Removals and storage

If you’re moving, you’ll need to think about how you’re moving and what you have to move – could you even store some things, if you’re downsizing?

Where do I start?

First of all, don’t worry. Moving home is a big event and, whatever the reasons for you move, it’s important to keep things in perspective as you make practical arrangements. Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Where am I moving to and how does it compare to where I am now? The answer will tell you if you need to think about putting some things into storage, or perhaps downsizing your possessions.
  • Can I move all by myself? It’s a hard thing to do and we wouldn’t recommend it – but if you’re trying to save money, it could be an option. The reassurance you’ll get from having a professional team to help you move is invaluable.

What does a removal firm do?

A removal firm will usually come out to your home and give you a quote based on how much there is to move and where you’re going to. You’ll have to think about the following:

  • Do you want the removers to pack your goods for you? If they do, there’s probably a charge – but everything will be insured from start to finish that way.
  • Do you want the removers to supply all the boxes and packing materials? Again, there’s a cost involved, but if they don’t supply these materials then you’ll have to buy them yourself.
  • Do you want the removers to unpack everything when you arrive? Some people prefer to settle in slowly, rather than do everything in a rush. Most removals teams are happy to put boxes into the ‘right rooms’ for you at no additional charge.

Isn’t it cheaper to do it myself?

It may be cheaper initially, but you’re unlikely to be insured as everything is in transit from one home to the next. In addition, there’s a physical cost to what’s involved. You may not be able to lift things like bedsteads and sideboards yourself.

What about internet removal firms?

There are lots of small ‘one man and a van’ firms advertising on the internet, and locally too. If you’re trying to keep the costs to a minimum then you may want to consider them, but don’t be tempted by a deal that seems too good to be true. On the other hand, many ‘one man’ operations are efficient, and very good value for money.

Just make sure you ask these questions:

  • Is your van insured for this work?
  • Can you give me some references?
  • How long have you been doing this kind of work?
  • Will it be you or someone else who comes to do the work?

What about storage? What do I need to know?

Self-storage works best when you’re looking for short-term storage – but it’s also useful if you want to store bits and pieces for the long-term that you may need to access more frequently. However, if you’re moving to a smaller home then it's a good idea to check out the options for both short and long-term storage – it may be cheaper to look at long-term storage.

Don’t forget, you’ll be responsible for your goods and any damage to them while they’re in storage is unlikely to be covered. The storage firm may offer you an insurance policy but talk to your own home insurers too.

Storage is usually charged on a monthly basis and the storage spaces range in size. You’ll be asked to bring your own padlock, and access to storage units is usually granted at very specific times, so ask the company first if you want to get to your things in unsociable hours.

In most cases, you’ll pack your own things and deliver them to the storage unit yourself. Do ask about what’s included in the rent – electricity and heat, security, etc. – before you sign an agreement.

What else do I need to know?

When you’re moving, or when you want to store things for a while, it’s tempting to ask friends and family to help out. If you’re on a budget then this may be an excellent idea, but do remember that – if things go wrong – a professional firm will deal with a situation professionally, and that insurance is there for a reason.