It’s totally understandable if you freak out during your move. After all, you are not sure whether the movers will handle your stuff with care. But what if we told you that you could completely eliminate the part where the movers come to your house and touch your stuff? Let us tell you this, you are perfectly capable of packing your stuff. To be honest, you are the right person for this job because you know your belongings well.

There is nothing more convenient and safer than ordering a portable container, loading it up with your belongings, and hauling it to your new home. This type of move will also let you save some money. However, did you know that your items could get damaged if you don’t pack your moving pod properly? Yes, there is a right way to pack a storage pod and we are here to guide you through the process!

Things to Do Before the Move

Whether you are planning to cook a dish, play a football match or move to a different location, preparation is always necessary. Someone wise once said that you cannot achieve your goals if you don’t plan out your course of action in advance. The secret to loading your storage container efficiently lies in how well you plan and prepare for your move. If you do the following things, rest assured that you can have a smooth loading experience.

1. Eliminate Rather Than Organize

You already know that a move is expensive. The more you carry to your new house, the deeper will you have to dig in your pocket. Isn’t getting rid of unwanted items a better option then? In this phase of the move, walk through your house and think like Marie Kondo. We are sure that there are several items lying around in your house and you have no use for them. Collect all these items and get rid of them.

You can either sell these items online or through yard sales. If they are broken beyond repair, you could send them for recycling or throw them into the trash. There could be some items that are either new or in good conditions, these items can be donated to a charitable organization or gifted to your loved ones. In this way, not only does your move become cheaper, but you can earn/save some money in the process as well.

Also See: 6 Charities that Offer Free Donation Pick Up

2. Planning Ahead

The one piece of advice that everyone will give you is that you must plan ahead. However, planning for a storage container move can get confusing, so let us break it down for you. The first thing that you need to do is create an inventory. A comprehensive inventory will give you an accurate idea about how much stuff you need to move.

Now, you have to search for reputable storage container companies. Keep in mind that you must get a quote, know about the different sizes of containers offered by that company and read up on the reviews when you are trying to collect information on the storage container companies.

Knowing how much stuff you need to move will help you decide on the size of the storage container you need. Once you finalize on a company and a size, you will have to make a reservation for your move.

Did you know that some companies allow you to keep your pod with you for 30 days, while some companies like U-Pack collect the container from your house in 3 days unless you pay some extra fees? You need to know how long it will take to pack the pod. Calculate your moving dates properly and make your reservations accordingly.

3. Prepping your Items for the Move

Before you start packing your items, make sure that you clean them, especially if you don’t plan to unpack your pod immediately after moving to the new place. Let us look at how different kinds of items have to be packed for a storage container move.

  • Furniture and other Appliances: If your appliances or furniture pieces can be disassembled into smaller parts, don’t hesitate to do it. Packing and loading smaller parts is much easier than dealing with bigger and heavier items. This will also reduce the risk of these items getting damaged during the move. Use moving blankets to protect your appliances and furniture pieces.
  • Fragile Items:l Extreme care must be taken when it comes to fragile items. Packing these items with a lot of padding (using wrapping paper, bubble wraps, packing peanuts, pillows, etc.), will ensure that these items do not suffer from breakages during the move.
  • Miscellaneous Items: Other household items like clothes, shoes, linens, kitchenware, etc., should be packed using the right moving supplies. Remember this, the better you pack, the safer your items will be.

Also See: 5 Best Self-Storage Companies

4. Using the Right Boxes

Loading a storage pod is super easy if you are using stackable boxes. The boxes will help you to load up a pod efficiently and in an orderly manner. Packing a pod will be difficult if you use oddly shaped boxes of different sizes. Once you pack your things, divide your boxes based on their weight. Basically, you need to know which boxes are heavy and which ones are light.

Don’t overpack your boxes (a box can only endure so much weight), however, make sure that the items inside each of the boxes are tightly packed. Using smaller boxes to pack heavy items is actually a smart move as you will be able to lift them easily. Similarly, lighter items can be packed into bigger boxes.

Useful Tips to Pack a Storage POD

If you enjoyed playing Tetris in your childhood, packing a storage container will be fun for you. Packing a pod is like a game of Tetris because you have to fit in your stuff inside the pod and make sure that there are no gaps in between your stuff. Have a look at the following tips to know how to pack your storage pod.

1. Focus and Don’t Rush

Did you know that many people try to rush through the process and end up breaking their stuff? Doing this work hurriedly while you are being clumsy or careless can create problems for you. Give yourself time to plan and go through the process carefully. It’s just one of those things that will ensure you are not stressed due to damages sustained by your belongings.

2. Weight Says it All

Distributing the weight of your stuff evenly throughout the container is the thumb rule that you should follow. Loading all the heavy stuff in one corner of the container is a bad idea, don’t even think about doing that. Storing heavy items in one corner can damage your stuff if there are sudden weight shifts during transit.

If you are confused about how you should distribute your stuff evenly, just make sure that you place a couple of heavy boxes/items in each part of the container.

3. Building the Great Wall of Belongings

The general idea here is to pack the storage container from the floor to its ceilings. This will ensure that your items do not move during transit. Packing vertically also allows maximizing the available space in the container.

All you have to do is start placing your boxes one over the other till the last box touches the ceiling of the container. Make sure that you start from the backside of the container and then work till you reach the front of the container. In this way, you will create several layers of a wall that’s made with tiered boxes. Make sure that all the boxes are packed tightly.

Pro tip: Always place the heaviest of the boxes first at the bottom and lighter boxes at the top.

4. Filling in the Gaps

Leaving gaps while packing a storage container is a sin! If your stuff isn’t tightly packed, it will most probably shift during transit and sustain damages. If and when you notice any gaps between your boxes, you must fill these gaps with oddly shaped items (these can go at the top as well), bags filled with soft toys, clothes, pillows, or something as simple as moving blankets. If you pack your stuff tight, the chance of your items suffering from breakages is absolutely minimal.

5. Loading Straps to the Rescue

You will notice that the container that you rented out has several points that allow you to install loading straps. Loading straps are a must because they secure your items in one spot and prevent them from moving.

Once you tie down your items to one place, you can rest assured that they won’t move, come what may! These straps should be used especially for the items placed near the doors of the containers as they prevent your stuff from falling off when the doors are opened.

6. Getting Creative

Packing a storage container can get your creative juices flowing. You have to think out of the box and devise new ways of fitting your stuff into the container. Don’t place objects in a way in which they are conventionally supposed to be placed. For instance, you can turn the couches and mattresses on their sides and place them on either side of the container. This will help you to maximize the available space.

7. Create Barriers

When you start packing, you will eventually reach the front of your container. Create a barrier using a mattress (lay it on its side), cardboard sheets, or boxes near the door so that your stuff does not fall off when the door is opened. However, make sure that there is a little bit of clearance between your barrier and the door. This is so because propping the barrier against the door might interfere with the functioning of the door.

Packing a Storage POD: Do’s

  • Label all your boxes so that you know what exactly is stored inside each box. This will not only reduce chaos and confusion during the entire process, but it will also help you to avoid committing mistakes such as placing the box containing something really fragile at the very bottom (you might do this just because it was a heavy box).
  • Secure all the boxes with the help of a lot of packing tape. This ensures that the boxes do not open up suddenly when you are lifting them.
  • Cover all your furniture items and appliances with moving blankets. Secure these blankets using shrink wrap or moving bands.
  • Make sure that the items that are at the very top of the container are stored in opaque boxes. If not, then cover these items with a sheet of cardboard. This will limit their exposure to light (many items like clothes tend to fade due to prolonged exposure to light).
  • Place some moisture absorbers inside the container, especially if the climate is humid. This stops the growth of mold and mildew and your stuff remains unharmed.
  • Pack the items that you need to unload first, towards the front of the container. There might be some stuff like toiletries, clothes, linens, etc., that you need quick access to when you reach your new place. Loading these items near the door ensures that you don’t have to search through the entire container for them.

See Also: Best Climate-Controlled Self Storage Companies

Packing a Storage POD: Don’ts

  • Don’t try to load your container if it’s raining. Avoid keeping the container out in the rain because the ones you are using might not necessarily be weather-resistant. Packing wet items can result in the growth of mold and mildew.
  • Don’t pack your valuable and irreplaceable items like expensive jewelry, family heirlooms, important papers, and documents, etc., in the container. Although your storage POD is safe, it is better to be safe than sorry. Always carry these things on your person because it is better to keep them with yourself at all times during the move.
  • Don’t pack hazardous, flammable, or perishable substances in your container. Hazardous substances can prove to be super dangerous during a move. Similarly, perishables might attract pests to your container.
  • Don’t pack anything alive (animals or plants) inside the container. Not only is it an inhumane and unethical thing to do, but dead plants and animals also attract pests that destroy your stuff.
  • Don’t be a cheapskate when it comes to buying moving supplies. Buy the right boxes for each and every item of yours. For instance, you might need some special and sturdier boxes (plus a lot of padding) to pack your wine bottles or a flat-screen tv. The better supplies you buy, the safer your stuff is.
  • Lastly and most importantly, don’t forget to securely lock up your container once you are done loading your stuff into it. Keeping it unlocked is basically an open invitation for burglars. Check whether your company provides you with a lock or whether you have to buy one for yourself prior to the move.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you not pack in a pod?

Certain items shouldn’t be packed inside a pod at any cost. Ask your company for a list of items that aren’t allowed inside their storage containers beforehand. Some of the items that aren’t allowed inside a pod are:

  • Hazardous material: For example, batteries, paints, aerosols, fertilizers, charcoal, oils, etc.
  • Anything alive: For example, plants, pet animals like fish, cats, turtles, dogs, etc.
  • Perishable food items: For example, yogurt, fresh produce, ice cream, opened pantry items, etc.

How long can I keep a pod in my driveway?

When you rent out a container from PODS, you can keep the container in your driveway for a maximum of 30 days at no additional costs. Many other companies like U-Haul and 1-800-PACK-RAT also allow you to keep the containers in your driveway for a month. However, companies like U-Pack and Zippy Shell let you keep their containers in your driveway for only 3 days.

Bottom Line

Packing your storage pod isn’t difficult at all, as long as you think logically. We know that a move is stressful. But you will realize that certain hacks can magically relieve your stress. Planning meticulously and packing your storage POD properly is one of those hacks that can make your life easier during a move. So, what are you waiting for? Plan, execute, and conquer!