"Excellent facilities. Very helpful staff. Would recommend to anyone."
I. King, Stamford
"Very good service with excellent facilities. Easy registration & immediate use of unit was paramount."
P. Cory, Ipswich
No we’re not feeling sick, far from it, but we have just had solar panels fitted to the roof of the Ipswich storage facility.
The time had come to seriously look at ways of being more environmentally friendly while at the same time reducing costs – if that was possible!
We have already embarked on a program to replace all the fluorescent tubes in the building with new L.E.D. tube lighting. This is a gradual process, because we are only replacing as tubes break or come to the end of their natural life, but the saving on energy in the long run will be the majority of our consumption cost. Did you know that “Lighting accounts for more than 19% of global electricity consumption”? according to an article on the BBC website where I see there has, in the last couple of months, been another development in L.E.D lighting. L.E.D technology is also much more energy-efficient, using less energy than incandescent bulbs.
Back to our initial quest, another way to be more eco friendly. So we looked at the possibility of having Solar panels fitted to the roof (as you can imagine our roof is quite large) and after consultation it was found that we are ideally located for Solar panels to be fitted, even though the orientation of the roof is not southerly.
CJ Electrical, also located on Ransomes Europark, was our supplier and installer and the process was very easy.
First we had scaffolding erected, which just meant reorganising a few car parking spaces for some of our clients. Then the panels were fitted and the electrical work began. This really only entailed a new metered box and some cables to connect things (you can tell I’m not very up with electricianese)! Lastly, the conversations with electric providers to ensure that we could both receive electric and send it back to the grid if we have a surplus of energy generated.
CJ Electrical explain it so much better though with this short video
Really it was that simple and of course the benefits of this are the energy created from solar energy is renewable and green.
Now we are using our own generated electricity, so no cost and we are producing enough energy to be able to send some back to the grid, amazing!
So next time you switch on the kitchen light – just think, we might have supplied that little bit of power for you.
HomeStore the Green and happy self storage facility.
Did you know the number of people booking caravan or camping holidays has risen by 15% over the last year? Caravanning is a great way to have a holiday on a budget, not just because you can avoid rising air travel costs, but also thanks to tax breaks on buying a caravan.
However one thing stopping people from buying a caravan is storage. Where would you keep your caravan while you’re not on holiday? Previously you’d have to have a large drive way, but now there are a wide range of storage options.
If you have the space, storing your caravan at home can be a very cheap method of storage. However on average, car ownership in the UK has risen from 11 cars per 10 households in 2001 to 12 cars per 10 households in 2011. This means for the average suburban household, space on the drive is shrinking.
Long term storage of your caravan at home can also be a bad idea due to security risks, as a missing caravan can be a dead giveaway for burglars that you’re on holiday. If you have no option but to store your caravan at home, make sure you have a visible security alarm fitted to your house, which should be activated and tested before you go on holiday.
There are plenty of caravan sites across the UK that allow long term caravan storage, which is especially useful if you tend to go on holiday to the same place frequently. While you will have to pay to store your caravan, you can make it up through reduced fuel costs, as you won’t have to actually tow your caravan to go on holiday, which can severely reduce your car’s fuel economy.
When it comes to security, many campsites have CCTV so you have peace of mind that your caravan is safe. However, your vehicle will be unprotected from the elements, which can result in higher maintenance costs. You may also find your caravan requires a thorough clean before you can stay in it after months of being left unused, which is not an ideal way to start a holiday! Finally bad weather could be an issue, which in worst cases could result in damage to your caravan due to high winds or falling branches.
There’s a wide range of specialised barns and warehouses across the UK that have been converted to store caravans. These protect your caravan against the weather and offer varying levels of security, ranked by the Caravan Storage Association. Unfortunately, this can also come at a premium.
Often, these sites are located out of towns or away from major transport links in farmland areas. For some holidaymakers, this can be inconvenient as it would require a stop-off on the way to your destination to pick up your caravan. In worst cases, your caravan may have suffered a puncture or other damage such as rust, meaning it cannot be towed. This could unfortunately put an early end to your holiday. A better solution would be to base your caravan near your house so you can carry out any repairs before you leave, or have it based at your holiday destination so towing is unnecessary.
Self storage facilities are mostly known for their storage rooms and lockers, however HomeStore Self Storage in Ipswich offers caravan storage, and also offers storage for vehicles like trailers, campervans and cars. Currently, our Bury St Edmunds facility does not offer caravan storage.
Because self storage facilities are found near towns and cities, they are ideal for storing your caravan. Choosing a unit near your house is a good idea as you can perform any maintenance before you leave. Second, if your local storage unit only has outdoor storage for vehicles, renting an indoor unit is a great way to store your holiday equipment, such as bedding, tables and chairs. This is a great way of keeping them from taking up valuable space in your house, while avoiding them getting damaged if damp crept into your caravan in the winter.
Storage facilities like HomeStore Self Storage also offer 24 hour access so you pick up your caravan even if you need to leave in the early hours of the morning.
Image credit: LoveBungay.co.uk
Google Internal Virtual Tours
You might not know but Google have now added a new function which allows you to have a Google vitual tour “inside” your business! We have taken the opportunity and added this to our Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich listings giving potential customers the opportunity to understand a little bit more about our business. You can take a look at the Bury St. Edmunds facility here.
A Whole World of Possibilities
This really does open up a whole new world of possablities and has got us thinking –
If you could have a Smartphone app that allowed you to see inside somewhere – where would you most like to see and why?
Would it be a place of interest like a museum or gallery so you could plan your next visit or perhaps your neighbours garden shed, “what is he making in there?”!!
We would love you to share your ideas with us so why not post us a comment or send us a tweet
Get your own Business Tour
If you would like to find out about a tour for your own business then you can type – Google virtual tours suffolk - into your search bar and you should be able to find a company to help you. You can also take a look at Googles own demontration
We would love to know how you get on
Self storage has become very popular in the UK since the start of the recession for a number of reasons, however contrary to popular belief, the concept has been around for much longer! We decided to share a bit of history about Self Storage, with some interesting facts along the way!
Self Storage has it’s origins in China around six thousand years ago, where archaeologists have discovered ancient underground storage areas. Just like today, the ancient Chinese valued their security. These storage facilities held hundreds of clay pots where people could deposit their belongings, with the storage rooms being monitored to make sure no one could access any jar but their own, just like at HomeStore Self Storage in Ipswich or Bury St Edmunds today!
Fast forward several centuries to the British Empire, when the aristocracy would often spend many months abroad in the far reaches of the Empire. These well-to-do people would need to be sure their possessions were safe while they were away, and so turned to the banks, who arranged for removal companies to store goods. These removal companies would store possessions inside guarded lofts or stables.
Self Storage as we know it actually began in the 1960s in Odessa, Texas, with a store called “A1 U-Store-It”. It’s founder, Russ Williams, worked in the oil industry for most of his life, however his real passion was fishing, which he enjoyed in his spare time. Russ needed somewhere to store his equipment that was both safe and out of harm’s way, yet accessible when he wanted to go fishing. He realised others could benefit from somewhere convenient to store their things away from their home, and so bought a group of apartments and garages to rent out space.
The concept took around twenty years to cross the pond to the UK, with the first Self Storage facilities emerging in the early 80s, initially in the London area. Now, over 250,000 people in the UK rent a storage facility from around 815 storage facilities across the UK. In total, there is around 29.6 million square feet of storage space in the country. That’s about 385 football pitches!
It’s not just home owners or consumers that are using Self Storage units - businesses are as well. 35% of Self Storage users are actually businesses, who use their units to store stock, trade show stands, vehicles and more. Some businesses have even been able to run their entire operation from a self storage unit!
Self Storage has grown in popularity during the recession as people are finding new uses for their space at home, including renting out rooms to earn extra money, or turning a spare room into a second living room, since people tend to spend more time at home nowadays. At HomeStore Self Storage, we’re sure people will find even more uses for Self Storage over the next few years!
Garden tools are items almost all home owners need. However, the cost can quickly add up as a good set isn’t exactly cheap! This is why looking after them is important to make sure they are safe to use when they are needed.
Keep them sharp
Tools with blades become blunt with use, meaning they become less effective. You can use a fine metal file to sharpen most tools, but it’s a good idea to invest in a sharpening stone which can be purchased from a garden centre or hardware store.
You may find that in heavy or very stony soil, or with frequent use, your tools become blunt very quickly, meaning you may need to repeat this process several times per season.
Rust can ruin almost any garden tool. It is essential that they are kept in a dry area to avoid this. Unfortunately if you have an old and damp shed, this may not be the best place to keep your tools.
A better alternative to ensure your tools last a long time would be to store them in a unit at HomeStore Self Storage. Our units are kept dry, so they are perfect for making sure your tools remain useful for many years. Furthermore, you’d be able to remove your old and damp shed, opening up space in the garden!
Put them in a safe home
Not only is it important to keep tools safely locked away to make sure your children don’t hurt themselves, but it’s also important to keep them safe from burglars who could use them to break in.
A wide variety of tools could be used by a burglar to gain access to your property or aid in their escape, so it’s important they are safely locked away. One way to do this is by storing them off site at in a self storage unit, meaning there’s no way a burglar could access them!
However if you need access to your tools on a very regular basis, it’s best to invest in some security measures for your shed. A strong lock is essential, and a shed alarm may be a good idea. It is also a good idea to chain down items like ladders, which may need to be kept outside the shed due to size.
Keep them safe to use
Finally, it’s important that your tools are kept safe for use. Electrical tools like lawnmowers, hedge trimmers and electric drills need to be stored in a way that doesn’t damage their components, whether that be by water damage, or damage to the plug or cable.
Mechanical tools need to be kept safe too. Some tools like shovels have bare wood handles, which could splinter. These should be maintained with a coating of linseed oil, preventing the handle from drying out and splintering. Before any maintenance, it’s a good idea to wipe off as much surface dirt as possible.
For many households space is at a premium, so we’ve put together this short guide on four ways you can increase the available space in your home!
Digitise your CD and DVD collection
If you’re anything like us, you will have collected a large amount of CDs and DVDs over the years. However, chances are that you don’t really use them as much as you used to, thanks to digital services like iTunes, Spotify and Netflix.
You can in fact ‘rip’ both CDs and DVDs into digital files and store them on your computer or in the cloud, helping you save space in your home. You are probably already aware that you can rip CDs with iTunes and Windows Media Player, but there is also software out there, that makes it easy to rip DVDs. Take a look at this article at Lifehacker to find out how.
By ripping your CDs and DVDs you no longer need to have them to hand, so they can be moved to the attic or to one of our self storage units, where they can be kept safe.
Use taller cupboards
A great way to save floor space is by swapping any waist height cabinets or cupboards with taller, more slender ones. These allow you to store more items such as books or crockery in a smaller footprint.
Again, if any of these items are not necessary to be kept to hand on a regular basis it might be an idea to move them elsewhere. Many people like to store their less regularly used things at HomeStore Self Storage because they can be kept out of the way and out of danger from damage, yet can be accessed at any time, twenty four hours a day.
Change your TV set up
If you still have an old style CRT TV and want to open up more space, maybe it’s time to trade it in for a new LCD TV instead. CRT TVs are big and bulky, taking up lots of floor space and use a large amount of energy.
For the ultimate space saving design, why not wall mount your TV? Most LCD and Plasma TVs are designed to work with special wall mounting brackets, making sure even the largest screen won’t come crashing down.
Get rid of the clutter
Finally, why not have a big clear out and find out exactly how much stuff you no longer need in the house?
One way to do this is go room by room and sort your less used possessions into two categories – unused but important things, and unused and unimportant things.
Anything in the unused and unimportant pile can go straight to the charity shop or recycling centre. However, many people have things they don’t use, yet do not want to get rid of, for sentimental reasons perhaps. These are the things that end up in the unused but important pile.
You could put these in the attic, but what if there is a leak and they get damaged? A safer option could be to store them at HomeStore Self Storage, where they will be kept safe, dry, and you still have 24 hour access to them.
Image courtesy of We Only Do This Once
Self storage has rapidly grown in popularity over the last few years as a simple and flexible way to store goods. What once started as a temporary solution for people redecorating their homes, moving house or moving offices, has fast become a serious long term solution for storing things. And for good reason! Storing things offsite or away from your home actually helps you save money!
Your space is worth more than a storage unit
UK homes are small. Many modern homes use attic space as living space, such as a bedroom. Meanwhile, existing homeowners in need of more space have converted attics and garages into new rooms. This means the available storage space inside the average home has decreased.
As a result, many people now use their spare room to store the things they’d normally put away in the garage or attic. But is this the best use of space? It’s actually cheaper to put your things in storage rather than keeping them in the house.
Earn money using self storage
An increasingly popular use of a spare room is to let it out to a lodger, however many people cannot do this because they use the room to store unused possessions. But how much could you earn by putting your things in storage?
A small double bedroom in the UK is around 90-100 square feet. On Spareroom.co.uk, we were able to find double rooms in Ipswich for let at between £90 to £125 per week. Meanwhile, a 100 square foot storage unit at HomeStore Self Storage costs £55.20 per week, including VAT. Assuming you needed to use the whole space to store your things, you could earn between £34.80 to £69.80 per week.
However, your spare room may not be completely full, since you are likely to want access to the room, for example to open the window or adjust the radiator. In a storage unit this is not necessary, so you wouldn't need to use as much space. Supposing you needed only 50 square feet to store your things and rented the spare room, you’d be able to earn between £56.40 and £91.40 per week.
Make better use of your space
For some people, renting their spare room is impractical, for example when you have small children at home. In which case, why not make better use of your spare room, by turning it into a play room for the kids, or a home office? You’d get better value for money out of your home, opening up your space without having to throw away any of your valuable yet rarely used possessions.
What about for businesses?
Businesses can also save money using a self storage facility, in the same way. Why use your expensive office space to store archives, stock or infrequently used items when you could save money and use a storage unit?
This is also a great way of expanding your businesses. You may be looking to hire a new member of staff, but currently don’t have the space to accommodate them. This might mean having to find a new premises, but instead, why not see if you can reduce the clutter in your office with a storage unit instead?
RICS property market snapshot shows house prices broadly flat as Manpower survey suggests jobs market pickup in new year. House prices are starting to stabilise and the jobs market is improving according to two forward-looking surveys, offering glimmers of hope for the UK economy even as it heads towards a possible triple-dip recession.
Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at Rics, told the BBC “…that mortgage lenders would continue to demand high deposits, and first-time buyers would continue to struggle to secure a mortgage.
He said that the group expected property sales in general to hit their highest level since 2007, although this would still be 40% lower than at the start of the credit crunch. Meanwhile, the alternative of renting is becoming more and more costly with a further increase in rents likely in 2013."
Before Christmas we ran a competition in our bi-monthly e-newsletter asking our readers to give us reasons why our squirrel should either stay at HomeStore or go for good.
Entrants needed to watch our new storage video and then come up with a witty caption for their reason – “should he stay or should he go”!
These are just some of the entries we had which we thought we would share –
“Yes, let him stay as no-one wants him searching for his nuts in the cold!”
Our comment – Poor thing!
“Yes. You have to let him stay otherwise Walkers may catch him and turn him into a limited edition packet of crisps!!!”
Our comment – Not sure we fancy roast squirrel!
“It’s certainly a “Clash” of the egos and let’s face it what has David Attenborough ever done for storage so, yes, the squirrel should stay”
Our comment – Very clever! We see what you’ve done there!
“Yes, but don’t tell “Scrat” where the nuts are!”
Our comment – We believe this is a reference to the “Ice Age” films and No we wouldn’t want Scrat here either, no craters in Ipswich please!
Sorry we couldn't show all the entries (some were a tad rude!) but a big thank-you to everyone who had a go.
By the way with every click on the video we donated a pound to charity and we are really pleased to have raised £500 divided equally between St. Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich and St. Nicholas Hospice in Bury St Edmunds. So a HUGE thank-you to everyone who took a 2 min break from their normal routine.
A Few Seasonal Jokes
Q: Mum, can I please have a cat for Christmas?
Ans: No. You'll have turkey the same us the rest of us.
Q: What's the most popular Christmas wine?
Ans: 'I don't like Brussels sprouts!'
Q: What's red and white and black all over?
A: Santa Claus after he slid down the chimney.
Q: How do chickens dance at the Christmas party?
Ans: Chick to chick!
Q: Why would you invite a mushroom to a Christmas party?
Ans: He's a fun guy to be with.
Q: What do you get if Santa comes down your chimney when the fire is ablaze?
Ans: Crisp Kringle.
Q: What is the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the ordinary alphabet?
Ans: The Christmas alphabet has No L
Q: What do you get if you team Santa with a detective?
Ans: Santa Clues
Q. How do Snowmen travel around?
A. By riding an icicle.
Q. Where do Snow-women like to dance?
A. At Snowballs.
Q: What happened when the snowman annoyed the snow-woman?
Ans: She gave him the cold shoulder.
Q: What do you get when you cross a vampire and a snowman?
Tourists pose near a snowman sculpture during the 26th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival at a park in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China early in 2010.
All good wishes for the Festive Season from the HomeStore team