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How to Pack a Storage Pod for Moving

Jon Fesmire | August 31, 2020 @ 9:00 AM

Moving is tough for many reasons. One of the hardest things about it is time constraints. It always feels like you’re in a rush to pack things up, then to get everything into the moving truck in one morning, then to unload everything into your new home as soon as you get there. To avoid having to do all this yourself, you can hire movers. They handle the entire move, including packing up your belongings, driving them to your new place, and unpacking them, but this may be out of your budget range. Even if you pack all your boxes and just have the moving company load, drive, and unload the truck, you’re looking at a high bill.

In between doing it all yourself and full moving service we have moving pods.

A Time Saver

Think of a pod as a combination self storage unit and moving truck trailer. You have one dropped off in your driveway, where you can take your time loading it for your move. This gives you extra flexibility. No longer do you have to feel rushed to get everything into the truck in one morning. You can do it over several weeks instead.

When you’ve finished loading it, the pod company will load it onto a truck, drive it to your new place, and drop it off. There, you have as long as you need to unload it into your home before having the pod taken away again.

Cheaper than Movers

Yes, you will still need to pay to rent the pod for as long as you’re using it, and for the company to drive it to your destination, but you’ll save money over hiring standard movers.


Now, we come to the process of loading up your pod after you’ve received it. As always, when it comes to preparing to put things in storage or to move, we recommend decluttering. Over time, we all tend to accumulate stuff, and we don’t realize how much of it we’ve stopped using and no longer need. Go through your things one room at a time and decide what you can get rid of. Decide what you can sell, donate, and recycle, and what you must throw out, and do so.

Then, you can be sure that you’ll be moving with the things you need and that are important to you.

Cleaning and Packing

Make sure everything you’re going to pack is clean, free of dirt, dust, grime, and moisture. The former three can cause scratches and other damage to your goods and can attract pests. The latter can encourage mold and mildew to grow.

Make sure most of your boxes are the same size. We suggest document boxes, which are considered small, but which most things fit into well. They’re also extremely sturdy. When most of your boxes match in size, they’re easier to stack.

Label each box by which room it goes in and a number, and, for each box, keep an inventory sheet of what’s in it. You can later transfer this to an Excel or Google Sheets file if you like. This will make it easy to find a specific item if you really need it.

Use crumpled packing paper inside boxes to fill in space between items, and make sure the boxes are packed well. You can also wrap fragile items, like glasses and plates, in several layers of packing paper.

Tape each box shut when finished. Tape will also help keep the boxes even sturdier.

Loading the Pod

This is the trickiest part because you’ll need to do your best to keep the weight as evenly distributed as possible throughout the pod. As such, you may want to plan out where you will put what before loading it.

You’ll need the right tools. These include ratchet straps and elastic straps, or at least a lot of rope. You’ll want moving blankets or regular blankets, and a good hand truck.

Heavy furniture and appliances should go against the walls and be ratched, or tied, in tightly. In general, though, you should load the pod from the back forward in sections. Pack boxes in with heavy boxes on the bottom, going up to lighter, almost up to the ceiling. Secure each of these wall sections with elastic cords or ropes. The pod will have places to connect your ropes along the walls.

Put in your necessities last. Bathroom and kitchen supplies, bedding, and mattresses should form the final row.  Also, make sure to have about six inches of space between the front wall and the final items so that you can get in the door and start unpacking.

Once everything is loaded, you simply need the company you’re working with to pick up the pod and deliver it to your new home on the day of your move!

Again, if you do this right, you’ll have lots of time to load and unload, and that also gives you time to plan. Have a great move!

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