Self-Storage with Ease: Hiring a Moving Company
If you’re about to move into self-storage, we bet you’re dreading the moment when you need to start physically moving all of your belongings. The back-breaking pain of moving furniture and boxes all day long is not something you should be ashamed of not wanting to do: unless you’re used to this sort of work, you are certainly in for a long day.
Thankfully, there are people out there who do this for a living – day in and day out. Their bodies are not only used to the physical strain of moving heavy items, but they are also very good at it. They know the tricks and manoeuvres that make the job easier. They also know the tricks and manoeuvres that bring less risk to your items during the move.
This is why we at Sentinel Storage always suggest to our tenants that they hire a moving company for the job: it’s a valuable way to spend your budget. That said, not all moving companies are equal, so we’ve decided to produce this guide on how best to choose the right moving company for your storage project.
Make sure the company has their license
The first thing you need to be sure of is that the moving company you are hiring is legitimate. It takes very little for someone to rent a moving van and advertise themselves as a mover, but trusting someone with little experience and nothing to lose is definitely going to be a mistake.
Rather, the moving company you are going to hire is going to have their proper license. This means that they are committed to protecting your property while it is in their hands, and that they will have the necessary insurance to cover your belongings while in transit.
Taking the risk of hiring a “company” that merely rented a van and showed up will likely result in damaged furniture and/or property. Work with the professionals by first asking anyone who claims to be one whether they are properly licensed and have insurance coverage for your belongings.
Ask your friends and family members who have recently gone through a move for a recommendation for a reliable moving company. Speaking with people you trust will take you a long way towards your final decision.
Ask about their experience – what went well; what went wrong; what to look out for. After all, they have already gone through what you’re about to, so will certainly have some useful advice. If they were happy with the company that moved them, ask as many questions as possible – they know how reliable the company was and the quality of their service. Whether you hire the company they suggest or not, you’ll at the very least have more insight into the sorts of things you should be looking for when making such a decision.
Ask the web
Head to the internet to investigate further. If you have a list of companies you’ve collected from family and friends, then look into those companies online. If you are starting your search without any suggestions from friends and family, then you may have a larger online project here, but it will follow the same course.
Check out online reviews of any given company, but always take these with a grain of salt. When you read reviews, you need to look a little further into the following before you can determine whether the review is properly authentic or not:
-Investigate the reviewer. Do they have other reviews online, or is this a one-off? (A one-off may suggest that they are unreliable, possibly an employee or a friend or family member of the company’s owner.) Are their reviews reliable, or do they always write particularly negative or positive reviews? If their reviews are all of one sort, then their reliability is definitely in question, and you should probably ignore what they say.-Investigate the entire reviews for any one company: if all you can find are reviews that go back for the last, say, 4 months, then it is possible the company is trying to cover something up, or, worse, the company itself is a complete scam. So be sure the reviews remain consistent over an extended period of time.
With enough authentic positivity surrounding any one company, you’ll be well on your way to making your decision.
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a few choice companies, you need to reach out to them and get quotes for your job, but be sure you understand the quote fully. Many moving companies will not include added charges for particularly large or heavy items (such as a piano), or for obstacles they will need to manoeuvre around (such as elevators or stairs), or for additional packing materials they may find themselves using the day of. So, for you to really know the cost of your move properly, you need to ask them about these sorts of things.
Be prepared for this conversation. Figure out in advance the items or situations that may cause the moving company to charge more. If you are moving a piano or other large or oddly-shaped items, then mention that, and ask if there are any added costs associated. If you have any precious artwork or other fragile items, make mention of it, and question the company on how they move such an item and whether it may add anything to your cost. Let them know if there’s an elevator or set of stairs or other obstacles, and find out whether that increases their charge as well.
Once you’ve had a quality conversation with the moving company, and stated everything you can about the specifics of the job, you should have a fairly steady understanding of their quote. Take that to the other quotes you’ve collected, and start comparing. When you compare quotes though, do remind yourself of what your family and friends have told you about the company’s service: if one place costs a bit more, there is probably a good reason for that – is that reason good enough for you to spend that bit more?
Check with your self-storage facility
Self-storage facilities themselves are good places to investigate moving companies. Storage companies typically have relationships with a number of moving companies, so not only may they be able to point you in a reliable direction, but they may also be able to get you a deal to help lower your cost.
Sentinel Storage works hard to ensure your storage project goes as smoothly as possible, and it is our advantage that your project does go smoothly. We want you to have the best possible storage experience, and we know how significant the right moving company can be to achieve this. Speak with your Sentinel Storage agent today for the advice you need for hiring a moving company, or for any advice regarding your self-storage needs.