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Keeping your cool in the midst of a kitchen renovation

A kitchen renovation sounds like the perfect nightmare for anyone. Even if you live alone, coping without a hob, oven, and the drinking water tap can be too much to bear – and let’s not even start on the logistics of the washing up! What you need is a plan that doesn’t involve expensive restaurant bills every night of the week… 

Is it possible to survive? Yep! And here’s how…

1. Pack up your kitchen

When the renovation start date has been confirmed it’s time to clear everything out that you want to keep, putting only the essentials aside. Everything else should be packed and moved out to keep your home as clear as possible – self-storage facilities are perfect for short term (or longer term) storage needs.

Allow plenty of time so you can pack methodically. A kitchen renovation is the ideal opportunity to declutter so you don’t end up storing items you no longer use or need. If you no longer need an item consider recycling it, giving it to charity, or throwing it in the bin. 

2. Create a temporary kitchen

Choose another room where you can set up a temporary kitchen and get your fridge, kettle and/or camping stove up and running. This will become your haven when the work begins so gather your essentials and settle in. When the work starts, keep the doors shut to reduce the amount of dust travelling and to keep the heat in.

3. Keep your essentials handy

Think about what you use in your kitchen on a daily basis without fail – these are your essentials. 

What’s the top essential? Water. You’ll need plenty of bottles of drinking water in reserve while the renovation takes place as it’s likely your water supply will need to be switched off for a day or two during the work. What about washing up? Use a washing up bowl and a kettle for the hot water – which means keeping washing up, a sponge and tea towel handy. 

Keep other essentials to a minimum to avoid clutter – a few plates, mugs and enough cutlery to get you by, along with a handful of cupboard staples like oil, salt, pepper and canned supplies. It’s amazing how resourceful you can be when needs must!

4. Plan alternatives

It’s time to accept that it won’t be ‘business as usual’ when it comes to preparing and cooking food – but luckily, it’s only temporary! Make a list of the alternatives you’re happy to indulge in and create a rough meal plan for the duration of the renovation process. This might include the odd takeaway or meal out or eating with friends and family. 

Alternatively, make the most of your freezer and get batch cooking to minimise the food preparation process.

5. Don’t forget your laundry!

Many kitchens are also the home of the washing machine. Launderettes are one solution, although there are only a handful around these days (collection services are often available). Why not ask a neighbour or friend if it’s OK to use theirs a couple of times? You can invite them round for a meal in your sparkly, new kitchen when it’s finished to say ‘thank you’!

When your kitchen is back, you’ll forget all about living in a building site for so long – it’ll all be worth it! For your kitchen renovation storage needs, get in touch with the friendly Now Storage team by emailing info@nowstorage.co.uk or phoning 0800 0787 110. For more advice, check out our blog on how to prepare for a renovation: decorating.

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Preparation for home renovation: decorating

Renovating or decorating your home is an exciting time, but one that creates LOTS of work. And most of this work begins before you even think about picking up a paintbrush… 

So, how can you best prepare your home? We’re going to take you through a few steps to make the rest of the project easier to complete. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get started!

1. Consolidate a plan

Before you get stuck into the project, create a plan. We can’t emphasise this enough! You should know the order you’ll tackle your jobs and have a rough timeline for completion (we all know renovation projects rarely run on time!). 

List the tasks so you can see what lies ahead and foresee any potential holdups. For example, it makes practical sense to do all of your painting before replacing carpets. Will you need to bring in any experts to help, like plumbers and/or electricians? If so, it’s worth booking them in ahead of time. What supplies will you need and how easy are they to get hold of? The last thing you want is to realise you’re out of paint right before you finish the project… The more robust the plan at this stage, the better. Fortunately, there’s plenty of advice out there to help you plan like a pro.

2. Clear the rooms

When you’re decorating a home, having to do it around your furniture and other items can be difficult. Unfortunately, not many people have the luxury of spare space to store bulky things like this without making other aspects of life more disrupted than they already are… not to mention the health and safety hazards it creates. 

Clear the rooms as much as you can by moving items into other rooms and any shed/garage space you may have. Protect any furniture that can’t be moved with sheets and/or clear covers, so they don’t get damaged in the decorating process. 

If these aren’t feasible, consider using self-storage as an alternative – store all your furniture away until you need it again to give you the space you need. You can use it for as long as you need, which is handy for renovation projects which take longer than first anticipated (and you have the added peace of mind of 24/7 CCTV at all of our self-storage sites).

3. Clean the house

When you paint, you need a clean surface to apply the paint to. But the problem when you renovate is that dust and other debris moves around your home. It can feel like you’re forever chasing dust as it travels from room to room! As counterproductive as it might feel at the time, clean rooms are essential for clean walls. Whether it’s you or a job you allocate to someone else, don’t miss this step!

Ready to decorate? If you need flexible self-storage during the renovation process, get in touch with the friendly Now Storage team by emailing info@nowstorage.co.uk or phoning 0800 0787 110. Renovating your office? We can help with business storage too!

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Middle Moving Syndrome

Moving properties is a bit like navigating a journey from A to B. You’ve got it all mapped out and you know where you want to end up, but sometimes you get stuck in the middle. ‘A’ is finding the right house and selling your old one and ‘B’ is moving in and getting settled. But, what about the grey area in the middle (or, as we call it, the ‘middle moving syndrome’)? What if the A to B transition isn’t seamless? 

The good news is avoiding a sticky middle is possible as long as you understand the tricks of the trade. Here are the basics…

1. Synchronise buying and selling

To afford a new home, you’ll likely have to sell your current one (unless you’re in a very fortunate position). But often, homeowners don’t sync the process and end up with nowhere to stay until the deal is completed. The last thing anyone wants is to be without a home so both transactions have to go through simultaneously. 

Because you’re not in control, it can be a daunting task but there are solutions to help synchronise the process. One solution is to use the same bank for buying and selling to limit confusion and speed up the process. Another solution is to ask the estate agents to work together and not waste time. Take a look at our blog for more moving mistakes and how to avoid them.

2. Have a Plan B

Even when you try to finalise both deals as quickly as possible it doesn’t always work out that way. A contingency plan is the only way to ensure there’s a place for you and your family to stay while you move into your new home. 

So, what’s your Plan B? Could you stay with family or friends? If not, what rental opportunities are available in the area? Could you still commute to work easily? Hopefully you won’t need to resort to Plan B but having one in place will bring peace of mind should Plan A not map out as you’d hoped. 

3. Reduce clutter

The middle part of the move is when you have to get your belongings from one place to another. Not only can it be difficult and time-consuming, but it’s also expensive. To avoid wasting energy and money, it’s a savvy idea to invest in self-storage while you’re inbetween. The cost is low, which is a bonus, and it helps to reduce the price of a moving truck and movers. It also gives you the opportunity to clean your new property and decide where items will live before moving everything in. Win-win!

4. Think clearly

The middle is the part which is the most stressful. Stress can force us to make bad decisions, and that can exacerbate the situation. Everyone wants the process to be over as quickly as possible, which is why stress-relief is essential (take a look at our blog for tips on dealing with moving stress). Schedule in some time out to give yourself a break from it all – don’t forget, moving house is one of the top life stressors!

Stuck in the middle and need to store your belongings? For flexible and affordable self-storage, get in touch with the friendly, Now Storage team. Or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and special offers.

When space is swallowed, where do you go next?

When space is swallowed, where do you go next?

One of the biggest issues for modern families is space… or rather, lack of it. For many of us buying a bigger property isn’t an option. So, what do you do when space is ‘swallowed’ in your home?

Here are some clever methods to create the space you need…

1. Sell your possessions online

Websites like eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace provide the perfect platform to sell unwanted possessions at the click of a button. If you aren’t using an item and don’t see any future use, why keep hold of it? Other than shipping and collections, you can do all the selling from the comfort of your home… easy peasy.
Before listing your possession(s), research how much similar items are selling for so you have a rough idea of value – this way you’ll avoid under-pricing (and the disappointment when you realise you have!).

2. Give away some of your unwanted items to charity

One person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure – it’s true! Lots of organisations rely solely on donations to keep their work going, so by giving away items you’ll not only be freeing up space in your home, you’ll also be supporting a great cause.

There’s also the environmental factor… shopping second hand is a sustainable way of buying – reusing items that would otherwise have been thrown away. You’re contributing to that positive cycle when you donate.

3. Use the space in and around your home creatively

Have you really explored and exhausted all possible storage options in and out of your property? The eaves in your roof, attics or garden sheds can all provide a great space to store items.

What about repurposing spaces? A bookshelf in a stairwell, use of walls and ceilings to hang items from, or seats with built-in storage provide a dual purpose – they’re practical while being aesthetically pleasing.

Adaptations like these will inevitably vary in cost, so it’s about weighing up the value each would bring to your home life. If you’re stuck for creative ideas there’s plenty of inspiration around, especially on platforms like Pinterest where you can ‘pin’ (save) ideas for future reference. Unleash your creativity!

4. Self-storage

Self-storage services work out much cheaper than buying a bigger home. Here are just some of the scenarios where self-storage would be ideal…

  • Storing seasonal items throughout the year to free up space when they’re not in use
  • For when the kids are back from university and have brought back way more stuff than they left with…
  • Storing collectibles that would otherwise create tension between you and your other half…!

    Yes, self-storage is an expense but this sort of investment is well worth it (our customers say so – just read our reviews!), plus you have the flexibility of being able to access it as and when you need it.

Where do you go when space is swallowed? There are lots of options, without having to worry about moving (phew). For affordable self-storage, get in touch with the Now Storage team on 0800 0787 110 or email info@nowstorage.co.uk. Did you know we can help with business storage, too?
Downsizing home

The downsides of downsizing

Moving to a smaller home is often a great idea. The upsides include saving money and reduced maintenance (think of the extra time you’ll have as a result!).

But there are also some downsides to downsizing to be aware of… We’re going to look at some of them, along with suggestions of how to overcome the potential barriers.

Impact on daily life

Humans are creatures of habit – we like routine and become comfortable in familiar surroundings. Downsizing could mean living somewhere which doesn’t enable your old habits, and you might feel as though the rug has been pulled from under your feet. This change in lifestyle can be difficult to adapt to.

On the flip side, a smaller home means the opportunity for a fresh start – the chance to create new surroundings. As a nation of hoarders, we tend to hold on to items without a reason, keeping them out of habit. But that very habit can also make you feel overwhelmed with ‘stuff’! Ask yourself if you really need or love a particular item – if not, you could recycle it, upcycle it or give it to charity. This will keep your new home clutter-free, more spacious and ready to make your own.

Less space

Another downside is not being able to fit the items you love and do want to keep. There are a few options to help with this problem…

  1. Invest in storage at home
    If you need the items in your everyday life, you don’t have a choice – they need to be at home with you. Fortunately, there are lots of clever storage solutions out there to help you. Companies like IKEA have pioneered this art with homes getting smaller and people owning more than ever before.
  2. Use flexible self storage
    If you don’t need the items on a daily basis or you can’t decide whether to keep an item self storage is a good way to go – whether short term or long term. Accessible and affordable self storage means you can have all your important belongings looked after for as long as you need without having to part with them.

Moving to a smaller home is never an easy process. There are practical implications and, of course, there’s the psychological impact too. But with time and resourcefulness, your new surroundings will gradually start to feel like home. And you might start to enjoy all the other benefits of downsizing – like less maintenance/cleaning and more time to enjoy yourself!

For affordable, flexible and accessible self storage, get in touch with the friendly team at Now Storage on 0800 0787 110 or email info@nowstorage.co.uk. Our self storage facilities are located in Basingstoke, Newbury, Oswestry, Pershore, Reading, Rogiet, Ross on Wye, Swindon and Winchester.

Kid’s belongings – what to keep and what to throw

As your kids grow up you’ll find yourself in a dilemma. They begin to outgrow their toys and clothes…so you start replacing them…and end up with more items than you have space for! The solution is, of course, to get rid of the old stuff, but that’s easier said than done when they hold memories.

We’ve put together a few tips on how to decide what to keep and what to throw.

Read more

Dealing with christmas decorations

Dealing with Christmas Decorations and Other Christmas Items

Christmas is approaching…which means it won’t be long until it’s time to pack down (sorry, did someone say ‘Scrooge’?!). We don’t mean to spoil the fun, but a little planning goes a long way and can turn a boring, slightly depressing post-Christmas task into an easy pack down.

Here are some tips about how to store your Christmas items so they can be reused next year…

Christmas decorations

The temptation in haste after Christmas is to lump every item together into a large container and get it out of sight. However, you’ll extend the shelf life of your decorations, while making your life easier, if you pack each item carefully for future use. Christmas decorations need to be wrapped and placed in a box or storage container. Put ornaments and baubles in containers which divide each one separately. Colour code and label boxes with descriptions on the outside so you can easily find what you need next year.

Christmas tree (artificial only)

Make sure there’s no moisture on the tree before packing it away. Dismantle it into sections and store the pieces separately in boxes so they’re protected from dust. Don’t forget to label the containers so they can be easily identified next year.

Christmas lights

As tempting as it might be to quickly take down your lights and throw them into a bag, it’s worth doing it properly – you’ll thank yourself next year!

  1. Take an inventory of your lights. Before you prepare them for storage, count how many strands you have.
  2. Untangle the strands. Work from the plug and be gentle with your lights as you untangle to avoid damaging them or worsening any knots.
  3. Test the untangled light strands. There’s no point in storing burned-out lights. Make sure each one works by briefly plugging them into the wall.
  4. Wrap your lights (you can use a range of items, but a heavy-duty coat hanger works well) and store them in a hard-plastic box to avoid breaks.

Gift wrap and gift bags

Salvage whatever gift wrap, gift bags and decorative boxes you can from the carnage of Christmas Day (including wrapping paper, ribbons, tissue paper and so on). You can reuse them all next year – saving you money while being better for the environment too! Store them away in a container.

Many of our customers take advantage of self-storage to pop seasonal items away safely out of sight to be retrieved next year. If you’d like to do the same, get in touch with the Now Storage team by phoning 0800 0787 110 or emailing info@nowstorage.co.uk.

What to do with your house when you go travelling

What to do with your house when you go travelling

Worried about what to do with your house when you go travelling? Here are a few options:

We are a nation struck by wanderlust. We want to escape the everyday and open our eyes to know parts of the world, different cultures and stunning landscapes. But many things can hold us back. Today, we will address one. What to do with your house when you go travelling?

Throw Caution to the Wind

Less cautious. Firstly, sell up everything you have and start planning your around the world trip. This is perhaps the best way to go about things if you’re planning to travel for an extended or indefinite period of time.

The best way to go about things is to give the notice to leave on your rental property once your contract ends, or rent out or sell your property and keep the proceeds in a savings account to be used when you return and intend to settle back down.

You don’t necessarily have to forgo all of your belongings either. You can keep your beloved items in self-storage facilities until your return. This is only really an option for some.

We want to escape the everyday and open our eyes to know parts of the world, different cultures and stunning landscapes

Save Up

Secondly, if you really adore the place you’re in at the moment and can’t bear to see it go, you can always save up sufficient funds to cover your agreed payments until your return. This, of course, means you won’t be able to jump on the next plane out of the country. This provides safeguards if things change.

Take Shorter Journeys

A third option is to take shorter journeys intermittently. This makes your travels feel more like a holiday, but you can get away and check back up on things back home regularly too. Essentially, you get the best of both worlds!

As you can see, you have several options available to you regarding what to do with your house when you go travelling. You can do things completely as you wish according to what’s most convenient for you and your needs. So, don’t put things off any longer! The world is your oyster, and it’s time to start exploring it.

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