Declutter – it pays!

Last year, Big Yellow Self Storage did some research into the amount of clutter we harbour in our homes – and how much it may be costing us.

The findings show that most of us may be sitting on a mini goldmine. Of those questioned, 61% admitted that they hoard useless items at home, with almost 26% fessing up to having an entire room filled with junk. Unsurprisingly, more than four people out of ten (41%) would prefer to rent this space out and make money rather than continue to house unused belongings.

Based on average UK rental incomes, that could mean around £320 per month – or £3,850 annually per household.

Clearing the space

What you do with your clutter will depend on several factors – the value and usefulness of individual items to you, their condition, potential saleability, size and suitability for long-term storage. Obviously, only you can decide what stays and what goes, but once you’re done with the car boot sales, online auctions, charity shops and the tip, you may need a secure storage solution for everything else.

Preparing your items for a storage facility

If you’re making way for a new room in your home, it follows that your storage requirement could be long term. For this reason, choose a storage site that is secure, temperature controlled and, preferably, not too far from where you live. Most household items will keep indefinitely in a well run storage facility, however, there are a few quick, easy and cheap preparations that will help keep your items in the best possible condition.

Clothes etc.

Wardrobes are best for storing clothes and other soft items. Use the hanging space for items that need to retain their shape, thus saving the space below for bed linen, curtains and shoes. Remember to keep seasonal clothes within easy reach for when the weather changes. Allow air to circulate around anything leather – especially purses and handbags, which should also be filled with bubble wrap.


A dry environment is essential for books, which should be laid horizontally and, ideally, in small boxes. A simple labelling system on the side of each box will help you locate specific titles.

The larger items

Treat wood with varnish, and apply oil or a rust protection product to metal before taking it to your storage site. Maximise space by dismantling flat packed furniture and cover hard edges or sharp corners with cloth. Keep sofas upright if they are upholstered in leather or microfibre, but horizontal if they’re covered in more delicate textiles. Keep mattresses in purpose-designed bags and check them regularly.

At Big Yellow Self Storage you can store items of all shapes & sizes, in rooms from 9 sq ft to 400 sq ft, with leases starting at just one week long.