**11 tips to keep your dog cool on a hot day**

So we’ve been blessed with some beautiful English sunshine and unusually hot weather, but sometimes our pets just can’t cope in the heat.

So here are some tips on keeping our furry friends cool:

  1. Bathe their feet in cold water. Dogs absorb heat (and ‘sweat’) through their feet, so by keeping their feet cool, their body temperature can decrease.
  2. Keep a cool towel for them to lie on. You can get cooling mats, but a cool wet towel will help keep their body cool and they’ll thank you for it.
  3. Provide shade. Always make sure they have a shaded area to lie in and keep the rays off them. If you have a paddling pool, all the better! Make sure they get their stomachs wet as this helps to cool them off.
  4. A fan with a bowl of ice in front of it can be very effective.
  5. Add ice cubes in their water bowl. They may melt quickly, but they will help to keep their water at a nice temperature.
  6. Buy a cooling vest – these are fitted with ice packs to cool their body.
  7. Give them a trim – if you have a long haired doggy trim their coat to help reduce the amount of fur.
  8. Walk them at the coolest time, so early morning or late at night. Dogs absorb heat through their feet, so try and only walk them on pavements at the coolest time of day.
  9. Never muzzle a dog during hot weather as it restricts their ability to pant.
  10. Never ever leave your dog in a car during hot weather. Even a few minutes can be disastrous.
  11. If you suspect your pet may have heatstroke get them to the vets as soon as possible, as it can be dangerous.

Enjoy the warm weather while you can, as you never know what’s around the corner with our English weather!

**Benefits Of Having A Storage Unit During A Divorce**

Going through a divorce is a hard process.

As well as the emotional stress involved there’s also the worry about selling your home and what you are going to do with all of your stuff.

People can split up quickly and start the process of divorce, often without very much warning, meaning that rapid-fire decisions must be made about what you are going to store and where.

Often one or both parties will move into a smaller home temporarily while the dust settles and life gets back on track.

If you or someone you know is currently dealing with the emotional stress of a divorce, having a storage unit during the divorce could help.

Here, we outline some reasons why it could be useful:

 Protect Your Belongings

One of the most uncomfortable parts of a divorce is figuring out who gets what. It’s painful to go through your entire inventory of things and decide what belongs to who. And it can take time to be calm enough to go through this difficult process. It’s convenient to have a self-storage unit during a divorce so that you can store, and protect the things that are unambiguously yours, and then decide what will happen to the other items.

  1. Downsizing Is Easier.When two people who have been sharing a life for a long time part ways, one of things that usually happens is that each party goes and finds their own place. Typically this involves downsizing into a smaller house or apartment. This might be for financial reasons, or because you simply don’t need as much space. A self-storage unit can help you store all the things that you aren’t able to fit into your new place while you figure out what to do with them. After some time you may move into a larger space, or you may decide to sell or donate your things. But it’s better not to put too much pressure on to make instant decisions.


  1. Keep Your Documents Safe.Another one of the most convenient uses for a storage unit while you are going through a divorce is to keep all of your important documents safe. Often, the madness and the emotional stress of a divorce can cause things to get lost, go missing, or end up in the bin. When emotions are high sometimes it’s difficult to know whether you can fully trust the person you’re splitting from. Decide early that you are going to make sure this doesn’t happen to your important legal documents and put them in self-storage.

A divorce is difficult enough as it is, so we advise doing everything you can to lighten the emotional load.

If you’re currently going through a divorce or separation and you’d like to discuss how our friendly, family-run business can help then call us on 01789 720027 or visit us at Stratford Self Store, Welford Road, Long Marston.

















5 tips for decluttering your home and business

5 tips for decluttering your home and business

At Stratford Self Store, we know that whether you’re moving house, re-decorating your offices or simply changing the look of your home or work space, you may wish to declutter and streamline your interiors. However, we also understand that you might not want to get rid of things that are precious, valuable, useful and sentimental to you and that’s where one of our storage units can help. Organisation guru Marie Kondo, inspired us to put together our own top tips to help you make the most of using self-storage to declutter your home or business:

  1. Take a room by room approach

Decluttering your home or work environment can seem like you’re taking on a mountain, but in reality, if you approach it room-by-room or zone-by-zone, it’s actually not such a daunting task. For example, you could start off with your bedroom and break it down into bitesize chunks, focusing on individual parts of the room, from the wardrobe to under the bed. The beauty of Stratford Self Store is that you don’t have to declutter your whole space in one day. You can tackle it a bit at a time, accessing your self-storage as and when you need to stow away your possessions.


  1. Focus on what to keep, not what to chuck

When decluttering, many of us approach it by looking at what we want to get rid of. On the other hand, Marie Kondo suggests going about it differently, by focusing on what you want to keep instead. By appreciating what objects and belongings are important to us and have a place in our lives, it will instantly highlight what we can live without. This is a great place to start when deciding what to stow away in your self-storage space.


  1. Ask yourself this important question

If you’re struggling with deciding what to keep, you can ask yourself this simple question – Does this object bring you joy? If the answer is simply no, you should get rid. If the answer is yes, you should consider keeping the object as it clearly has a place in your life. Sometimes, these things might hold sentimental importance, so you could live without them but you don’t necessarily want to. The perfect solution is to pop it into our self-storage units to keep it safe and accessible, yet out of the way.


  1. Be committed

Once you’ve decided to declutter your home or office, you need to be committed to doing it properly. This can be really difficult if you feel like you have to permanently get rid of things to achieve your goal of a minimalist interior. However, with your Stratford Self Store unit at hand, you can have the best of both, with minimalism and a safe place to keep your surplus possessions.


  1. Use a rotation system

If you love to change the look of your home regularly, Stratford Self Store could be your new best friend. Rather than permanently getting rid of your homeware every time you change the look of a room, you could store it away and save it to use again. By doing this, you can use a rotation system to cycle through various different styles and always keep your home décor fresh and refreshed, without having to splash out on new furnishings each time.


Don’t let decluttering get you down. You really can achieve a clutter free home or work environment without saying farewell to your possessions. Take a positive approach to decluttering and get in touch with us today on 01789 720 027 to find out which self-storage options would be best for you, remember its as little as £1 a day!! 

5 reasons your business needs Stratford Self Store in its life

Many people use self-storage in their personal lives, perhaps if they’re downsizing, moving in with a partner or a student moving away from university during the summer months. All of these reasons mean that you might have surplus furniture and possessions that need a temporary or long-term home and Stratford Self Store is the perfect solution.

But have you ever considered investing in self-storage for your business? It’s not a trick question. In fact, we are about to tell you exactly why you should think about using Stratford Self Store for work purposes. Trust us, you’ll thank us for it later!

1. Space Saving – Well this might seem like an obvious one to start with. Stratford Self Store allows you to save space in your business by re-homing items offsite. This could include bulky tools and machinery or storing excess stock to free up office space. After all, you don’t necessarily need to store absolutely everything in your office. Eventually you’ll get to the point where there’s no room to move, and that’s not a fun working environment for anyone. In fact, a clear and clutter-free workspace is key for increasing productivity and motivation in the workplace!

2. Archiving and keeping things safe – As with many businesses, certain records and items have to be kept for long periods of time. As your business grows, you could end up with more and more records piling up. By law, you cannot get rid of or destroy some of them, so you will need to store them safely in an archive at Stratford Self Store, where they can remain for as long as needed. Using off-site storage is often more cost-effective than on-site storage too, which is an added bonus.

3. Office refurbishments – Every once in a while, your office or work space will need a little TLC to keep it fresh and attractive to customers and employees. If you’ve ever tried your hand at DIY, you’ll know that working around furniture is not only difficult, but also time consuming. Every day spent on refurbishing your workspace is a day lost, so getting the job done quickly is essential. That’s where Stratford Self Store comes in handy. Simply move the furniture out temporarily and quickly and easily renovate the office without climbing over obstacles in the process.

4. Office moves – We have already established that your works space is becoming cluttered and over full as your business grows. You might be reaching the point where self-storage isn’t helping to save space anymore and it might be time to relocate to larger premises. On the other hand, you might be scaling your business down and downsizing to a smaller unit. But what happens to all of the furniture or surplus items in the process? Stratford Self Store is your convenient answer.

5. Security – As well as all of the reasons above, you can also take advantage of extra security at Stratford Self Store. We understand the importance of having the highest levels of security to protect your belongings; therefore we have 24 hour CCTV, fire and security alarms and a warden on site. We also have barrier access, code access and a password system in place for extra protection for your peace of mind.

So if you think that your business could benefit from using Stratford Self Store, whatever the reason, get in touch with us today on 01789 720 027 or email sales@stratfordselfstore.co.uk.

How can Stratford Self Store help you to sell your home?

They say moving home is one of the most stressful things you can do, and it is one of those experiences that is filled with emotions. You’re excited by what’s to come, but first you have to find a buyer, accept an offer, and then there is the challenging sales process to navigate before you can grab your new keys and move in.

Let’s rewind a little. Before you put your home on the market, you need to get it ready for sale. Known as ‘home staging’, estate agents will tell you that this is a crucial step in selling your home. Home staging shows off your home and its key features so that buyers can see themselves living there. The fact is, a home that is staged for sale will often sell quicker and for a higher price than one that isn’t.

This is all well and good, but what does this have to do with Stratford Self Store? How can a storage company help sell your home?

One of the first things you do when you are looking to stage your home is de-clutter. Our homes are filled with stuff we have gathered over the years, and things with sentimental value. Although we don’t want to get rid of some of these items, we know that they can be packed up and put away, as they will not be needed before the move.

When de-cluttering, it is best to divide things into sections. First, a ‘pack away’ pile, as above, then a box for things you are going to let go and donate to charity, a bin bag for items that have maybe seen better days, and finally, a place for things you are going to keep in your home.

TIP: The more you can pack away now at this early stage, the easier it will be when you have to pack up the rest of your home.

When de-cluttering, take a room at a time; every draw, cupboard and shelf should be targeted, and don’t forget your furniture. As Nikki from Warwickshire Home Finders tells us, “The furniture in each room should be relevant, e.g. a bed should always be in a bedroom, and every room should have a clear purpose. You may have large or unusual pieces of furniture that you love, but if they dominate a room rather than being part of its décor, think about removing them if you are trying to sell your home.”

A storage unit provides you with the perfect place to store your packed boxes and large or unusual furniture until you have moved into your own home. Affordable and incredibly accessible, we provide you with a stress-free solution to help you stage your home for sale.

To find out other ways in which we can support you when you’re moving home, contact us today on:
01789 720027 Continue reading

Think cardboard was only good for packing boxes? Think again….

Incredible cardboard creations you need to see now

At Stratford Self Store one of the most common items we see are cardboard boxes; whether they are coming or going, they are still one of the most common forms of packaging. Cardboard is an amazing material, and we are not the only ones who are fascinated by this product. Many designers across the globe are also using it to build incredible cardboard creations, and we would like to share some of our favourites.

Origami car by Lexus UK
Lexus are known for their luxury vehicles, but origami? The company commissioned LaserCut Works and Scales and Models to design and create a one of a kind IS saloon to celebrate human craftsmanship. It took 5 people 3 months, and 1700 laser-cut cardboard sheets to complete, and featured functional doors, headlights and wheels.

Images from http://scalesandmodels.co.uk/lexus

Cardboard furniture
In the early 1970s, architect Frank Gehry won his first design award for furniture made from corrugated cardboard. In recent years this trend has boomed, and you can now buy most types of furniture made from cardboard. Whether it is something for a spare bedroom or your office, from wardrobes to desks, the range of products available may surprise you.

One of the first companies to launch a range of affordable cardboard furniture in the UK was Eco Floots, you can even find their products for sale on Amazon.

5 stunning container homes

Containers are used for many things, from shipping to, as in our case, storing your belongings. Who would have thought that we might also want to live in them? Even more than that, they have been transformed into architecturally stunning properties. Some of you may have seen the episode of George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces where Max McMurdo, an up-cycling expert created an unbelievably ingenious floating home from a shipping container.

From London, to China to Ecuador, containers are being transformed into office developments, artistic studios, and homes.

The Collections Dubreuil
Based in the Greater Montreal area of Canada, The Collections Dubreuil is a family-run business that specialises in renovation and new build construction. Within their portfolio of work are some container homes, which they describe as innovative and on-trend. Using recycled materials means that each home is different, and they collaborate with each owner to design a home that meets their needs.

Maison Conteneur - Container House
Maison Conteneur - Container House
Maison Conteneur - Container House
Maison Conteneur - Container House

Off Grid Mountain Container Home
Colorado company Studio H:T designed this off the grid container home. The architect, Brad Tomecek, wanted to question “the need for excessive space and challenge occupants to be efficient.” He used two shipping containers to create a tall central area to take advantage of the expansive mountain range views; the area also housed the entry, dining, living and loft spaces, with the bedrooms and work spaces just off this central area. Due to its location it uses solar power, passive cooling and other eco-friendly systems such as photovoltaics to create electricity.

Off Grid Mountain Container Home
Off Grid Mountain Container Home
Off Grid Mountain Container Home

Jaora Street
Using 31 shipping containers, this is the largest house of its kind in Australia. It took only five and a half months to build, and spans over three levels. Its fresh clean lines accentuate the open spaces, and it is finished off beautifully with high quality finishes. With clever use of glass the architects have managed to maximise natural light, which floods into the 706m2 site.

Jaora Street
Jaora Street
Jaora Street
Jaora Street

Shoup residence and office compound
This is more than just a home, as the site needed to accommodate an office as well as retain the existing workshop. Phase one began with a retired freezer shipping container, which was transformed into an office. Phase two was required due to marriage and imminent parenthood, and a second container conversion was added, creating a comfortable and varied space with an inner courtyard, giving the family the privacy they desired.

shoup residence + office compound
shoup residence + office compound
shoup residence + office compound

Modern Shipping Container Cabin
Our final shipping container home is again from Brad Tomecek, this is the rawest of the designs, with minimal exterior and interior finishes. The brief was to create a family retreat for a family that had been visiting this particular area in Colorado for decades. Its design uses one 40’ container and six 20′ containers and consists of two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a guest room, which is accessed from the outside deck. There is no doubt that this cabin is all about the views, and just enjoying the landscape.

Modern Shipping Container Cabin
Modern Shipping Container Cabin
Modern Shipping Container Cabin
Modern Shipping Container Cabin