When it comes to moving to a new home, a storage pod or on-site moving container can offer some unique benefits. These portable storage units provide convenience, flexibility, and security, making them a popular choice for many people.
Whether you’re looking to declutter your current space or need a temporary storage solution during a move, a storage pod can be a practical and efficient option.
What Is A Storage Pod?
PODS means Portable On Demand Storage, which is an excellent description of how on-site storage containers work. PODS is a trademarked name from the most recognized name in portable moving containers. Though the term pods is meant to describe any portable moving or storage container.
A storage pod is a box of varying construction. It can be secured with a lock and delivered to your location to be packed for your move.
When you are packed and ready for your new location, you schedule a pickup, bringing the unit to your new home for you to unload on your timeline.
Or, if you are not moving to your new home immediately, your storage pod is housed at a storage facility until you are ready for delivery to your new location.
What Companies Offer On-site Moving Containers or Storage Pods?
As I mentioned, PODS is not the only company offering moving containers. If you google “storage pod near me” you will most likely see these large national companies.
- U-Pack ReloCube
- Zippy Shell- Zippy Shell merged with 1-800-Pack-Rat
There also may be the option of finding a small storage pod rental company that is more regional rather than a national company. Bay State Pod Rental is a popular option here in Massachusetts.
Just google “storage pods near me” and get a list of pod rental companies that will deliver to your site. Most of the big moving container companies allow you to plug in your information and get a quote online.
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Moving With A Storage Pod?
Like everything, storage pods have pros and cons during a move.
Pros of Using AStorage Pod
Pack and Move On Your Schedule
The most significant advantage of using pod storage during your move is you rent the container for a month at a time. It allows you time to pack and unpack the storage unit over any length of time that works for you.
All you do is pay a small monthly fee for the storage container while it is onsite.
Another advantage of using a storage pod is it can be stored on the site you are leaving or your destination until you are ready to unload. You pack over several weeks or months and only pay a low monthly rental fee for the on-site portable moving containers you use.
Shipping the container can also be less than hiring a full-service mover because the truck picking up your container also moves containers from other renters or homebuyers spreading out the shipping cost.
Easy Storage Between Destinations
If you have time between leaving your first home and going to your second home, many companies allow you to store your storage pod at their facility for a low monthly fee.
The advantage is the container does not need to be unloaded at the storage facility and reloaded for its final destination. The pod is stored as-is full of your belongings.
Loads At Ground Level
Finally, unlike a truck, a rented storage pod is loaded at ground level. It can help make lighter work of your move. It certainly beats going up and down a loading ramp with heavy furniture.
Cons of Using A Storage Pod
Not Climate Controlled
One big disadvantage of using a storage pod is your rented storage pod is not heated or air-conditioned. While it is weatherproof, it is subject to the heat and cold of its surrounding environment.
A storage pod rental is probably not a great idea for expensive furniture or items of value like artwork or antiques. Before renting a moving container, consider if it is the right choice of storage for the items you are moving.
Need A Place To Put It
You also need a large enough level surface to place your storage pod or pods on at both sites. Renting storage pods may not be a good solution for moving from a condo or an apartment with limited space where they may not even allow you to store a moving container.
Finally, remember your moving container will be stored outside in your driveway or on the street. It may not be as secure as you would like.
Less Control Of Arrival
You have a little bit less control of when your storage pod will arrive. Often a truck is loaded with more than one pod for deliveries on a given day.
What Sizes Do Moving Containers Come In?
Storage pod sizes can range from 6-16 feet.
A 7-8 foot unit will handle about one room, while a 16-foot storage pod may fit a small apartment.
Larger homes will require you to rent more than one pod to fit all of your contents. A moderately furnished 2500 square foot home may require up to 3 16-foot pods.
Each company has its own size pod or different size pods. Do some research to see what works for you.
A Word On Portable Shipping Container Construction
When renting your portable moving container, pay close attention to the construction. Some are made from steel, steel frames with sheet aluminum skin, plastic or construction-grade wood.
The construction materials will dictate how heavy of a load the container can handle. An all-steel container can handle about twice as much weight as a wooden container.
Make sure you are getting a quality storage pod that will protect your belongings from the elements aswell as theft. Your pod should also be constructed in a manner that can handle the rigors of a move.
What Does A Storage Pod Rental Cost?
A storage pod rental will cost more than a self-move with a U-Haul truck but less than hiring a full-service mover. Rental costs for a storage container will vary depending on many factors. Make sure you call or get an online quote for storage pod pricing so there are no surprises.
- Size of the units and how many you rent
- How long you rent the storage containers.
- The distance to your final destination
- The season.
I visited one website moving container website and received an online quote for a 16-foot on-site moving container for one month.
|Rental One Month
|Pick Up and Move less than 15 miles
This is a rough estimate of what a small move with a storage pod rental would cost. Get your individualized quote for your specific circumstances.
To be cost-effective and save space in your rental pod, make sure you either get rid of your junk or find ways to recycle your unwanted items before packing your container. Don’t move items you no longer want.
Do I Need Contents Insurance For My Storage Pod?
When you rent an online storage container, make sure you understand that while you may pay for insurance for damage to the pod itself, the contents are not covered and are probably not covered.
Content insurance is not included in the rental price. Before purchasing a policy with the container company, check with your homeowners or renters insurance to see if an off-site storage pod is covered and if a storage pod on your site is covered.
If your homeowner or renters insurance is not adequate, you can usually get insurance through the company you are renting the pod from. Don’t overlook getting the proper insurance coverage for items stored in your pod.
Can You Do A Long Distance Move With A Storage Pod?
Storage pods can be used as just as easily for a long-distance move as they can for a local move.
The rental prices and pick-up and drop-off fees remain the same as if you were making a local move. If you are doing a long-distance move the shipping fee for your POD can be sizeable. They are still being shipped by truck.
But, many of the fees surrounding the move will make a long-distance move less expensive with a moving container than a full-service move.
Other Uses For Storage Pods
On-site moving containers can be used for other than just moving from one home to another.
When selling your home you may have more belongings than you want to leave in your home to optimize showings. An on-site storage container can help stage your home.
A storage pod can be kept in the driveway neatly tucked away in a storage pod until you make your move. Either it can be offloaded by your movers or you may have it shipped to your new address.
Or, are you doing major renovations and need to empty a room or even an entire house while the work is being done? A storage pod can be a perfect way to safely store your belongings while you are having the work done.
Questions To Ask When Renting A Storage Pod Rental
- What is the storage pod constructed of?
- What is the monthly rental fee of the moving container?
- Am I responsible for damage to the pod while it is in my possession, if so can I insure the moving container?
- What does insurance cost for my contents?
- If I take longer than a month to pack or unpack will it be easy to extend my rental?
- How quickly can I have my pod delivered to my new location once I call for a pickup?
- Do you have local storage for my pod if my move is delayed?
- What comes with the rental of an onsite moving container?
Pods can be one option for you when moving from one home to another. It can save you money compared to a traditional mover coming to load and unload their truck.
The two distinct advantages are you can pack and unpack the storage pod over a period of time and the ability to easily store your moving container if you are not moving directly from one home to another.
If those are attractive features for you consider renting a storage pod for your next move.
Other Moving Articles Worth The Read:
- You don’t move often and it is usually in a rush. Luke Skar has provided an article discussing moving mistakes that you can avoid.
- When you buy a home and are moving from your old one you have already spent money on a down payment, closing costs, inspections, etc… Sharon Paxson provides moving tips to help save you money.
- Moving is stressful and time-consuming. Michelle Gibson can help you reduce stress and save time with a moving checklist.
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