The thought of moving is enough to trigger feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. Not only do you have to go through everything you own, but then you either have to box it up and move it yourself with multiple car trips or a moving truck you’re scared to drive, or you pay an excessive amount of money for someone else to come and move it for you. But, there’s also a third option– renting a PODS container that lets you take your time and gives you back the control over your move. Here are 10 things you should know about PODS before you plan your next move.
What Exactly are PODS?
PODS are designed as a solution for individuals and families to have portable storage when and where it’s needed. Initially known as Portable On Demand Storage, the company is well-known by its shortened name: PODS.
These portable storage containers are locked containers that can be used to move your things or store them for as long as you need. Each container is weather-resistant and has ground access making it easy to load and unload. PODS offers several services, including local moves, long-distance moves, international moves, and even storage facilities to alleviate the stress that comes along with moving. Today PODS has over 227,000 PODS containers and has completed more than 1 million long-distance moves, making it one of the best moving services.
1. PODS Makes Moving Easier
The entire mission behind PODS is to provide an easy solution for individuals and families in transition.PODS containers are designed to be ground-level, using a specialized hydraulic system to lift the container onto the truck that will be moving it. This design makes it easy to load since there are no annoying ramps and no heavy lifting required to get your belongings onto a moving truck. Additionally, PODS are rented monthly, giving you plenty of time to load and unload your things.
2. Door To Door Moving Solution
PODS containers give you flexibility in the moving process by giving you the time you need to both load and unload your belongings. Your PODS container will be dropped off at your residence while you take your time loading your belongings. Then, it will be dropped off directly at your new location (when you need it) so that you can unload it. No worrying about how to get your things from point A to point B, all you have to do is take care of the packing and loading.
Check Laws and Permit Requirements
While PODS is a convenient moving solution, it’s important to make sure you dot your I’s and cross your T’s. Before you book your PODS container, figure out where you are going to store your container while you load it. Your city or town may require a special permit to put your PODS on your street. In this case, you’ll need to provide your PODS copies of your permits. Likewise, if you live in a subdivision, your HOA may have regulations concerning portable containers. You’ll want to confirm ahead of time to avoid any headaches or unnecessary fines.
Needed Space for PODS Container
One of the unique things about PODS is PODZILLA, the hydraulic system that drops off and picks up your portable container. However, in order for this system to work it needs a specific amount of space. You’ll want to make sure you have a clear path that is 12-feet wide, 15-feet high, and 40-feet long (which can include your drive as well as the space available for maneuvering in the street). If you’re getting the PODS container put in a parking lot, you’ll want to reserve two parking spaces. You can also get your PODS container in a single parking space but you’ll need three adjacent spots for drop off and pick up. Note that there is an extra fee if your PODS container will be placed on a non-paved surface due to the extra labor required for the unit to work properly.
3. Numerous Sizes of PODS Containers Are Available
A common misconception with PODS containers is that they are a one-size-fits-all solution. But, the reality is that we all have homes of different sizes. PODS containers actually come in three different sizes, so whether you’re moving a studio apartment or a two-bedroom home, PODS has a container that’s the perfect fit. To get a better idea of what size PODS container to rent, see the calculator on this page.
- 7-Foot Container: Comparable to a 5’x10’ storage unit or a 10’ moving truck, the small PODS container is ideal for studio apartments and homes under 500 sq. ft and has a weight limit of 5,200 lbs.
- 12-Foot Container: Comparable to a 10’x10’ storage unit or a 15’ moving truck, the medium PODS container is recommended for homes between 500-800 sq. ft. (or a home with 2-3 rooms) and has a weight limit of 4,700 lbs.
- 16-Foot Container. Comparable to a 10’x15’ storage unit or a 20’ moving truck, the large PODS container is ideal for spaces up to 1,200 sq. ft. (or a home with 3-4 rooms) and has a weight limit of 4,200 lbs.
4. Storing Your PODS Is Easy
Whether you got a sudden job offer on the other side of the country or your new home isn’t quite move-in ready, PODS is an excellent solution given that they offer storage services. Once you load your PODS container it is sent to a storage facility where it is kept until your new place is ready. If you don’t need your things moved but simply need to store your belongings due to renovations, PODS containers also work great for on-site storage. Likewise, PODS containers can be picked up, stored, and dropped off at the same location for your convenience if needed.
5. Available for Local and Long-Distance Moves
PODS makes moving easy whether you’re moving down the coast, across the country, or just around the corner. When you use a PODS container, you get more flexibility in your move since you can load or unload whenever your schedule allows, making it a logical moving solution for any busy individual or family. Even if your journey takes you north of the border, PODS can help with their Canadian branch, making your international move as painless as possible.
6. PODS Are Easy to Load and Unload
Unlike other moving solutions, PODS are portable containers that go directly on the ground. This helps save your back since you don’t have to do any heavy lifting into the back of a moving truck. Plus, you can avoid any mishaps from boxes falling off the ramp as you move things onto the truck. PODS also gives you the freedom to load and unload your container at your convenience making moving work around your schedule, rather than adjusting your schedule to accommodate your move.
Hire Help to Load Your PODS
PODS containers are designed to make the moving process as easy and flexible as imaginable. Even though the ground-level design makes the container easy to load, it doesn’t mean you have to be on your own when it comes to packing. Instead, you can hire a team to help you pack and load your PODS container. To help, PODS has shortlisted three different providers that offer qualified teams to help you pack and load your belongings into your PODS container. Or, you can always rope in your friends, family, and neighbors to help you move, paying them with a pizza and beer once you’re done for the day.
It’s important to remember you won’t have access to your belongings when your PODS container is being shipped to your new home. To make sure you have what you need while you’re in transition, it’s important to pack a bag of essentials that you’ll need, making sure you also set aside your important documents and electronics that you want to keep safe. For the things you do pack in your PODS container, consider using plastic, structured boxes to minimize any risk of water damage or boxes collapsing (which in turn could damage your belongings). Also, don’t forget to label so you can easily find what you’re looking for when you start to unpack.
7. Your New State May Require a Gypsy Moth Inspection
Gypsy moths can wreak havoc on the environment and many states do everything they can to protect their state’s wildlife and crops. Depending on where you are moving from or moving to, you may be required to have a gypsy moth inspection. This will require you to do the inspection yourself or you can hire a qualified professional. It is recommended that you do the inspection on moving day if you are moving between April and August. If that isn’t possible, your items should be sealed under a tarp after the inspection is completed. The PODS team will let you know if the inspection will be required and give you the specific checklist required.
8. You Can Insure Your Possessions with PODS during Transit and Storage
Whenever you’re moving you want to do everything possible to protect your belongings. Oftentimes your homeowners insurance will help cover your possessions. PODS requires you to have insurance for both your contents and the container. PODS does offer insurance if your existing insurance doesn’t cover either, meaning you have the option to insure just the container or the contents as well through PODS Protection. You can sign up for this coverage when you order your PODS container.
9. Not All Items Can Be Moved Using PODS
While PODS is a convenient solution, it’s important to remember that there are some items you should avoid packing away in your container. Items you’ll want to keep with you are valuable items like your important paperwork, jewelry, firearms, computers, medicines, photo albums, or sentimental items. This way, even if something should unexpectedly happen to your container, your most precious things will be safe. Additionally, you should avoid packing any living things like plants, hazardous materials (paints, aerosols, pool chemicals, batteries, nail polish remover, etc.), motorized vehicles, lawn mowers, or perishable food in your PODS container.
10. Always Secure Your PODS Container with a Lock
Each PODS container locks to protect the belongings you have put inside. When you order a PODS container you have the option to purchase a lock directly through the company or you can use your own. It is recommended that you use a 2 ¾” (70mm) disc lock or a 1 ¾” padlock. For peace of mind, you may want to take a photo of your lock before you ship off your container so that you know the lock wasn’t tampered with during shipping or storage.
Skip The Truck and Order a PODS!
If you’re looking for a flexible moving solution, then PODS is one of the best options available. They’re easy to load and can easily be stored while you wait for your new home to be ready. Whether you are moving to a different neighborhood in the same city or to the other side of the country, PODS is the moving solution designed to make the entire moving process easier. Just make sure to book your PODS container early so you can ensure a container is available for your moving dates. And use out PODS savings code to save 5% off the cost of your move!
This review of PODS moving containers was originally published in December 2011. It has been updated to include changes in PODS policies and practices.