Using Movers for a Storage Unit Move? Get the Facts First

June 3, 2024

Moving to a new home can be an exciting but stressful time. As you prepare for the move, you may find you have more belongings than space at your new place. This often means you need to downsize your possessions. Some items you can donate, sell or throw away. But what about those things you want to keep, but just don’t have room for right now? This is where renting a storage unit can help.

During a move, you have a few options for getting your things into storage:

Ask the movers to make a stop at a storage facility 

Rent a truck yourself and move items into storage

Hire a separate moving company just for transporting belongings to storage

This article provides tips on using a storage unit when you are moving, including how to work with movers to get your stuff into storage. We’ll discuss what movers will and won’t do when it comes to storage units, along with your other options. You’ll also learn what types of items are best suited for storage, and how to safely store your belongings. With the right information, using a storage unit during your move can be an easy and stress-free process.

Why Use Storage Unit Move 

Moving between homes often requires temporary storage solutions. Your old home may need to be emptied before your new home is ready. Or you may only be able to move a portion of belongings at a time due to logistics. Storage units provide a secure place to keep possessions in transition stages.

Renting a storage unit offers flexibility when relocating. You can move items gradually instead of all at once. This comes in handy if your new home won’t be ready on moving day or you need to downsize. Storage gives you time to sort through belongings and decide what to keep vs. donate or sell. Your movers may also lack the space to transport everything in one trip. Short-term storage bridges the gap between moves.

Storage units allow decluttering before a move too. You can free up living space by removing items you won’t immediately need at the new home. The storage facility safely stores them until you’re ready. This makes packing and loading on a moving day faster and easier. Your movers will appreciate transporting a smaller load as well. Using storage units strategically enables smoother moves.

What Movers Typically Do

Most professional moving companies are focused on transporting your belongings directly from your old home to your new home in an efficient manner. Their job is to load up all your possessions at your old house, drive to your new place, and then unload everything there. 

Going to a storage facility to drop off items is usually outside the scope of their standard moving services. Movers aim to get your items to their final destination as quickly as possible. Stopping at a storage unit along the way would add substantial time and complications to the moving process that they are trying to avoid.

The moving crew likely has other scheduled jobs that day and wants to complete your move in the allotted time frame. They also have an incentive to maximize their productivity by completing as many jobs as possible. Adding extra stops reduces their efficiency and cuts into their profit margins.

For these reasons, most professional movers will not include storage stops as part of their basic interstate or long-distance moving packages. Their job is simply to move your stuff from one house directly to the other, not to handle intermediate storage. So unless explicitly arranged, you should not expect the movers to make a pit stop at a storage unit facility. Handle those logistics separately.

Asking Movers to Stop at a Storage Unit

When using professional movers, you can request they make a stop at a storage unit to drop off some of your belongings. This gives you the convenience of having the movers transport items directly to storage as part of their existing route.

Most movers are willing to make a stop at a storage facility along the way if it doesn’t significantly increase the route distance. However, you’ll likely have to pay an additional fee for the added stop, which essentially acts as an extra destination. The fee amount will depend on the mover’s policies but expect to pay at least an extra hour of work.

If the storage unit is located far out of the way from the mover’s planned route between your old home and new home, they may decline the request or charge a higher fee. You may need to compare shops between movers to find one willing to accommodate your storage unit stop for a reasonable price. 

When requesting a storage stop, discuss timing and fees upfront so there are no surprises on moving day. Clarify details like how long the movers will spend loading the storage unit and any requirements around providing access. With a bit of planning, having the movers handle storage can take out some of the work of moving yourself.

Loading the Storage Unit Yourself  

Many people try to save money by renting a truck and loading their storage unit on their own. This allows you to avoid paying movers to make an extra stop, which can add hours of labor and extra costs. However, it requires more physical effort and time on your part.

You’ll need to separately rent a truck, van, or trailer big enough to hold your storage items. Make sure to properly secure all furniture, boxes, and items so they don’t shift during transport. It’s a good idea to rent furniture pads, straps, blankets, etc. to prevent any damage. 

Pack the truck strategically so you can efficiently unload at your storage facility. Back up the truck as close to your unit as possible. Have any necessary tools on hand like a dolly or hand truck to move heavy items. You may also want helpers to assist lifting furniture and boxes

Take your time unloading and organizing your storage unit so you can easily access items later. Many facilities require you to provide your own lock, so make sure to secure your unit after unloading. Place any fragile items on shelves rather than the floor if possible.

This do-it-yourself approach requires physical exertion and time devoted to packing, driving, and unloading. But it allows you to transport items to storage at your own pace without paying for a moving company to do it. Just weigh whether time or money is more valuable as you determine logistics.

Using a Separate Moving Company for Storage

One option is to hire two separate companies – one for the main move and a second company that specializes in loading and transporting items specifically for self storage units. 

The advantage of this approach is it gives you more flexibility. The moving company can focus on getting your furniture, boxes and other belongings from point A to point B efficiently. Meanwhile, the storage company is experienced in the best practices for loading units, securing items, and safely transporting goods to storage facilities.

However, hiring two companies can be more expensive overall compared to using just one moving company for the entire job. You’ll have to pay each company for their time and services. Evaluate if the added convenience and expertise is worth the additional cost.

Some key points if using two companies:

Research reputable local moving companies that offer dedicated storage unit transport. Look for companies that are licensed, insured, have good online reviews and affordable rates.

Give each company an accurate inventory of the items they will be handling. This helps them dispatch the proper vehicle size, equipment and number of movers needed. 

Have the storage company arrive after the movers have loaded the main truck and departed. This avoids congestion and lets each crew focus on their respective duties.

Supply each company with directions, access instructions and the unit number for the storage facility. Confirm they have the proper access paperwork or locks/keys to get in.

Conduct a final walk-through of the storage unit after unloading to ensure no items have been misplaced or damaged.

Hiring two specialized companies takes coordination but can provide peace of mind knowing professionals are handling the storage aspect of your move.

Tips for Moving Items to Storage

When it comes time to move items into your storage unit, follow these tips to keep items safe and organized:

Take time to carefully inventory all items before packing them up. Having a detailed list of what is being stored can make retrieving items so much easier down the road. You don’t want to end up searching through dozens of boxes just to find one item. Create a numbered or lettered list corresponding to box contents and keep this inventory list somewhere handy outside the storage unit.

Invest in high-quality packing materials and storage containers. Use clean, sturdy boxes in good condition and bubble wrap or packing paper to cushion items. Label boxes clearly on all sides. For extra protection, place delicate items in plastic bins with lids or wardrobe moving boxes with a hanging rod. The extra expense of quality packing and storage materials is well worth it to prevent damage.

Load storage items strategically. Heavier boxes and bins should go on bottom shelves. Place rarely accessed items in the back and items you’ll need to get to more frequently in front near the door. You can also group similar items together in labeled areas to stay organized.

Pad and anchor furniture pieces and large appliances so they don’t shift around and rub against each other. Use furniture pads, moving blankets, or bubble wrap on corners and tie items down securely with moving straps. 

Taking proper care to pack, label, and position items in your storage unit will allow for damage-free storage and easy access when needed.

Storing Certain Items

When moving items into a storage unit, it’s important to consider what types of belongings you are storing and how best to protect them. This is especially true for valuables, antiques, and furniture.

Climate Control for Valuables

If you are storing items like artwork, musical instruments, antiques, or electronics, it’s highly recommended to use a climate-controlled storage unit. Temperature and humidity fluctuations can damage these types of valuables over time. Climate control helps maintain a consistent environment to prevent deterioration.

Leave Space for Furniture

Measure furniture and appliances you are putting into storage and map out where they will be positioned ahead of time. Leave adequate space to open doors and access items. Disassemble furniture when possible to maximize room. Place furniture up on blocks or pellets to protect from moisture. Cover with moving blankets or plastic to prevent dust buildup and scratching.

Properly preparing items for storage based on type will help keep them in good condition until you are ready to access them again after your move.

Security and Access

When you are selecting a storage facility during a move, it’s important to consider the security of your unit and your ability to access your belongings when needed.

Choose a reputable storage company that has secure facilities. Look for storage units with features like coded gate access, video surveillance, onsite managers, and individually alarmed units. Avoid facilities that seem rundown or have no security measures in place. You want to ensure your items are protected.

Also consider choosing a storage unit that will allow you to conveniently access your belongings when you need them. See how their gate hours align with your schedule. Many storage facilities allow 24/7 access with a gate code so you can retrieve items at any time. Some also allow online reservations for moving trucks to simplify accessing your unit. Make sure the facility’s access policies and features will accommodate your needs.

Selecting a storage unit with strong security features and access for when you need it will provide peace of mind about keeping your belongings safe and retrievable during your move. Do your research to find the right storage company for your needs.


Moving can be a stressful time, and deciding what to do with all of your belongings can be a challenge. Using a storage unit during a move is an option that many people consider. Storage units provide a secure place to keep your items, but they also come with extra costs and logistics to manage. 

When using a storage unit with a move, you’ll need to consider if your movers can make a stop to load and unload items, or if you’ll need to transport items separately. Loading the unit yourself takes time and effort. Hiring separate movers just for the storage unit is another possibility, but adds expense. You’ll also need to factor in costs for the storage unit rental, and determine how long you’re likely to need it.

There are pros and cons to using storage units during moves. Key advantages include freeing up space in your new home, storing seasonal or infrequently used items, and providing security if you’ll be between homes. Downsides can include extra costs and time needed for transporting belongings. Evaluate your specific moving situation to decide if utilizing a storage unit is right for you. With planning, storage unit move can provide a helpful option when relocating.