Storing your belongings when moving

When moving home or office, you have to put a good deal of thought into every step of the process so that the transition is seamless and so you can settle into your new building effortlessly.

From redirecting your mail to changing your ‘proof of address’ documents, your checklist is quite extensive, but the bulk of the job can be left in the capable hands of professional removal companies.As you entrust a removal company to transport your treasured belongings, you may wish to consider storing some of your possessions, either because you do not have any space for them in your new home, or because you’re waiting for the old occupants to leave the premises. Perhaps you’re trying to declutter your house in expectation of potential buyers or maybe there’s a new addition to the family and you wish to clear up some living space. Storing facilities could also be a great alternative if you’re planning to relocate your home or office overseas or if you’re thinking about storing a dear relative’s collectables, which have too much sentimental value to have lying about the house, where children and pets could damage them.Storage companies offer a range of solutions, including container, archive and self-storage. Sifting through potential storage solutions can be a daunting task, but you could simplify it considerably by taking a few aspects into account:

  1. According to the category you fit into, try to find a company that caters to residential or commercial customers, or both.

  2. Plan for the long-term if you’re decluttering a house you’ve just put up for sale. It could take up to a year to find a suitable buyer, so try to find a reputable company to store your belongings securely. Otherwise, if you’re simply looking to store your office equipment until you’re able to set up your new office and trade again, look for companies offering short-term storage. Check to see if you can store by the week, month or year and when you should notify them if you intend to take your belongings back.

  3. Look into their security and alarm monitoring. The warehouse should be fully monitored and alarmed throughout the day, every day of the year. They should offer CCTV surveillance with constant digital day/night vision, self storage individual room alarm, electronic gates, security fencing, fire alarms and smoke detectors, appropriate lighting and emergency contact services. If you choose to store your goods in a container, you may wish to check where and how the container is stored, and how it is secured.

  4. Consider the type of storage that suits you best. If you’re required by law to keep company documents and they take up a good deal of office space, then archival storage is probably your ideal alternative. If you’re trying to sell your home, look for decluttering services. Removal companies will deliver boxes, bubble wrap and tape for you to pack, or pack the items themselves for a fee, make an inventory, then collect and store or dispose of the items according to your preferences, take them to their storage facility or drop them at a local charity shop, and deliver the boxes back to your new address when you’re ready.

  5. Enquire into companies’ insurance policies. Ask if they accept liability for any losses or damages, up to what value, and if they offer tailored insurances covers. If you already have a household goods policy, you should check if you’re allowed to transfer it to the warehouse for the time you plan to store them.

  6. Look into their opening hours and find out when you have access to your things. They may be able to offer extended access in return for an administration fee. If you rented containers for your belongings, the storage solutions providers should be able to allow you on-site access to them by bringing them to you and opening them up for you.

  7. Check that they offer parking next to your storage unit, that they have a loading bay, large trolleys and pallet trucks, forklifts and any other equipment you may need. It may be best to find a storage facility that is not too far from your current or future residence and if you’ve chosen to go with a self-storage solution but don’t have a van, look for a company that also helps you arrange van hire online.

Your circumstances and preferences will dictate the type of storage solution that suits you best, but whichever option you go for, keep in mind that a removal company can handle the entire house move, offering a wide range of services that take care of every single one of its aspects, from packing to storing.