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March 23, 2023
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Understand The Cost of Moving a Self-Storage Unit When Hiring Someone Else For The Job

Storage units come in handy when you’re in between homes and need to stow your goods immediately. They’re an excellent solution for a temporary or long-term fix, but the downside is you’re paying for a space you don’t own. That’s why renters move their goods from a storage unit once they find a larger home, which is quite often. There are a few common storage options:

  • Moving Pods are self-contained storage containers that arrive at your house empty. Customers may take their time packing, and when it comes time to relocate, the storage pod provider will transport the cargo.
  • Self-Storage Units (sometimes called "basic outdoor storage") are usually housed in small garage-like spaces with little to no staff.
  • Warehouse Storage Facilities are often operated by moving companies, and customers' household goods are stored in large cube-shaped containers.

This blog will explain how moving companies calculate your prices when relocating a self-storage unit. Read on to see how it's done from start to finish.  

Determining Prices  

1. Itemized Inventory

An efficient moving company will typically assign you an estimator to get the ball rolling on your move. From there, they visit all property types to evaluate the size and weight of your belongings. However, unlike an apartment, home, or condo, storage units are usually packed to the ceiling with miscellaneous items, making it tricky for estimators to weave in and out of stored goods.

Therefore, estimators have a different inventory process for storage units. Why? Imagine being the estimator and receiving a call from a customer who asks you to climb through their fragile, rusty antiques that have been packed tightly for the past 10 months. It’s simply going to be a hassle for everyone involved. So, in most cases, your estimator will not be able to provide a binding moving estimate unless you provide an itemized inventory for everything beforehand. The reasons are:

  • There is a higher chance of something breaking, causing more liability  
  • It poses a risk to the safety of the estimator
  • It could take days to pull everything out of a storage unit just to give a moving estimate
  • It could take an additional crew to remove and place everything back in its original position carefully

Taking inventory may include measuring your personal belongings' size, weight, and number of items. And it may sound like a pain and possibly a couple of missed workdays, but it’s the only way to gauge an accurate moving cost for a binding estimate.  

An estimator could give you a rough estimate by taking a quick look at your storage unit, but the moving quote would likely result in a non-binding estimate. A swift, non-binding estimate may be faster in the short term, but the final cost could fluctuate. So, you must ask yourself, “How much am I willing to pay?” A non-binding estimate may be worthwhile if you are flexible, but regardless, your estimator should be clear and transparent about all costs. No matter what, no one should be shocked about their final bill.  

Binding vs. Non-Binding Estimates

2. Moving Accessibility & Convenience  

The location of your storage unit is a vital factor for estimators to consider when determining a final quote; not all storage sites have easy access, and some may have specific hours of operation. If specific arrangements need to be coordinated, there could be an additional fee. Three of the most common questions an estimator may ask before giving you a quote are:

  • When is a moving truck allowed to access your storage unit? If the timeline is overly complex, this could increase the price of your moving estimate.  
  • Can a moving truck easily navigate through your storage facility? If not, a moving company may need to use smaller vehicles to shuttle your belongings to one designated moving truck. As a result, the quote will be a bit higher to account for the additional time.  
  • Will our movers need to use stairs or elevators to access your storage unit? If the answer is yes, this will increase the time and effort of your move, likely resulting in a higher quote.  

3. Distance

Distance traveled is a big factor when an estimator crunches the numbers for a move. Generally, this is how distances are categorized and measured:

  • Local moves are priced by the hour, and moving rates may vary depending on the size of a moving crew. The industry standard is two men and one truck.
  • Intrastate moves are considered long-distance and may be priced at the company’s discretion. Some will charge by the hour and add an additional fee while others will charge by distance and weight.
  • Interstate moves are priced by weight, number of items, and how many miles the shipment will travel.
  • International moves are priced by weight, distance, insurance liability coverage, customs duty charges, and taxes.

4. Services Offered  

Moving companies can offer detailed services to move your storage unit faster and more efficiently, but additional moving costs may incur depending on the work. For example, your rates may increase if you ask a full-service moving company to:

  • Carefully pack your entire unit while taking complete inventory to ensure every item is recognized.
  • Provide specialized packing materials to protect against potential damage from dirt, scratches, and shifting.
  • Carefully place your boxes and furniture into each destination and provide assembly services as requested.
  • Provide long- and short-term storage.

Professional moving companies specialize in condensing cargo into the tightest, safest solution possible; if you decide to do the job yourself, it could take more time for a team to move your belongings. More payload equals more time, which could result in more money. That’s why it’s essential to consider every angle of your move because everyone’s situation is different. But, you may be able to save money on your storage unit move by not choosing to add packing services.  

Interested In a Moving Quote?  

Time and effort are the most significant factors when quoting any move. But, if you need to compare rates on the fly, drop over to our free quoting tool from Bailey’s Moving & Storage. It provides ballpark estimates for moves across the country. For specialty moves or long-term, climate-controlled storage, you can also call (888) 260-5717.