How Much Will It Cost to Move My Storage Unit?
Posted Feb 4th 2021
How Much Does it Cost to Move a Storage Unit?
If you need to move and have belongings in a storage unit, this is definitely on your mind. Although it can be easy to get a price, it might be hard to understand why storage moving is priced the way it is. Each moving company will price moving storage in different ways, but the common ground for everyone is that it's hard to quote a storage unit because you can't see everything inside. That's either because it's full, or sometimes you can't even get to them to see it. As a customer looking for a price, you'll probably want to know from the moving company, "But how did you get that price? You can't even see everything inside it?"
A trained estimator uses many different ways to give you the most accurate price that they can. Here are some things that moving company estimators consider when pricing a move from a storage unit so that you can confidently book your move and feel comfortable when the time comes.
1. Storage unit moves typically cannot be a binding or "guaranteed" quote
A good moving estimate will be customized to your specific items moving. For a storage unit, if you do not already have an itemized inventory of everything sitting in the unit, there is virtually no way to create a customized estimate. That is, unless you are willing to put in the work to take everything out. For this reason, it is hard for an estimator to "guarantee" an accurate moving cost.
For a local move, the price goes by the hour. The estimator can use his trained knowledge to estimate the amount of time it will take using historic averages that we typically see for your size unit and how much he estimates is in it. However, at the end of the day, he cannot see anything that is behind the first row of items in your unit!
For an interstate move, the price goes by the weight of the shipment. Since again, he cannot see everything, the estimate typically is calculated by a predetermined formula based on the cubic space of the unit and average weight. After the storage unit is packed up on the truck, the moving company will then go and weigh the truck to determine the actual weight of the shipment.
On the flipside, If you do have an itemized inventory of the unit, we CAN do a binding quote! The caveat to this option is that the moving contract will cover those items listed on the inventory only. If the movers find additional items you might have missed when they are unloading the contents of your storage unit, there would be an additional cost for those items added.
Pro tip: When moving into a storage unit, always take the time to create an itemized inventory. This will make an easier transition when moving out and to your final destination!
** Learn more about binding and non-binding quotes here!
2. Who packed up the unit?
When looking at the unit, the estimator will take into account if the unit was packed by you or a trained mover. A professional moving company will typically pack the unit tighter and more organized, after all, that is what they are trained to do! If the unit is packed tighter, that would result in more items in the unit.
The reason that this matters is because storage units of the exact same size can have a tremendously different amount of items in them, depending on who packed it. It can be tempting to think that a "10 by 20 storage unit" will have an "average" cost, but the reality is - it's more complicated depending on how dense the packing really is. If you've ever seen any of the reality TV Shows that feature storage units, you know what we're talking about. The denser the packing in the unit, the longer it takes the movers to complete your move or the total contents of the storage unit would most likely weigh more. This in turn, adds to the price.
Pro tip: If you can leave any space or ability for someone to walk through the storage unit (a small aisle in the middle) and see more of what's inside, it can help you get a better idea of cost when it's time to move.
3. Storage unit accessibility
In addition to your specific unit and items moving, the estimator needs to take into consideration the location of the storage unit facility and the accessibility to the unit itself. He might ask questions such as:
When can the moving truck come? The estimator needs to know if the moving crew will actually be able to arrive at the storage unit facility when needed. Does the facility have restrictions when a moving truck can and cannot come? What are the hours of operation? If specific details need to be arranged, there could be an extra fee included with the price of the move.
Will the moving truck fit? Many people think that storage units plan for moving trucks to get in and out - that it's an automatic "yes, it will fit". The problem is, that's not true more than it is true. A moving truck needs a lot of space. Not just for the loading and unloading, but for the driving to and from the unit itself. This is important to note because if the truck cannot fit down any streets leading up to the unit or parking lot, other arrangements need to be made.
When a truck cannot reach its destination, the moving company will need to "shuttle" the items from the storage unit to the closest spot the truck can reach with another smaller truck that can. The customer will end up paying for this extra time, labor and materials. This is especially important for an out of state move - typically your household goods will be transported on an 18 ft semi-truck when moving interstate. The moving company will always want to ensure the truck will fit ahead of time to ensure your move runs smoothly!
Will there be any stairs or an elevator used? Some storage units aren't on the ground level. The need to use stairs and/or an elevator affects the move in many different ways. It can affect the type of equipment the movers use, as not everything can be wheeled down the stairs. It can increase the amount of time it takes for the move and the amount of labor needed to get the items from in the unit to the truck. As for the elevator, there is only so much that can fit in it at a time. Will this cause the movers to make extra trips? Is it possible to reserve the elevator or will the movers need to share this with other users in the storage unit facility? All of these thoughts can affect the way in which your move is performed!
Pro tip: Ask the storage unit employees these above questions before you meet or speak with the estimator. You will receive your estimate quicker if you have all the details ready to go!
As always, if you have any questions about your storage unit moving estimate, the best move is to ASK! These are some thoughts that go through an estimators head when quoting a storage unit move, but definitely not all. We want to make sure you are as informed as possible while booking your move.
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