Babies – who said they take up hardly any space?!

Let’s face it there's an interesting irony about babies - they're tiny - but, the space they need is immense. Becoming a parent soon becomes a mission to find more space for them to thrive: Space for those toys, clothes, nappies, kitchen extras, gifts (wanted or not) as well as space for the grandparents who seem to be around a lot more and usually demand their own living quarters within your humble abode. Oh and let’s not forget the baby itself and all the household items they seem to displace! Yesterday’s yoga space, study or guest room soon becomes today's nursery, baby overspill or Buggy Park!

With space at a premium and self storage costing a fortune, Storemates decided to stand up for space starved parents everywhere.

Storemates was co-founded by parent and flat dweller Shaff Prabatani, who ran out of living space when he and his partner Louise decided to start a family. Put off by expensive commercial self storage prices, Shaff dropped home-made flyers through the letterboxes of all his neighbours asking if they had any room to store his extra items in return for a small rental fee.

Shaff states: “I was amazed; fifteen local people contacted me offering to store my belongings in their lofts, garages, spare rooms, even under their bed. This was the first time I had contact with my neighbours, who were all wonderfully helpful. Eventually I stored my belongings in a neighbour’s garage for less than half the monthly price of the cheapest local self storage centre, and the idea of a website that could provide that service was born.

Inspired by this positive experience of community members getting together to sort out their storage arrangements he co-founded which has now grown into a UK wide service providing affordable storage solutions.

The concept is simple. If you happen to be fortunate to have some spare space in your home/garage/shed/loft you can rent it out to those who don't. Depending on the size and specs of your space, you could earn anywhere from £5-£25 per week. Storemates only takes the first two weeks ‘rent’ as payment—the rest is all yours! If you're more community minded, you don't have to charge at all and instead can request a reciprocal service like gardening, DIY or Spanish lessons.

If you’re in need of storage — maybe it’s the gap between babies and you don’t want to part with all the toys, clothes or other baby stuff until the next one arrives, but lack space in your own home — Storemates is a great solution compared to costly commercial options. Plus you are likely to find someone local, a real neighbour that can help you out, a 'Storemate'.

Once you find a 'Storemate', both parties sign a Storage Agreement (a template is provided by Storemates on the website). All the goods are inspected and an itemized list created by both parties to make sure everything is above board. The Storemates website walks you through all the legal jargon.

So parents everywhere can now learn to love their space again (as well as their neighbours for looking after their belongings!)