Being a parent comes with huge responsibility and one of those is keeping the magic of Christmas alive in the hearts and minds of all our kids for as long as possible. So with each passing year the magic of Christmas is a little harder to create and you can almost see the children trying to figure out how it all works. It is all resting on your shoulders to ensure that each night the elf is moved, the lists are written and taken from the fire place before they wake up and that not one present is discovered before the big day.
The first four or five years came and went without a glimmer of doubt or suspicion but as they get older you can see their mind begin to question the magic just a little and you begin to feel the massive pressure to be on your top game and keep this Christmas magic alive as long as possible.
From the moment the first add for toys is on the tv, or the toy catalogue comes through the door every part of their little faces and bodies are bursting with excitement of the imminent arrival of the big man in his red costume and a promise of even more toys to be added to your already overflowing collection. The house feels like it is bursting at the seams.
This year already the plans are beginning to form of wanting this and that and where each new item will go and how good they will be in order to receive all their treats and delights. Soon the lists will be written and they will magically disappear up the chimney and the elves will be hiding around each corner checking on behaviour and ensuring chores are completed and teeth are brushed each night. The kids are playing their best game and as parents we need to too to keep all this magic alive.
My kid’s favourite game to play is hide and seek so they know every single hiding place my house has to hold. So there is no way a present could ever be hidden in my house without a little body hiding under a bed finding it. This is what led to my discovery that Santa’s grotto had to be somewhere that my two little rascals could not access. Somewhere that was locked and only I had had the key to.
Each year I acquire a storage unit and hide away all their presents in the unit. It is so much easier and I can drop the items off as soon as I finish shopping as I have 24 hour access or I can order my items online and get them delivered to my storage unit so there is no evidence of them ever being in my house. Their little minds would always questions a brightly coloured box or knock on the door from the postman!
Christmas eve I can drive out to the storage facility and pack up the car and deliver them under the tree without a question being asked. Last year I even wrapped the presents at the facility and made up a drum kit so all I had to do was leave them for the kids to burst in and find them the following morning.
All I had to do was sit back and watch their faces full of happiness and joy and celebrate another Christmas miracle. I can’t wait for this year already and see that moment as the magic and Christmas spirit fills up their little faces and celebrate another successful year of believing in Santa. Thanks Space Storage for helping me keep the magic alive.
Wednesday, October 4th, 2017
I set up my business 5 years ago and it was a seasonal business specializing in all things Christmas. It included jumpers, decorations, kid’s treats and everything jolly for the festive season. Each year between September and December I would open my doors and literally resemble one of Santa’s elves trying to ensure everyone had their order in time to make their house ready for the big man’s arrival.
The first year started off mainly through friends and colleagues and a lot of visits to industrial estates knocking on offices and hoping one would make an order. Use of social media was fantastic way of getting my products out there and led to a large uptake of my products. It led me to setting up a website and allowing customers to make orders online.
As the business grew so did my stock levels and ideas for new products. Last year’s big seller was a Christmas box including a different selection of products etc. I had to source everything from different manufacturers and had items arriving almost hourly by courier to my house. I had neighbours watching out for delivery drivers in case I would miss them while I flew out and did the school runs so I could make up the orders quick enough to get them back out in time.
Last year I was given the opportunity to operate a Christmas cart in the middle of a large shopping centre in Dublin. It had a fantastic footfall and led to a massive jump in sales which I was delighted about. The cart I designed was fantastic and I loved it. I could display all my products but I had no space to store additional products. I approached the shopping centre about the possibility of a small store room. The fees were huge and enough to make trading about covering the rent rather than making a profit.
I was starting to run into a few problems with deliveries too as I spending more time operating the cart I was constantly missing deliveries to the house and simply couldn’t ask my neighbours for another favour with all the boxes they had already collected for me. Then the unexpected struck about mid-November when I realized that although the cart was fantastic I had no idea where I was going to put it when I closed up on Christmas Eve. During the festive season the shopping centre allowed it to be stored onsite. The cart’s wheels came off and when empty could be stored flat, but even still would not be something my already overcrowded house could fit.
I sat down with a pen and paper and began to write down what I needed, somewhere to store my cart between Jan and September, somewhere to store stock, somewhere that could accept deliveries on my behalf, somewhere that was accessible 24 hours and somewhere that was secure. I looked at a local property sites, the option of acquiring an office, the option of hiring a stock room and nothing seemed to make any sense. It was when I fired up the laptop and typed in storage that Space popped up. The more I read the more I thought this could work.
I picked up the phone and called Darren and I made a plan to visit the facility in the coming days. It was perfect, it had 24 hour access, they could accept my deliveries, I could have racking in the unit to split out my stock, and it was big enough to store the cart. My unit was in a building that was behind a security gate and there was cctv everywhere I looked. I had access codes to access the building wherever I needed. It was perfect.
The orders have already started to come in and this Elf will be getting busy again in no time, thanks Space Storage
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
18 days and counting to go to the big day and with more visitors coming to stay then a hotel, we need more room at the Inn.
It must be time to tackle the spare room. We call it a spare room but it is anything but. It has many uses, launderette fully equipped with six foot drying horse, home gym complete with treadmill and exercise bike and home study complete with desk, large office chair and books and files strewn everywhere. Creaking open the door I peek inside and also discover bags and boxes full to the brim of clothes and toys meant for our local charity. Looking around the jam packed room it is hard to believe there is a bed in there somewhere that needs to be occupied by our imminent visitors.
How am I ever going to sort this one out??? As I stand scratching my head and pondering my options I remember the small unit I took to store my Christmas presents, could they have bigger units? Could they help me find the bed underneath all this?
I picked up the phone and called Space Storage and explained to Darren in Space that I simply must have more room in the Inn.
“No Problem” were Darren’s words. Amazing I thought.
Darren explained that they could drive the Space van to my house and I could load up all my extra belongings into the van and Tomas would drive the van back to Space Storage where I could unload all of my belongings into my unit. Problem solved!
Moving day was like a weight was lifted from my shoulders and I finally found the bed in what was now a spare bedroom. It was truly a Christmas miracle!
Merry Christmas and thanks Space Storage
The Space FairyTuesday, November 15th, 2016
Storing For Christmas
Every year I say that this Christmas I will be more organized in terms of buying presets earlier. And yet, somehow, I get to Christmas week without a present bought! I then have the mad dash to not only buy but to hide the gifts in a house with limited storage and two inquisitive children more like secret service agents noticing an additional box or bag under the bed within seconds of it being stuffed there.
“Mom…. Who is this dolly for?”
So this year no more, no more stress, no more dashing into shops on Christmas Eve to discover that the dancing dolly or the bike in 14” has sold out. This year I am going to plan and be more prepared.
What if I can buy a present every week and have a place to store my items without worrying about little hands and eyes finding them or myself dipping into them every time a kiddies’ party pops up, which let’s face it, is most weekends?
I started to research and found a storage company! Could this work? At first I imagined large units were businesses would hold stock or people would use to hold furniture while waiting to move house. After studying a little more in depth, however, I found this storage company had spaces of ten square feet, which sounded ideal for my purpose. As you know, many kids’ toys come in huge boxes, yet these can be easily stored top to bottom inside my unit.
The last two weeks, I have been visiting the local toy store ticking off items on my list and then dropping along to Ballymount to pop them inside my unit.
Thanks Space Storage
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015
New Celebrity Customer!
Christmas time is a time of magic. And no one does magic better than Father Christmas himself. But let’s be honest, Santa has enough to do with travelling 510,000,000km and carrying 840,000 tonnes of presents! So naturally he does not also make all the toys himself. That job he leaves to his elves.
Most of Santa’s elves, we are sure, work very hard for him year round and extra hard of course as Christmas approaches. However, Space can confirm that recently Santa has had to deal with some slackers, some lazy elves. Santa’s operation is massive! Gigantic beyond comprehension. So there is no room on the production line for messing around. However this year it seems Mr Claus has had to have words with some of his elves about not towing the line. You would think that that would snap them back into action but it seems a stern talking-to from the big man was not enough for some of his more idle helpers!
Here at Space we are in a unique position to confirm that Santa has taken extreme measures this year to discipline his bad elves. We regret to inform you that the boss man is now threatening his elves with confinement – imprisonment. But where will Santa lock up these naughty elves? Not in a cozy, firelit elf cottage in lapland. No! Santa’s proposed punishment is much more severe.
You see, this is how Space has acquired a new customer. We can now reveal that our new celebrity customer is… the one and only Santa Claus! Yes, Mr Claus has rented a 150 square foot storage unit, our largest one available. He dropped into us last week to take a few pictures of the unit. He wanted to highlight the austere surroundings of a modern industrial storage unit – cozy for boxes but not for elves. Santa informed us that he would be posting the photos on elfbook as a warning to his lazy elves. We had a peek on elfbook and we also came across this photograph so there can be no doubting Santa means business.
As yet Mr Claus’s unit remains empty. It seems the ploy has worked for old saint nick and his little helpers are back working hard as ever. That should mean that there will be no disruption to production and no issues with distribution. So all good little boys and girls can expect to see their prezzies magically appear under the tree as usual.
Watch this space. We’ll let you know if our facility receives any new lodgers!
Happy Christmas,Thursday, December 17th, 2015
Hiding Christmas Presents
For better or worse, kids are curious. And never more so than at Christmas time. If there are presents in the house, they’re gonna find them (and possibly ruin the loveliest lie that they will ever fall for in their lives!). So to prevent this catastrophe here are a few suggestions of clever ways you can hide the Christmas presents from wandering eyes.
Old suitcases are a perfect empty space waiting to be filled. Chances are your bags and cases stay in the same spot all year long so kids will be unsuspecting once you put them back in their spot stuffed full of prezzies.
If you keep the goodies in a golf bag or gym bag in the boot of your car they should be safe. It is unlikely your children will think to open them up and peek inside. Also, whenever you leave the house you will take the gifts with you – and that is precisely the time the kids will probably start poking around.
Is there some way you can make the present look like something else. For example if you bought your son a video game or a dvd could you slide out the inlay card and replace it with a boring old one then just leave it on the shelf. Or another clever one that I picked up from Hitchcock’s macabre film Rope – the murderers hide the body in a box then dress it up as the dinner table! – why not throw a tablecloth over that little pool table you picked up. No one will ever know.
Maybe hide some of them in plain view. A box lying in the corner is unlikely to arouse suspicion, especially if it is topped up with old newspapers looking like it is destined for the recycling bin. Could be a perfect place for little stocking fillers.
Sometimes the most obvious place is the last place you look. Why not wrap the present then just give it the wrong label. There’s no chance anyone will suspect a present is for them if it has your work colleague’s name on it. Just remember to change it back on Christmas Eve or else you may end up giving your pal in the office My Little Pony at the Xmas party.
The safest place of the lot.
Yes, kids are curious, but you can’t tell them where the presents are. And it isn’t always wise to answer all of their questions either!
To dramatically illustrate this point I will leave you with this little parenting story from stand-up comedian Louis C.K.
Happy Christmas from everybody at Space Self Storage!
Wednesday, April 29th, 2015
Having a child is a life changing experience. The world will never look quite the same again. In this new world that you have stepped into there are only two types of people – parents and non-parents.
Your bundle of joy is a small bundle. No bigger than a sack of potatoes. But your little bag of spuds comes with accessories. Lots of accessories. In fact when you look at it a certain way nothing in your house takes up more space than a baby.
You got the buggy, you got the car-seat, the bouncer, the moses basket, the play-pen, the cot. Then you got all the clothes, the little hats and socks, cardigans, baby-grows and bibs. You got the nappy changing table, the nappy bin, the nappies themselves, then there’s the cream, the wipes, the cotton buds, the soaps, the oils, the bathtub. Don’t forget the toys, all the rattles and teddy bears and gizmos that beep and buzz and chime. Its a lot of noise. And its a lot of stuff. Babies do not travel light.
Before you know it your baby has taken over your living space. Stuff everywhere. And you know it is only going to get worse. The collection of toys will grow. Clothes will be grown out of but new clothes grown into. The cot will become a bed. The bouncer will be swapped for a bike. Let’s face it your little darling is taking over.
So maybe you decide to have another child. Or why not a dozen little miracles. Or even if you only have one baby your home is still going to fill up fast. Something is gonna have to give. Some things are going to have to go.
And where you going to put them?
Make our space yours.
Friday, March 13th, 2015
If you haven’t been to IKEA-town it is a unique retail experience. Shoppers move at their leisure through departments choosing items writing down their choices with pencils. Later they pick all the things up before taking them home and assembling them themselves. You do the work so the stuff is cheap.
The place is huge. Showroom after showroom is decorated with all the things that people put in their houses including fold-up chairs, tables, plates, cuddly toys, cots, wardrobes, mirrors, more cuddly toys and before you know it – and just as you’re getting a little peckish – you’re in the cafe eating swedish meatballs. After your meal its down to the basement where you hunt down your chosen items throw them onto a trolley and wheel them over to the checkout. By that stage you have built up a second-wind of an appetite just in time for the famous 80 cent hotdog. IKEA are all about value for money.
Previous advertising slogans for the Swedish retail giant included “The wonderful everyday” and “Home is the Most Important Place in the world”. IKEA’s most recent ad campaign proclaims the tagline ‘The Joy of Storage’. Now as wonderful as this industry is it is rarely joyous. The idea that tidiness might be blissful is a drawer too far. However IKEA designers are masters in the utilisation of space, this is widely appreciated, so perhaps storage their way can be enjoyed. Having filled a few units in my time I can you tell you that it is not always a pleasure but there is a certain warm satisfaction in perfect packing. The joy of tetris: the joy of storage.
More musings soon,
Friday, January 30th, 2015
Unless you have been cooped up in a self-storage unit shut off from the rapidly-changing world around us you will likely have heard the name of a new online phenomenon which is revolutionizing rented accommodation.
It is called Airbnb and it is the worldwide alternative to hotels and guest houses which is allowing people to rent out their own homes – or a room in their home – to visitors. Initially slow to catch on it is now increasingly becoming a chosen option for home-owners in Dublin.
Before I explain to you how it works allow me to take you back to its humble beginnings…
In 2008 in San Francisco Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky – two young unemployed design graduates with flowers in their hair – were struggling to meet the rent. Things were looking bleak for the destined duo, but when an Industrial Design conference came to town Brian and Joe spotted an opportunity. They noticed that many of the city’s hotels were overbooked. It occurred to them that they might be able to earn some money by renting their place out. They bought three air mattresses and they created a website calling it Air Bed & Breakfast. To their delight the idea worked. The boys got a few bob to pay the rent, they cooked breakfast for some nice people, and everyone was happy. The experience was so positive that it occurred to them that this could work for anybody, anywhere. It did.
On New Years Eve 2014 more than half a million people worldwide booked rooms through Airbnb. Upwards of fifteen million guests have stayed in Airbnb properties since the site was launched six years ago. Airbnb has arrived and it is here to stay.
It didn’t happen overnight. Some people had reservations about letting strangers into their home or staying in a stranger’s home. Airbnb has had to work to develop a good reputation, and the same goes for the site’s users. Those signed up to Airbnb are required to upload profiles and are encouraged to post reviews and recommendations. Hosts seeking to rent their properties on the site must provide personal information and list their price, amenities, and house rules, as well as images of the property and detailed information about the neighbourhood. There is also a private messaging system and a merit system allowing guests and hosts to make references and ratings public so as to ensure future business for them.
The net result of all of this is that users or potential users of the site are becoming increasingly more comfortable with the idea of doing business with strangers in this way. Thanks to Airbnb your spare room is now a little goldmine.
In Dublin it took time to get going but recently the Airbnb market here has really picked up. Word of mouth is spreading from home-owners who have converted one of their rooms into a guestroom and put it up on Airbnb. Users of the site are enjoying a new source of income that previously they never would have imagined was available to them. Some claim to be paying off their mortgage in half the time. One host declared anonymously through the Independent newspaper that he was earning €15,000 a year by renting out his entire property electing to stay with friends or visit London while his home was occupied with airbnb guests.
Many people in Dublin are now considering becoming an Airbnb host. Before they create their profile and begin earning money for their room, apartment or house, they need to clear out the clutter and make the place clean, comfortable and as spacious as they can.
Storage facilities are noticing more and more business coming from Airbnb users who find that the costs of storage are easily written off against their new source of income. For those who have joined the revolution the rewards are not only financial but sometimes social. Interesting people from all over the world who are willing to stay in offbeat spaces and untypical locations are sitting at the breakfast tables of working professionals and retirees every morning in our city. Many hosts are enjoying and relishing the experience, not to mention the few quid they receive for their troubles. Travelers welcome the change from the traditional life of the hotel-staying tourist.
Friday, December 19th, 2014
The Airbnb story is a continuing one and one which we will be checking in on again soon.
The Space Cadet.
SPACE for Christmas.
Never is your house as crammed full of clutter as it is at Christmas. Just think of all the food. You’ve got the turkey, the ham, trays of roast potatoes and brussel sprouts. Then there is the selection boxes, the biscuits and the chocolate tins. You need space for the crisps bowls, the cheese board, the plum pudding and the trifle. Add to that the decorations, the nativity figurines, the wreaths and stockings and santas toys. Never mind the piece de résistance – your glorious, towering, shedding Christmas tree.
Let’s not forget the relatives: granny and grandad stuck to the coach, the kids running around, guests on the move poking around nibbling and topping up their glass. It can be domestic mayhem, but it can be made a lot easier to cope with if you prepare properly and clear a bit of space.
Rearranging the furniture can be wise move come Christmas time. You may well be delighted with the feng shui you have going on in your home, every couch, table and lamp being exactly where it should be for maximum harmony, but on Christmas day all of that goes out the window. Be practical. If that means pushing tables together or couches side by side then so be it. If it is difficult for people to move about then that is when you will have an accident and your lovely cream upholstery will be drenched in red wine or your uncle will topple over into the Christmas tree when your young son comes shooting by on his new scooter. Set the rooms up for the day that is in it. You can always change it all back to just how you like it after the big day.
When you are decorating try to utilise the walls. Your floor space is valuable. So as much as possible hang your decorations and lights up on the walls and over the doorways rather than cluttering the place with bulky snowmen and stuffed reindeer’s. You can achieve a fabulous magical effect by keeping the eye-catching lights and tinsel high and out of the way. While you’re at it why not deck the halls with boughs of holly.
Clean up as you go along. Once the Christmas crackers have been pulled and emptied of their precious plastic prizes and side-splitting puns, get all unwanted packaging and junk in the bin. Same goes for the ripped up wrapping paper. Don’t let it lie around in piles getting kicked around from end to end of the living room. Bag it up. Get a big black bag and dump whatever you can. It takes no great effort and it goes a long way towards keeping the place semi-respectable. So, sweet wrappers, empty beer cans and coke bottles should all go in the bin. If not, before you know it there won’t be an inch of space for the remote control. And what if you wanted to play a board game.
While these are all good tips for alleviating the clutter you might find that your space issues are a little more serious and simply walking around with a bin just isn’t going to fix it. Christmas is a time of purchasing, a day of giving and receiving; a season of visiting, hosting and lavishing. That all adds up to a plethora of objects and humans invading your space. It could be that you simply have to move some things out of the house altogether. That is where we come in. If an armchair or a bookshelf absolutely has to go – give us a call. If all the old toys and redundant ornaments are only in the way – make our space yours.
Whatever way you decide to organise your Christmas celebrations be sure to enjoy it. After all it all only comes once a year.
From all of us at Space Self Storage have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.