Full Service Moving vs. PODS Moving Services

By: Nik Watson Last Updated: May 11, 2024

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Are you planning a move and feeling overwhelmed by all the decisions you need to make? One of the most important decisions you'll need to make is whether to go with a full service moving company or use PODS moving services.

Full Service Moving vs. PODS Moving Services

This is the great debate when it comes to the moving season. Do you go with a more expensive and convenient full-service moving company or a cheaper, more reliable PODS service? There are arguments to be made for and against both services, but ultimately, your final decision should come down to budget, convenience, and feasibility.

Read this article if you’re on the fence between a full-service moving company and PODS services.

How DO PODS Work?

1. Get it & Load it

If you want a contactless service, PODS is the right fit for you. They drop off the container without any hassle or small talk. You load on your schedule, in the convenience of your driveway.

2. Keep it

At-home storage gives you the flexibility you need, whether you want easy storage before moving that’s just steps away, or you want to take ample time packing and loading.

3. Move it

They’ve got you covered. They’ll deliver your container to your new home, whether you’re just moving across town or cross-country. If you need to ship your car as well, just simply ask the PODS service for recommendations.

4. Unload/Store it

Once it arrives, unload your belongings. When you’re done unloading and ready for the PODS to pick up the container, just give them a call, and they’ll come pick it up.

If you need temporary storage, they’ll pick up your loaded container and bring it to a local storage center where it’ll be easily accessible.

How Do Full-Service Moving Companies Work?

  • Research Moving Companies: It’s best to do your research beforehand. Here are our personal recommendations for long-distance moving companies. Scour customer reviews, experience, and overall quality for moving companies.
  • Compare Quotes & Choose a Moving Company: Compare at least 3 different quotes and have them price match the lowest one to get the best deal. Ask for deals/discounts as well. Choose the one that’s the best fit for you and your family.
  • Moving Day: On moving day, the moving company will pack and load all of your belongings. They do the heavy lifting for you, so you can put your energy towards other things.
  • Transportation: Once the items are loaded onto the truck, it’s time to depart. If it’s a cross-country move, the movers will have planned out the most efficient routes to take. Typically, you’ll receive your belongings in 2 weeks if it’s a long-distance move.
  • Unload: The moving company will call to let you know what day and time they’ll be arriving. Before they arrive, make sure to keep the path from the driveway to the rooms clear for them. As they arrive, direct them to where you want specific boxes to be set inside your home.

Pros For Renting A PODS

1. Cost-Efficient

Renting a PODS is like choosing a budget-friendly menu option that still tastes gourmet. A long-distance move of 1,500 miles using a PODS container costs around $3,000 for the largest container.

Compared to a full-service moving company, you’d be saving $2,000 on the low end. Costs do depend on the distance and container size, with local moves ranging from $349 – $549 and long-distance moves costing around $999 – $3,000.

2. Control

PODS is great for people who love coordinating every step of the moving process. With PODS, you can move on your own timeline, allowing you to de-stress at a moment’s notice or go all in with the loading phase.

3. Storage

Portable containers also allow you to store your belongings for an extended period of time before, during, or after the move. The only thing you have to do is have the PODS company come pick it up. However, before the move, you will have to store the container on your property.

Cons For Renting A PODS

1. Heavy Lifting

While PODS are less expensive than a full-service moving company, there are sacrifices to this. You will have to do all of the heavy lifting, so why not turn it into a party? invite over some friends and family, order some pizza, and make it fun!

2. Store the Container

If you live in an apartment complex currently, this service may not be for you. If you live in a busy city or apartment building, you’ll need to apply for a parking permit.

You’ll need a place to put the container when moving, so a house is definitely recommended. If you’re storing your belongings at a storage facility, you’ll need to reserve a spot ahead of time.

Services Offered By PODS

PODS offers three different lengths of containers, each eight feet wide by eight feet high. Its largest container is 16 feet deep, the medium is 12 feet deep, and the small is eight feet deep.

PODS online offers a calculator to help you determine which size is right for you. PODS also offers up to 30 days of loading and unloading services, which allows you to take your time unpacking.

What makes PODS unique:

  • GPS Tracking
  • Moving Supplies
  • Protection Plans
  • Moving and Storage Checklist
  • Commercial Storage
  • Moving and Storage Calculators
  • Both Long and Short Term Storage Solutions

Pros for Full-Service Movers

1. No Heavy Lifting

By hiring a full-service moving company, you’re essentially taking out any heavy lifting on your part. You’ll be able to focus your efforts on what really matters instead of dealing with the headache of moving. Plus, they’ve done this a million times so they won’t damage your floors or walls.

2. Less Stress/Energy

Let’s be honest… moving is about as fun as getting a root canal removed. But, by bringing in the pros, moving will feel like a breeze. Pick a company that not only has experience but also glowing customer reviews. Thanks to their efficiency, they’ll zip through the job with time to spare.

Cons Full-Service Movers

1. Expensive

Professional full-service movers will cost you a pretty penny. The average cost of a local full-service move is around $850-$1,500, while long-distance moves can be anywhere from $3,000-$12,000. Full-service moves are all based on the amount of items you have, distance, and time of the year.

2. Less Control

When hiring professional movers, you’re no longer the captain. And if you love being in control, we would not suggest hiring professional movers because they are the experts.

They’ll handle every aspect of your move from packing to unloading. You also won’t be able to decide how your items are loaded onto the truck or if they’re late.

Our Recommendation

If you’re a single-member household and don’t have many belongings, we would suggest opting for a DIY move or the smallest PODS container.

If you’re a family with 3 kids and lots of items, we would suggest a full-service move to take the headache of moving off of your plate.

Before choosing one or the other, consider your budget, distance, involvement level, and size of your move. Do you want to handle the move independently or do you want professionals to handle the labor and stress?

We hope this article provides you with a clear answer. Happy moving!


The average cost of a move with PODS is about $350 – $550 for local moves and about $5700 for long-distance moves.

You can’t pack hazardous waste or toxic chemicals. For example, items like aerosol cans, bleach, ammonia, cleaning solvents, propane, gas, flammable liquids, etc.

Most moving companies offer short-term and long-term storage options included in their quotes.

DIY moves save tremendous amounts of money. The absolute cheapest way to move is by renting a U-HAUL truck, however, you will need to drive the truck yourself.