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Moving Out of a Storage Unit: How To & Mistakes To Avoid

Posted: 12 February 2024

Man Opening His Unit

Did you rent a storage unit while you were renovating — with no idea of how long it would take — and now it’s time to get your things out? Or maybe you took a gap year and needed space for your stuff while travelling, but it’s almost time to come home. Whatever the circumstance, if you need to move out of your storage unit (especially at short notice) it’s best to familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of vacating. 

Where do you start to make sure it all goes smoothly? What are the legalities? How early should you notify the facility so you don’t pay a penalty? Do you need a truck or help to move? These are all things you need to ask when planning on moving out of a storage unit. 

In this blog, we cover some frequently asked questions as well as everything from the legal side of moving out to proper cleaning techniques during removal. We also list some common mistakes renters make that you should avoid. 

Understand Your Self Storage Contract

Before you make any plans to move out of your storage unit, you should review the move-out policy of your rental contract as well as the terms and conditions. 

Knowing these key rental agreement terms will help you avoid surprises down the line. Here are some critical things to consider: 

What Is Your Notice Period?

Check your contract, as it will confirm the duration you have committed to and when you are billed each month. If your contract auto-renews monthly and you get billed on the first day of the month, you’ll have to give adequate notice so that you aren’t charged on the first of the next month. 

The Cancellation Policy

What duration did you sign up to rent for? What is your self storage cancellation policy? Which fees should you expect to pay if you vacate your storage unit before your rental period ends? You will need to check these terms. 

How To Move Out of a Storage Unit Smoothly

Boxes at a storage unit ready for moving

Being prepared is always the key to success, especially when it comes to moving! Once you have figured out your cancellation policy and terms of agreement, you can get ready for your move. Use our five-step process to make the transition out of your storage unit a breeze.  

Step 1: Notify the Storage Facility

Your first step is to alert the storage facility staff about your intention to move out of your storage unit. Check your signed rental contract to confirm the facility’s required move out notice period. Mark your calendar so this critical cut-off date doesn’t accidentally get missed.

Reasons to let the facility know early: 

  • The facility manager can schedule and coordinate move-out logistics for you. This includes access to loading bays, transport, elevators, and gate access.
  • Staff need the lead time to rent your unit to new customers once you depart without losing income. 
  • You save money by avoiding the risk of automatically renewing another full month if exiting mid-cycle. 

If you’re planning to leave, reach out via phone or email or visit the front office to supply initial notice that you will be fully vacating your rented storage unit by a specific date. 

Step 2: Clear Out Your Storage Unit

Systematic packing and clearing will streamline your moving out process. Start with your rental inventory sheet to make sure all your items are accounted for without leaving anything valuable behind accidentally. Make sure you have everything labelled, packed, and organised for your move. 

If you have delicate furnishings, valuable artwork, or antiques that are fragile, make sure you have the right packaging materials for each item. 

Organise a moving vehicle (or hire a van) that can accommodate all your things and will be able to transport them safely. If you’re still concerned about damages, you could organise transit insurance. It never hurts exercising added precautions when a lifetime of memories is at stake!

When you have moved your things out of the unit, don’t forget to check for any damages to the unit and to make sure that it’s clean!

Step 3: Settle Outstanding Payments

Check the terms and conditions of your contract when moving out and what fees and extra charges you may have to pay. 

You could have to pay for any packaging services you may have used, late payments not settled, penalties for late notice, insurance, or even transport as added extras. Make sure you know what you need to settle. If you don’t, this could end up in a legal battle or interest incurred on non-payment. 

Step 4: Final Walkthrough With Facility Staff

When you are in a hurry or tired from packing, you may forget some things or overlook essentials, and you don’t want to leave without having a staff member do a walkthrough with you to cover yourself. 

After fully clearing out all your stored possessions and cleaning the premises, schedule a final walkthrough with a staff member at the facility. 

This is important as it:

  • Allows staff to officially sign off on any outstanding account balances now that rental tenure is ceasing and you're vacating fully. 
  • Grants the opportunity for staff to assess aspects like cleanliness standards, damage beyond fair wear and tear, any door or lock issues, etc. 
  • Lets you point out existing dents on doors or units that were present at move-in as a liability safeguard. Taking date-stamped photos before you move in will also protect you from unjust charges.
  • Offers a final chance to gather smaller items potentially overlooked like coat hangers, storage covers, or that dustpan sitting in a corner. 

Mistakes To Avoid When Moving Out of a Storage Unit 

Boxes at home ready to be moved

Even with the best-laid plans, you may overlook some things when moving out of storage, which could cost you time and money. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when exiting. 

Not Providing Enough Notice  

Forgoing the mandatory move-out notice period means you will probably be charged with extra rental fees or lose your deposit. Set a calendar reminder to give your notice in time!

Not Checking Your Inventory List 

Make sure that you check off all the items on your list from when you moved in so that you are not missing anything when you move out of storage. 

Discarding Unwanted Goods Haphazardly

Dumping junk into the facility’s bins leaves you at risk of fines because of contamination. Ask about the best disposal procedures for the items you wish to get rid of first!

Not Labelling Boxes

Placing heavy items on top of fragile items could damage them. Label boxes and pack them so that the movers can access the heavier items first and lighter items last. 

Overloading the Moving Truck 

You don’t want to lose items or have them get damaged on the way to their final destination. Hire a decent removal van or make multiple trips if required rather than risking your possessions.

Not Asking for Help

Loading or unloading heavy storage items alone could mean that you hurt yourself or drop and damage your possessions. Rather hire movers to help you — you won’t regret it! 

Need Help Moving Out? 

If you are moving out of Storage King, make sure that you are up to date by reading our move out policy as well as the terms and conditions of your Storage King agreement. 

At Storage King, our friendly staff is available to help you with any queries you have, packaging materials you require, and van hire. Our team can also give you a quote if you need to downsize or upsize your current unit. 

Give us a call today at 0800 0852 954 and we will gladly assist you! 

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