers were moving: 16 respondents were making a local move, and 16 were moving cross-country. So during the recession, it would be easy to assume that people require storage due to a move, to take another job, or minimise living expenses. But this poll shows that this is far from the case. Big Yellow’s units can be used for just […]

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Did You Know: Farmer’s Storage

…that most people state that a farmer’s co-operative has just opened a multi-million pound grain storage and processing centre in the UK? This is a great proof point that people up and down the country are waking up to the benefits and cost effectiveness of self-storage. So much so that the £15m investment was supported by East of England Development Agency and Rural Development funding. The £15m facility at Wilbraham will be supplying all of the wheat for flour use Sainsbury’s bakeries, as well as other major brands. The 355 members of the co-operative will process 90,000 tonnes of locally grown wheat at the centre each year. It’s best to leave the perishables to the professionals, but you can store pretty much anything else with us. From wine to art, our self-storage units are secure, flexible and can be used […]

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Did You Know: Oil Storage

…that the largest storage facilities in the world are used for oil? A tank farm based in Cushing, Oklahoma can hold as much as 46.3 million barrels of oil, or enough gasoline to fill the tanks of half of all cars on the road in the United States. The biggest individual facility within this community holds a whopping 15.7million barrels alone. Big Yellow can’t quite provide you with that much space, but has 20 stores waiting to be built in locations throughout the UK. When the network is completed, Big Yellow will provide over 4.5 million square feet of storage space, which will provide a huge increase to the UK’s current 25 million square feet of self-storage currently available.

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Did You Know: Big Yellow Ranking

…that Big Yellow was listed number 68 on the Sunday Times Top 100 companies to work for? Our 268 employees were asked a series of questions that ranged from whether they could make a valuable contribution to the company’s success to having confidence in the leadership skills of the senior management team. Big Yellow scored highly across the board, with our wellbeing scores the strongest (we were actually placed in the top 20 for this section). Our other benefits including flexible working options include home working, flexitime, staggered hours and sabbaticals also reflected well. We’re open, honest, talk to each other as equals and will continue to encourage that throughout the firm.

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Did You Know: Bee Orchids

Did You Know: Bee Orchids

… that Rare Bee Orchids were found at Big Yellow’s Norwich branch? An avid wildlife lover (who had worked previously at the RSPB for 30 years) spotted the flower as he cycled past the site and prevented a nearby gardener from cutting them down! Though better known for its self-storage storage solutions as opposed to hosting unusual flora and fauna, Big Yellow now made special provisions to ensure that the three flowers are kept safe and not removed by overzealous landscapers. The Bee Orchid is a perennial, temperate species of orchid generally found growing on semi-dry turf, on limestone, calcareous dunes or in open areas in woodland. It’s often found on sand dunes, but hardly ever in urbanised areas, hence why the discovery was so exciting to the team. The flowers make a surprising addition to the Riverside area because […]

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