Claire Thompson

Six storage trends in light of the COVID lockdown

easyStorage has noted a number of changing trends in storage in light of lockdown.

Across the UK, the COVID lockdown, shielding and furloughing, and its aftermath, have all been a bit of a mixed blessing.  

Looking on the bright side, many of us have spent a little more time at home. Some of us have stretched our culinary skills to the max, with varying results. Our children have had more of our time and attention. Working from home has been made a more common practice, and people are less concerned about small children or barking dogs in the background of conference calls.

But there’s been a financial downside and a pressure on space in our homes. easyStorage has noted several storage trends:

1. Space is tight: decluttering is a must

When we are home all day, every day, we really note which things we do and don’t use.

Decluttering is an obvious solution, but no-one wants to get rid of the rather out of fashion tea set that Aunty Marianne gave as a wedding present, or of our children’s first baby shoes.

And whilst Marie Kondo may be telling us all about ‘the life-changing magic of tidying’, it’s simply not that easy when there are things you just can’t bear to part with, and many of the charity shops, which we’d normally take the better things to, are now closed or not taking goods in, except by appointment.

Traditional storage is pretty expensive, so, as easyStorage, we’ve seen a trend towards people taking, even sharing, small units to help declutter without losing the things that hold value well beyond financial. It helps, of course, that easyStorage units are secure and in unadvertised locations.

2. Clearing the garage

Garages are often so stuffed full that our cars – on the list of the most expensive things we’ll ever buy – can’t get in them. Yet garaged cars are better protected and attract cheaper insurance, and frankly, dumping things in boxes in a garage often renders them completely unfindable.

At easyStorage, we’ve noted that as cars go out less, people want their garages back to keep their autos in good condition, often even SORNing their cars (taking them off the road) which has a road tax benefit.

As a result, easyStorage has noted the need for a place to put the garage excess at a reasonable price. (People often offset the cost against what they’re saving on their (often spare) car  - taxes and fuel alike.)

3. Using the shed as intended

Our sheds gather ever more equipment.

Whilst some will vaunt theirs as ‘man caves’ or enter ‘shed of the year’ awards, it’s more usual for us to store the broken lawnmower, promising we’ll fix it because it was so expensive in the first place; multiple versions of the same tools, given as gifts or bought because we forgot the first one; one-off instruments for a job we do once a year; and half-finished projects.

Add storage boxes to any of those spaces, from Christmas decorations to Hallowe’en outfits, and space gets really tight.

The UK is finding the time to use our sheds for what they were always intended for – keeping gardens in order. So out go the storage boxes and in come the potting trays - which are often foodstuffs, as in the early days of COVID awareness, no-one knew how food supplies would be affected).

We’ve noted that this has lead to numerous requests for storage, and as we’re incredibly flexible, our storage works well while people sort themselves out.

4. Reclaiming ‘Dumping Grounds’

A dumping room. Most of us have one. It may be a large cupboard or even a spare bedroom. And pressure on them has been increasing whilst we protect against COVID.

Generally, spare bedrooms bear the brunt.

We lob in our cases (which are frankly not going out too much these days). We store our out of season clothes. We keep the kids’ things for when they’re back from University, forgetting that our children are transitioning to adults - and those old school reports and stuffed toys are going to be an embarrassment for the next decade until they themselves have families. (Face it, we’re keeping those things for us, not them!)

Whilst we're often usually OK with this state of affairs when we're spending more time at home, the dumping room starts to tug at our guilty consciences.

At easyStorage, we’ve found that a small unit is often really popular for keeping all of those things safe and dry, ready to get out when needed.

5. Extra people in the house

Many ‘children’ have come home from university and school as facilities close and their lectures and seminars have been cancelled and put online, with little, if any, idea about when they’ll be returning.

Many have given up their University rented accommodation to save money - or because their social lives have ground to a halt.

For others, leaving our vulnerable or elderly parents, friends or relatives isolated has simply not been an option. Suddenly, they’re coming to live in our ‘bubble’ with us until we know it’s safe for them to go out again.

There’s often simply no space for two households to be combined, so whether it’s our own things that need to be stored, students’ entire second homes, or both, easyStorage has noted a trend towards finding external storage. (People are generally delighted when they happen upon us. Cheaper, easier- what’s not to love?

And when they find out that they can even book online and we take out the hard work, that we come to them, not them to us, it’s often a ‘no brainer’.)

6. Home offices

Working from home has become the norm rather than a luxury limited to the few.

Yet working from the kitchen table (or even out of bed) on an ongoing basis creates its own set of problems. As a makeshift measure it’s fine, but all day, every day creates problems. Children. Pets. Competing demands on spaces. Mess.

Our homes increasingly need a space dedicated as an office space. Few people have rooms sat around with no purpose, and so sharing those spaces with office paraphernalia creates extra pressure on everyone.

No-one knows how long we’ll be living like this. Rather than throw away pieces of furniture that could go back to their old homes later, easyStorage has noted that many people choose to store things rather than have to re-buy later, just to make space for an office. (As traditional storage can be expensive, easyStorage has found itself in particular demand.)

And a final note

Whatever people need storage for, easyStorage is on a mission to make it cheaper and easier all round.

But of course, people also want to know what we’re doing to make things safer for the people who use our services in the face of COVID. You can read all about just some of the steps we’ve taken here: easyStorage and Coronavirus. https://www.easystorage.com/coronavirus.

Claire Thompson

Claire joined the easyStorage family as a blogger in August 2020 and is loving it! Her passions include writing and learning, and with easyStorage she’s learning new things fast. When not tapping at a keyboard she can be found renovating an old cottage, despite having inherited a complete lack of DIY skills from her father. She has two children, now grown up, and a dopey, loving Vizler (dog), Chester, who steadfastly refuses to do the same. She claims he’s her soulmate!

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