working from home solution

From Conference Rooms to Kitchen Zooms: Pros & Cons of WFH (Plus Beyond's Office Solution!)

The dreaded phrase that’s been toted around everywhere from supermarkets to pubs: “The new normal”. Living through 2020 certainly felt new, but it was anything but normal. Even in 2021, we’re still adjusting to life in a pandemic.

One of the biggest changes to our day-to-day was the rise of remote working. Thousands of people across the world said goodbye to their company’s office and hello to a laptop balanced on the edge of their sofa.

Normality is on the horizon, but with companies seeing the benefits of having their employees work remotely and with nine out of ten (88.2%) employees stating they’d like to continue working at home in some capacity, your kitchen-table-made-conference-room isn’t going anywhere. Fear not though, because we have a working from home solution!

 

working from home solution to distractions

 

First, let's break down the pros and cons:

Pros

Unlimited tea breaks - The first and (if you ask us) most important perk that comes with working from home: unlimited access to the kettle. Whilst you’re working at home, there are no nosey colleagues counting how many trips to the kitchen you’ve made in the past hour. Your tea habits are kept between you and your cat. As it should be.

Home comforts - Never mind the thousands of pounds your employer has poured into the most ergonomically designed office chairs. Nothing beats cosying up on your own sofa. Not to mention wearing jogging bottoms during those long meetings that could definitely have been an email. The comfort of home just can’t be beaten.

Convenient - There’s no need to fight for a parking space at 8:59 AM when your ‘office’ is only five feet from your bed. The convenience of WFH is unmatched. You could even start your working day in your pyjamas. It doesn’t get much more accessible than that!

Affordable - When was the last time you needed to fill your car up with petrol? Or spent way too much on a meal deal? Whilst you’re working from home, those little costs that quickly add up are nowhere to be found, and you get to save your pennies as a result.

 

Cons

Unreliable WiFi - No matter who your provider is, there’s no escape from the stuttering, lagging video calls, made worse by the fact that you can’t blame your boss. There’s nothing more awkward than delivering the perfect zoom-speech, only to find out you were frozen the entire time. Unreliable WiFi can ruin an otherwise professional, productive meeting.

Work/home boundaries - It’s hard enough to find a home/work balance under normal circumstances. Let alone when your home also becomes your workplace. After a long day of emails and meetings, it can be difficult to switch off when your living room is also your office. It isn’t a space to relax anymore, and that can really take the joy out of your downtime.

Dodgy temperatures - There’s a universal rule that states your home will always be one of two things: too hot or too cold. Whether your boiler is on the blink or the sun is radiating directly through your window, it’s tough to focus on anything at all when the temperature just isn’t right.

Minimal space - A spare bedroom worked perfectly well when friends stayed over, or for storing those kitchen appliances that you definitely didn’t need - but when it became an office as well? That was when it officially became too crowded. Maybe you don’t have a spare bedroom at all. If you haven’t got room for a desk, let alone to stay organised, it’s infinitely more difficult to work productively.

 

working from home solution, remote working

 

Whilst we love all the perks that come with working from home, the drawbacks are significant enough to make us miss our normal workplace.

But who said you couldn’t have the best of both worlds? All the pros of working from home and the office, without any of the cons? Enter Beyond Offices, your new working from home solution!

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to do focused solo work or a place to host your next meeting, transform your remote working experience with our purpose-built offices using our signature forest-green containers. Far more than just a storage container, Beyond Offices will be fully equipped office spaces waiting for you to seize the workday.

 

For an extra vote of confidence, let’s revise those pros and cons once more:

Tea breaks - At our Beyond Lounges (subject to site availability), you’ll find complimentary tea and coffee, a comfortable, relaxing space to enjoy your breaks in, a kitchenette and toilet facilities.

Comfort - Our offices are specially designed to create a sense of modern comfort to minimise distractions and increase productivity.

Convenient - We’re early birds and night owls, too. Whatever hours you work best, our offices will be open from 6am to 9pm, 7 days a week (and our Beyond Lounges are too!)

Affordable - Like with our storage facilities, we pride ourselves on keeping costs low and transparent. You can expect the same with our Beyond Offices.

Accessible WiFi - You’ll be able to use our reliable WiFi completely free of charge.

Work/home boundaries - Once you’re using Beyond Offices, your living spaces can once again be spaces for you to live (not work) in. Imagine!

Comfortable temperatures - Each of our containers are fitted with air conditioning and heating for year-round comfort.

Space to work - Banish the laptop desks and the make-shift coffee table computer stand. In Beyond Offices, there’s not only room for a desk and chair, but enough space for you to host a meeting of up to 6 people.

On completion, our brand new offices will be located at our Ross-on-Wye site in Herefordshire, with a view to introduce this new service across all of our locations. If you want to upgrade your work from home space, register your interest in Beyond Offices now for exclusive updates and to be the first to hear when they’re open for business! Explore our other services here.

 


Productivity Contained: Our New Beyond Offices, Coming Soon

We're always on the lookout for ways to add even more value to your Beyond experience; from beginning to roll out the Beyond Lounges across our sites, to opening times that work for your schedule, the wants and needs of current and future customers are always at the forefront of our minds.

Recent findings revealed that 60% of the UK’s adult population are currently working from home, so while this is the new normal for many, that doesn’t mean it’s without its challenges:

  • Distractions: be it family, pets or renovations next door, there’s no end to WFH disruptions.
  • Difficult work spaces: box room/kitchen table working is the REAL new normal, and let’s not forget unreliable WiFi connectivity.
  • Poor work-life balance: working from home can lead to working later and longer, with little separation between working life and personal life.

 

For those who’ve been struggling with the above, or are simply looking for somewhere contemporary and professional to work from, we present to you the Beyond Offices!

 

These purpose-built spaces, created out of our signature forest-green storage containers, are the answer to the new working climate in 2021 and beyond.

While we’re still in the process of completing the first of the offices at our Ross-on-Wye site in Herefordshire, we wanted to share our journey with you as we begin to establish this exciting new service for Beyond Storage. Our aim is to feature these offices at a number of our sites, so register your interest in the Beyond Offices here.

So what can you expect to find in our Ross-on-Wye Beyond Offices? We’ve created them specifically with the the modern professional in mind, so they’re great for solo working in peace and quiet, or for a sleek and functional space to hold your next meeting in:

 

  • Free WiFi.
  • A desk and chairs fitting up to 6 people.
  • Access to mains electricity.
  • Roof-lighting and plenty of natural light.
  • Air-con and heating for comfortable working in all seasons.
  • Sound proofing.
  • Simple and contemporary design and setup.
  • Office-designated free parking.
  • Complimentary tea and coffee at the Beyond Lounge (subject to site availability).

 

 

But exactly what kind of a difference could a Beyond Office make to your working day? Benefit from:

  • A quiet and private space to work: our Ross-on-Wye facility, like all of our sites, is situated in beautiful countryside with lush, green spaces, ensuring the offices are a tranquil environment perfect for staying focused. It’s not a bad setting for stretching your legs either!
  • Simple, stylish setup: our offices feature minimal and contemporary decor to minimise distractions and create a neutral, professional space for anyone to work in or host a meeting from.
  • Long opening hours: Beyond Offices will be open from 6am-9pm, as are the Beyond Lounges, meaning you can work around your schedule.
  • Separation of work from home life: rather than meandering to a different room at 7pm rather than clocking off at 5:30pm when you were supposed to, lock up the office and really head home after a hard day’s work.
  • A personable booking approach: the booking process will be simple: whether you’re looking to book hourly or weekly, simply call or email our Ross-on-Wye site to speak with a member of our friendly team about your requirements.
  • Affordable: while we haven’t yet confirmed the exact pricing of our Beyond Offices, we can assure that it will be affordable and competitive.

 

Register your interest in our Beyond Offices today to be the first to know when they're up and running!

 

If you have any questions regarding our site facilities, or want to discuss with our friendly team how our storage containers might add value to your life, get in touch today.

 


Four walls, endless possibilities: why everyone could benefit from self-storage in 2021

What if we told you that a self-storage facility is cheaper than a home extension? What about if we called it an office? An art studio? A time capsule?

In this blog post, we explore the benefits of our wonderfully versatile containers. Some are self-explanatory, but others will surprise you:

 

1. Create more space at home

Self-storage freeing up space in the home isn’t news to anyone, but there are so many reasons why less cluttered, more considered spaces are beneficial.

The flow of a space can impact your whole experience of being at home, from where your eye is drawn to, to how easily you’re able to access things, move around the space or from room to room (why is there always so much in the hall?).

If you aren’t blessed with lots of light in your home, making some changes like reconfiguring the room or updating pieces of furniture altogether can have a huge impact on how you feel. With self-storage, stow away your old furniture until you find another use for it or want to sell it on, so nothing goes to waste for guilt-free interior upgrades.

 

 

2. Easy on the pocket

Self-storage really is the sum of its parts: four walls, fully insulated, dust and damp free with electricity, lighting and WiFi. Sounds like a Room 2.0 if you ask us!

But how much extra would it cost you to have a space like this in your home? We can say with absolute certainty that a self-storage facility is considerably cheaper than upsizing, a home extension, renovating, renting an office to work from or hiring a warehouse for your business.

 

3. There’s little to no commitment

The other advantage of self-storage over home extensions, upsizing and renting an office or warehouse is that there’s so much less of a commitment: we only ask for 7 days notice if you no longer need the facility. Up until that point, it’s all yours!

We even offer to refund the outstanding amount if you leave us mid-month, or we can donate it to charity on your behalf.

 

4. A versatile solution

Like we said, until you decide you no longer need your self-storage facility with us, the space is all yours to do with as you please (within reason of course!). Your storage container can constantly be repurposed depending on your circumstances, whether that’s seasonal storage for your Christmas decorations one year, helping you move home the next or creating your very own personal office after that. Self-storage adapts to your requirements.

 

Self-storage facility, versatile

 

5. Preserve the memories

Over the years, we all generate lots of ‘stuff’, especially families, but that’s not to say this ‘stuff’ isn’t important or without value. You may have either your or your children’s old school work and drawings, sentimental belongings that you’ve inherited, mementoes from your wedding, souvenirs from your travels.

These items can take up a lot of space, and because they aren’t generally used or looked upon for long periods of time, many feel they have to part with them in the pursuit of less clutter.

Self-storage offers you the best of both worlds: more space with no memories spared.

 

6. Peace of mind

The other advantage of storing your sentimental treasures in a storage unit instead of the loft or garage? Climate-control technology.

You won’t find any dust, damp, mould or pests in our self-storage containers.

Oh, and no trespassers either! Access to all of our sites is controlled by a fingerprint scanning system. There’s also 24/7 CCTV and a high-end padlock and key for every unit.

 

Secure self-storage facility

 

7. Room to explore your hobbies and interests

We believe a shift in perception of what's possible with a self-storage facility can enrich our lives in ways we’d never considered.

Of course, we’re always going to need this space during those big life events, but these four walls can be so much more than that.

Would you love to work on a classic car but don’t have the garage space? Perhaps you love to paint, but you’re unable to explore those larger artworks you dream of creating? What about those collectables tucked away in boxes, with no room to expand on your collection?

We offer up to 4 different container sizes to house your passion projects.

 

8. A base for your business

While starting a small business often begins in the home, operations very quickly outgrow it. Increased stock levels, materials and equipment to keep up with demand can leave your at-home business hub feeling cramped and chaotic.

Employing a self-storage container doesn't just give your business space to expand; it can also improve your work/life balance as you’re able to switch off, if only for a while, when you’re at home.

As we touched on in point 2, self-storage also comes at a fraction of the cost of warehouse storage or renting somewhere.

 

Outdoor activities with self-storage

 

9. An excuse to get some fresh air

Is this point a bit of a cop-out? Maybe. Is it true though? Oh yes.

If the last year has taught us anything, it’s the value of being able to get out of the house (safely!). Having a space to call your own separate from your home might serve a practical purpose, but the benefit of being able to get out of the house and stretch your legs can’t be denied. Since March 2020, we’ve installed hand sanitising stations at all our sites for peace of mind when you visit.

And hey, when we’re able to, what not make a day of it? There’s lots to do in the locations surrounding our storage sites.

 

10. Community and support

From our Beyond Lounges to the supportive local community and friendly site staff, Beyond Storage camaraderie has continued to thrive in spite of the changes we’ve all had to make during COVID-19. A simple smile and a wave, even socially distanced, can make such a difference to your day.

 

 

Have you learnt anything new about self-storage as you’ve read this blog post?

If you have any questions regarding our site facilities, or want to discuss with our friendly team how our storage containers might add value to your life, get in touch today.

 


Could you be the next Storage Hero? The Great British Box Off 2021

After weeks of dropping hints and clues, we’re finally able to shout from the rooftops about the launch of our exciting new competition.

We’ve been working on this project for some time as it was important to us that we got it right; 2020 was incredibly challenging for everyone, and while we’re not quite out of the woods yet, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and we wanted to make sure there’s something great waiting for us when we get there.

We also believe self-storage is the answer to not only creating more space during life events, but providing the mental space we need to improve our homes, support our lifestyles and explore our interests. 

So we created The Great British Box Off 2021!

The mission is simple: let us know how you’d use one of our storage containers, the more creative and surprising the better, and we’ll give the winner Storage Hero status and everything they need to make their dream-space a reality.

The winner will receive £500 towards the container contents to help them realise their vision, a period of free storage and a whole team for a day to help them set up.

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. You may have spotted our Storage Heroes circulating on social media, so we thought it only right to formally introduce them:

 

The Taxidermist 

Marvellously eccentric, the Taxidermist loves to collect the weird and wonderful. Our climate-controlled units keep his treasures in tip-top condition so that they can be admired for generations to come.

The Taxidermist - The Great British Box Off 2021 Storage Hero

 

The Gym Guy

A familiar face at Beyond Storage, the happy-go-lucky Gym Guy loves nothing more than breaking a sweat at his very own personal gym a few times a week. He’s also into his running, so loves the site’s access to some great countryside paths. You’ll find him at local Fun Runs or raising money for his annual marathon. A true Storage Hero!

The Gym Guy - The Great British Box Off 2021 Storage Heroes

 

The Costume Designer

From Hamlet to Hamilton, The Costume Designer is the first point of call for all your dramatic wardrobe and tailoring needs. The unit is both a time capsule of theatre performances gone by and perfect for quick and easy access to current projects: long opening hours mean she’s able to access her container when it works for her, while being able to drive up to the unit allows her to load and unload costumes safely.

The Costumer Designer - The Great British Box Off 2021 Storage Heroes

 

The Dirt Biker

Adrenaline is The Dirt Biker’s middle name. He’s semi-professional, but really he loves nothing more than visiting the site every weekend to take his bike out with some mates and let off some steam. He knows his bike and gear are safe with us: 24/7 CCTV, fingerprint scanning access to the sites and individually locking units make sure of it.

 

The Family

A Mum, Dad, Son and Daughter - the quintessential family! But that’s where their predictability ends. They’re all about having a great time and getting the most out of life. Their storage unit is filled with fun, from the golfing gear they love to take out on Sundays to their collection of antique pinball machines. You can find them a couple of times a month, especially in the summer, curled up on their unit-sofa watching a film projected on a pull-down screen. Snacks and laughs are non-negotiable.

The Family - The Great British Box Off 2021 Storage Heroes

 

Our Storage Heroes have been created as ambassadors of the versatile storage container and to inspire you on your own storage journey.

While we strive for the very best storage facilities and customer service at Beyond Storage, the clue is in the name. We believe that self-storage can be so much more than a way of facilitating a move. As our motto says: don’t just make room for stuff. Make room for life!

So if you live in or the surrounding areas of Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Leicester, Carmarthen or Stratford-upon-Avon, tell us - what would be in yours?

 

To enter The Great British Box Off 2021, click here and tell us all about your container of dreams!

You can also find out more about the competition in the T&Cs here.

Good luck Storage Hero!

 


The Great Escape to the Countryside: How Self-Storage Can Get You There & Make the Most of Country Living

Thinking of ditching the city and moving to the countryside?

With the exciting pace of life and competitive career opportunities, cities draw many from their hometowns and villages in search of their slice of the cosmopolitan pie.

But as lockdown stilled the buzz in cities and people found themselves trapped in four walls, working from home and cursing their absent garden, it seems they got to thinking.

In the first week of May, the number of searches for homes in rural locations on Zoopla was up 68% compared with the first week of March, not to mention a recent survey found 32% of Brummies are looking to move out of the city.

 

Can you relate?

Now that more people work remotely, calmer environments, better access to outdoor spaces and a bit of peace and quiet are closer than you think. Unless you're fortunate to have friends and family close by however, you're going to need all the help you can get on your mission to live a little slower.

City dwellers, meet self-storage: our sites in particular are conveniently located in areas with great access to countryside towns and villages surrounding cities in the Midlands and South Wales.

Not only is self-storage great at making the moving process a little easier, increasingly they're being used in more creative ways, such as personal gyms, an office, or general extensions of the home.

So whether you’re looking for temporary storage while you plan your great escape to the countryside or want to keep it up after deciding you definitely need a space devoted to your new-found love of mountain biking or painting landscapes, Beyond Storage can get you there.

 

Moving to the countryside - moving home.

 

Here’s a summary of what you can expect with Beyond Storage:

  • Different unit sizes to suit your needs.
  • Beautifully kept outdoor sites, so you can drive straight up to your unit for easy loading and unloading.
  • A secure fingerprint scanning system for site access and 24/7 CCTV surveillance.
  • A high-end padlock on the unit itself.
  • Insulation and a dehumidifier for a climate-controlled environment - no damp or dust in sight!
  • Beyond Lounges on-site with free tea and coffee, biscuits, somewhere to take a breather and toilets.
  • Helpful and friendly staff always available.
  • Opening hours from 6am-9pm to fit around your schedule.
  • Only a week’s notice required.
  • Competitive rates and great value for money - yay!

 

Now that the logistics are out of the way, on to the fun stuff! We actively encourage people to get creative with how they use our storage containers and make it their own, so here’s how a self-storage facility can help make the most of your new life in the countryside:

  • Space for hobbies galore! And with long opening hours, you’re free to come and go when it suits you.
  • Downsizing? No problem! Consider your storage unit an extension of your home.
  • Our sites are surrounded by gorgeous countryside, so save yourself some cupboard space and keep your chunky raincoats, walking boots, wellies and any other walking gear you need in your unit for a quick grab-and-go solution for spontaneous walks in the country.
  • New to the area? There’s a great sense of community both in the locations of our sites and at the sites themselves, and with so many of our brilliant customers doing interesting things with their units, you’re sure to strike up a conversation and start building a network of great people.
  • Did we mention we do free tea and coffee in our cosy and stylish lounges? I think we did, but we’re so proud of it that we’ll mention it again!

 

Moving to the countryside - making the most of the outdoors with self-storage.

 

So if lockdown got you re-evaluating your current living situation, we’re here to facilitate your your transformation from city-slicker to country-bumpkin!

Get in touch with our friendly team to learn more about how we can find the perfect storage solution - or container home extension - for you.

 


Fabric wrapped gifts for eco christmas wrapping

New Christmas Traditions: Eco-Wrapping Ideas for Extra Special Gifts

We all have our own ways of showing friends and family just how much they mean to us, but this Christmas is the perfect time to double up on caring gestures; not only is putting an eco-spin on your Christmas gift wrapping better for the environment, an extra level of care, attention and detail goes into each gift - and it really shows!

So whether you’re an eco-novice or veteran, or you’re simply looking for ways to add beautiful personal touches to your gifts this Christmas, we’ve put together a handy guide full of thoughtful ways you can add an eco-spin to your annual present wrapping.


Step 1: Conceal!

1. Brown recycled paper

If you aren’t quite ready to give up the satisfaction of opening a paper-wrapped present this Christmas, brown paper is a happy meed-in-the-middle option. It’s also easy to come by and inexpensive - a great way to get started! Keep the paper plain and focus on the decoration for a sophisticated look, or add your own patterns, drawings and stamps for wrapping paper that’s completely unique to you.

TIP! The brown paper you get in some Amazon boxes? You know what to do!

 

Eco-wrapping with newspaper

2. Newspaper

Before binning your daily, weekly or monthly newspaper, have another flick through and pull out the black and white sheets. Another great compromise if you’re keen on paper wrapping, the print looks really striking against red, white and green accents, which you can add with ribbons, gift tags and natural foraged bits like pinecones and winter sprigs.

DON’T FORGET!
Swap out plastic tape for paper tape.

 

3. Reusable fabric wraps

If you have fabric lying around or would prefer to purchase fabric wraps, this is a smart way to get the whole family involved with your new Christmas eco-wrapping tradition. The receiver of your beautifully fabric-wrapped gift keeps the fabric until next year, which they’ll in turn reuse themselves. Alternatively, there’s no shame in them returning it to you! Neutral cottons and linens are perfect if you’re after that Scandinavian Christmas look (this also makes them good to use for Birthdays), or go full Christmas with festive prints and tartan.

 

4. Drawstring sacks

Take the fabric wrap a step further with reusable drawstring sacks. If you’re feeling crafty this Christmas you can find some great templates to follow online, but there are also lots of options on places like Etsy, too. Personalise the bags with names to create the Stocking 2.0, and get kids on-board by pitching them as special Santa sacks just for them!

eco-wrapping fabric wraps and foliage

 

Step 2: Decorate!

1. Forage

Make the most of the next crisp winter’s day for a forage in your garden or walk in the local park to collect nature’s eco - and free - gift adornments, such as acorns, winter sprigs and foliage, dried leaves, holly and hardy winter berries.

 

2. From the cupboard

You’ll be surprised at what you already have in your kitchen cupboards that are perfect for decorating gifts with. Cinnamon sticks, dried orange and apple pieces and tough herbs and spices such as rosemary, sage and star anise not only look beautifully rustic, they’ll also provide a divinely Christmassy perfume as the receiver opens the gift.

Fabric wrapped gifts for eco christmas wrapping

 

3. Collect

The real trick to acing Christmas eco-wrapping is to keep an eye out throughout the year for anything that could be twined to a future gift: lots of gift sets come with ribbons and bows that you can repurpose, even on things like packs of pyjamas that you normally wouldn’t think twice about throwing in the bin. New shoes? Hold onto the box and tissue paper!

 

4. Get crafty

If rustic neutrals aren’t your thing at Christmas you can be forgiven for feeling that eco-wrapping looks a little bland, but there are loads of ways you can spruce it up and get festive:

  • Use wooden stamps and different coloured inks or paints to create prints on plain brown paper or add colour and texture to newspaper wrapping. You can find packs of wooden stamps, Christmas or otherwise, and easy to use ink pads from places like The Range, but you could take it one step further and make your own good old fashioned potato stamps.
  • Dye present wraps and sacks quintessential Christmas colours (or red and green tie-dye!), and/or use iron-on Christmas patches or gold lettering to personalise with names.
  • From red and white candy cane stripes to full on Christmas prints, pack a loud and proud festive punch with colourful patterned bows, ribbons and twine - and don’t forget to save them for next year!

potato stamps for decorating wrapping paper

 

Step 3: Make it a Christmas tradition!

 

1. Devote a box to your eco-wrapping materials and supplies

We don’t blame anyone for not being a huge fan of having to hold onto bits and pieces of ribbon, paper, bows etc for a whole year, so having a box for this that can be stored away will keep everything neat, tidy and under control. This is also really handy to have if you come across useful wrapping bits throughout the year; chuck it in the box and forget about it until December!

 

2. Make durable personalised gift tags to use every year

Making name tags out of durable materials like cotton, felt or wood can be used year after year and will eventually become staple pieces of Christmas nostalgia for your family. Lots of presents for the little ones? No problem! Signpost the pile with a giant tag!

Eco wrapping presents with family

 

3. Get the whole family involved

It’s up to you how far you want to extend the eco-wrapping invitation, but after a couple of Christmases of switching and swapping your new bank of reusable wrapping materials with family and friends, you’ll wonder what you used to use in the first place!

 

What are some of your unique family traditions? We’d love to hear them!

Is that extra box of Christmas eco-wrapping just one too many? Our varied and affordable range of storage containers could be the extra wiggle room you need, so get in touch to see how we can help!


Gift Big by Shopping Small: Beyond’s Ultimate Small Business Gift Guide 2020

We at Beyond Storage are encouraging everyone to shop small and local for their gifts this festive season in support of our small UK businesses!

We've put together the ultimate small business gift guide to help you on your small business gifting journey, pulling together a few fantastic shops and makers to inspire and celebrate the industrious creativity of the UK!

Not only do purchases mean the world to small business owners, you can expect personal touches and a level of care that can only be found when someone’s truly passionate about what they do.

We’ve specifically selected shops from the areas surrounding the Beyond Storage sites so that you have a taster of the wonderful local gift offerings. If, however, you’re not from these areas or they’re not quite what you’re looking for, Etsy and Not On The High Street are great places to start hunting for small business heroes.

It’s also worth checking out social media accounts to really appreciate the people behind the products, and don’t forget - ask around! The closer to home you can support, the better.

Happy conscious holiday gifting!

 

Food & Drink

The stomach is the way to… well, surely everyone’s heart? And if you can’t indulge at Christmas then when can you?!

LaFleurdeChocolat offers, quite frankly, the most beautiful chocolate treats you’ll ever lay eyes on. Owner/maker Jacqueline has over 20 years of experience as a pastry chef, working at both Michelin star and three rosette award-winning restaurants - not to mention winning numerous awards herself. Extra-special chocolates for extra special people.

You can also find them on their website, Instagram and Facebook!
Small Business Gift Guide - Food

Treat coffee dabblers and obsessives alike this festive season by introducing them to PerkulatteCoffee. Be it gift sets, sample packs, advent calendars or flavoured sugar spoons, these artisanal coffee roasters are masters of both quirky gifts and a good old cup of joe.

Check out their website, Instagram and Facebook page for more info and goodies!

Small Business Gift Guide - Food & Drink

 

Prints & Wall Art

Prints make great gifts: they come in all shapes, sizes, themes and styles, and are easy enough to ship to loved ones. So whether you’re adorning a man-cave or she-shed, a home office or nursery, get supporting your local artists, illustrators and graphic designers this season!

TwoLittleBirdsPrintCo offers “nursery wall art to make your little bird smile.” You’re able to personalise some of the prints with names for the perfect sentimental gift, while the illustrative style combined sophisticated colour palettes take room styling for little ones to the next level. And hey, who’s to say kids should have all the fun? We especially love the rust colours! Check out their facebook page here.

Small Business Gift Guide - Prints

 

CreateandCompanyUK is another great shout if you’re looking to gift quality prints. They offer a huge range of styles, from simple line drawings to a cat in full Tudor dress (fantastic), and themes including space, cities and skylines, entertainment and photography. They're also on Instagram!

Small Business Gift Guide - Wall Art

 

Homeware

Ceramics can make beautiful, family heirloom-worthy gifts to last a lifetime. Whether you’re after a novelty mug or one-of-a-kind handmade vase, this category gives you plenty of great gifting options.

FayeWellonCeramics’s rustic stoneware pottery is handmade using a reconditioned kick-wheel - an eco-friendly way to throw - in the artist’s home studio in Herefordshire. This shop’s high-quality offering doesn’t end at ceramics: they also have a great selection of candles, DIY pottery and wreath making kits and a range of beautifully crafted soap dishes complete with handmade soap by Wild Sage + Co. Ceramics & Homewears

When it comes to
StoneHouseGlow, think lego but chic. Using on-trend concrete and marbling effects, their products are both beautifully crafted and endearingly whimsical, featuring lego-style characters, dogs, letters and symbols - a perfect gift for the big kid who’s style conscious! Follow them on Instagram and Facebook for updates.

Small Business Gift Guide - Home Accessories

 

Home Fragrance

You can forget ‘warm vanilla’ and ‘red berries’ this Christmas. Candle offerings at the moment are out of the stratosphere when it comes to fragrances and styles. From rustic goodness to high-end luxury, the second coming of the candle is here and they’re a home-run when it comes to simple, thoughtful gifting. 

P.s. If you thought this category was just for the ladies, think again - we’re here to tell you that the unbridled joy of candles is for everyone!

LavenderBloomUK specialise in 100% soy wax candles and melts decorated with petals from the seller’s own garden. This shop is the perfect example of how candles don’t have to be boring: hay, honey and amber you say? Wood sage and sea salt?! Go on then!

Small Business Gift Guide - Handmade Candles

NickolaCandela’s sleek, matte black home fragrance products look as good as the work they do for our bees, giving £1 for every candle purchased to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Items include candles, reed diffusers, wax melts, room mists and more, not to mention giving home fragrance the eco-edge with reed diffuser refills. You can also find them at their website, on Instagram and on Facebook.

Small Business Gift Guide - Home Fragrance

 

Jewellery & Accessories

From the ultimate meaningful gift to perfect little stocking fillers, jewellery and accessories for both men and women are really versatile options. We’ve found a few great sellers with lots of versatile options where you can’t go wrong.

WildWoodsJewellery offers beautifully tactile and earthy ceramic jewellery, making them the perfect keepsake for crafty and outdoorsy people alike. Artist and maker Charlotte Voaden takes inspiration from the landscape of West Wales, especially the woodland and hedgerows surrounding where she lives.

Ceramic Accessories

 

PGLasercraft has grown and grown since they first started on Etsy in 2019, and it’s not surprising! Their customisable range of keyrings, dog tags, signs and more make great stocking fillers and meaningful gifts to mark special occasions. They also take custom requests!

Small Business Gift Guide - Gifts for Him

 

AvalancheAvenue makes dainty sterling silver and gold filled jewellery with heaps of sentimental charm, with nearly all of the designs being customisable for that extra special touch. Whether it’s necklaces or cufflinks you’re after, you’ll not go too far wrong here. Check out their website, Instagram and Facebook for even more inspiration!

Small Business Gift Guide - Jewellery

 

 

And there we have it! 11 examples of small but mighty businesses that you can support this Christmas. With so many great independent shops out there, with a little bit of research, you can find some really great gifts!

Do you have any small businesses that are your go-to for presents, or even to treat yourself? We’d love to hear about them!

In the meantime, have you considered how you might benefit from self-storage? Whether you could do with your own office space or gym, require business or document storage, our state-of-the-art facilities across 5 beautiful sites will have the answer.

 

*We'd like to make it absolutely clear that no money or valuables were exchanged to put together this blog post - we have to support each other where we can! :)


Part of the Family: Beyond’s Guide to a Peaceful Move with Pets

There’s no doubt about it, the UK is a nation of pet lovers. The PDSA’s 2019 PAW Report estimated that that 50% of UK adults own a pet, with roughly 26% owning a dog and 24% owning a cat. With our furry, feathered and scaly friends so close to our hearts and very much a part of the family, it’s important that moving home is as stress free for them as possible. So we at Beyond, as friends to all of our nation’s pets, have put together the ultimate guide to a peaceful move with pets. While we’ll be focusing on cats and dogs in this guide, much of the information is transferable to other pets, however please research into what additional measures you’ll need to take for other animals!

 

1. Pre-move

One of the best pieces of advice we can offer when moving home with pets is to prepare. To avoid overwhelming yourself and your pets, there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for a peaceful move:

  • Research local vets well in advance of the move, or even better as soon as you know exactly where you’ll be moving to. It’s also good to inform your current vets that you’ll be moving and when this is likely to be, so that they’re able to share your pet’s records with the new practice and make sure the transition is as smooth as possible. You’ll then have the peace of mind that your pet will be taken care of if there are any emergencies, no matter how soon after the move.
  • Remember to update microchip and ID tag information, including the address and new landline number (if this is changing). This can also be done at your current veterinarian practice.
  • It’s a good idea to research what will be your new local area for nice walks, parks and places you can take your dog to get used to their new environment, especially if it’s quite different to the one they’re used to. If possible, take your dog for a walk in the area before you move so they’re familiar with the sights, sounds and smells.
  • While cats have a higher drive to return ‘home’ than dogs, this is still something you should be aware of with your pooch. Inform your current neighbours of the move and provide them with your new address and contact details, just in case either your cat or dog makes a run for their old home!
  • It’s also worth telling your removal company up-front about any pets that you have, just so they know what to expect.

move with pets, moving house, walking dog in new area

 

2. Packing

Packing for a move can be as stressful for your dog or cat as it is for you. Lessen the shock of change on your loyal companions and follow these tips:

  • The single most important thing you can do to ease your cat or dog into a move is to not leave packing to the last minute! The earlier you can start and the more gradually you do it, the better. Animals are very sensitive to their surroundings and change, and can very quickly suss what’s up.
  • Their toys and bedding should be some of the very last things you pack, if at all! Try to keep their familiar belongings with them if they have to be present on moving day and on the drive to their new home. It’s also worth refraining from washing any of their bedding or toys on the lead up to the move so their things are nice and stinky and familiar!
  • You can also buy plug-in diffusers or collars that infuse DAP (a pooch-pleasing chemical signal called a pheromone that keeps them feeling safe and secure) into the air. Use these calming aids 24 hours before any moving activity for maximum effect.

move with pets, moving with cats and dogs, packing

 

3. Moving day

It’s the big day! Exciting, stressful and sweaty in equal measures, this can potentially be one of the most distressing parts of the moving process for animals: there’s lots of noise and rushing about, unfamiliar people in their home coming and going, nothing looks like it used to and their humans aren’t themselves. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate the effects of this strange day on your pets:

  • The single most important thing you can do to ease your cat or dog into a move is to not leave packing to the last minute! The earlier you can start and the more gradually you do it, the better. Animals are very sensitive to their surroundings and change, and can very quickly suss what’s up.
  • Their toys and bedding should be some of the very last things you pack, if at all! Try to keep their familiar belongings with them if they have to be present on moving day and on the drive to their new home. It’s also worth refraining from washing any of their bedding or toys on the lead up to the move so their things are nice and stinky and familiar!
  • You can also buy plug-in diffusers or collars that infuse DAP (a pooch-pleasing chemical signal called a pheromone that keeps them feeling safe and secure) into the air. Use these calming aids 24 hours before any moving activity for maximum effect.

move with pets, moving house, familiar toys, dogs and cats

 

4. Settling in

You’ve made it! You’re in and surrounded by a sea of boxes. You’re a bit concerned about the location of the kettle. Settling into your new home can take some time, but there are things you can do from the get go to start introducing pets to their new pad:

  • Scent is important to cats and dogs because it’s one of the ways they identify an area as safe and theirs, so first and foremost bring in/unpack your pet’s things to start introducing their smell. Have a quick clean around the house up to cat and dog height, especially if the previous tenants or owners had pets.
  • Let your pet explore the new place in their own time. If they’re particularly nervous, you can be with them while they explore, but it’s important not to over fuss them because they might think something’s wrong. The best thing you can do is radiate the good vibes and be there if they need you, because remember: they might only be a part of your world, but you’re their whole world!
  • Stick to their normal routines as best as you can - same life, same family, still a home, just in a different space.
  • A tired dog is a happy dog, so take them for a walk to distract them and burn off some energy. The more tuckered out they are the less they’re going to be bothered about what’s going on around them.
  • Keep cats indoors for at least the first two weeks so that they don’t try and find their way back to your old house, especially if it isn’t too far away, and associate pleasurable experiences with your new home so they see it as a nice place to be and worth sticking around in!
  • Before letting your pets roam outside, check that the garden is secure and is free of poisonous plants or anything hazardous.
  • And finally, keep an eye on them for changes in behaviour and try not to tell them off if they become destructive or have a few accidents in the home, even a few months after moving. It can be an incredibly disruptive experience for your pets manifesting in a number of ways, so be patient and let them warm to your lovely new home in their own time.

move with pets, moving house, cat, scents

 

We hope this guide helps your animal pals settle in! What pets do you have, and how do you think they would cope with a big move?

Oh, and our moving advice doesn’t stop at pets! Read our 5 tips for making small(er) work of moving home, and for more pet content, check out our blog post about making room for your new puppy.


Good things come in 5ft by 8ft units: 6 clever uses for our new containers

Our new 5ft by 8ft units can hold a volume of one transit van, two rooms and 25-50 18’’ storage boxes - a cheaper option without compromising on quality and functionality. Here are 6 clever ways to make use of our small but mighty containers!
 

1. Garage/shed

If you're struggling for space in your current shed or garage, or maybe you’d rather not fork out a sizeable sum for groundworks and a place to store your tools/a colony of spiders, a dry, sealed, climate controlled storage container - that takes up exactly zero of your outdoor space - could be the answer.

It’s important to us that your unit feels like an extension of your home, so you can drive your car up to your unit from 6am to 9pm - much easier than having to clamber over a lawnmower, a strimmer, two mountain bikes, a popped paddling pool, six deck chairs, a tent, four tennis rackets, a parasol and Shelob the giant spider to find the right drill bit.

5ft by 8ft storage units - tools, shed, garage

 

2. Christmas decorations/presents

We can’t be alone in saying too much of our home storage space is taken up by Christmas decorations, especially when they see the light of day for only one month (or two, or three, that’s your business) out of twelve.

As intoxicating as that dusty tinsel smell is, imagine de-Christmassing and still having free and functional storage space! Our smaller storage units have a volume capacity of one transit van, plenty enough space for even the most handsome of grottos.

Tip:
Have yourself a merry little Christmas and keep the kids busy on the lead up to the big day by letting them hunt for hidden Christmas presents they’ll never find (might as make the most of your unit for the whole 12 months!).

5ft by 8ft storage units - Christmas decorations
 

3. Extra wardrobe

Why is it that the clothes we wear the least (occasion suits, evening dresses, winter/climate specific clothes etc) seem to take up the most space in our cupboards and wardrobes? Not to mention that while that dusty tinsel smell is nostalgic on December 1st, it’s not so great on your glitzy evening dress or expensive suit.

Our smaller units are the perfect size for your very own walk in wardrobe - industrial style is very ‘in’ at the moment, after all!

 

4. Hobby space

Be it a man-cave or a she-shed, we can all benefit from a little space of our own, so when the nagging to relocate your miniature steam train collection gets too much, we’ve got you covered! Our 5ft by 8ft units make the perfect hobby boxes of happiness.

Don’t let it stop at collectables, though! Whether you enjoy climbing, horse riding, camping, fishing or backpacking, our compact and functional units allow you to store your gear safely and securely with effortless access to your recreational apparatus!

Adventure awaits!

5ft by 8ft storage units - hobby, outdoors, collectibles

 

5. Student storage

One thing you aren’t prepared for as a student is how disruptive it is living in three different locations over three years. Add to that the logistics of hauling all your worldly possessions to and fro across miles of the UK, and you have one stress cocktail you could really do without in your second and third years.

Short term, flexible and affordable self-storage units within the locality of your university? It’s a no brainer!

Who else is really particular about how to pack the car?
 

6. Sentimental items

It’s human nature to hold onto things that have sentimental value to us, but it becomes more and more difficult when we have to compromise on space. From wedding mementos to baby’s firsts, old school work and drawings to trophies and photographs, our 5ft by 8ft units make great little time capsules. They’re also fully insulated and come with a dehumidifier, which is so important to maintain the condition of your treasures.

We can hear that wedding dress heaving a sigh of relief from here - not today, Facebook Marketplace! For extra points, why not check out or handy do's and don'ts for wedding dress storage?

5ft by 8ft storage units for sentimental belongings

 

Do you have small-scale clutter with large-scale impacts that you could do with finding a home for? Get in touch about our smaller units today to see if they could be the perfect fit for you!

It’s all in the packing: here are our tips for packing units effectively.

Eyeing up our larger units? Here are 5 creative ways you could use them!


Acts of calmness for mental wellbeing

6 Conscious Acts to Calm the Chaos & Improve Mental Wellbeing

Few are immune to life’s daily stressors, so we at Beyond Storage have put together 6 achievable ways to calm the feelings of chaos and support mental wellbeing when the cacophony reaches fever pitch.

1. Recharge

We’re so busy in the daytime with work, being parents, running errands, doing chores, being well-rounded, functioning adults - the list goes on. Introduce calm to your day, even if it’s just for an hour, by creating a new evening routine that allows you to reconnect with yourself and what really matters.

This time can be just for you, shared with your partner or with your children, or even your pets - whatever works to make you feel settled.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few ideas to get you inspired:

  • Enjoy a hot drink in your favourite mug
  • Put your comfies on
  • Write a sentence summarising your thoughts for the day in a notebook or journal
  • Read a book
  • Enjoy the fresh, evening air - weather permitting!
  • Light candles
  • Connect with your loved ones
  • Listen to a podcast

However you decide to unwind, try and stick roughly to the same times every evening. Continue the calm into the nighttime with our 5 simple tips for a better bedtime.

Hot drink in mug in the evening

 

2. De-stress in fresh & functional spaces

We can get complacent with our rooms and spaces - “that’s how it’s always been!” But that doesn’t mean the current layout is functional or makes the best use of the space, both of which are key to ensuring a room is a conduit for calm.

Be invigorated by a new perspective and rearrange an area of your home in a way that really works for you.

Depending on the quantity and size of your furniture, it can double up as a decent bit of exercise, too. Winner!

Tape measures and dusters at the ready.

 

3. Negate the niggle

Whether it’s in the forefront or back of your mind, it’s brain space worth freeing up! So do that one thing you’ve been putting off for a little or long while to kickstart the calm and boost your mental wellbeing.

And no matter how small it is, it’s another thing to tick off your to-do list at the end of the day - so satisfying!

Tip!
Be kind to yourself. Whether it’s a pat on your own back, something nice for dinner or a long bath, don’t let small victories go unrewarded.

Organised space with to-do list

 

4. Happy scrolling

For better or worse, we spend a lot of time on social media.

Given that it takes up so much room in our minds every single day, it’s important to remove it from the list of daily stressors and ensure that our social media feeds are balanced, of value to us and make us feel good.

Take a hard, honest look at your social media feeds. Are you inspired? Do you feel empowered and confident? Are you learning something new? Do they make you laugh? If you’re unable to answer yes to some of these questions, it might be time for a social media deep clean.

And that’s not to say that we should banish all content that challenges us and encourages us to think outside the box or our comfort zone: find a good balance and follow accounts consciously to omit the social media feed from the daily chaos instigators.

 

5. Declutter to destress

While we can all attest to the benefits of a tidy, well organised space on our mental wellbeing, you’d be forgiven for breaking into a sweat on hearing the word “declutter”: our minds throw us back to the last time we thought a declutter was a good idea but found ourselves standing amongst more mess and madness than there had been previously and wondering why we’d ever started.

But hear us out - this is calming, sans-skip, small-scale decluttering!

Focus on one area at a time, be it a cupboard, a corner, a shelf, any little bit of your home that you haven’t had a good rummage in for a while. You’ll be surprised by how much you own that you don’t need, want or even like, and once you’re rid of it, just how much it weighed you down.

If you need a helping hand or some general principles to abide by when decluttering, take a look at our blog post about Marie Kondo and the life changing magic of tidying up. If you want to make an even bigger dent in your clutter, why not try our Marie Kondo-inspired 30 Day Room Declutter Challenge?

Remember!
Where possible, avoid the bins skips and tips: recycle, sell, rehome or gift!

 

6. Reconnect

One of the most important things to remember when things start to feel a bit much is that we all have these moments. Take the time to reconnect with a friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to in a while, not just to check in with them, but to check in with yourself.

It’s amazing how grounding a few kind words and shared laughs can be!

Catch-up with friends for mental wellbeing

 

For more great ways to encourage daily mental wellness, take a look at Beyond’s 30 self-care methods.