Storage becomes a crucial piece of the puzzle when you’re dealing with big life changes. Having storage options can seriously take the the stress out of all the sorting, arranging, coordinating, and protecting your belongings in your home sweet home. And when these options come with nifty smart storage perks, it’s even better.
In the whirlwind of getting everything set for a major shift—like moving to a new place—the whole process can feel like a wild ride. The day you wave goodbye to your old home can crank up the stress to a whole new level. It’s all about finding folks you can trust, who not only help you manage the practical side of things but also ease some of that moving tension. That’s the kind of game-changer a top-notch storage setup can bring to the table.
This is why it’s important to take some time to choose the right storage and moving company. This is also the reason so many customers of Clutter have given positive reviews about our fast, efficient and professional moving and storage services.
With this list of helpful tips, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about who helps you move house.
Top Tips to Find the Right Storage Facility
Word of mouth can also be hugely valuable. Ask friends, family members, coworkers or neighbors if they’ve used a storage firm they’d recommend. First-hand experience from someone you trust is often the best reference.
Don’t just go with the first company you find. Thorough research is essential to make sure you choose a storage or removals firm that’s reputable, experienced and fits within your budget. A good indicator of quality, expertise and authoritativeness are those companies that you come across when searching online, using terms like “storage company near me” or “local moving company”.
This is usually the starting point for many homeowners looking for local companies, even finding reputable estate agents, surveyors, tradespeople, and more, after searching Google. Apply this same practice with your storage company and you’ll be onto a winner.
Head to the company’s website to read through customer feedback and reviews. Sites like Yelp, TrustPilot, Craigslist, and even Google and Facebook can give great insights into factors like quality of service, timeliness, care for belongings and overall satisfaction. Look for companies with consistently high ratings and similar personal experiences across a range of online platforms.
Search Industry Directories
Professional associations like the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) allow you to search for accredited, approved companies in your state, province or region. This can help you narrow down your options for the most reputable and trustworthy firms.
Find Multiple Quotes
It’s important to not proceed with the first quote you receive from the first company you approach. It’s wise to get estimates from at least three different firms so you can compare pricing. While price is important it should not be the sole determining factor.
Look at the Full Scope of Services
Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Some companies may quote lower fees but then charge extra for materials, packing labor or insurance coverage. Consider the complete scope of services when getting your quotes. Services like Clutter allow you to use their Smart Storage to select exactly what you want picked up and delivered to you from your items.
Avoid Going With the Cheapest
While cost is important, the cheapest option may end up costing you more in the long run if your belongings are damaged due to poor service or improper handling of furniture.
3. Licensing and Insurance
You’ll want confidence that your chosen company is properly accredited and insured. This provides protection in case anything goes wrong.
Check for Licensing
See if the company holds all required state licenses for household goods moving and storage services. This ensures they are a legal, compliant business and not operating outside of the law or employing workers illegally, and also gives you peace of mind that your belongings will be kept safe and not tampered with.
Confirm Insurance Coverage
Make sure they have insurance that will cover your belongings for any loss or damage that may occur during transportation or storage. As an example, moving and storage companies typically offer basic liability coverage for free, covering up to 60 cents for every pound damaged.
Look for Industry Affiliations
Membership in professional moving associations like AMSA requires adherence to codes of ethical conduct and a demonstrated commitment to consumer rights. If your company displays this on their website and in communications, this is a positive sign.
4. Added Services
Some moving and storage companies vary widely in what additional services and support they offer, and whether they impact the total cost of their services. Think through what would be most helpful for your move, such as the following.
Packing and Unpacking
Some companies just load and transport your belongings, while others will happily provide full packing and unpacking services to take these tasks off your hands. Assess if this is worth the additional cost; if a moving company offers it at no extra charge, then that could sway the firm in your favor when shortlisting.
Size and Scale of Facilities
If you need short or long-term storage before moving into your new home, some firms provide large warehouse space while others partner with self-storage facilities. Confirming this ahead of time will make moving day more logistically straightforward.
You’ll want to lock in an agreeable, convenient date when your move will happen. Make sure to verify availability and confirm with your chosen removal company to ensure there is no ambiguity.
Get Guaranteed Dates
Get firm dates in writing so you can plan the timing of your move accordingly. All details should be explicitly laid out, including arrival times, addresses, and vehicle registrations.
Check Peak Season Status
If you’re moving during a peak season, availability may be limited (and prices may be higher), which is worth bearing in mind. Ask your shortlisted firms about their capacity to take on new customers at your desired time, as some may be able to fit you between jobs on certain off-peak days.
6. Gut Instinct
Even after doing diligent research and vetting, your instinctive gut check about a company can also be telling.
Do your interactions with the company feel organized, responsive, and transparent? Or rushed and chaotic? Their professionalism (or lack thereof) can signal how diligent and committed they’ll be on moving day. Ultimately, if you don’t feel comfortable liaising with a specific firm, cross them off the list and move on.
Assess In-Person Vibe
If visiting a facility in person, evaluate how knowledgeable, friendly and careful the staff are. Do they exhibit positive and approachable vibes, or are they passive and distracted? This should all factor into your final decision, and you should hire a firm that you feel comfortable around.
If a company looks great on paper but you have an uneasy feeling or any doubts, listen to your instincts. For big decisions like this, inner guidance and second opinions from family and friends can steer you in the right direction.
With so many factors to weigh, choosing the perfect storage facility takes time and patience. But taking these steps helps ensure you find one that checks all the boxes so your move goes as smoothly as possible.