10 Moving Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Pod

February 19, 2024

Do Your Research on Moving Pod Companies Moving pods are a convenient way to move your belongings without hiring professional movers. However, it's important to research different moving pod companies thoroughly before booking. There can be major differences between companies in pricing, container sizes, availability, and policies.  Take the time ...

Do Your Research on Moving Pod Companies

Moving pods are a convenient way to move your belongings without hiring professional movers. However, it’s important to research different moving pod companies thoroughly before booking. There can be major differences between companies in pricing, container sizes, availability, and policies. 

Take the time to get quotes from at least 3 or 4 of the major moving pod providers. Compare their prices for various container sizes based on your moving distance and timeline. Some companies offer discounts for booking early or ordering multiple pods. Others charge fees for going over the allowed time. Make sure to factor in delivery, pickup, taxes, and insurance fees too.

Also look at the different container sizes each company offers. You want to select the right size pod or combination of pods to fit your belongings without going over. Oversized items may require special accommodations as well. Don’t assume all pods are created equal in terms of interior dimensions. 

Availability can vary too. During peak moving seasons, pods book up quickly at some companies. Check on availability for your desired pickup and drop-off dates before committing. Some areas have more limited service too.

Finally, read the fine print on any policies that impact your move. For example, some companies limit the maximum time you can keep a pod or charge overage fees. Others restrict items you can load like flammable materials. Knowing the policies upfront prevents surprises down the road.

Doing comprehensive research on moving pod companies takes a bit of time upfront. But saving money and avoiding headaches later makes it time well spent. Comparing prices, sizes, availability, policies, and reviews ensures you choose the right moving pod company for your upcoming move.

Book Early

Moving pods are most in-demand during popular moving times like the end of May, June, and July when most leases turn over. During peak seasons, pods can book up completely months in advance. 

If your move coincides with a busy time of year, you’ll want to book your moving pod as far in advance as possible. Some companies may require reservations 3-6 months ahead when pods are scarce. Booking early ensures you get the pod sizes you need on the dates you want.

Rather than scrambling to find an available pod at the last minute, plan ahead. As soon as you confirm your moving dates, reserve your pods. Monitor the schedule in case your plans change. You can always adjust the reservation if needed.  

Booking pods early also locks in pricing. Rates may increase closer to peak demand. Reserving in advance gets you the best price on your pods. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your pods are secured when you need them. Don’t leave it until the last minute.

Measure Carefully

One of the biggest mistakes people make when using a moving pod is not properly measuring their furniture and belongings. It’s crucial that you take accurate measurements so you can determine the right size pod to rent. 

Start by measuring furniture items like couches, beds, dressers, tables, etc. Measure the length, width, and height in inches and write it down. For irregularly shaped items like chairs or bookcases, take multiple measurements. Measure the inside of stairways and doorways through which furniture will pass. 

Also measure the total dimensions of rooms to calculate how much floor space your belongings will take up in the pod. Open drawers and doors when measuring furniture to account for the extra space needed. Measure appliances and any large items like exercise equipment or bicycles. 

Having precise measurements allows you to calculate the total cubic footage you’ll need for your belongings. This helps you choose the right size pod to avoid space issues. Aim to have 10-20% more space than your calculations to allow room for moving blankets, bags, and boxes. Oversized items like mattresses may necessitate ordering a larger pod than you expect.

Measuring carefully takes time but pays off by letting you accurately determine how much space you need. Renting too small of a container leads to major headaches down the road.

Plan Loading and Unloading

Moving day can quickly become chaotic if you don’t have a loading and unloading plan. Take time beforehand to map out how you want to load the Pod. Consider the size and weight of items and create zones so heavier objects are toward the front. Use blankets, furniture pads, and tie downs to protect belongings. Also have a plan for unloading, including getting help and equipment if needed. You don’t want to arrive at your new home ready to unload, only to realize you don’t have enough people to move heavy furniture and appliances. Create a schedule for loading and unloading days, confirm any help, and gather moving equipment ahead of time. Having an organized plan will make the process smooth and prevent damage to your possessions.

Protect Belongings

Your belongings can shift and move during transport and handling of the moving pod. Make sure to protect them by padding furniture, securing appliances, and strapping down items.

– Use furniture pads, blankets, or bubble wrap to pad wooden furniture like dressers, tables, chairs, and bed frames. This will help prevent scratches, dents, and nicks during the move.

– Secure the doors on appliances like washers, dryers and refrigerators so they don’t swing open. You can use straps or tape to keep them closed.

– Use straps, rope, or bungee cords to strap down top-heavy items like mattresses and box springs so they don’t tip over. Also strap down TVs, artwork, lamps and fragile items.

– Use stretch wrap, like plastic wrap, to secure loose items like hoses, extension cords, and tools. This will prevent them from shifting around.

– Place loose, small items like kitchenware, decor, and clothing accessories in sealed bins, plastic totes or drawers so they are contained.

– Pack blankets, linens, and clothing items in boxes or bags to prevent wrinkles or stains during the move.

– Ensure mirrors, paintings, and artwork are safely packaged and wrapped to prevent cracking or scratches.

Taking time to properly pad and secure your belongings will help prevent damage during the transportation process. It’s an important step that’s easy to overlook when moving.

Check for Permits 

One common mistake when using a moving pod is failing to check ahead of time if you’ll need any permits for the pod. Depending on where you live and where you’re moving to, you may need to get parking permits or special permits to have the pod parked outside your home for an extended period. 

The last thing you want is to get fined for not having the proper permits. Be sure to contact your local city hall or parking authority to ask about any regulations for parking a moving pod on the street. Some cities require temporary parking permits if a large container will be parked for more than 24 or 48 hours.

You’ll also want to check on permit requirements for your destination. For example, if you’re moving to an apartment complex, you may need their permission to have the pod parked on their property during unloading. Some communities prohibit parking moving pods for an extended period.

Get this sorted out in advance so you don’t run into issues. The moving pod company may be able to assist with information on permits, but you’ll want to do your own research as well. Calling ahead could save you a major headache and fines down the road.

Inspect Before Loading 

It’s important to thoroughly inspect the moving pod before loading any items. Look inside and outside the pod, checking for any pre-existing damage or issues. Note any dents, cracks, leaks, or other flaws. Take photos or video to document the condition of the pod before packing.

Make sure to show any damage to the moving company representative and get written confirmation. This protects you in case the company tries to charge you for the damage later, claiming you caused it. Having a record ensures you are not held liable.

Inspect the pod’s interior, including the floors, walls, and door. Check that there are no holes, mold, or moisture damage. Confirm the pod is structurally sound and able to withstand the weight of your belongings.

Also inspect the exterior for dents, scrapes, or missing pieces. Check the hitch or locking mechanism if the pod will be transported. Test that the door seals, opens, and closes properly. Ensure the pod is cleaned out before loading. Address any issues immediately before going further.

Thoroughly checking the condition of the moving pod before packing will help avoid disputes or accidents down the line. Taking a few minutes to inspect for damage could save you time, money, and headaches once your move is underway.

Use Locks 

While moving pods allow you to pack up your belongings at your own pace, they can also pose a security risk if left unlocked. Make sure to keep your pod locked whenever you are not actively loading or unloading items. Some key tips:

– Invest in high-quality padlocks and keep the keys on you at all times. Avoid combination locks, as the code can be easily shared or viewed by others.  

– Check that the door is securely closed every time you finish loading or unloading. Give it an extra pull to confirm it is locked.

– If your loading/unloading process will take place over several days, consider parking the pod in a secure garage or screened area rather than on a street overnight.

– Never leave the pod unattended with the door open and items exposed. This creates an opportunity for theft.

– When the pod is picked up for transport, verify it is locked by the driver before they take off.

– Upon delivery to your new home, inspect the lock and seal for any signs of tampering before unloading your belongings.

Securing your pod properly will provide peace of mind that your valuables and prized possessions will arrive safely at your new destination. Don’t cut corners on safety and make locking up a priority throughout the moving process.

Know Drop-off and Pickup

One of the most common mistakes when using a moving pod is not confirming the details for drop-off and pickup. It’s important to nail down the timing and locations early on to avoid any issues. 

When booking your moving pod, clarify the following:

– Exact date and time window for drop-off. Get a small window like 8-10am rather than something wide like 8am-5pm. This allows you to plan your loading schedule.

– Drop-off location. Make sure the pod can be placed somewhere accessible. Consider if you’ll need to move cars or get a permit to reserve parking.

– Date and time window for pickup. Again, get a narrow window. You’ll need access to load the pod before pickup.

– Pickup location. Confirm if it’s the same as the drop-off address or somewhere different. 

– Any special instructions. Let them know about limited parking, gated areas, stairs, or other access issues.

– Contact information. Get phone numbers and confirm the best process if plans change or issues come up.

Sticking to the confirmed pickup and drop-off details will prevent the headache of a pod being dropped early, picked up late, or placed somewhere inaccessible. Protect your move by proactively nailing down the logistics.

Insure Valuables

For most moves, the basic insurance provided by moving pod companies will be sufficient to cover any potential damages. The base coverage often includes around $0.60 per pound per article. 

However, this standard protection may not be enough for truly valuable items like expensive artwork, collectibles, heirlooms, or jewelry. These specialty items often require additional insurance coverage beyond the standard liability.

Before your move, take an inventory of your possessions to determine if you have any pieces that need extra protection. The moving pod company can provide supplemental policies to cover items above a certain declared value. For example, you may be able to purchase additional coverage for items valued over $5,000.

When deciding on extra insurance, think about how difficult the item would be to replace and how much it would cost to repair or repurchase. For truly irreplaceable things, like family mementos or custom artwork, more coverage can give you peace of mind. Protect your valuables and avoid out-of-pocket losses by securing specialty insurance when using a moving pod.

Some moving companies may require scheduled items to be specifically declared and insured separately. Make sure to find out about any special riders, limitations, or requirements on high-value goods. Read all policies carefully to understand exactly what is and isn’t covered.

With extra insurance on your prized possessions, you can rest assured knowing you have an added layer of financial protection during the stresses of moving.