Military Storage Tips
Figure out what you’ll need:
First, you’ll need to determine how much storage space you need. Assess which items you’ll be taking with you and what you want to leave behind. See if you’re storing a few boxes or a household’s worth of stuff. If needed, you can look for a storage facility that offers parking for car and boat storage, too. Once you’ve determined what you’ll be storing, use our free storage calculator to see what size storage unit you need. You don’t want to overpay for a unit that is larger than you need! Depending on how far away you’re moving or how long you’ll be gone, you may want to consider units with climate control or extra security features to protect your belongings in your absence.
Look for military discounts:A good deal of storage facilities (including Added Space!) offer military discounts to active members and their families. When choosing a facility, be sure to ask if they offer a military storage discount. Some storage companies offer discounts for long-term storage or pre-payments.
Consider extra services:
When looking for a storage facility, review the extra services they offer. Look for online or automatic payments. This can be a beneficial service for military members that have to store for long periods of time or who are deployed to a remote location. You can also look for facilities that sell boxes, other moving supplies, or offer truck rentals. The right storage facility can make your moving experience as stress-free as possible.
Decide on Movers:
For many military members, moving is just a part of life. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating! Luckily, with proper planning and organization you can make your moving day as easy as possible.
Before moving, you first have to decide if you will hire movers or do it yourself.
Choosing to move yourself can save a lot of money, and it lets you be in control of everything. However, it can be tiring and frustrating. It may take you longer, and you’re at fault for any damaged items.
If you hire professional movers, it will certainly cost more money, but the process will be much more efficient. They’re trained in the best moving practices, so chances are less items will be damaged. (And, if something is damaged, it will be their responsibility—not yours!)
The real work comes when deciding which moving company to hire. You want to avoid any moving horror stories and hire the best of the best. To ensure you get the best movers possible, you’ll need to think it through and conduct some research.
First, you’ll need to consider what you need during your move. Take the time to make a needs and wants checklist before reaching out to any moving companies.
Consider questions like these:
Plan before requesting a quote:
- When are you moving? Typically, most movers are busiest on weekends and towards the end of the month. They may also charge more money for these days. Ask any prospective movers if you can book during the less busy times at a discounted rate.
- Where are you moving from and to? Are you moving locally or long distance? Internationally?
- How many belongings are you moving? Think about every single room in your house. Make a list of your big items (like furniture) and consider how many boxes it will take for the rest of your items. Don’t forget about areas like your basement or garage!
- Will you do the packing yourself, or do you want help?
- Will you move your fragile items or will you let the movers?
- How much insurance will you want? Take your list of items from earlier and calculate how much it would be to replace everything.
Time to look for an estimate:
One of the best ways to find a reliable moving company is through word-of-mouth. If you have any friends or family that moved recently, ask them about their experience and for recommendations. You can also ask your real estate agent for referrals or moving companies to avoid!
You can also search online for moving companies. Websites like 123Movers.com give comparisons and ratings of many different companies. However, be aware that some sites like these may collect your phone number to sell to moving companies. You could get lots of calls.
What to ask potential movers:
- How long has your company been in business?
- Do you own your moving equipment or do you rent it?
- Are licensed and insured?
- Is your company a member of the AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association)?
- Can you give me references to contact?
- Do you do at-home estimates? Are they free of charge?
After using these questions to narrow down your options:
Check the company out at the Better Business Bureau and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration websites to see if the company had any serious issues with previous clients.
Once you’ve talked with a few companies, pick 3 or 4 to give you an in-home estimate. This way, you can compare the costs and pick the best option. (This will also rule out companies trying to scam you. They usually won’t take the time to give a free in-home estimate.)
During your estimate, show the movers everything you plan to take with you. The more detailed you are, the more accurate your estimate will be. Also, try to let the company know of any obstacles they may face while moving at your old or new home (like stairs, tight angles, or lack of drive-up access.) These are things that could cost more.
When comparing quotes, try to consider more than just the final cost. It may be worth it to spend a little more money to book the company with the best reputation. It won’t save you money in the long run if you book the cheapest company and they end up damaging all your belongings.
Once you make the final decision on the company:
You’ll be asked to sign a contract regarding your move. Read it carefully! If you don’t understand something, ask them to explain it to you. You can make notes right on the contract. If there’s anything in the contract the movers say not to worry about, cross those lines out. If any changes are made to the contract, have the mover initial and date each change.
As the date of your move approaches, call your moving company to confirm your booking. You, or a trusted family member or friend, should attend all inventories and truck weigh-ins in person. Keep notes. Keep all documents and records (like your contract) in a safe place until your move is officially over.
Tips like these will help you have a successful, stress-free move. If after your move, you feel like you’ve been scammed, robbed, or otherwise wronged by the company, report it immediately.