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  1. Two new promotions for Cardiff self storage team

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    Our fantastic team has been working incredibly hard throughout what’s been a challenging 18 months for us all, individually and collectively as a business.

    COVID has brought varying degrees of pressure on each and every one of our team – as a self storage business however, we have continued to work together to achieve successes and improve customer experiences in ways we would never have thought possible in March last year.

    As a result of our continued growth, along with our ambitious desire to further expand the business into new areas, strengthening our internal structures has become paramount.

    To that end, we’re very pleased to announce two team members’ promotions…

    Jamie

    Having taken ownership of blue self storage’s online systems, along with driving efficiency through the business using modern technology, Jamie Thomas is now Technical Manager.

    As a ‘smart storage solution’ provider, our continued advancement in automated systems and new technologies is essential. Jamie has demonstrated his ability in this area and we know he will continue to implement the changes required to keep us at the forefront of the industry.

    “I’m very thankful for the opportunity to enhance our customer experience through continuous design & delivery of lean & intelligent solutions.”

    – Jamie

    Rhiannon, Storage Coordinator at blue self storage in Cardiff

    Rhiannon

    Having experienced unprecedented (yes, it’s that word again!) customer levels this year, the need for an organised self storage team with robust processes is vital to ensure that our customers continue to experience the high standards that you have come to expect.

    In order to ensure this remains possible during our next stage of growth, Rhiannon Berry is now Storage Team Leader. Rhiannon’s leadership skills have become apparent as we have grown the storage team.

    From adding new sites to on-boarding (another buzz word!) new members of the team, Rhiannon’s attributes and efforts have ensured smooth change management with minimal disruption – and we know Rhiannon will continue to deliver as we grow.

    “I’m really grateful for being recognised and being given this opportunity. I’m looking forward to continuing to work together, developing myself and the team in driving the business forward. I feel we’re on the cusp of something special at blue self storage and love being part of the journey!”

    – Rhiannon

    blue self storage Cardiff and Tyneside

    A record year of growth for blue self storage

    The contribution of every single team member allowed us to expand blue self storage to include a brand new Cardiff storage site in Llanishen and a Newcastle storage site in Tyneside during 2020 and 2021 respectively.

    Thanks to their support, we’ve also been able to invest in new technologies to make the customer experience even better.

    We now have QR code entry and exit systems at our Llanishen site, allowing us to maintain high security standards while reducing customer waiting times. There’s also a new phase of technology coming soon to blue self storage – more news on that soon!

    “I want to thank and recognise each and every one of our collective team’s contributions to our recent accomplishments, and for their continuous diligence in ensuring our customers have the best storage experience possible.

    “I feel we currently have the strongest teams that we’ve ever had. We have created a workforce that is a joy to be a part of, something that wouldn’t be possible without everyone’s effort and commitment. These new promotions are key to our business growth plan and we’re excited to enter the next phase of taking storage into the stratosphere with the best team possible.”

    – Chris Bryan, Managing Director of blue self storage

    The future’s bright – the future’s blue!

    What’s next?

    Need a helping hand with your storage? We recently launched breezybox, a brand new Cardiff storage collection service. It’s self storage made easy breezy!

    Check out breezybox

    Book self storage in Cardiff or Tyneside

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  2. Meet Ann, Bernie and Jeanette in their first exclusive team interview…

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    We recently added 3 new firecrackers to our team – it’s time to formally introduce Ann, Jeanette and Bernie!

    Bernie and Jeanette join our team of Storage Coordinators, while Ann joins our Accounts department.

    So our customers can get to know them a little better, we asked all three to ‘lift the lid’ on life at blue self storage… Take it away, ladies!

    Hi, guys! What does your 9-to-5 day typically include?

    Ann: My job is all about keeping financial records & accounts update to date, credit control, taking queries and payments from customers, paying suppliers promptly… my day is pretty varied for an ‘accounts’ role, which I love.

    Ann

    Jeanette: My day is varied – it ranges from assisting the team and dealing with customers enquiries (we have a wide variety of customers across several sites), completing site inspections to ensure our high standards are maintained, dealing with a wide range of tasks.

    No day is the same for me!

    Bernie: I’m lucky as I get to spend my day engaging with customers, taking calls, signing up customers and doing general admin – it’s a lot of chatting with lovely people!

    Dean Daly gives a tour of blue self storage Llanishen storage facility

    The entrance to our Llanishen storage facility

    Why is it important to you, to work for a company like blue self storage?

    Ann: I love that it’s a small friendly team, but also I love the brand and the big plans they have … The company is ambitious and growing rapidly; this is really reassuring with all the uncertainty going on.

    Jeanette

    Jeanette: That was important to me too, as the company having big plans is definitely reassuring! Also it’s a great place to work, I’m fortunate to work with a great bunch of people and I love meeting customers, they’re always so nice!

    Bernie: For me, the warm welcome from the team (and excellent caravan storage) cemented that this was the place for me. Not only are customers very important to blue self storage, their staff are too.

    What do you enjoy most about your job?

    Ann: Going home! 😊  Just kidding – I enjoy working with great supportive people, everyone gets on, we have a giggle and banter!

    Bernie

    Bernie: The team is great, but also meeting and talking to customers – it’s why I love customer service, chatting to people, meeting new personalities …

    Jeanette: Diversity of my role keeps things interesting, and I love being with the team.

    We have a lot of fun doing what we do!

    Inside the blue self storage office, Wentloog

    How is the team and company culture at blue self storage?

    Ann: The culture is relaxed and supportive, and we have great leadership who understand people.

    Bernie: Yep, the culture and the team are just AMAZING!

    Jeanette: Agreed … It’s a fun place to work, everyone is really supportive, the culture here is fun, friendly but very professional. The team’s full of different personalities which shouldn’t work, but it somehow does!

    Who put our Accounts team in storage?!

    Any fun facts you’ve learned about the team so far?

    Jeanette: We have ‘Food Friday’ where every week we indulge in the best food East Cardiff has to offer. It’s quite an adventure through cuisines.

    Bernie: I’ll let you in on a secret… Rhi can’t sing (even though she thinks she can)! And all the team have different qualities and a little bit of craziness thrown in for good measure.

    Ann: I couldn’t possibly divulge things like that for fear of retribution (lol). I’m saying nothing!

    “Oh lord, she’s at it again…”

    What hobbies or passions have kept you busy during lockdown?

    Ann: I did lots of cross stitch and baking – some with more success than others …

    Jeanette: Family and gardening kept me busy; my garden has never looked so nice!

    Bernie: I’ve treasured the time I’ve been able to spend with my grandson.

    What storage ‘tip’ would you give to a customer?

    Ann: Hmmmm… Pay your invoice on time! What else could I say?

    Jeanette: Choose storage that gives you peace of mind. Prior to working at blue self storage, I used the caravan storage and it’s so nice knowing my caravan is safe and secure.

    Bernie: Yep, I second that. When you choose blue self storage, you will always have piece of mind on our site.

    Our caravan storage

    If you were stuck on a desert island, what’s the one item of furniture you absolutely couldn’t live without?

    Ann: Does a coffee maker count as furniture???

    Jeanette: My bed! I do love sleeping.

    Bernie: I think I’ll go for a dining table and chairs to sit around. Family meals are key!

    Add a coffee maker and a bed and you’d have the ladies’ perfect ‘desert island’!

    And finally, once it’s safe to travel again, what’s the first holiday you’ll book?

    Ann: I’m not fussy, so anywhere … but preferably somewhere warm.

    J: Benidorm! Love the entertainment and guaranteed hot weather.

    Bernie: It’s got to be my favourite place, Tenby. We go back often and have made lots of family memories over the years.

    Benidorm vs Tenby – happily, we’d visit both!

    Thanks to Ann, Jeanette and Bernie for the interview – all three have been an instant hit in the office and we can’t wait to keep growing & starting new commercial ventures with our amazing team 🙌

    Meet the full team


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  3. Our practical guide to clearing out your house during lockdown

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    It’s 2021 at last! And never before has clearing out your house and starting afresh been sooo needed.

    Clearing out for storage, charity and recycling is the perfect way to reset and refresh your home; particularly after a year that’s proven how important a calm, happy (and Zoom-call-ready!) home is.

    But how do you clear out & declutter effectively during lockdown? As we remain inside to protect our communities and NHS, with limited allowances for going outside, it feels an impossible task to actually get rid of your old items.

    However, there are ways to complete your clear out, in a safe and ethical way. You can even make a difference to local charities or people while you do it!

    So if you’re ready to sort out and declutter, use our helpful, lockdown-friendly guide to clearing out your house & saying goodbye to 2020, once and for all 👇

    Please note that during Tier 4 lockdown, blue self storage is only open for critical & essential workers. So while you might not be able to access your unit at the moment, you can still get ‘storage ready’ for when you can! See all Covid-19 updates →

    Useful tips to get started

    Sometimes, the whim to start clearing out your house will take you by surprise – other times, you really need to pray for motivation!

    So the first thing to do is to block off a couple of hours and stick to the time you choose.

    Going through your rooms, wardrobes and under the bed can be an arduous task, so use these tips to stay focused:

    • If you’re doing this with a family member, agree which rooms you’ll each tackle, and which you’ll sort together
    • Plug in your earphones & listen to a podcast – it requires more focus than music, and you don’t want to get distracted by the stuff you unearth
    • Following on from that… If you find nostalgic or sentimental objects, don’t let it distract you – put them aside to look at later
    • Take tea or biscuit breaks during the process but set a break timer for 10 minutes only
    • Open ALL the windows in your house – you’ll get hot really quickly and you can let fresh air in (essential when you’re disturbing old dust)
    • When clearing out spaces, leave them clear – don’t try to fill them up or ‘shuffle’ around furniture to fit – this comes later
    • Avoid putting piles of stuff on your bed or tables; you’ll only have to move it again later
    • Found mould? Use mould spray or bleach and water to wipe the wall or ceiling, and use a hairdryer to dry off quickly*

    *When using mould spray or bleach, pop on one of your face masks, open windows, and do it early enough in the day that you won’t still smell it going to sleep

    Sort into limited piles

    Our top tip is always: know your destinations. Have you got stuff to give to charity? Things beyond repair that can be recycled?

    Sort your things into 5 main categories:

    1. Charity
    2. Other optional donations (like giving away for free on Facebook groups)
    3. Recycling centre
    4. Rubbish
    5. Storage

    Then use a sharpie to label green recycling bags or cardboard boxes with ‘charity’, ‘recycling’ etc, and try to put items in the correct bag/box as soon as you sort them.

    If you just move them to another surface, you’ll create more work for yourself – and you’ll be at risk of ‘reassessing’ them later, where your conviction might waver.

    And be strong – don’t let yourself create extra piles like ‘Might Want This Later’ or ‘Can’t Decide Right Now’. A good rule of thumb is, if you forgot you had it & haven’t used it in 6-12 months, give it away.

    Use our storage boxes for easy packing when clearing out your house

    Get storage-savvy

    For all the stuff you want to keep in storage, our crucial, #1 tip is: use identical boxes, and don’t fill them too full.

    Instead of a higgledy-piggledy jumble of sharp edges and sliding piles, the boxes make it easier and neater to stack inside your house, until you can visit your storage unit or donate the items.

    And something we’re all guilty of is over-filling the box because you can tidy things away quicker. Your back won’t thank you for it later, so keep the weight manageable and don’t be afraid to use extra boxes when you need them.

    Pack & protect your treasures

    Even if it feels like a pain, wrap and secure your more delicate objects in bubble wrap, plastic bags, tissue paper – whatever you have to hand that will keep them safe.

    We know, it’s annoying, but you’ll be so glad you did when you unpack them in the future.

    *NEW* – Get your packaging materials delivered!

    It’s hard getting all the stuff you need for packing during lockdown – so to make it easy for customers, we’re running a limited time offer where we’ll deliver all the packaging materials you need to your home!

    From boxes to bubble wrap, from mattress covers to masking tape, order what you need via email or phone and we’ll deliver to you*.

    View packaging prices →

    *T+Cs apply. See bottom of this blog for info.

    Clearing out your house - useful tips

    Offload unwanted items

    Once you’ve identified the stuff that’s not for storage and sorted it into ‘charity’ | ‘local giveaway’ | ‘recycling’ | ‘rubbish’ piles, here’s how you can offload your things in a sustainable way.

    Option 1: Donate to a recycling centre’s charity containers

    While charity shops remain closed under lockdown, recycling centres (on the whole) are open.

    Lamby Way, a recycling centre helpfully located on the way to our Wentloog storage location, has charity containers for books, CDs, DVDs, clothes, bikes and more.

    View Lamby Way recycling centre on Google Maps →

    Please check restrictions before planning your visit.

    Option 2: Donate to those who need it most

    Your old kettle or GCSE English textbook could be just the thing someone desperately needs; particularly when we’re confined to our own 4 walls with no real shopping opportunities.

    Our lovely sponsored charity, Cerebral Palsy Cymru (CPC), are always grateful for donations to fill their 4 shops – and while they can’t accept donations at the moment, they’re asking for people to save up their donations for when they can accept them. This is the ideal time to use those proper packaging boxes for a streamlined charity pile!

    They’d particularly love your pre-loved clothes, toys, books and bric-a-brac for post-lockdown donations – not only that, but if the pandemic has inspired you to help out wherever possible after lockdown, they’d love to hear from shop volunteers! (Email fundraising@cerebralpalsycymru.org for a chat).

    The CPC team are also pleased to report that their free storage unit at our Llanishen facility has come in hugely handy for storing seasonal items and Christmas donations – so thank you to all who donated their things over the festive season.

    And to give away any smaller, quality items, British Heart Foundation is running a freepost donation service, where you can send your donations to them for free from your nearest Collect+ location – result!

    Option 3: Give away to family, friends & neighbours

    You can also find Facebook groups dedicated to helping your local community, like this Covid-19 Support and Positivity Cardiff group who welcome helpful items listed for free. For selling, use groups like South Wales Sales or sites like Cardiff Freeads.

    For super local giveaways, why not take photos of your items and share with your friends and family? You never know what someone needs – you might have just the thing!

    And if you’re not using luxury items or high-value stuff, perhaps you could know a frontline worker (maybe a teacher, a doctor, a nurse) who could do with a boost and your generosity – it could make their week.


    Clearing out your house for storage, donations, recycling

    More about our practical ‘clearing out your house’ guide

    The New Year is a hugely popular time for clearing out your house and decluttering; it marks a fresh start, and never has there been a year more appropriate for this than 2021.

    Okay, the usual ‘new year, new me’ isn’t quite welcome this time around – but if you can’t face attempting Dry January, and your typical ‘join the gym’ resolution can’t be realised, there are still ways to refresh & restart for the coming year, and that’s through your home.

    While we stay inside during UK-wide lockdowns, our thoughts turn to our immediate surroundings. Are our homes feeling calm and prepared for a new year? Is it a space of ‘zen’?

    If you’re thinking this, you’re not alone; UK homeowners spent an incredible £55 billion on home renovations since March 2020, making our nests more comfortable and Zoom-call-ready.

    But if this trend passed you by, or if you’ve somehow accumulated more ‘stuff’ than you’ve lost, now’s the perfect time for a New Year house clear out.

    And while you may not be able to offload all your clutter during lockdown restrictions, you can use our useful tips to get ready and prepared for when you can. Happy clearing!


    Book your smart & affordable 24/7 storage in Cardiff or Tyneside

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    *Packaging materials delivered to your home: T+Cs apply

    Delivering packaging materials to customers is something we are currently trialling as a limited time offer. Available upon rental of a storage unit (or for customers with existing storage units).

    Available for customers within the Cardiff area only. Available on the assumption we have adequate staffing available – in the unlikely circumstance of staff illness or shortage, we may postpone your delivery but will inform you as soon as possible.

    To purchase materials, choose what you’d like to buy from our packaging page and get in touch at info@blueselfstorage.co.uk or 029 20 361 361 where payment can be taken over the phone.

    We’ll aim to deliver your materials within the next few business days after purchase, but deliveries may be subject to local COVID restrictions.

  4. Customer spotlight: A team of tree surgeons keeping South Wales beautiful

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    As we enter 2021, it’s a time for sharing the love and lifting each other up – so in our latest blog series, we’re shining a spotlight on companies doing fantastic work who deserve to be recognised for it.

    For this interview, we speak to Craig Hyde, Owner of Embark Tree Care, a blue self storage customer since June 2020.

    The team gets solid 5-star rave reviews from their clients, and provides all kinds of tree surgery around Cardiff.

    They pride themselves on using the latest equipment and techniques to get the job done professionally and safely, at the end of each job the work area will be completely cleared of any debris leaving customers to their gardens in peace.

    As an extra lovely touch, Craig and his team regularly capture photos of nature and the tiny critters they find during their daily work – happily, you can take a look at their gallery online.

    Hi Craig! What does Embark Tree Care do?

    Well, we do literally all aspects of tree surgery! That includes:

    • Hedge cutting
    • Crown thinning
    • Crown reduction
    • Crown lifting
    • Sectional felling
    • Tree dismantles
    • Stump grinding
    • Large/dangerous and awkward trees

    If you’ve got a tree that needs work, we’re your port of call!

    We also offer a 24hr call-out service covering all of Cardiff, the Vale, and South Wales.

    As an eco-friendly company, we also actively encourage replanting when trees are removed – we have to look after Mother Nature, after all!

    It’s been a tough time for businesses – how has Embark Tree Care adapted during lockdown?

    Fortunately for my business, trees will always need managing so I think I’m in one of the ‘lucky industries’ not to be too affected in that respect.

    As my work is outside, this minimises risk – but regardless, we use sanitiser, masks and social distancing where required to keep our clients safe.

    Why do you use blue self storage?

    blue self storage is the complete package for me with 24 hour access, security, insurance and more.

    For my peace of mind it’s worth its weight in gold as my equipment is safe, dry and all in one place at Llanishen. The staff are friendly and extremely helpful – especially Rhiannon who’s been there to answer all my questions and guide me along the way, thank you!

    So, what projects are Embark Tree Care working on at the moment?

    I’m currently working on a tree in Sully, a complete dismantle of an Ash tree as it’s been affected with ash dieback – not a pretty sight!

    What’s next in the pipeline for your business?

    I’m aiming for 2021 to be an amazing year with the development of the business and creating at least one full time position for a qualified tree surgeon and two part time positions.

    This expansion will really increase my capacity and ability to help more clients, so that’ll be great.

    COVID-19 has led to a lot of local community help & support – what’s been your favourite ‘community kindness’ story you’ve seen?

    For me, I think Covid-19 has led to an outpouring of kindness from people in all walks of life and I hope this is something we can continue to do for each other.

    Checking on our vulnerable/elderly neighbours is so important and helpful, and something we have to keep up!

    Craig using his unit at our Llanishen storage facility

    Introducing our ‘customer spotlight’ series

    It’s been a hard year for businesses in South Wales and across the UK, dealing with projects on hold, staff at home and other pandemic-related difficulties. But through good times or bad, these companies are the backbone of our national economy.

    So that’s why we’re launching our brand new ‘customer spotlight’ series, celebrating our business & commercial storage customers who use us to save space & stay focused in challenging times.

    We’d like to say a huge thanks to Craig at Embark Tree Care for the interview!

    Read our other ‘customer spotlight’ interviews:

    Want your business featured in the next ‘customer spotlight’? Get in touch…


    Book your smart & affordable storage in Cardiff

    Llanishen storage Wentloog storage

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  5. Customer spotlight: A 5-star removals company reinventing house surveys

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    As we near the festive season, it’s a time for sharing the love and lifting each other up – so in our latest blog series, we’re shining a spotlight on companies doing fantastic work who deserve to be recognised for it.

    For this interview, we speak to Alex Ghimpu, Operations Manager & Adrian Stan, Director, of Red Lion Removals – a blue self storage customer since early 2020.

    They’re a family-owned business, founded from a desire to create a moving company that keeps its word and delivers an amazing customer experience.

    Hi guys. What does Red Lion Removals do?

    As the name suggests, we provide removal services all around Europe – but we also provide packing, dismantling and assembling services; making it easier for our customers to get from A to B!

    We’re relatively new, having formed in March 2020, and although we’re based in Cardiff, we serve customers all across the UK and EU.

    We’re very proud to have fantastic reviews from our customers so far, and we’re always trying to beat our own standards of service!

    The Red Lion Removals team at our Llanishen storage facility

    It’s been a tough time for businesses – how has yours adapted during lockdown?

    During lockdown we followed all the guidelines that the government put in place for us, including face masks, social distancing, sanitising and more.

    We also implemented our new ‘video survey’ service, where a customer can walk through the property and show us around via video chat – whether on a tablet, phone or laptop – before we estimate a price.

    It means we completely reduce unnecessary contact and our customers can stay 100% safe – very handy as we’ve had lots of people moving house during lockdown!

    Branded face masks by Red Lion Removals

    Why do you use blue self storage?

    We love the flexibility, location and customer service provided by blue self storage for removal companies – having originally used the Wentloog storage site, we moved to the Llanishen facility once it had opened as it’s so convenient for where a lot of our customers are.

    But also a huge factor is definitely the security. When storing customers’ treasured items, top-level security is an absolute must, and we feel super safe with you guys.

    In general, how does self storage help your business?

    Using self storage is helpful for our customers who have delays between moving out and moving in, for sure, but it also means we can be flexible and offer different options.

    So, what projects are Red Lion Removals working on at the moment?

    We’re always busy with our general removals but our hard-working team is also looking at having a new office in the near future!

    Plus, we’re hoping to open a new branch in a different location, which is exciting. We already serve a wide geographical area with both the UK and EU, so a new base would be ideal.

    COVID-19 has led to a lot of local community help & support – what’s been your favourite ‘community kindness’ story you’ve seen?

    Our favourite stories are definitely of neighbours and people looking after each other, like this sweet friendship between 77-year-old Andy and 31-year-old volunteer Alex in Glasgow.

    Closer to home, lots of Cardiff companies offered help, support and free food to organisations like the NHS, which was incredible to see.

    Introducing our ‘customer spotlight’ series

    It’s been a hard year for businesses in South Wales and across the UK, dealing with projects on hold, staff at home and other pandemic-related difficulties. But through good times or bad, these companies are the backbone of our national economy.

    So that’s why we’re launching our brand new ‘customer spotlight’ series, celebrating our business & commercial storage customers who use us to save space & stay focused in challenging times.

    We’d like to say a huge thanks to Adrian, Alex & Red Lion Removals for the interview – good luck with your next batch of removals!

    Read our other ‘customer spotlight’ interviews:

    Want your business featured in the next ‘customer spotlight’? Get in touch…


    Book your smart & affordable storage in Cardiff

    Llanishen storage Wentloog storage

    Keep up to date with all our news! Follow us out there…