Working from home can help you to boost your productivity, especially because you don’t have a commute or travel costs; this makes it a great option for small business owners or sole traders. However, working from home can have some downsides too – mainly, how difficult it is to focus if there are distractions around you. (more…)
If all that clutter that seems to have piled up over the winter months has pushed you to breaking point, it’s probably time for a good old spring clean. And with many of us stuck in our homes for the foreseeable, what better time to tackle all that junk? (more…)
How much useless junk do you have stuffed away in your attic? Do you really need it all? Attics are such an underutilised space that have so much potential. Imagine having a whole room that gets used for nothing more than letting boxes of Christmas decorations and old photo albums get dusty. That wasted space could be used for so much more – especially right now whilst we’re all at home.
That much needed quiet workspace, a playroom for the kids, a hobby room and yes, that extra bedroom for guests when we can have visitors once more. These are just some of the potential rooms you could have at the top of your house following some DIY and a bit of creativity. Here’s how you can give that old attic a new lease on life right now.
Figure out Costs
First things first, you need to make sure you’ve budgeted for the change of use or conversion. If your attic needs a complete conversion, like reinforcement of the floor, skylights, insulation, a staircase, lighting and heating and electrics, then you’re looking at costs in the £10,000 to £15,000 range. For a complete change of the roofing structure for your conversion, you’re looking at a much more costly investment of upwards of £40,000. Bear in mind that, right now, you will be waiting a while before any of this work can begin, but it’s a good time to do the planning and research.
However, if your attic is already a room with heat and light, provides safe access and all it needs is a makeover, you could achieve that new room right now and benefit from the extra space. It’s the perfect time to give it a thorough clean, lick of paint and some new furniture.
So, whatever your requirements, consider the costs carefully and create an appropriate budget for furniture and fixtures, with an extra 10% of the expenses set aside for additional, unexpected costs.
Once you’ve sorted the costs, you can get to work on the design and layout of your brand-new space. Sit down with a laptop and take a look online to get some inspiration. Pinterest is great for this. If you’re creating a hobby room or a place for the children to play, or even setting up a classroom environment to help your kids while they’re out of school, you can take a look at example rooms online to get inspired.
Clear Out the Attic
Once you’ve done your research, and all the admin if you’ve decided to do a full conversion, it’s time to start actually putting that those plans into practice.
Put aside a day (or a couple of days) to get everything down from the attic and sort out a new home for it all so you can see all that glorious space. This will involve going through it all and deciding what you might what to get rid of, what you want to donate to a charity shop and what you need to keep hold of. Sort through your items and box and label everything – you might want to keep a small area of the space for storage or move the items you don’t want any longer to the garden shed for now.
And, when Government restrictions are eased, you’re well placed to make trips to the charity shop if needed. Alternatively, if you don’t have space in your home for all those items you want to keep, you could consider putting them into self-storage. Kangaroo Self Storage is open and we have self storage in Edinburgh, self storage in Dundee and self storage in Glasgow at great prices and in a vast range of unit sizes.
Put Together that New Room
With the space tided up, you can concentrate on cleaning and redecorating.
Once this is complete, it’s finally time to create the room you really need. You could reutilise furniture from other rooms to save yourself even more space all over the house, or maybe you have some things in your garage that you can finally bring out and put to good use.
Again, consult your online inspiration board for ideas. If the room is for your children, why not get their input? Let them help you with the layout and design, or perhaps enlist their services and get them to create a piece of artwork for the wall. It will be a great creative project for them to do and keep them occupied while they’re at home.
So, what are you waiting for? If you’ve got an attic going to waste, make it your mission over the next couple of months to get it converted into a beautiful new space for you and your family.
Putting up the Christmas decorations is an exciting time. For many of us, it signals the true start to Christmas, and gets us ready and in the festive mood for the holidays. However, come January when it’s time to take it all down, all that festive joy, time and patience is well and truly gone.
You know you should make sure you put the decorations away properly and in an organised manner so that it’s easy to put them up next year, but it can feel like far too much effort now that the holidays are over and life returns to normal.
But by following some simple tricks and tips, putting away those Christmas decorations is easier than ever, and you’ll be super prepared for next year.
Tackle that Tree
If you’ve got an artificial tree, it will need to be stored properly so that it lasts for many years without needing to be replaced. The original box or bag is the ideal way to store these, but if you no longer have it, or it’s seen better days, dismantle the tree into the sections and wrap each one in an old bed sheet and tie them closed.
Put each piece in a large, sturdy box (don’t forget to label it!) and tuck it away for next year.
Repurpose Household Items
When storing ornaments and various miscellaneous Christmas trinkets, you don’t need to spend money on specific storage containers. You can repurpose items from around the home for storing baubles that you probably have lying around right now.
Egg cartons, sandwich bags, vegetable punnets and gift bags are all perfect for storing Christmas decorations. Keep the same kinds of baubles together in the same cartons and stack them in their own labelled box so you know where to find them next year. They will be kept safe and sound, and you’ll be repurposing things that would otherwise be thrown away.
Hang that Wreath
Christmas wreaths are delicate, and they need to be stored in a way that won’t damage their shape so they can be used year after year. One of the best ways to do this is to keep them hung up so they don’t end up being crushed under something in the back of a cupboard. Use a coat hanger and a plastic covering (like a bin bag) and keep the wreath hung up in a wardrobe in the bag to prevent it from getting flattened and bent out of shape.
Keep Those Lights Knot-Free
Christmas lights are one of the trickiest decorations to cope with. There just doesn’t seem to be any way of keeping them organised in a way that doesn’t result in them taking hours to untangle come next year.
Well, a handy tip is to wrap the lights around a piece of cardboard – you’re likely to have loads lying around after Christmas – to keep them from getting tangled up. Cut a slot on both sides of the cardboard, one for the plug and one for the end of the lights, and wrap the lights around the middle.
Garment Bag for Paper
How often do you have leftover Christmas wrapping paper, yet when it comes to the next year the rolls often end up getting crushed or lost altogether? A good tip is to keep them side by side inside a zip-up garment bag and hanging them up in a wardrobe (along with that wreath!). The paper will stay perfect and pristine for next year, so you won’t even need to go and buy any more.
If your Christmas decorations are still taking up too much space – even after you’ve neatly organised them and put them away, it could be time to consider self-storage. Self-storage units are a great way to store bulky items that you need and want to keep but that you don’t really have space for.
At Kangaroo Self Storage, our storage units are flexible and affordable. There are no complicated, long-term contracts, you can store with us for as long as you like, and we only need one weeks’ notice when you wish to vacate. And, just to make it easier, we offer a free collection service. You don’t even have to take your items down to our storage facility yourself, it’s just that easy.
As it gets closer to the depths of winter, now is the time to sort out your home so it’s ready for those cold, long months ahead. And Kangaroo Self Storage is here to help. As we say goodbye to the last of the family visitors over Christmas and put away the fold up bed, table extension and spare chairs now is a good time to get the house and garden in order ahead of the inevitable cold snap.
Here are some tips on how to prepare your home for the cold weather.
Make Sure Your Property Is Insulated
Winter has the potential to make those energy bills skyrocket, and there’s nothing worse than rising energy bills. The best way to keep heat in the home and help keep those bills down is to ensure your home is well insulated. Check the level of insulation in your loft and secure those draughty windows and doors with draught excluders.
Keep curtains closed to help keep heat in, especially in older buildings that may not have double glazing. As well as keeping costs down, your home will be all cosy and ready for cold winter nights snuggled up by the fire.
Make All the Repairs Sooner Rather Than Later
Things like home repairs and maintenance can seem daunting. It’s easy to put them off for a later date. However, it pays to be on top of things. Check your guttering for cracks and blockages so the wet weather won’t lead to more significant problems down the line, like leaks in your roof or walls that could cause severe water damage. If you have one, get your chimney checked so you can get that fire roaring on those chilly winter nights.
Make a Home Cold Weather Pack
Make sure you know where you’ve put your candles and torches – and check you’ve got matches and batteries too. You might want to consider putting a few cupboard essentials together; long-life milk; tea and coffee; biscuits – a camping stove and blanket. You should stock up on household fuel and other necessities like medicines – especially if you live rurally and travel in poor weather is difficult.
Keep a note of useful telephone numbers to hand – or make sure you’ve entered them into your mobile phone. Looking around for contact details for electricians and plumbers just when you need them can often make a stressful situation worse.
Put Outdoor Summer Items in Storage
Space is precious and often limited. A garage and attic can only get you so far, and you may not have those – or you’d rather keep essential things in there like your car. If your summer furniture, not to mention the BBQ, are still flying around outside or cluttering your drive, you should move them so they don’t become damaged by the weather..
But if you don’t have the space what can you do with them?
You can put them into self-storage of course! With our 24/7 security system, your unused items can be kept safe and secure inside one of our self-storage units. You can store with us for as long as you need, and with our flexible storage solutions, you won’t be locked into a lengthy contract. You can upgrade or downgrade to differently sized units completely free of charge.
Make Room At Home for Bulky Winter Items
The glory of self-storage is that you can use it to help organise your home throughout the seasons and make it a more enjoyable space to live. Using self storage will now mean you have room for all those bulkier, winter items, such as fluffy blankets and portable heaters. It’s winter after all, do you really need your swimwear, inflatables, beach towels and picnic baskets taking up all that space?
Make some space and store away all those summer items that you won’t be using for many months. Make way for blankets, big coats, scarves, hats and gloves. Get those beach accessories and garden games into storage to make room for your wellies and raincoats.
At Kangaroo Self Storage, your items are always safe and sound with us. You can even purchase boxes and packaging accessories like tape and bubble wrap and we’ll deliver them to you. You don’t need to store with us to get some great deals on boxes and throughout January there’s 25% off too.
Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions about our storage facilities. Our friendly team are more than happy to help.
7 Essentials to Get Your Home Sale-Ready
If you’re getting ready to put your house on the market, you’ll need to ensure your home looks its very best so you can secure a sale, and one that’s at the price your home deserves. So, how do you do it?
Before we get to some advice and tips for preparing your home, here’s how we can help you with the process. At Kangaroo Self Storage, we can offer you the best storage deals for all those items you don’t want to leave on show. There are no long-term commitments, and we have storage units available in a wide variety of sizes to suit all needs. Take a look at how we can help with self storage in Dundee, self storage in Glasgow and self storage in Edinburgh.
Here’s how to get that house ready for viewing:
Remove Unnecessary Things
Who wants to see heaps of old magazines, unopened post or the washing pile? Or surfaces overflowing with miscellaneous items? Whether you want your home to look perfect for photos or a viewing, you must clear every single surface, file paperwork and tidy those rooms, so your home doesn’t look disorganised. Make sure the beds are made and that books, toiletries or toys are put away.
Store excess or outdated objects, such as bulky furniture, which can make the house look smaller. You may be tempted to tuck them away in the garage or attic. However, viewers interested in your home will want to see all the rooms, and the last thing you want is for them to discover heaps of stuff hidden away. Find a place for everything or move items into storage if you can’t find space for them.
Don’t Depersonalise Your Home Too Much
Removing clutter, even if temporarily, doesn’t mean you can get away with being too minimalist. After all, removing all the personality from your house isn’t a good idea; people want to imagine what the house will look like if they lived there. This can be difficult to do if your house looks staged with generic and impersonal hotel-like objects.
It can be easy to go too much the other way, however. So, make sure you stay away from hoarder-style but don’t stray into spartan territory. It all boils down to making your house look like a well-loved and lived-in home but still with enough space for viewers to envision their own lives there.
Style and Accessorise for Added Pop
It may feel counter-intuitive to leave some items on display instead of putting them in storage after you declutter your home; but a stylish look goes a long way to making a good first impression.
Dress the table for dinner (or, at least, place a centrepiece to add an additional element to the décor), ensure there is symmetry in every room as much as possible (symmetry appeals to people) and turn on lamps if it’s later in the day. You can add a finishing touch with fresh bouquets of colourful flowers for pops of colour that look amazing in pictures and smell wonderful to everyone who visits. It also helps to make your house look presentable from the outside. This is called kerb appeal and is very important for a good first impression.
Maximise the Space and Light
Natural light is a popular demand for homes, so you’ll want to show prospective buyers what your house has to offer. Keep your curtains open wide during viewings (or take them down if they’re heavy or dark), add extra lighting to dimmer places in your home, repaint rooms with light, airy colours, and prune any trees or shrubs that may be casting shadows on the house.
No matter how large or small your home is, the airier and brighter it is, the bigger it will look. Make the most of your space by ensuring all windows are sparkling clean to let in as much light as possible, replace any broken light bulbs and consider adding a wall mirror to make rooms look larger.
There are plenty of tricks that can help you to maximise your available space, so take full advantage of them to make great pictures – and show viewers how spacious your house is.
Fix Up What Needs Fixing
Why not update the interior design of a space or room if it’s outdated? For example, a refurbished kitchen looks a lot better without clunky cabinets or 70s furniture and outdated appliances. However, if remodelling is not be a feasible option, don’t worry! You can still redesign your house to impress without spending a lot of money.
Fixing up a home can be as simple as replacing worn cushion covers, repairing cracks in the walls, taking care of any dripping taps, giving the walls a fresh coat of paint, getting a new shower curtain, replacing any broken light bulbs, weeding your garden and planting new flowers, and fixing door hinges. Whatever you think might negatively catch people’s eye while they explore your home, see if you can implement a little DIY to improve it.
Remove Any Strong Smells
This one may not impact photos, but it’s still essential for potential viewings. Because you live in your house, you get used to scents that first-time visitors might not be so keen on. If you own a pet, you know what we mean… while you may be immune, others will instantly notice the smell of wet dog. So, make sure you air your home to get the scent out of carpets, curtains and upholstery. This is a key part of preparing your home for sale, so do it ahead of time. You may need to get a professional cleaner in if you can’t tackle it yourself.
The same goes for smoking. If you or your family smoke indoors, you may want to keep it to the balcony, garden or patio while viewings are underway. Stale smoke is certainly a scent that will turn people off your home.
Clean, Clean, Clean
Having a clean and tidy house is crucial, not just for pictures but for visitors as well, so pay attention to every detail. Dust your skirting boards and those light fixtures, vacuum everything, ensure your fridge is clean and devoid of bad smells, clean between the tiles to remove mould and grout, spruce up your garden and scrub the oven and the microwave; in essence, properly spring clean your home.
A lot of people viewing a home, especially second-time viewers, will also open drawers and cabinets to check out storage space, so make sure they’re organised and clean. Removing everything from drawers for a deep clean might seem like a lot of work, but it will pay off in the long run. The same goes for under-the-stairs spaces and any nooks and crannies you may have in the house – clean and organise until you’d have no problem with even the nosiest and most thorough of visitors.
Kangaroo Self Storage can help you to get your home ready for sale. We have plenty of storage units in Scotland just waiting for you, as well as boxes and packaging available for purchase to make your life easier. Let us know what we can do for you and our friendly staff will be more than happy to lend a helping hand.
When starting a family, it’s easy for the organisation of our homes to take a backseat to more important things. But once you’re settled in with a routine and everything’s calmed down, you may look around at the disorganised, cluttered mess that was once your home and ask yourself, what on earth happened?
It happens to the best of us. Keeping our homes free of clutter can be difficult and seem near impossible if you’re short on space. However, clever storage ideas can help you make the most of the space you do have. Here are some great ideas to free up space in your home:
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to find something you need amongst a pile of stuff that’s just been thrown into a drawer. With drawer organisers, you can separate your drawers into categories that not only makes finding specific things easier, but it gives everything in your house a home of its own. A slot for hairbrushes? Check. A compartment for batteries? Yep. A space to keep miscellaneous items that don’t have anywhere else to go? Drawer organisers have you covered.
Put Laundry Supplies in Containers
Detergent pods and powders always come in such big, bulky boxes that take up far too much room on a shelf. Simplify your laundry room by transferring your detergent into something like glass containers. They look far more attractive than the original packaging and will be much more convenient to use. Just make sure you put them up high, out of the way of tiny hands.
Peg Board Mounted to the Wall
Not just great for garages and tool sheds, pegboards can make great space savers in the likes of bedrooms and kitchens. Give it a coat of paint to match the interior design of your home and you can use them to hang just about anything. Not only will they save on space, but you’ll have better access to the things you need, such as all those kitchen accessories that are no longer cluttering up a cupboard or drawer.
Slide Out Storage Shelves
Make use of every last bit of space with some narrow, slide out shelves. These make an ideal storage solution for the likes of spices and canned goods that can just slot away into a tiny space until they’re needed.
Mount Bikes to the Wall or Ceiling
Bikes are great for commuting to work and general fitness, but they take up an awful lot of space inside a home if you don’t have a garage to store them in. Save on floor space by incorporating your bike into the décor when it’s not in use. Consider using the wall or ceiling as a funky way to store your bike. It’ll give your home a cool, unique look whilst also saving loads of space.
Hang Laundry Baskets on the Back of a Door
Nobody wants a laundry basket lying around; they’re one of those things that are entirely necessary but also a complete nuisance. They certainly take up valuable space. Try a laundry bag instead, and hang it up on the back of your bedroom or bathroom door. This will instantly give you some extra space that you didn’t even know you had.
Over the Door Shoe Rack
Even the most organised shoe rack takes up an awful lot of space. Consider utilising all that empty space on the back of a cupboard or wardrobe door with an over-the-door shoe rack. You’ll free up all the floor space, and you’ll have easy access to all your different pairs of shoes.
Chairs with Secret Storage
Chairs: where would we be without them? Virtually every room in the house has chairs; the living room, the kitchen, the bedroom…so why not make them more versatile? Chairs don’t need to be practical in just one way. You can get chairs with built in storage space to store the likes of books, children’s toys and so much more. Once those things are put away inside the secret storage in your seats, it’s like they’re not even there.
Wall Crates for Children’s Books
Your child’s bedroom is probably one of the trickiest places in the home to keep free of clutter. What is it with kids and wanting their carpet to be teeming with things that don’t belong there? A simple solution is to install some crates on their wall that they can use to store all their books. Crates are easier for children to put things in than bookshelves, and they’ll easily be able to see all the books they have so they can pick one out for bedtime reading.
Mesh Pockets for the Bathroom
Bathrooms can become very cluttered very quickly with the sheer number of toiletries, cosmetics and bath toys scattered across every available surface. Rather than sacrifice your banana scented hair mask in an effort to clear some space, utilise a mesh shoe organiser. With lots of pockets to hold everything from shampoo bottles to rubber ducks, your bathroom accessories will be easily accessible during shower time as well as freeing up all the space on the surfaces.
We hope you find these tips and tricks for storage at home useful. And, if you just don’t have space for everything, you should consider putting your belongings into self-storage. Store seasonal items and swap them over as you need them.
Transforming your house into your dream home with home renovation is an exciting time. If you’re planning to remodel your home, chances are you are eager to get it completed as quickly as possible. However, rushing ahead without careful planning can cost you time and money, not to mention being potentially dangerous.
Have a read through our top do’s and don’ts for doing some home renovation to make sure you have all bases covered before you take a sledgehammer and try to knock the wall down.
The Don’ts of Home Renovation
Go for The Cheapest Contractor
Remodelling the home can be an expensive business, so you’ll want to try and cut down on costs as much as possible. However, going for the cheapest contractor can be a false economy if you have to hire a different contractor down the line to sort out a shoddy job.
When looking for contractors, you should definitely shop around. However, if the price seems too good to be true, chances are it is. Make sure you properly vet your contractors by looking at reviews and recommendations. Better still, see if you have any friends or family that can recommend a good contractor and go and visit a previous customer to see their work. You may end up paying a little more, but it’ll cost less than having to get some of the work re-done in a few months if everything starts to fall apart.
Neglect Your Vision for the Design
Renovators might be experts in re-building homes, but that doesn’t mean they know how to work around a non-existent design. If you don’t have an exact plan for how you want the final product to look, you’re not going to be satisfied when it’s finished. Make sure you have a strong vision for the final design so you can discuss it with your contractors. And, if it’s a big job – get an architect.
Renovate Everywhere at Once
If you have big plans to renovate your entire house and the budget to move out whilst the architect and builders are in, you should take things one step at a time. Trying to do everything at once will not only be expensive, but it will be inconvenient to you and your family when your entire home turns into a construction site. By taking it one or a couple of rooms at a time, you should still be able to live in your house whilst the renovations are taking the place, causing less disruption to your day to day life.
Be Unrealistic About the Completion Date
There are a lot of things that can delay the completion of a renovation project, so it’s important to remain flexible with the completion date. Chances are things will change as the project is ongoing, or there may be delays with deliveries or a spell of poor weather that will cause the project to go more slowly. Just remember that a good construction job takes time, so be patient.
The Do’s of Home Renovation
Find Out if You Need a Permit
If you’re planning on doing some large-scale renovations, such as getting a conservatory or an extension, chances are you will need to apply for a permit. Performing construction work without a required permit can result in an enforcement notice being served, ordering you to undo all the changes you’ve had made. This would probably the worst thing to happen after having all that work done! So make sure you secure any planning permission needed before work begins, you can apply online and your builder should be able to help.
Set a Budget
The key to a successful project is knowing how much you can realistically afford to spend to achieve the results you want. It’s a good idea to discuss this with your designer, architect or builder, as they will be able to advise you on where savings can be made. Try to stick to your allocated budget as much as possible, but it’s a good idea to have a contingency budget too, in case anything unexpected crops up.
Know When to Call a Professional
Trying your hand at a little DIY is great when it comes to stripping wallpaper, giving the walls a fresh coat of paint or putting a coat of varnish on the decking, but trying to completely renovate your kitchen without any experience or the right skills is a one way ticket to disaster.
No matter how many episodes of Grand Designs you’ve watched, don’t be mistaken into thinking that large renovation projects are easy. Unless you really know what you’re doing, you should hire a professional for big jobs.
Invest in Quality Appliances
Whilst the main focus of remodelling the home will usually come in the design of the floors, lighting and walls, renovation is also a great chance to update those old appliances. Things like the kitchen appliances and the washer and dryer are investments that will really make a difference to your day-to-day life, so it pays to make sure you really go for quality over cost.
Do some research into the best manufacturers and models, read reviews and gain an understanding of their warranties. Good models will last you a long time, and their style can even be incorporated into the re-design of the room.
Protect Your Belongings
Dust and dirt are unavoidable when doing renovations, and they can be difficult factors to control. Whilst contractors will use some kind of plastic coverings to protect your belongings, this won’t stop these things from getting in the way of the work being done; they will have to be moved somewhere if an entire room needs its carpet stripped or a wall knocking down.
You can protect your belongings by putting them into self-storage. At Kangaroo Self Storage, we offer storage in Edinburgh, storage in Glasgow and storage in Dundee. Our units are available in a wide range of sizes, all the way up to 500 sq ft, which can store the contents of a large six-bedroom house. Our storage units are clean, well-maintained and totally secure. Are facilities are covered by 24-hour CCTV, burglar alarms and smoke detectors.
So whilst you’re building that dream home or remodelling your current home you can keep your belongings safe and sound with us at Kangaroo Self Storage. Contact us today and speak to a member of staff about your requirements.