The Ultimate Guide to Moving Storage Pods: Everything You Need to Know

Are you planning a move and considering using moving storage pods? These convenient and flexible containers have become increasingly popular for both local and long-distance moves. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about moving storage pods, from how they work to the benefits they offer and tips for packing and storing your belongings.

What are Moving Storage Pods?

Moving storage pods, also known as portable moving containers or mobile storage units, are large, sturdy containers that are delivered to your home, allowing you to pack and load your belongings at your own pace. Once you’ve finished loading, the pod is picked up and transported to either a storage facility or your new home. Moving pods differ from traditional moving trucks in that they provide ground-level loading and can be used for both moving and storage purposes.

Common sizes for moving pods include:

  • 7-foot pod: Ideal for 1-2 rooms, with dimensions of approximately 7′ x 7′ x 8′.
  • 12-foot pod: Ideal for 2-3 rooms, with dimensions of approximately 12′ x 8′ x 8′.
  • 16-foot pod: Ideal for 3-4 rooms, with dimensions of approximately 16′ x 8′ x 8′.
moving storage pods

Some moving pod companies also offer larger sizes, such as 20-foot or 24-foot pods, for more extensive moves or storage needs.

How Do Moving Storage Pods Work?

The process of using moving storage pods is straightforward and typically follows these steps:

  1. Delivery: The empty pod is delivered to your current location, either in your driveway or curbside if you don’t have a driveway.
  2. Loading: You load the pod yourself, or hire professional movers to assist you. Most companies provide a set number of days for loading, typically ranging from 3 to 7 days.
  3. Transportation: Once you’ve finished loading, the pod is picked up and transported to either a storage facility or your new home, depending on your needs.
  4. Storage: If you need temporary storage, your pod can be kept at a secure storage facility until you’re ready for it to be delivered to your new location.
  5. Access: Many companies allow you to access your belongings during storage if needed, though there may be additional fees for this service.
  6. Final Delivery: When you’re ready, the pod is delivered to your new location for unloading.

Using Pods When You Have a Driveway

If you have a driveway, using moving pods becomes even more convenient. The pod can be placed directly in your driveway, allowing you to load and unload your belongings easily. You can also keep the pod at your location for an extended period, giving you the flexibility to pack at your own pace.

Using Pods Without a Driveway

For homes without a driveway, moving pods can still be an option. The pod can be parked curbside, though you may need to obtain a permit from your local municipality. A hydraulic lift system is used to facilitate loading and unloading, and the driver will stay with the pod throughout the process.

Benefits of Using Moving Storage Pods

There are numerous benefits to using moving storage pods for your next move:

  • Flexibility: Pack and load on your own schedule, without the time constraints of a rental truck.
  • Convenience: Ground-level loading eliminates the need for ramps or stairs, making it easier to move heavy or bulky items.
  • Affordability: Often less expensive than hiring full-service movers, especially for long-distance moves.
  • Security: Weatherproof and secure steel-frame construction protects your belongings from the elements and potential theft.
  • Stress reduction: Pods can make the moving process less overwhelming by allowing you to take your time and work at your own pace.
  • Storage options: The ability to store your pod at a secure facility for as long as needed, eliminating the need for multiple moves or temporary storage solutions.
moving storage pods

What Can You Store in Moving Pods?

Moving pods are versatile and can accommodate a wide range of items, including:

  • Furniture and appliances
  • Boxes of personal belongings (clothes, books, dishes, etc.)
  • Vehicles, motorcycles, and ATVs
  • Seasonal decorations and sporting equipment
  • Business inventory and equipment
  • Household tools and equipment

What Not to Store in Pods

However, there are certain items that should not be stored in moving pods due to safety concerns or the risk of damage:

  • Hazardous materials, chemicals, and paint
  • Perishable food items
  • Valuables like jewelry, cash, and important documents
  • Living plants and animals
  • Flammable or explosive materials

It’s important to check with your moving pod company for a complete list of prohibited items.

Packing Tips for Using Moving Pods

To ensure a successful move with storage pods, consider the following packing tips:

  1. Gather adequate moving supplies: Stock up on boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and other packing materials to protect your belongings.
  2. Declutter and downsize: Before packing, take the opportunity to declutter and get rid of items you no longer need, reducing the amount you need to move.
  3. Pack heavier items in smaller boxes: Smaller boxes are easier to handle and less likely to become too heavy when filled with dense items.
  4. Label boxes clearly: Label boxes clearly on all sides, indicating the contents and destination room. This will make unpacking much easier.
  5. Create an inventory list: Make a detailed inventory list of what’s in each box for easy reference during unpacking.
  6. Disassemble large furniture: Disassemble large furniture pieces and secure all parts together to prevent damage or loss during transit.
  7. Use moving blankets and tie-downs: Use moving blankets and tie-downs to prevent items from shifting during transport, which can cause damage.
  8. Place frequently needed items near the pod door: Pack items you’ll need immediate access to, such as essential household items or tools, near the pod door for easy retrieval.
  9. Consider weight distribution: When loading the pod, consider weight distribution to ensure stability and prevent shifting during transport.
moving storage pods

Choosing the Right Size Storage Pod

Selecting the appropriate size storage pod is crucial for a successful move. Consider the following factors when making your decision:

  • The size of your current home: The number of rooms and overall square footage will determine how much space you need.
  • The number of belongings you need to move: If you have a lot of furniture, appliances, or other large items, you may need a larger pod.
  • Your budget for moving and storage costs: Larger pods typically come with higher rental and transportation fees.

Refer to the table below for a general guide on pod sizes and their ideal use:

Pod Size

Ideal Use


1-2 rooms, studio or small apartment


2-3 rooms, small to medium-sized home


3-4 rooms, medium to large home


4-5 rooms, large home or small business


5+ rooms, very large home or commercial storage needs

Larger and combination sizes are also available for more extensive moving needs.

Comparing Popular Moving Pod Companies

There are several popular moving pod companies to choose from, each with its own unique features and pricing. Some of the most well-known include:

  • Storage-Tech: Storage-Tech stands as a trailblazer in the realm of power-coated storage containers, specializing in both onsite and offsite storage solutions tailored for the construction, residential, and commercial sectors.
  • PODS: The pioneer of the moving pod concept, offering flexible storage and moving solutions. PODS has a wide network of storage facilities across the United States and Canada.
  • U-Pack ReloCubes: Affordable moving containers with a pay-for-what-you-use policy. U-Pack ReloCubes are designed for long-distance moves and can be transported by truck or rail.
  • 1-800-PACK-RAT: Offers all-steel, weatherproof containers with ground-level loading. 1-800-PACK-RAT has a network of storage facilities across the United States.
  • ABF U-Pack: Provides budget-friendly moving services with a wide range of container sizes. ABF U-Pack is a division of the freight transportation company ABF Freight.
  • United Mayflower: Offers portable storage containers and full-service moving options. United Mayflower is a national moving company with a network of local agents.

When comparing moving pod companies, consider factors such as pricing, container sizes, availability in your area, and any additional services or features that may be important to you. Many companies offer online quotes or calculators to help you estimate costs.

Moving Pods for Local vs. Long-Distance Moves

Moving pods can be used for both local and long-distance moves, but there are some differences to consider:

  • Local moves: Pods are an excellent option for local moves, as they allow you to pack and load at your own pace without the time constraints of a rental truck. You can keep the pod at your current location for as long as needed, making it easier to manage the moving process.

  • Long-distance moves: When using pods for a cross-country move, factor in the additional time needed for transportation and the potential for longer storage periods. Some companies may have restrictions on how long a pod can be in transit or stored before additional fees apply.
fourth picture moving storage pods

For long-distance moves, it’s important to carefully plan your timeline and coordinate with the moving pod company to ensure a smooth transition from your current location to your new home.

Storing Your Pod at a Storage Facility

In addition to using moving pods for transportation, you can also store your pod at a storage facility. This is useful if you need to:

  • Temporarily store your belongings while waiting to move into your new home
  • Declutter your home before listing it for sale
  • Store seasonal items or equipment
  • Accommodate a gap between your move-out and move-in dates

When selecting a storage facility for your pod, consider factors such as:

  • Climate control options: Climate-controlled storage units can protect your belongings from extreme temperatures, humidity, and other environmental factors.
  • Security features: Look for facilities with gated access, surveillance cameras, and on-site management for added security.
  • Accessibility hours and procedures: Understand the facility’s hours of operation and procedures for retrieving items from your pod, in case you need to access your belongings during storage.
  • Location and convenience: Choose a storage facility that is conveniently located and easily accessible for you.

Many moving pod companies have their own network of storage facilities, but you may also have the option to use a third-party storage provider.

Short-term vs. Long-term Pod Storage

Moving pod companies typically offer both short-term and long-term storage options, with pricing varying accordingly:

  • Short-term storage: Ideal for temporary storage needs, such as during a gap between move-out and move-in dates or while waiting for your new home to be ready. Short-term storage is often more affordable, with pricing based on a monthly rate.

  • Long-term storage: For extended storage needs, such as storing seasonal items or decluttering before a move, long-term storage may be a better option. Long-term storage rates are typically lower than short-term rates, but may require a minimum rental period or upfront payment.

Be sure to discuss your storage needs with the moving pod company to ensure you choose the most cost-effective option for your situation.

Alternatives to Moving Pods

While moving pods offer many benefits, they may not be the best fit for everyone. Some alternatives to consider include:

  • Rental trucks: Companies like U-Haul, Budget, and Penske offer a variety of truck sizes for DIY moves. Rental trucks are a good option for local moves or if you don’t need long-term storage.
  • Full-service movers: If you prefer a hands-off approach, hiring professional movers to handle packing, loading, and transportation may be a better option, especially for larger or more complex moves.
  • Freight moving companies: For long-distance moves, freight companies like ABF Freight and Old Dominion Freight Line can be cost-effective alternatives to moving pods, particularly for transporting larger items or vehicles.
  • Portable moving containers: Companies like SMARTBOX and Go Mini’s offer similar services to moving pods with some variations in container sizes and features.

When evaluating alternatives, consider factors such as cost, convenience, and your specific moving needs. For example, rental trucks may be more affordable for local moves, but moving pods offer greater flexibility and storage options for long-distance or complex moves.


Moving storage pods offer a convenient, flexible, and affordable solution for both local and long-distance moves. By understanding how pods work, the benefits they provide, and the best practices for packing and storing your belongings, you can make an informed decision about whether moving pods are the right choice for your upcoming move.

Consider factors such as the size of your home, the distance of your move, and your storage needs when selecting a moving pod company. With the right preparation and research, moving pods can help make your next move a success.

moving storage pods

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