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When moving abroad, you may need to store your belongings in the UK or internationally. In this guide, Compare My Move provide some advice on how to find storage providers, select storage that is suitable for your needs, and how much these options will cost.
When moving abroad many movers will store belongings in the UK, but may also use storage facilities in their new home country as they make further arrangements. Here International Removals specialists Compare My Move explains both the UK for long term storage as well as some considerations for storing your belongings abroad.
Storing items in the UK can be a good way to keep your belongings both safe and accessible when moving abroad. Finding a reliable, reputable and cost-effective storage facility is a good way to ensure peace of mind at a time when things can be chaotic. Below we have highlighted some tips and considerations on finding long term storage in the UK.
Of course, costs widely depend on the amount of storage you need as well as the value of the location in which you are storing your belongings. For example, 100 sq. feet of storage in central London is likely to cost a large amount more than the same amount of storage in the north of the country. It also depends in large on the amount of time you will be storing, with long term storage costing less than shorter terms stores.
To give a rough idea of costs, take for example you were storing the contents of a two-bedroom home over a 6-month storage. You would likely need around 100 sq. feet of storage to do this. This could cost around £500-£800 for the full 6 months, although you could easily pay 2-3x this for premium areas such as central London.
Finding a storage provider can seem like pretty simple stuff. But the difference between finding a good and bad provider can mean the difference between a helpful and useful tool and a potential massive amount of hassle.
Firstly, don’t get hung-up on the storage unit closest to your home. After all, you are moving country and the location of the unit won’t matter much once this has happened. Doing this also opens you up to getting better deals and more agreeable terms for your move. Picking one with easy parking however will help with getting your belongings from your home to the unit in the first place.
When searching out providers, check their terms and make sure they fit with your plans. Ask a few key questions: Is there a minimum or maximum term of storage? Which days and hours are you or someone else able to access the contents of the storage? Will others that you grant permission to be able to access contents?
It is also worth checking any ratings or reviews of the storage ahead of signing up. See what others say about the safety and service of the provider. Although it is worth noting that some people will complain no matter what, a large amount of concerning reviews can highlight potential issues.
Getting your estimate for storage right can save you a lot of money on wasted space in the long-run. To do this correctly you must first work out exactly what you will be putting into storage. Will it be all/the majority of the belongings or just a small proportion of them?
On average, you will need about 100 sq. feet for the contents of a small 2-bedroom house. You can usually make a good estimate of space based on the items you plan on storing, there are also a number of useful tools online that can help you understand the space needed to store them.
In usual circumstances storage units are a mix-match of items that have been thrown in over time to get them out of the way. However, packing your items properly for storage will provide a number of benefits when it comes to keeping your items safe and accessible.
Firstly, your prized belongings should be packed well in order to protect them both for the journey from your home to the unit, during storage and on the occasion that your belongings need to be sent to your new home. Packing them well will also allow your removals company, friends or family to easily identify required contents when instructed to do so.
Start by wrapping your contents much like you would for a move. Wrapping delicate items in paper and then into sturdy boxes with padding to keep them in place. You should also ensure that all items are placed into transport or storage based on their weight and how fragile they are to ensure limited damage.
It is also worth keeping these stored items clearly labelled with what is inside. This will allow for them to be easily found when required.
Making sure you select a storage unit that lets you delegate access will let you manage stored items whilst you are away. When it comes to getting hold of small items or completing simple tasks you will be able to allocate this to friends of family to complete.
However, in the case that large items need to be moved to your new location you can work with an international removals company to do this. Asking the removals company to identify and ship out the required content is going to be the most efficient way to do this. You will usually need to contact the storage facility head of time to let them know that a representative will be turning up to access your storage unit.
On occasion that you are moving abroad and your belongings will get there before you do, you are able to use short term in country storage facilities. Getting these booked well in advanced can be a good way to lower the pressure and risks associated with being in a new country without any of your belongings.
In this section we give some considerations to take when booking short term storage abroad.
Booking storage in your new country of residence can be done in a number of ways. Firstly, when working with an international removals company, they will often be able to do this on your behalf, tapping into their international network of suppliers to secure your storage space.
If your removals company cannot provide this or you choose to do this yourself you will then have to go direct to the storage company in the given country. This can be fairly simple if the country speaks the same language as you. You may need to seek some translation support for countries where you do not understand the language or have issues in communicating what you need.
Similar to picking a storage unit in the UK, finding a quality facility in a different country can often be down to luck. This is especially true of countries where there is a language barrier when securing a space. On these occasions, it is always worth checking for websites of storage facilities that have an option to read terms and conditions in English. This will allow you to check crucial details such as potential additional costs, open days/times and notes on security.
Also, when there is an option, it is worth checking out any online reviews. This will highlight any potential issues you may have or poor levels of customer support.
In many countries, there are also useful resources like ex-pat websites that can be used to ask those that have been through a similar process to you for their recommendations.
Pricing for units in different countries vary widely based on their location, size and the term for which you will be using them. These can usually only be discovered by searching for facilities in the given area you are moving to and contacting them for quotes. In the case that your international removals company will be finding your storage on your behalf they should be able to offer you a quote to help you clearly understand how much this might cost.
We hope this this guide has covered the important aspects when looking to store your belongings when abroad. Whether it be reliable long-term storage in the UK or short-term storage abroad, arranging storage is easy when you know how.
Compare My Move can continue to help you with your move abroad with our international guides. When you're ready, you can use our quick and easy form to get connected with up to 6 professional removal companies in your area that will take you abroad with ease.