All You Need to Know Before Renting a Moving Container

When talk of do-it-yourself moves, portable moving and storage containers offer a convenient alternative to moving truck rentals and other related methods. An ideal solution for remodeling and renovation projects as well as any residential or commercial relocation is also provided.

All You Need to Know Before Renting a Moving Container

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They can be loaded onto a moving truck for transport down the block or across the country due to their portable nature. People get to load, pack, and transport their belongings with ease using moving containers.

The containers remain on the grounds in your home or office as delivered by the moving container company while someone loads it up with your possessions. You can call the container company to have a professional driver pick it up and deliver it to the next location when you are ready to move.

You are now left with the unloading of the goods and move in. You might have seen the containers on the grounds of your neighbor’s local businesses or home. Before you move in and while you are renting the cheapest storage units, there are a few things that you should know when it comes to renting a moving storage unit for the first time.

You might find out that renting a moving container serves you the least stressful relocation you have ever had with the right information and help. While this option offers more convenience to move, you even enjoy it more if you required information about how it works before renting one.

This is what this post aims to do for you today. We will be sharing the information you may to choose right and at an affordable rate. Proceed, as we unveil the secret.

What is a Moving Container?

Most moving containers are steel-framed and weather-proof boxes that can be left outdoors for long periods of time during the relocation process. They mostly come with a lock and key for additional security as well.

Wood-framed containers with weatherproof covering are being offered by a few portable moving container companies. There are different sizes of moving containers.

The capacity of the smallest size of moving containers available at most moving companies can hold up to a room and a half of furniture, equaling to the size of a small furnished apartment while larger moving containers can hold around 3 to 4 bedrooms worth of furniture.

You may have to rent more than a moving container to hold all of your possessions depending on the sizes your moving container offers.

How does Moving Container Rental Work?

Moving container services are all fairly the same even though they vary from company to company. These portable storage containers are delivered to your front doorstep by the moving container company a few days before your move while they give customers some days to load their moving containers with their possessions.

The moving container company will pick the container up and drive it to its destination once the customer is done with packing.

This is partially a hybrid do-it-yourself move. The customer does the packing and unpacking of the container themselves, while the moving container company delivers the portable container to the customer’s specified destination.

The container company will pick the container up and return it to a service center once you have finished unloading your moving container.

When should I use a Moving Container?

For people who want to easily load and unload their possessions in a specific location, on their own schedules, moving containers are a perfect fit, as it is also a better fit for those moving fewer possessions while going a shorter distance.

Portable storage, many times could be your best option when planning a move. For instance, you call a moving container company when your lease ends on the 14th of the month, and you cannot get the key to your home until the 25th – moving containers is the answer to your case.

Can my Moving Companies help me with Moving Containers too?

All you need to do is ask; professionals can load and unload moving containers just as they would also do the rental moving truck. For people who are looking to make a full-service relocation at a cheaper cost, or especially, to pull off hybrid relocation, moving containers can be a perfect choice.

It is also a perfect choice for those who need storage. You get a stress-free move when you hire professionals to do it for you. Professional long distance movers are worth considering if you want to save yourself from stress and your relationships by not having to ask family and friends for help.

What are the available Moving Container Sizes?

A popular choice for those moving and/or looking for storage facilities is PODS because of the container’s steel-framed and weather-resistant containers together with the ramp-free loading.

Tie-downs, steel locking latches and a lock and key for security are all included in each PODS. The company’s containers are also built to withstand up to 110 mph winds according to PODS.

Below are the 3 different container sizes offered by PODS:

1. 7-foot container

This 7-ft container is approximately 7 x 7 x 8. The container is suitable for small-volume relocation and storage according to PODS and is widely used as a shipping container or storage unit for studio and apartment moves.

The inside of the container can hold one full room of furniture, as it offers 385 cubic feet of packing space. The company claims that the 7-ft moving container is comparable to a 10-ft long rental moving truck.

Popular uses of this container, according to PODS, include:

  • College student relocation
  • Estate relocation
  • Studio apartment relocation
  • Smaller dwelling relocation
  • Relocating possessions to a second home
  • Temporary storage for small renovation and remodeling projects such as bathroom remodels

Both in the United States and Canada, the 7-ft container is available for long-distance move. This container is also offered for local moving and storage by many PODS locations.

2. 12-foot container

This 12-ft container is approximately 12 x 8 x 8, and the container is the perfect solution for moving an apartment or house with 2 or 3 rooms according to PODS.

The inside of the container is comparable to a rental moving truck that is 15 feet long and offers 689 cubic feet of packing space.

Popular uses of this container, according to PODS, include:

  • Moving homes with 2 to 3 rooms
  • Larger apartment relocation
  • Office relocation
  • Home restoration and remodeling projects

This 12-ft container can only be used for in-town moving and storage and is available at most PODS locations.

3. 16-foot Container

The 16-ft container is approximately 16 x 8 x 8. The container is the company’s largest moving container option and is a major choice for moving home with 3 or 4 rooms according to PODS.

The interior of the moving container offers 857 cubic feet of packing space. PODS claims that this moving container can be compared with a rental moving truck that is 20 feet long.

Popular uses of this container, according to PODS, include:

  • Moving homes with 3 to 4 bedrooms
  • Office relocations
  • Large home restoration and remodeling projects

Both in the United States and Canada, the 16-ft container is available for long-distance relocation. This container is also offered for local moving and storage by many PODS locations.

What are the other Portable Moving Container Options?

There are multiple other moving container options available to those moving and looking for storage in addition to PODS options. Below are a few of the most generally known companies with their available sizes:

1. U-Haul’s U-Box Containers

When it comes to moving and storage with their moving containers, plenty of flexibility is being offered to customers by U-Haul’s U-Boxes.

Both superior convenience options and the low-cost, do-it-yourself option, and the most cost-effective option are all available for customers to choose from U-Boxes from U-Haul.

Their containers come in one size, measuring 96 x 60 x 90, offering 257 cubic feet and have the capacity to hold up to 2,000 pounds of belongings.

Providing 24-hour access for customers, U-Haul’s storage facilities are climate controlled and secure. These containers are up for rent to those storing their possessions on a convenient, month-to-month basis.

2. 1-800-PACK-RAT

This company’s portable containers are a popular choice for those looking to move and/or store their possessions with its heavy emphasis on durability and security. The containers are designed with steel frames, walls, and barn-style doors and are weatherproof.

Their containers are also equipped with video surveillance with climate-controlled. 1-800-PACK-RAT’s containers come in three different sizes: 16-ft, 12-ft, and 8-ft for added convenience.

3. ABF U-Pack ReloCubes

This company offers ReloCube moving containers that are weatherproof and metal. For those moving and/or looking for storage, the moving container company is a popular choice because customers can reserve as many ReloCubes as they think they will need for their move, and they only have to make payment for the ones they use.

For added security, the company also allows customers to use their own padlocks on the ReloCube. U-Pack doesn’t require a down payment or deposit according to the company’s website.

You can pay by credit card for the number of ReloCubes you ended up utilizing after you have finished loading up the container.

4. United Mayflower’s Containers

The company’s containers include a galvanized steel frame, smooth interior walls, and waterproof materials to keep your possessions properly protected at all times.

To prevent possessions from shifting while on the road, the containers are also equipped with a translucent roof that allows light into the container, so that customers can see what’s inside without stress as well as flush-mounted tie-down rings.

United Mayflower’s moving containers are 16’ long x 8 wide x 8 high and can hold the household contents of a 1,500 square-foot home.

What does it Cost to Rent a Moving Container?

This service is divided into two – moving and storage. Based on the need, the consumer may decide to use one of the two services. Let’s take one after the other.


To determine the cost of moving with a PODS container, the size of the container rented, the duration of the rental, and the number of miles the customer is moving are all the factors to be considered. Costs, according to PODS will vary based on where the customer is moving from and to.

The long-distance move begins as low as $800 but varies depending on the miles the customer is traveling and how many months of storage are needed. PODS state that cheaper move is local ones.


Both options for storing PODS containers on their property or at a PODS storage location are available to customers.

Rates for storing PODS moving container on the customer’s personal property start as low as $110 per month for a 12-foot moving container and $120 for a 16-foot moving container according to PODS.

Monthly rental rates, however, vary and are dependent on storage duration, moving container availability, and location.

Can a Moving Container be used for Storage?

Yes. Moving container has many advantages, and one of it is that they double as storage containers. Moving container companies will pick up your moving container and deliver them to a storage facility of your choice.

Customers are allowed by many moving container companies to store their moving containers on their personal property.

Be sure to find out whether the facility is climate controlled and secure if you are storing a moving container in a storage facility.

Most container companies offer storage services on a monthly basis in terms of signing a contract for storage.

Main Advantages of Using Moving Containers

Below are the 3 main advantages to using a moving container over other moving services:

  • Moving containers appear to be a cost-efficient way to relocate to a new home.
  • Moving containers offer customers flexibility with their relocation. You should be able to move on your own timeline when using a moving container.
  • Moving containers are ideal for complicated relocations as they can double as storage.

Can anything and everything be packed inside a Moving Container?

No. Not all possessions are allowed inside a moving container the same way as full-service national moving companies. There are many solid reasons behind this.

For starters, gasoline, motor, oil lighter, fluid, paints, propane tanks, cleaning solvents, and other flammable possessions are absolutely not allowed to be packed inside a moving container.

Hazardous materials, such as poisons, loaded guns, ammonia, scuba tanks, fertilizer, and even nail polish, are not permitted inside moving containers either.

You will also want to avoid packing plants, as each state has its own rules about which plants can and cannot be imported if driving a moving container from one state to another.

Perishable food such as refrigerated fare and valuables are other examples of possessions to avoid packing inside of a moving container, as you wouldn’t want your valuables to be stolen or broken during your move.

Think it over before packing money, jewelry, important documents, electronics, and sentimental possessions inside a moving container.

Where should I start?

Learning about the different companies and types of containers they have is the first step. To get all the information you may probably need for them, feel free to check out our post on Top 5 Moving Container Services.

You can easily find your best moving Container Company for your move, based on your budget, availability, and type of container, since every moving container company’s information, is contained in the article.

Calling up the sales agent to get the details on their availability is the next step, find the perfect fit for you and make a reservation.

Deciding whether to hire professionals to help you complete tasks such as loading and unloading the container is the final step.

You have the dominion to decide on how long they work for and what possessions they move for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some ways that I can save money on packing supplies?

Filling up a moving container for a cross-country move or long-term storage requires certain supplies to pack your items safely. Those items include boxes or containers, bubble wrap, tape and packing paper.

One of the best ways to save money on these items is by asking around in your local community. Ask friends, family or neighbors if they have any mid-sized or larger boxes lying around.

Many businesses have left over boxes they might be willing to donate, while some thrift shops and secondhand stores may have a collection of boxes for free or very cheap.

What is the best way to pack items into boxes so nothing is damaged?

Packing items into boxes is a delicate process that should not be done carelessly. If you pack your boxes incorrectly, you could open them up to broken belongings. One tip is to place heavier items at the bottom, as they may crush lighter, more delicate items if placed on top.

It is also wise to wrap delicate or breakable items in a protective layer of bubble wrap, packing paper or clothes – anything to shield the item from everything else in the box. We also recommend you fill up your boxes to the top with paper, bubble wrap or a towel so items are not tossing around in the box when it is moved.

I am worried the moving container I ordered is too small. What are my options?

It may be expensive for you to request a different size moving container from the company at the last minute. Your best option is to try and squeeze everything into the container by stacking boxes on top of each other.

Do it safely by putting heavier boxes at the bottom, and then stacking lighter ones on top. Ensure this is done near a corner or the back of the container, so the boxes do not fall down when the container moves.

You could choose to eliminate one or two larger items from the move, such as furniture. Perhaps you have a very old sofa or appliance that would be affordable to replace. Eliminating it from the move would save you a lot of space.

Do I need a special permit to place the moving container outside my home or apartment?

It depends on your circumstances. If you are placing the moving container on your property, you may not require any permits. Check with housing associations in your neighborhood to double check.

Those who live in apartments, or may need to park the moving van on the side of the road for a few days, should check local laws to ensure they are obtaining the relevant permits or approvals.

The last thing you want is someone coming to tow your moving van, which is why you should arrange any permits in advance of its arrival.

Are there items I am not permitted to put into the moving container?

Yes, moving containers are not a place for every item inside your home. For instance, flammable items or hazardous materials should not go into the moving container. Any house plants are not permitted either.

Pets are not allowed in the moving container, and you cannot place a motorcycle in there either. All vehicles must be shipped separately through car or motorcycle shipping services.

While they are not banned, it is not wise to place valuables such as jewelry, laptops, checkbooks, car titles, medical or dental records, or financial documents inside the moving container. Take these items with you in the car, or in your luggage if you are traveling by train or plane.


Renting a moving container is your best option if you want a hybrid do-it-yourself move. Once you decide on the size of the container you want to rent and the duration of time you will need it for, the container company will drop it off, picks it up from your old home after loading, delivers it to your new home, and picks it up after you must have unloaded it. If you hate the driving aspect of the DIY move, go for the moving container if you don’t mind the heavy lifting involved. Share your experience with moving container services!

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