You will need to go for the best moving option that perfectly fit your needs and budget if you are planning to move either short or long distance regardless.
You are most certainly looking for the most secure and stress-free solution to your local or interstate move while getting ready to relocate and at the same time making sure you didn’t spend beyond your budget.
When it comes to moving from one home to another, there are a number of options you can explore to achieve your goal of smooth and less-hassle relocation. Two of the moving options available to you are full-service moving services or portable moving containers services which are the most popular moving options today.
Portable moving containers can be called be several names such as PODs, mobile self-storage, minis, etc., depending on which company you choose. You will need to consider the following factors while weighing your options:
- The volume of the household items
- Personal time constraint
- Your moving budget
- Inventory of all your items, especially fragile items like a piano, pool table, hot tub, antiques, etc.
- What tasks can you handle? Decide on any or all of disassembly/reassembly, packing, loading, unloading, etc.
Both your needs and the best solution to them will be determined when you consider these factors. This aims to look at these two options in a view to enlighten our esteem readers on the best option for their moving needs.
What are Full-Service Professional Moving Services?
Moving companies that offer a wide range and all-around service for every part of the relocation process are known as full-service national movers. Full-service national movers help you with packing, unlike pods where you do it by yourself.
From packing, loading, transport, unloading to unpacking, most full-service moving companies help you out but at a cost. The total weight of your belongings and the distance to be traveled to your new home are usually the major deciding factors on how much full-service movers would charge you.
However, there are pros and cons to this option. Let’s look into this quickly.
There are many benefits of using professional moving services for your move. Considering the stress of packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking, a full-service moving service is an option to explore.
Below are some of the pros of moving with a full-service moving company:
- You won’t have to do any heavy lifting: It means you will not have to lift a finger on moving day when you hire a full-service moving company, as they are professionally trained experts in the lifting of heavy items. They will know exactly how to maneuver a couch through the door as well as carrying moving boxes down the stairs without damaging your belongings or scratching the floor.
- Movers minimize stress: Hiring professional movers gives you a great edge to those who didn’t, as moving can be a very frustrating process. It is never an easy task to relocate. When it comes to reducing the stress of a move, your professional mover will do wonders provided they are pleasant, efficient, and reliable. You can let the movers handle the disassembly, lifting, loading, and other stressful moving tasks as soon as they get to your doorstep.
- Timely delivery: They will also be able to finish up your relocation job in a timely manner provided they are also trained on proper ways to handle both loading and unloading of a moving truck (this is not an issue when you hire the right moving company). This will give you enough time to take care of other personal things.
- You won’t have to go through the stress of finding moving supplies: Moving supplies such as moving straps, moving blankets, dollies and others will definitely be rent or purchased by those planning a DIY move. Moving your electronics, appliances, and furniture necessitates the need to get these items. Your move could take a longer time to complete, and your possessions are also more likely to get damaged along with the move if you do not have the appropriate moving supplies ready. Fortunately, all of these necessary moving supplies will be provided by the professional movers; so you have no cause to worry about getting them.
For every advantage of a service, there are also associated disadvantages or cons. While full-service moving service is a good match for many people, some factors make it a go area for some people. Below are some cons of hiring a full-service moving company:
- You will have less control over your move: You will no longer have sole control over every part of the move when you hire a professional moving company. You will not be able to decide if things are being done to your liking or how your items are being loaded into the moving truck. You may choose a different relocation method if you are one of those people who prefers a DIY approach to things.
- Hiring movers are pricey: The average cost of a local move according to the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) is $2,300 (for four movers at $200/hour). They also estimate that the average cost of long-distance relocation is $4300 based on an average weight of 7,400 pounds which makes it cost even more than the local move because of the deciding factors which are the weight of the belongings and the distance to the destination home. Ensure you are ready to cover the costs of hiring professional movers before you set out for one.
- You will have to vet movers first: You are basically inviting strangers over to your house and also opening up yourself to potential moving scams when you hire a moving company. Hence, don’t just hire any company anyhow – ensure you check if the moving company is licensed and insured properly to avoid falling victim to rogue moving companies. Through the Moving Company Directory at Feedback Moving’s website, you can also check complaint history and Better Business Bureau ratings of moving companies.
What are Moving PODS?
Portable on Demand Storage which is commonly referred to as PODS is another moving options popular in the moving industry. The use of moving pods is one of the moving options that is making the waves lately.
A portable storage container rented by the user who is either in need of temporary storage or getting ready for relocation is known as a pod.
A pod is also known as the temporary storage used by those planning an international move to pack and store their possessions until the time the items are ready to be picked up by the moving company to their destination home.
Similar to the containers found in storage yards are pods. Pods come in different sizes from 12 to 16 feet in height. While you pack your things and load them inside a pod, you can place them in your backyard or in front of your house.
You can then call the pod company to have them pick the loaded pod up and then transport it to your destination home once you are ready. This is far cheaper than hiring a professional moving company; though comes with some disadvantages.
Some of the pros of using POD for your move include:
- Moving containers can double as storage: Portable moving containers accomplish the expression of killing two birds with one stone. Storing of your items before, during or after a move is made possible by these useful moving containers, as they double as storage units. You only need to make arrangements with the relocation container company to pick it up after loading and deliver it to their storage facility of your choice.
You may also be allowed to store containers on your self-storage unit’s company’s facilities. Storing possessions for as long as needed and moving them when the time is right makes moving containers exceptionally helpful for those moving to temporary housing.
- You can move on your own timeline: Monthly charges are what most consumers incurred on keeping their hired containers. Meaning a customer can get an extra month to load and unload belongings with a moving container at will, provided they are ready to pay the fees. Those relocating have control over their moving process with this flexibility.
- You will save on moving costs: Hiring a full-service mover for a move could be considered costly than renting a moving container. Using pods for a long-distance moves, for instance, starts from $800 depending on the length of the rental and distance of your move. However, your costs will vary based on some other factors. Rates for storing the container on the customer’s personal property start as low as $110 for a 12-foot container and $120 for a 16-foot container per month according to PODS. You will start to see a major difference in price when you compare the cost to the price being charged by a professional moving company.
Some of the cons of using POD for your move include:
- You will still have to load the container yourself: Using moving containers for your move is just like a DIY move. You will have to enlist the help of friends and family or do it yourself without the help of a professional moving company. This includes strategizing your loading process, renting moving straps, dollies, and other moving supplies all by yourself. A moving container company will pick up the loaded container and deliver it to your destination home; however, this is unlike a moving truck rental where the customers will drive the truck themselves. Moving containers is still one of the easiest ways to handle a DIY move even though loading pods may be stressful.
- Storage space is based on availability: You will need to reserve a spot if you are planning to store the moving container in a self-storage facility before, during or after the relocation. Most of the time, the closest storage facility is always full and may not be available at the time of need. In a situation like this, storing your belongings in a faraway facility is the only option, and this would make the already stressful relocation more inconvenient.
- You’ll need a place to put the container: You will need a space to park the container in your house while loading and unloading. When trying to park their moving container, those living in an HOA community and/or share a driveway with other residents may run into a few problems with unhappy neighbors. You will have to scale through many hurdles to secure a parking spot for your moving container if you also live in an apartment building or a busy city. Ensure you check your HOA rules and/or local government restrictions when it comes to street parking before renting a portable moving container for your move.
Comparing Moving Containers with Professional Movers
Moving container companies work a little differently from professional moving companies. You will need to understand how traditional relocation companies’ work to determine which option is best for your move.
The moving company will send an experienced moving agent to your home to do a physical survey and inventory of your belongings when you choose a professional moving company for your move.
They will decide on the best relocation plan to carry-out for your move and at the most affordable price in this way. If you find their recommendation unfit for your move or budget, you are not obliged to continue with their service as the in-home evaluation is done free of charge.
Based on your budget and needs, a professional moving company will work with you. They will also provide a full-service move for you if you want to delegate everything regarding the physical move. A full moving service includes the following:
- Packing of belongings (most importantly odd-shaped and fragile items)
- Disassembling and reassembling of the entire furniture
- Free use of dollies, pads, moving boxes, shrink, wardrobe boxes and other complete moving tools or equipment
- Loading and unloading of items into the moving truck
- Provision of the perfect truck size for your belonging
- Safely and efficiently transportation of your household belongings to your destination home
Every individual does not require a full-service move. Moving companies, in this case, offer the moving truck with movers, packing services only, moving labor only, storage, and other varieties of custom services.
Costs of Professional Moving Services
A moving company will consider the following factors when calculating your moving cost:
- Total weight of your belonging
- The distance of the pick-up point to the drop-off point
- Timing of your relocation such as peak seasons (summer months, start and end of each month)
Additional insurance cover for your highly prized possessions is optional. The most moving company provides only basic coverage which is $0.60 per pound.
Most professional movers will also provide a flat fee quote for a long-distance move. Moving companies charged fixed hourly rates on custom services such as moving labor for loading and unloading, and packing only which are based on the number of men for the job.
Which is better?
This is where your personal preference comes in. Hiring full service moving company may be your best option if you do not have enough time and you need to outsource every task in order to have time for other personal things, or you want to avoid the stress and difficulties involved.
If you are moving a long distance, hiring a full-service moving company can be expensive and thus; makes it a turn-off to those looking for a cheaper way to move.
For people who want to take their time as well as those who want to pack their belongings at their own pace, on the other hand, moving PODS can be a good option, as it’s much cheaper compared to hiring moving companies.
If you don’t have a place to put the pods on, however, it may not be a good option for you. It could also be a problem if you are living in an apartment or a condo. In addition, packing and having the leisure of a flexible schedule is not everybody’s favorite.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it is possible to leverage the benefits of both moving pods and a full service moving company when you are transitioning from one home to another.
Perhaps you are downsizing your living space and some of your possessions need to go into storage. Ordering a small moving pod may be helpful for this process, as you could load the items onto the pod and have it transported to a storage facility near your new home.
Then you could unload the pod’s contents into your storage unit. Meanwhile, a moving company could help with packing, loading, unloading and unpacking for the items that you are planning to move from your existing home to the new one.
When you pack items in a rush, you may forget to label the boxes properly. Not only does labeling help you get a general idea of what you have placed in specific boxes, but you can coordinate your labels to a larger list.
Within that list, you can write down every single item that has gone into your boxes. Then you can check the label on the box, match it with the relevant section on your list, and find out what is in each box.
Such a process is helpful if you ever need to find a specific item from your storage unit, as you won’t have to go through several boxes to find the item you need.
Some boxes that you pack may have a lot of heavy items, which is why you do not fill them all the way to the top. The issue is that with so much empty space, items may toss around each time you move that box.
An easy solution is to use cushions, pillows or similar soft items. They usually take up a lot of space, but are not that heavy. You can add a small cushion to the top of your boxes that contain heavy items to ensure those items remain in place during your move.
Moving pod companies offer insurance policies for such events. If you purchase insurance that protects the storage container, it means that any damage or loss of the container is covered.
These policies protect you from events such as theft, accidents, vandalism, natural disasters and more. If there is a severe storm that damages your pod, or someone vandalizes it while walking on your street, you are protected.
If you receive a moving container from the pod storage provider, you may not want to load everything onto it yourself. It is possible to hire independent movers to help you with packing and loading items onto the pod.
It is easy to find local labor for this process. You will have to agree to their hourly rate, and there is usually a minimum on the number of hours you must pay out for a single job. Ensure you are vetting these movers through online reviews or other means.
Hiring movers to load items is helpful if you are living alone and have a lot of heavy furniture. It is also helpful for those who are injured or disabled and cannot load heavy boxes onto a moving container for several hours.
In summary, full-service moving companies and moving pods are quite different. Your situation and which service is needed at a particular time is what will determine which one you go for. Using moving pods to get organized while leaving an old home for a new one has genuine value compared to full-service movers. However, if you live in a condominium or an apartment, moving pods are generally not a good option; meanwhile, full-service moving services are.
Whichever way you choose, ensure you choose the right company for the job. We have handpicked some top full-service moving and container services you can consider for the job. You can select from the above-listed companies. Don’t forget to share your view with us in the comment box!
Thomas has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. Thomas is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.