The word ‘zero’ might sound unachievable but that is far from the truth. Zero waste living benefits the environment as well as your health, mind and bank balance. Here at Spaces & Places, we are keen to cut down on the waste we create and so, here are our top tips on cutting out the excess in your home.

Refuse the free stuff

Learn to say no. Junk mail, freebies, business cards, testers whatever it may be, they are examples of things you can say no to. Every single time somebody takes one, the demand to create more increases. Not only will this help declutter your home without extra waste, but it also puts into perspective how many resources we are wasting on a daily basis.

Reuse what you have

Not only is reusing your own belongings one of the easiest principles, but it also saves you a lot of money whilst making a massive difference to waste levels. Swap plastic bottles for refillable, use cloth napkins that can be washed rather than tissue and take reusable bags to the supermarket.

Reduce your intakes

Start with your first grocery trip. The less you buy, the less you waste – simple! Keep your items to a minimum and see what you need more than what you want. Also, reduce the clutter of your home. If you decide to get rid, take it to the charity shop. Not only will it help somebody else, but it will also allow you to see what you actually have to hand already and prevent you from buying extra.

Recycle as much as you can

Not only will reducing your items help waste less, but it also helps recycle more! Buying items like fruit and vegetables in bulk rather than lots of small packages means it is easier to recycle. Avoid plastic and choose cardboard and metal that can be recycled in your designated recycle bins adhering to your city’s policies.

Rot any thrown out food

If there is no option but to throw food, ensure you have a compost system in place. This allows your waste to be put to good use and nature around you to be greener with its nutrients too!

Waste levels are rising by the second so however you choose to become a zero-waste home, the time to do it is now.  It doesn’t have to be difficult, just follow the tips above and you’ll be down to zero in no time.

If you are a small growing business, increasing and maintaining high levels of productivity is essential to your development.

Research has shown that a brighter, neater and more flexible office increases employee engagement and productivity.

Here are a few top tips for organising your office to encourage your team to go that ‘extra mile’

Space – an office with high ceilings creates a feeling of space, making it light and airy. Circulation of air is important to keep the team alert and focused. The presence of plants in the office also helps to keep oxygen levels in the room high as well as adding a calming atmosphere.

Design – choose furniture carefully and arrange it in a way that encourages collaboration. Rounded and curved furniture is more inviting rather than rectangular tables in rows.

Get creative – studies have shown that productivity increases when employees have ownership of their own work area. Encourage your staff to personalise their own area with posters, pictures or plants to make it a space that inspires them and that they want to spend time in.

Organisation – encourage everyone in the office to keep all documents and stationery in drawers or cupboards and have an ‘in tray’ on their desk to store documents they are currently working on. A clutter free space will help to keep everyone calm and focused on the task at hand.

As a business grows and develops it may require extra space for storing products or documents, but it may not be practical to allocate more space in the office.

A self-storage unit could be the perfect solution. At Spaces and Places, we offer affordable, flexible and practical solutions for any business. Keep your office organised and tidy by storing documents in self-storage. With 24/7 access and CCTV surveillance, you can have peace of mind that your documents are safe and secure.

So, if your business is looking for extra space, get in touch with Spaces and Places.

Last month we covered a few of the reasons why we are drawn to storing clutter and why we continue to do so.

If you missed part I, check it out here.

Read on for part II….

Parents Influence

Many children follow in their parent’s footsteps, with or without realising. If your home was always neat and tidy then you subconsciously adopt similar behaviours. However, if your parents were collectors, workaholics or had a creative flare then your home would be more busy and unorganised.

You may have adopted your parent’s habits or rebelled against then, either way, they have had an influence on how you choose to fill the space in your home.

Life changes

You may have moved into a smaller place than what you were used to or even used the spare room you once had to start a business; life changes affect the way we use our space. If you feel all your items are crowding your room and suffocating the way you live, it is time to make some changes.

Loneliness

When you are lonely, you tend to try and fill a void. Many people turn to food or shopping to keep themselves entertained. However, overconsumption can have consequences and before you know it, the space you once had is now full of new purchases.

Personality

If you are a creative person you may make a lot of impulsive buys. Coming across items you feel you can restore and sell due to the potential you see in them or even purchasing unique items as nobody else will have them will be a regular occurrence!

Letting go

Having emotional attachment to items makes them harder to throw away. You will feel guilty and suddenly miss the item once you make the decision to say goodbye. The same goes for items that you feel may come in handy one day. Old jeans that are too big/ too small, an outfit you have worn once and even magazines/books that you will not read again suddenly pile up and you have no intention of throwing away.

Whether you are looking for extra space to work on a project or you would like a safe and secure place to store your items, a storage unit is the answer. Business storage and personal storage are options available at Spaces and Places.

Get in touch and start making your home a peaceful and relaxing place to live in today.

Over the years, you will have gathered a lot of items, some of these may be memorable or have a sentimental meaning attached to them, and others you have stored because you do not want to throw away/ have not had time to throw away.

If you, or somebody you know has a clutter problem, here’s why…

  1. Busy

When you lead an active life, you cherish the few moments you are allowed to relax. Very rarely you will spend your free time sorting out your wardrobe or cleaning your room and it will instead continue to be put on a ‘to-do list’ that never gets done.

  1. Comfortable

If you are used to always having a cluttered area, it will feel familiar, safe and normal to you as it is something you have lived with for a long time. In a sense, you feel at home with this clutter and you become in no rush to change your ways.

Impulse Purchases

Something may pop up that you have an interest in at that moment in time. Whether it is buying a DVD, gathering recipes or purchasing a board game, you feel the need to buy these items, yet you are in no rush to use them. Similarly, you may watch the movie or play a board game once and then place it back in a pile to never watch/play again.

  1. Health

You may have suffered an illness or a bereavement which means you have put your life on hold. It can be hard to come to terms with these changes, however life does not stop. The post continues to come, dust continues to gather and plants keep growing.

  1. Depression or illness

When caring for someone or helping somebody tackle ill-health, your energy levels can decrease, meaning your surroundings are not a priority on your list. Understandably, you will put off your cleaning to-do list until you feel ready.

For many of the reasons listed above, self-storage becomes a necessity for many homes. You avoid making tough decisions on whether to throw items away, while allowing your home to become clutter free. A win-win situation.

Avoid putting off decluttering your home and get in touch today.

 

An analysis of various studies on clutter and hoarding has indicated that clutter has a negative effect on our life. Not only can clutter in the home cause stress, it can also affect your physical health, relationships, career and finances

Take a look at the different and surprising ways clutter can affect your life.

  • Clutter can damage your health and lead to:-
  1. Stress – clutter is thought to raise the level of the hormone cortisol
  2. Overeating – to compensate for the feeling of being overwhelmed by clutter
  3. Respiratory problems – cluttered homes contain more dust which can lead to breathing problems
  • Clutter can harm your relationships
  1. Clutter prevents people seeing the changes that are needed to build and strengthen their relationships with others
  2. Children who live in cluttered home are less happy and less likely to have friends over to play.
  3. Adults tend to isolate themselves from others as they are embarrassed by their cluttered home
  • Clutter can hinder your career
  1. Bosses have indicated they are less likely to promote employees that have a cluttered messy desk.
  2. Clutter also has a negative effect on a person’s rate of productivity
  • Clutter can affect you financially
  1. In a cluttered home people are more prone to miss paying bills on time
  2. Clutter encourages bad spending habits

To improve your wellbeing and clear your home of clutter hire a self-storage unit from Spaces and Places.

We offer safe, flexible and affordable self-storage units which are simple to rent and just as easy to give notice. There are no long term contracts, and there are plenty of ways to pay

Once you have made the decision to move and put your house on the market you need to ensure your home is ready for viewing.

To attract the best buyers you need to make sure that you give the best impression possible to the people who view your property.

If you have lived in the same house for a while you will have accumulated a lot of stuff and whilst it may be important to you, when a prospective buyer comes to view your home they want to able to see themselves living there in the future.

When a prospective buyer asks to view a property they will probably have already decided they like the area, the price and the general external appearance of the house. They now want to experience the ‘feel’ of the house and imagine how they will use the different rooms within the house. For this reason you need to declutter and de-personalise your home to make it more neutral yet still welcoming.

To prepare your home for viewing:-

  • Declutter – take the opportunity to start sorting through all your possessions. Some things can be thrown away or given to charity shops straight away. Other things you will want to keep but could be packed away and put into storage ready for your move. This will help to clear space in rooms and cupboards to give buyers a better impression of your home and the space it has to offer.
  • De-personalize – removing and packing away treasured possessions like paintings the children have done, holiday souvenirs, family photos, or equipment used for hobbies helps to make your home more neutral, so buyers can imagine how their could make this their home.
  • Neutral but welcoming – you don’t want to pack everything away but tidying up rooms and cupboards make your home look clean and organised. Uncluttered rooms will also give a feeling of space.

All the things you pack up can be stored in self-storage units until you are ready to move. This will help to make the move easier and mentally prepare you for moving out of your home.

Spaces and Places storage units offer a cost-effective and practical solution to clearing your home and get it ready for a viewing.

If you’re moving house this summer get in touch with Spaces and Places.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the ‘stuff’ in your home it is probably time to have a good sort out and declutter. Process of decluttering is not only beneficial for your wellbeing but it can also be financially beneficial too.

As the May bank holiday approaches that extra day off could be the perfect time to start decluttering and making some extra cash.

The best way to declutter is to take one room at a time and sort things into four piles: to keep, to sell, to donate, and to bin.

If there are items you are  not sure about getting rid of, just consider whether you have used it in the last 12 months , if you haven’t you probably won’t use in the future, so get rid of it.

Once you have your piles you then need to work out the best ways to make money from your ‘sell’ pile.

  • Go to a car boot sale or nearly new sale with your items. There is usually a fixed price charged for hiring the pitch but if you have a lot of items to sell it is could be a cost effective option and it can be fun too
  • Use a second hand shop to sell your items for you. They will take a commission charge but if don’t’ like the idea of selling items yourself or are short on time it could a good solution to get some cash for your unwanted items
  • Selling online. Ebay is the most commonly used site but they will take 10% and you need to factor in things like postage. The royal mail can work out expensive so consider couriers like Hermes as an alternative or include the postage in the cost in the purchase price. Gumtree is an alternative on line site which is free and operates on a more local basis. Selling via Facebook is also becoming more popular
  • Recycling clothes for cash with stores like H&M
  • Selling unwanted items to online sites – Fatbrain will give you cash for your unwanted books, MusicMagpie will buy unwanted CD’s, DVD’s and games and Envirofone will give you cash for your old mobile phones.

If you are left with clutter that you don’t want to sell or throw away, why not keep it in self-storage to free up space in your home.

At Spaces and Places we have storage units of varying sizes and we offer safe, clean and highly affordable flexible storage options, with 24/7 access.  For more information, get in touch with one of our team.

Call: 0800 124 4363 or Email: hello@spaces-and-places.co.uk

As the seasons change from winter into spring, more people may be thinking about putting their bulky winter clothing into storage instead of having it clog up their wardrobes.

Unlike some parts of the world where the climate remains fairly constant, in the UK we definitely have 4 seasons – sometimes in one day! This means that in the autumn and winter we wear thicker heavier clothes and in the spring and summer our clothes are generally lighter and thinner. Having all these clothes in our wardrobe and drawers can lead to overcrowding and difficulty finding the things we want to wear, plus there is a danger that the clothes can get damaged and spoilt if they are crammed into wardrobes and drawers ‘fit to burst’!

The best way to overcome these problems is to store the bulky autumn/winter clothes during the spring/summer months and the skimpy shorts, tops and dresses worn in the spring /summer should be packed away over the autumn /winter months.

Here are a few tips on the best way to store clothing to ensure it stays in perfect condition until you need it next.

  1. 1. Sort out clothes and accessories – Before storing clothes, shoes and accessories it is always a good idea to have a good sort through. There is no point in storing clothes you have not worn for the last twelve months. There is probably a good reason why you have not worn them- too small, too big, the fit is wrong, they are out of fashion or they are showing signs of wear. Be ruthless – get rid of worn out clothes –even if it is a favourite shirt and send items in good condition to the charity shop.

2. Clean /polish -Wash or dry clean all clothes before storing them. The clothes do not need to be ironed but it is essential to clean them properly to remove marks and stains. Similarly clean and polish leather goods like boots and shoes before storing. Keep boots and shoes separate from clothes and stuff tissue paper into them to help keep their shape.

3. Repair – Carry out minor repairs on clothes before storing them for example sewing on buttons, or repairing seams or hems.

4. Storage containers – Invest in good quality plastic containers with airtight lids to store your clothes. They will keep your clothes dry and free of mildew/mould plus mice and other small creepy crawlies will not get to your clothes. Avoid vacuum packing clothes – it may save you space but clothes made of natural fibres like wool can be damaged if crushed in a vacuum bag for a long period of time.  Contains should then be stored in a warm, dry place.

5. Packing – Although clothes don’t need to be ironed before packing, they should be packed carefully either by folding neatly or rolling. Heaviest items should be packed first and the lighter more delicate items should be at the top and whatever you do, don’t over pack the container!  

If you find that you’re struggling for space to store all your clothes, why not think about renting a self-storage unit.  We offer clean secure storage with 24/7 access.

Get in touch with Spaces and Places and get your wardrobe under control!

It’s that time of year again! Once the harshest weather of the winter is over, the days are getting longer and the sun is brightening the sky, many of us start to feel the urge to give our homes a ‘spring clean.’ Traditionally spring cleaning was a way of getting rid of all the soot and dirt that had built up over the winter from open fires but today it tends to refer to sorting out the house, getting rid of unwanted items  and giving our home a deep clean.

Listed below are some great tips to help you spring clean your home:-

  1. 1. Declutter: start by getting rid of unwanted items. There is absolutely no point cleaning things you no longer want or need. Either take them to the tip, to the charity shop or store them to sell at a later date.
  2. 2. Tidy up: find a home for everything (there should be more room in the cupboards now you have decluttered). It is much easier to clean if you don’t have to keep moving things.
  3. 3. Pace yourself: Take one room or area at a time to avoid running out of time and energy, leaving you with unfinished jobs. You have greater satisfaction and will feel more motivated to continue if you complete cleaning one room rather than if you have several rooms partially cleaned.
  4. 4. Start at the top: when cleaning it is always best to start at the top of a room and work down, and similarly clean inside a cupboard before the outside. This will help to avoid things you have just cleaned getting dirty again. Also work round a room in one direction to avoid missing areas out.
  5. 5. Be prepared: have all your cleaning products together in a caddy to carry around with you as you clean.
  6. 6. Hand protection: invest in a good pair of rubber gloves to protect your skin and nails from harsh chemicals.
  7. 7. Freshen up: get the windows open and let fresh air circulate in the room.
  8. 8. Multitask: when spring cleaning a room, first take down curtains, remove cushion covers and other soft furnishings and get them into the washing machine so they can be washing while you are cleaning.
  9. 9. Repairs: carry out any repairs that need to be done as you come across them.
  10. 10. Look after yourself: wear comfy clothes and shoes when cleaning and give yourself a reward for all your hard work!

When you have finished your spring cleaning if you have items of furniture, household goods or clothes you do not want to throw away but need to store, why not think about using a self-storage unit. Get in touch with Spaces and Places for a secure and convenient way of storing these items.

The 1st National Clear Your Clutter Day was on Saturday 19th March 2016.

It was set up by Jasmine Birtles, the consumer champion and founder of MoneyMagpie.com.

The day was designed to encourage and help people all over the UK to declutter their homes and lives.

This year National Clear Your Clutter Day takes place on Saturday 11th March 2017.

So now is the time to declutter your homes and dig out all those unused items to sell, swap, upcycle, recycle or donate.

It is the perfect opportunity to raise some extra cash or to feel good about clearing out your home and giving items you no longer want to someone else.

Jasmine’s top tips for decluttering include:

  • 1. Consider decluttering in a positive way – think of it as gaining space and freedom rather than getting rid of things
  • 2. Take a room at a time – clear one room before you start with the next and go for the easiest room first. This will help to spur you on to declutter in other rooms
  • 3. Enlist help – it is always more fun sorting things out with a friend or a member of the family. It will also encourage you to be more ruthless and avoid hanging onto things.
  • 4. Use the 4 box rule – have 4 boxes marked ‘throw away’, ‘charity shop’, ‘sell’, ‘recycle’. Everything you decide not to keep should go into one of those boxes.

The ‘throw away’ one is easy just put it in your bin or take to the tip.

The ‘charity shop’ one take to your favourite charity shop, remembering to give them your name and postcode so that they can gift aid it.

The stuff to recycle could be decorated or re-packaging to use as Christmas or birthday presents. Or if it is clothing re vamped, to make it wearable again.

The items to sell, should be photographed and the details uploaded on to an internet sales site such as eBay, Preloved or a local community Facebook group

  • 5. One item at a time- if the thought of decluttering overwhelms you, just get into the habit of sorting one item a day. Put the item in the bin, drop it in at the charity shop or put it on line to sell. It’s amazing how much you will clear month by month and this habit will give you freedom from clutter and financial rewards over time.

If, despite all your best efforts to declutter there are some things you really can’t let go, why not consider using a storage unit.

Spaces and Places is the perfect place to store items you do not want to throw away and furniture you wish to sell at a future date.

Get in touch with Spaces and Places, a secure, convenient and trustworthy storage company.

Moving in with a partner can be an exciting time. You have taken the next stage in your relationship and have decided that right now is the perfect moment to move in together.

However, before you start to believe everything will run smoothly, prepare yourself for challenges you may face by reading on.

  1. Two of Everything

If you currently both live by yourselves, you will have your own furniture, appliances and electronics. Deciding which items you will bring to your new place may cause a disagreement, and deciding what to do with the remaining items can be a stressful task.

Tip – Store items in storage until you find a buyer.

  1. Different Visions/ Tastes

You most likely have different decorating visions and different tastes. Compromising is key if you want to live peacefully together and create a home which you both enjoy returning to after a long day at work!

Tip – Purchase new items together and create a home you both love.

  1. Initial Clutter

On day one moving in, your new home will be filled with boxes. Place the boxes in the room which they belong and begin unloading. You may have underestimated the amount of space you have in your new home, resulting in your new place becoming cluttered and unappealing.

Tip – Decide which items you will not be needing at this moment in time, and keep them safe in storage until you need them again. Clothing is a great place to start. If it is winter, place all summer clothing in storage until the warm weather arrives and vice versa. This will allow a large amount of extra space in your wardrobe to appear.

Mayhem

If you are used to living alone, sharing space with somebody else may become difficult to begin with. Having complete control over your environment, inviting friends over without consulting anybody or a spur of the moment decision to redecorate are certain aspects you will not be able to do anymore.

Tip – Avoid an argument and make a conscious decision to talk through any changes or future plans with your partner.

Self storage becomes a lifesaver for two people moving in together. For items which you do not want to throw away and furniture you wish to sell at a future date, get in touch with a secure, convenient and trustworthy storage company; Spaces and Places.

Over Christmas, there’s no doubt you’ll have received an abundance of new items for your home that are currently sat waiting to be put away.

Many of us use January as a good excuse to have a relook at our lives, make important changes and try to better ourselves; both in terms of our health or our life objectives. Sometimes these life changes can seem a little daunting to say the least.

Our top tips to organising your home, room by room provides realistic changes that will have an immediate impact on your home life; saving you time and unnecessary stress.

Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart and soul of the house; a space for cooking, eating, entertaining and socialising. Keeping this area organised is essential for maximising the space.

  • 1. Go through the cupboards and throw out anything that’s out of date
  • 2. Buy storage containers to help organise your cupboards/ pantry
  • 3. Have a look through your utensils and throw out anything that has been in the cupboards for years. If you haven’t used it in the last year, the chances are you won’t. If throwing things out doesn’t feel right, take it to a local charity shop.

 

Office

Has your office become a dumping ground for piles of paperwork? Is there an old printer sat in the corner gathering dust?  A decluttered, and organised office can actually give you that motivational push you need to get on with any new projects, starting the year as you mean to go on. So why not:

  • 1. Throw out any old unused office equipment
  • 2. Go through any piles of paperwork, throwing and shredding any that you don’t need.
  • 3. File all other documents in a filing cabinet ensuring any that you need access to are easy to find.

 

Garage

It’s common knowledge that very few garages are used for the storage of the car. Most people either renovate it to provide more living space, or use it as an area for storage or workshop. As a multipurpose space it’s essential that it’s well thought out and organised.

  • 1. Use a slat wall to hang and organise smaller accessories.
  • 2. Install a set of old school lockers and assign one to each member of your family.
  • 3. Create extra space and store bikes vertically.

By following these simple changes, your stress levels will be reduced and you’ll find that you have more time to enjoy the things you love to do.

If you find that once your home is reorganised you’re still struggling for space, why not think about self a self-storage unit. Get in touch with Spaces and Places and start 2017 on a positive note!