One of the very first and most important decisions to make when planning a residential move is to choose an appropriate method of moving your household across the country. Solving the ultimate dilemma “hiring professional movers vs. self-moving” may prove to be quite a challenge as both options have considerable advantages and disadvantages in terms of convenience, security, costs, etc. Moving by yourself may be lighter on your budget and may give you the chance to do things your way but it requires great efforts, lots of time, previous experience, and the assistance of reliable friends. Using professional moving services may take most of the relocation burden off your shoulders as the movers will do all the heavy work and will take care of the numerous organizational details related to your move, but you’ll have to conform to their rules and schedules, to watch out for moving scams, etc.
If none of these alternatives suits all your needs and preferences, as well as your available time and moving budget, you may want to consider a third option that combines different advantageous aspects of the self-moving process and the professional moving process – using pods to move. Portable moving containers may provide the most beneficial solution for your particular moving needs.
What are moving pods?
Moving pods are portable storage containers that can be rented and used either to store your belongings for a certain period of time or to move them to another location. The moving containers are dropped off, picked up and transported by the company you have rented them from for a certain fee. A moving pod is actually a combination of a moving truck and a storage unit.
But how do moving pods work?
The containers are brought to your home and left at your disposal for as long as you need to properly pack and arrange your items inside – a couple of days, a couple of weeks, or a couple of months. When you are ready, the containers are picked up and safely transported to their new location. The delivery trucks are equipped with a special hydraulic lift system, designed to reduce shifting inside the containers and to keep them level at all times in order to decrease the risk of damage to your items during transportation. The moving pods can be delivered directly to your new home or stored in a secure facility if you wish so. The latter option is very convenient when:
- you are moving to temporary housing (you won’t have to pack and unpack your belongings several times and move them from one location to another);
- your new home is not ready yet and you need a safe place to keep your items until all the repair works and renovation projects are completed;
- you are renovating your home (in this case you can keep the portable storage container at your property for easy access).
There are no time constraints and scheduling is very flexible, so you can unpack your belongings at leisure and return the moving containers when you don’t need them anymore.
Have in mind that you may need a special permit for a moving container in front of your property, so check with the local authorities beforehand. Of course, you also need to ensure adequate clearance and accessibility for the desired location of the container.
Pros and cons of using pods for moving
You need to look at both sides of the coin in order to make an informed decision about your move.
Benefits of using pods to move cross country
Moving pods present an extremely convenient, safe, and cost-effective method of moving house:
- Moving containers are dropped off, picked up and transported by professionals, so you don’t have to drive a large truck for several days across the country or along busy streets across town;
- There are no deadlines and time restrictions when using a moving pod. You can keep it outside your home for as long as you need to pack/unpack at your own pace (usually you can take up to a month without incurring any extra fees);
- Moving containers sit on the ground, so that you will experience no difficulties loading and unloading your household items;
- Moving pods come in several different sizes, so you can choose the one that will best accommodate your needs;
- Portable storage containers can be used for temporarily storing your items, either outside your home or in a specialized facility;
- Moving containers are very strong and completely insulated. They can withstand strong winds and adverse weather conditions, keeping moisture and mold away from your belongings;
- Pods can be safely locked to eliminate the risk of theft. You are the only one who has the key to your container, so you can rest assured that you will find your items as you left them;
- The special hydraulic lift system used to move pod containers minimizes the possibility of shifting or damage during transportation;
- Moving with pods is usually cheaper than using a full-service moving company.
Disadvantages of using moving pods
- You may need a special permit to have a moving pod parked on the street;
- There may be restrictions for keeping moving containers in your residential complex;
- You don’t have free access to your belongings any time of the day and night when the moving container is stored in the company’s facility;
- There has to be an adequate parking spot, yard or driveway both in your old property and your new one;
- You have no control over arrival time and conditions;
- You may be charged extra fees for obstacles while accessing your property, additional time you have kept the moving container (regardless of the reasons that have necessitated the delay), etc.;
- You need to hire moving labor or to ask friends to help you load and/or unload the moving pod;
- Moving with pods may be more expensive than moving with a rented truck.
How much does it cost to move using pods?
When using moving pods you won’t have to pay for professional moving services and, even more importantly, you won’t have to worry about costly moving mistakes, or moving frauds and extortion scam schemes that may result in great financial losses and nerve-racking experiences.
You won’t have to pay for a rental truck either – you will not only save yourself the stress and hardships of driving a large truck but will also save the money for fuel, vehicle insurance, road tolls, parking permits, etc.
Moving containers usually cost about $200 per month plus a $100 fee for pick up/delivery. You should also take into account the actual distance to which the pods will be transported when estimating the final cost, of course. If you are moving from coast to coast, or if you need your items to be stored in a specialized facility for a more extended period of time, the total cost may soar up to several thousand dollars.
When making your moving budget, don’t forget to include the expenses for packing materials, necessary moving equipment, loading/unloading help (if applicable), travel expenses, special permits, etc.
SEE ALSO: How to estimate the cost of moving
How to move using a pod?
Having arranged for the delivery, pick-up and transportation of an adequate moving container(s) (make sure you are dealing with a licensed and trustworthy company), you need to take care of several other relocation-related details:
- Sort out your belongings, organize them in a way that will be meaningful for you and pack them with utmost care to ensure their safety during the transportation, especially when it comes to fragile items and items of great monetary or sentimental value;
- Line the bottom of the moving container with moving blankets for extra protection against vibrations and provide sufficient cushioning between the items in the pod with the help of large pieces of corrugated cardboard, blankets, etc. Optimize the available space and secure your items inside the pod;
- Have in mind that certain items (such as liquids, hazardous materials, etc.) cannot be transported in a moving pod for safety reasons and make sure not to pack them inside the pod with the rest of your belongings;
- Avoid transporting valuables, sensitive electronics, and very delicate items, such as artwork, in a moving pod. Needless to say, you need to take your open-first box, important documents and other essentials with you;
- Get proper insurance for your household items – just in case.
Moving containers provide you with the unique opportunity of moving house your way. It’s up to you to decide whether the moving pods system is your best moving option or not. Before you make your final decision, however, be sure to research all the alternatives and get a moving quote in order to ensure the best services at the best rate for your residential move.