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.