The moving process can be complicated, especially when you're not moving directly to your new home and need to put your goods in temporary storage between house moves.
If you need moving with a storage option this guide tells you everything you need to know about using temporary storage between house moves.
In this guide:
- Storage options
- Step by Step Guide to storage with a removal company
- Storage costs when moving house
- Finding a removal company with storage
- Tips for moving house with storage
Introduction to moving house storage
When you move house and need storage between moving out and moving in you have two main options - use a self-storage facility OR use a removal company that provides its own storage.
Do removal companies offer storage?
Yes, most of them will be able to offer storage.
Using a removal company with storage is best when you want to keep the process simple. Using the same company keeps responsibility and control in one place. This helps to keep everything running smoothly and minimises your costs. (For example, you can work with your mover to manage your move dates and storage rental together to avoid paying for any storage time you don't need). Using a single company also avoids the passing of blame if anything goes wrong or gets damaged.
Where can you store your belongings when you move if you're not using a removal company?
Self-storage facilities are another option for storage during a move if you're not considering using a removal company. There are generally two types - container storage warehouses (where you load your own container to be stored in a containerised warehouse) or a traditional self-storage unit (where you rent a room with your own key).
Using a self-storage unit may be best if you need frequent access to your belongings while in storage, or access outside of normal business hours as typically you'll have your own storage room or unit with a key/access code to come and go as you please (within their opening hours).
If you don't need regular access but still want to do your own move-in/out, then container storage warehouses (often provided by moving companies) can be a great solution at a lower cost. You can usually still access your storage; you just may need to give them 24 hours notice to bring your containers to a safe access space.
If you're considering using a removal company for storage as part of your move, read on to find out the step-by-step process.
A step-by-step guide to storage with a removal company
1. Work out what you need to store during your house move.
What items will go into a storage facility and what will you take with you? How much storage space will you need?
The first step is to sort through what is going where. Some items will likely be staying with you at your temporary accommodation, including clothes and essentials you use day to day, and others will be taken to the storage facility.
Make a quick list of all the items you'll need for your temporary home and separate them out if you can.
2. Decluttering before storage
It's always a good idea to declutter when you're moving house anyway as it means you only pay for the cost of removals for items you really want to take with you.
Decluttering ahead of a move via a storage facility is even more important, as weekly storage charges are typically based on the space you need. Decluttering can help keep your storage costs to a minimum.
Here’s a guide to how to declutter for moving house.
3. Getting a pre-move survey and removals & storage quote
Once you have an idea of what you want to move and store it's time to get a quote from the removals and storage company.
They will evaluate the volume of items going into storage, the volume going to your temporary accommodation (if they are handling that part of the move for you too) as well as the access from both properties.
The surveyor will explain their storage solutions and then you should receive a fixed quote and move plan. You might be offered storage in wooden containers within a warehouse or in a larger steel container, ask your mover to explain the benefits of the solution they recommend.
IMPORTANT: You should also remember to ask about the costs of moving out of the storage facility if you already know some of the details.
4. Packing for a house move with storage
Most companies offer both removals AND packing services, but you might also consider doing your own packing.
Consider the type of items you have to move, how much time (and motivation!) you have to do the packing, and the length of time your items might be in storage and then weigh up the right option for you.
If you're doing your own packing find out if packing materials can be provided your quote and arrange for them to be delivered in advance. The packing boxes from removal companies are specially designed for this purpose and are much stronger than the boxes you can pick up at the supermarket.
Check out our guides for how to pack to move house .
5. Preparing for moving day
Ask your removal company if they provide labels to help identify what items go where. For example, at Bournes we provide stickers for ‘storage’ and ‘direct’ which help label furniture and boxes so the crews know what to take to storage and what to deliver directly.
It's also a great idea to label boxes with the room and rough idea of contents to make unpacking easier.
Make sure you've completed any tasks you are responsible for the night before the move, for example dismantling any furniture or taking down pictures.
6. Moving Day
When the crew arrive show them around and talk through their plan of action.
They will make sure they know what is going into storage and what is going direct or with you.
Depending on the removal company your items might be loaded directly into the storage container if they have special vehicles that carry them. This helps reduce the risk of any damage as the items don't need to be handled again when they get back to the warehouse, the container is simply offloaded into storage until you're ready for delivery.
The crew will complete a detailed inventory form including your name, contact details and container numbers as well as a full list of items loaded and their condition. This means everything was recorded and easy to trace if you need anything whilst your goods are in store and so that you can check everything back off when it's delivered.
When the crew are finished walk around with them to make sure everything is gone that you want to go, Remember to check for pictures on the wall and any fixtures or fittings you might be taking.
7. Delivery from Storage
When you have an idea of the date you want your items re-delivered get in touch with the removals and storage company ASAP. Many will need a few weeks' notice, particularly during busy periods.
On delivery, the crew will check everything off against your original inventory and place the boxes in the rooms you direct them to, which will be a lot easier if you labelled well during packing!
Storage costs when moving house
How much does storage with a move cost?
The cost of storage as part of your removal will depend on:
- The company you use
- How much storage space you need
- Where in the country your storage facility is located (for example central London storage can be a lot more expensive than a facility in a smaller town or village)
- The length of time you need storage
Typically removal companies will charge you per container (around the size of a small garden shed), per week.
What other storage costs do I need to allow for?
Collection & Delivery
Your removal company will likely provide a quote for your whole move in 3 parts.
- Move into storage
- Move out of storage
Some companies will give a guideline for the move-out of storage costs (although this could change if your final dates or location change at a later date). Others may wait to give you this part of the quote until you're ready to move out.
If you're not using a removal company for storage then you'll need to factor in your costs for collection and delivery.
Each removal company could have a different type of insurance policy, so always check what insurance cover is being offered and read the terms and conditions.
- What is the value of goods covered whilst in store?
- When does the insurance cover start and end?
- Does it cover fire, flood, theft etc?
- Is there an excess?
- How long do you have to notify of a claim?
- Are there any items which cannot be insured?
Be careful not to under-insure your belongings if you are asked for a value - if you fail to declare the full replacement value this may affect the amount you're entitled to claim if something goes wrong.
Extra costs for self-storage facilities
If you're using self-storage instead of storing with your moving company you'll need to factor in costs for collection and delivery if you're not doing this yourself, and for some locations you need to provide your own padlocks too.
Finding house movers with storage FACILITIES
Finding a reputable removal company is always important, but it's even more vital when you are also trusting them to store your belongings for a long period of time - you need to make sure their facilities are secure and their processes reduce the risk of any problems, like items getting lost or damaged.
Look for the badge.
The best way to ensure you're choosing a reputable mover is to use a member of the British Association of Removers. The BAR regularly audits its members to ensure they meet a number of quality standards that protect the customer. This means that any member has already been pre-vetted on your behalf.
BAR members who offer storage must ensure their facilities are completely suitable for the purpose, safe, well maintained and administered. This includes:
- Protection against natural elements.
- Monitoring and provision of pest control.
- Uniquely identified units of storage space.
- Secure entrance/exits and control of access.
- Safe facility for customer access.
- Security and alarm systems with remote monitoring.
- Fire detection and alarm systems with local fire control, protection equipment and clear procedures for extinguishing or containing fires.
- Accurate recording of space allocation.
For customers looking for storage BAR membership means you can rest assured that an independent professional party has already pre-vetted the storage facility on your behalf, so you can trust your items are as safe as possible.
In addition to specific rules around storage facilities the BAR also pre-vet companies to ensure they provide:
- Clear, fixed quotes and contracts including Trading Standards approved fair Terms and conditions.
- Adequate insurance.
- Roadworthy and suitable vehicles with adequate equipment and packing materials.
- Qualified, professional, presentable staff.
- Documentation and paperwork (including inventories for items in storage).
- Adequate storage procedures to protect items from damage, theft or loss.
- Good repute and financial standing.
TOP Tips for moving house with storage
- Use one company for your moving and storage rather than renting a separate storage company and hiring someone to move in/out.
- Get an inventory of items taken into store, including a note on their condition and take photos if you can.
- Ask about access if you need to get to your items at any point - is access allowed, if so what is the process and cost?.
- Insure your items while they are in store. Even the safest facility faces risks.
- Label carefully when packing to ensure items that are meant to be coming with you don't accidentally get taken into storage.
temporary storage during a move doesn't have to be complicated
A lot of people can feel quite intimidated by the thought of a move with several parts involving temporary storage. The extra steps with a temporary home and short term storage in between (which effectively means it's multiple moves) can be daunting.
Being planned and organised and having a professional removals and storage company who can handle both elements, your storage and when you are ready to move into your new home will be a big help in making sure that everything runs smoothly.