We love this time of year. The reception is filled with mince pies and sweet wrappers, the Christmas tree is up and carols are playing on the radio. We see a lot of families popping in to collect their festive decorations from their personal storage and drop off garden furniture to keep dry until the summer. It’s a busy time, but a fun one.
However, we know that everyone is suffering a little this year with the cost of living. We all want to be able to relax and give our families the best holiday season we can, but we need to do it on a tighter budget. Well, self-storage is an industry that is all about cost-saving and sustainability, so we thought we would look at ways to make your Christmas eco and budget friendly. Read on for our top tips.
Choose recycled wrapping paper.
Did you know that your shiny wrapping paper is not recyclable? If it’s laminated, glittery or contains foil, it can’t be recycled and ends up in landfill. Consider these shocking statistics. It’s estimated that it takes 50,000 trees to make our wrapping paper and then we throw around 227,000 miles of it away, every year.
If you choose to use wrapping that is made entirely from 100% paper, such as plain craft paper or tissue paper, it can be fully recycled. Be aware that sticky tape is plastic, so consider using recyclable paper tape, string, or ribbon to seal your presents. You could even consider fabric wraps, which double up as an extra gift for your crafty friends. But, if you’re looking for an option that saves hours of backache and sticky tape anyway, why not use gift bags instead? Your wrapping time will be drastically reduced, and you can re-use them next year as well.
Save costs with your shopping.
If there is one thing we all enjoy, it’s giving and receiving gifts. Unfortunately, you can’t get to the present part without doing some shopping, which can be one of the most stressful parts of the season. But there are ways to budget this year and still have a wonderful day.
First, talk to friends and family and be honest. Agree on who you are buying gifts for in advance. Rather than choosing one per person, you might suggest a secret santa for your siblings, joint presents for couples, or choose to just concentrate on children this year. You may well find that your family are happy to agree and relieved you spoke up first.
Then, before you head to the shops, agree a budget and make a list. It’s easier to stick to your limit if you have a plan. Better yet, take a look at second-hand sites first. You can often find new products on these websites.
Consider your storage options.
Much as we love to see the twinkling lights, we know that having a tree in your home does take up a lot of room. Furniture needs moving around, ornaments are put away to make room for decorations and the sofa gets shoved back into a corner. If your home is anything like ours, before you even start putting up the tinsel, you need to tidy up your clutter to make a little space.
This is the time when a lot of us start to have a clearout. But before you get rid of things to create some room, consider storing them in your own unit instead. That way you have all the space you need for the season, and you can reuse those items again in the future. It’s like having a personal home furnishing store, where you can refresh your home as often as you want without re-buying new décor every time.
Support your local businesses and charities.
One thing we are very keen on here at Urban Locker is supporting our local businesses. We know how important this time of year is as the main shopping season for local shops, independents and boutiques. We are busier than ever at this time as extra stock arrives in storage units, ready for the Christmas rush.
You may also consider picking up gifts from charity shops – there are often handmade or brand new items that cost much less than retail price and support a worthy cause. Charities like Oxfam also offer donation gift options, where you can purchase necessities such as clothes, livestock and school supplies on behalf of someone else for those facing poverty; this can be a great present for those who have a heart for others.
So, when you do start planning your shopping this year, please head down into the town and explore the fabulous local shops and charities we have here in London. Buying from a local shop rather than a big international brand online not only supports the local economy, it means you’re supporting a family in town to have a wonderful Christmas too.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from the Urban Locker team!