Frustrated homeowner packing a PODS container

The Pros and Cons of a PODS Container, and Another Option You’ll Love

Moving is one of the most stressful things someone can do in their lives. There are many moving parts from house-hunting to showing your home and, of course, moving day itself. Keeping the stress at bay can be difficult, but there are ways to make it more manageable, like clearing out some of the clutter ahead of time. Boxing up the stuff you don’t need is a great way to make the house look cleaner when showing it and cut down on some of the work as moving day draws near. However, even if your items are in boxes, you still need a place to store them. Otherwise, they will take up space in a room and leave it looking cluttered. Thankfully, there are options to keep that clutter safe outside your home. One popular storage option is a PODS container, which offers many advantages but also comes with some drawbacks.

What Is PODS?

The name stands for “Portable On Demand Storage,” which the company has branded as PODS. While PODS is by far the most recognizable name in the portable storage industry, some well-known companies like U-Haul and some smaller knock-offs offer the same type of service. These services offer a mobile storage unit that can be dropped off in your driveway indefinitely and moved when you are ready.

So whether you are using them to store furniture during a renovation or you need your furniture packed up and moved across the country, PODS can do that. The physical pods, or containers, come in three different sizes and are made of durable steel to protect everything you put inside. Location, material, and added security features like keyed entry all but ensure the safety of your belongings. PODS containers can also be stored off-site at one of their secured storage centers.

What Is the Rental Process?

Renting a PODS container is relatively simple, but there is a process involved. Before making a final decision, you should consider if this process is right for your needs at the moment.

  1.  The first thing you will want to do is decide what size PODS container you will need and how long you want it. You will also need to consider whether you plan on moving it and if you want to store it on location or at a PODS secure storage facility.
  2.  The next step is to choose where you want the PODS container dropped off, as well as the date and time you’ll accept it.
  3.  Load the PODS container at your own pace; remember that you are paying by the month, so make sure your pace is not too slow.
  4.  Once the container is full, contact PODS to take it to a storage facility or move it to your next destination.

The Cost of Renting PODS Containers

The cost of renting a PODS container depends on many variables. They are less expensive than hiring a moving service. But PODS rentals aren’t exactly cheap, especially if you are moving them across the country. Every price will depend on a variety of variables. But here is some information to ballpark how much a container could cost you.

The most expensive thing you can do is move across the country. Long-distance moves will cost you, with the lowest starting rate being around $800. Those rates increase depending on the number of miles you are moving and the duration of time you will need storage.

The rates are slightly more reasonable if you are looking for local storage. A 12-foot container starts at around $110 per month, and a 16-foot container comes in at $120 per month. However, the company’s website states that these rates are subject to change based on the rental duration, availability, and location. So there is no guarantee that those prices will be close to what you are actually quoted.

The Pros and Cons of PODS

Belongings being stored in a PODS container

Now that you know the basics, you can decide if a pod is right for you by considering some of the pros and cons.

Pros

1. Convenience

Convenience is by far the main attraction of these storage units. Packing them at your own pace and having them right outside your home is a huge plus. Being able to pop into your unit and grab something that you have already packed and didn’t think you would need again is invaluable. There is also the convenience of having someone else pick it up and drop it off for you.

2. On-Site Storage

They are a fantastic option for those looking for temporary storage but who don’t want to move their stuff too far. For example, PODS is an option for someone doing a home remodel who only wants to move items out of a room for a short period.

3. Stress-Free Moving

One of the most stressful parts of the home buying and selling process is juggling the time between selling your old home and moving into your new one. That is not a problem with PODS since you can store your goods in them indefinitely. It also wipes out the stress of driving a massive moving truck — which is never fun no matter how short the trip.

Cons

While there are many benefits to PODS, they are not always the best solution. These cons may have you considering other options.

1. Finite Space

Even with larger PODS containers, you will find yourself running out of room to move pretty fast. Also, the stuff that gets packed first will be almost impossible to reach when the unit is full.

2. No Temperature Control

They do a pretty good job at keeping out the elements. But PODS containers aren’t as good as traditional storage units or homes for keeping out things like heat and humidity.

3. They Require Space

PODS containers are great in theory as long as you have a place to put them. If your driveway isn’t big enough, this won’t be an option for you. Neighbors may also not be pleased with the way the container looks in your driveway. But putting it anywhere else on your property could cause damage to your landscaping. This is an extra complication at a time when you are looking to sell your property.

4. Unpredictability

Even with timeframes and quotes in place, you still won’t know the exact pick-up and drop-off time or your final bill until all is said and done. This unpredictability can wreak havoc on timeframes and budgets, making it a riskier option at an already stressful time.

Can I Have a PODS Container in My Neighborhood?

This could be another disadvantage to using PODS, but it is significant enough to warrant its own space. There are some cases in which PODS containers are not an option. This can include use in some apartment complexes and neighborhoods with an HOA that forbids them. It is essential to check all HOA guidelines and city ordinances before you spend the money on the container. Make sure you’ll actually be able to use it without possibly accruing fines and fees on top of that.

An Alternative Option

Wouldn’t it be easier and a lot cheaper to be able to store your stuff in your neighbor’s garage? That is an option with Neighbor. You will get most of the benefits of PODS with none of the downsides. Regular people like you rent out space in their homes and driveways for you to use so you know that your stuff will be safe in your neighbor’s garage while you are completing your home remodel or moving across town. Neighbor offers space at a fraction of the price of a PODS container with more flexibility and no worries about issues with the HOA. When it comes to long-haul moves, PODS may be the best option. But if you are staying local, compare Neighbor to see how you can benefit from our services.

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