Are you moving house soon and starting to think about arranging removals and storage?
Perhaps you’re moving abroad, having your dream house built or are between tenancies and just need somewhere to store your belongings for a while? Whatever your reason we've answered some of the top questions you might have about using removal company storage for your belongings.
Frequently asked questions about removals and storage companies
Do removal companies do storage too?
Yes, many removal companies also offer storage. If you don't have access to your new home immediately it's a great idea to use one company for removals and storage to keep all the planning and control with one company.
How does a removal company store my belongings?
Typically removal companies use containerised storage. This is where your belongings are packed and loaded into wooden containers, usually around 250 cubic feet in size (roughly the size of a small garden shed).
Depending on the removal company your items are either directly loaded into the container on their vehicle, or will be loaded loose onto a truck and then loaded into the container back at their warehouse. It's worth asking which method is used by your mover, as direct loading can significantly reduce the risk of damage by minimising handling.
In the warehouse, the containers are removed from the vehicle by forklift and stored in a purpose-built warehouse, usually stacked in numbered aisles for quick and easy retrieval.
How long can I store my items with a removal company?
You can usually store your items for as long or as little as you want or need with no pressure or commitment to the length of time.
Most removals companies charge for storage on a weekly basis so the costs can be quite flexible.
If your removal and storage company has offered a cheap introductory offer for storage, check the terms and conditions for any commitment to the length of the contract.
Can I use storage for an International Move?
If you’re moving overseas, putting items into storage may be an essential part of your move.
Depending on where you’re going and the logistics of your move, it might be that your international removal company recommends a short period of storage for your belongings before they are able to ship your goods or before they deliver them to your new home, for example, if you are staying in a short term rental for a period of time when you arrive before you find your long term home or if you are travelling for a while before settling.
Alternatively, it might be that you’re moving overseas on an assignment for a specific period of time and need to store your household items while you’re gone so you have them ready to go into a new property as soon as you’re back.
When using storage as part of an international move, your goods will be sealed in a container at your home and a detailed inventory taken. The container will then be transported back to the removal company’s warehouse, where it will be stored securely until it’s ready to ship. Whatever your circumstance, storage is usually a pretty convenient option when you’re moving overseas.
Are furniture removal company storage facilities safe?
It might sound like a pretty obvious point to make, but when using a removal company that has additional storage facilities you need to make sure your goods will be completely safe and secure. If you’re specifically looking for a removal company that offers storage as well, then make sure you do your research.
Always opt for a company that is a member of the British Association of Removers (BAR), BAR members who offer storage must ensure their facilities are completely suitable for the purpose, safe, secure, well maintained, run and administered.
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.
That being said, no company can completely remove the risks of storage so it's important to properly insure your belongings whilst they are in store just in case the unexpected happens (e.g. a natural disaster). Most removal companies offer storage insurance as part of your quote.
Most reputable removal companies who also offer storage in their permanently managed, on-site warehouses will be able to talk you through all of your options as well as answering any of your questions to ensure that you’re completely happy your goods will be stored safely and securely.
Can I access my belongings in storage whenever I need to?
Need a few items back but want to leave the rest in storage? This shouldn’t be a problem (but check with your mover before you sign up)– all you need to do is contact the removal company your goods are being stored with to find out their process for access or extractions.
Usually if your goods are being stored in a container then it will be retrieved and stood down in a safe area and opened ready for you to retrieve what’s needed, then sealed up again and put back in place.
Alternatively if you’d like some help doing this you can tell the mover the items on your inventory you’d like out and they can extract them for you. There may be a small charge for these services, so make sure you ask about this when booking.
Is it easier to have the removal company collect your goods rather than take them in yourself?
One of the big pros of using a removals company rather than a self-storage company (aside from the usual more competitive storage costs) is the add on capability for them to help you move the items into the storage facility and back out again afterwards.The removals crew will be skilled in loading a container to maximise the use of the space at the same time as making sure everything is well secured and protected to reduce the risk of damage.Many removal companies like Bournes have specially designed vehicles with side loading doors which allow them to put an empty wooden container on the lorry, load your items directly into it and seal the doors at your home and then simply use a forklift to take the container off the lorry and into the warehouse. This means your items don’t need double handling which reduces the risk of any damage or loss.
Can removal companies store more than just furniture and household goods?
In some cases, there might be a more specific need for storage than just household items. For example, it might be that you simply want a safe place to store a car or motorbike while you’re out of the country. Or you might have particularly high value goods or antiques that need a secure place to stay while you move the rest of your house. It could even be that you just need seasonal storage if you don’t have loft space or anywhere outside for storage – Christmas decorations for the majority of the year or garden items over the winter, for example.
Do removal companies also offer self-storage facilities
Whist, it is advised wherever possible to use a collection/delivery service many removal companies also offer self-storage options that allow you to take your items to their facility and load your own container or storage room. From home moves to renovation projects self-storage can be useful for lots of reasons - take a look at Community Ad's 5 benefits of self-storage.
For more information about storage for your belongings as part of a house move or otherwise, please visit our Storage Services page.