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It’s a common scenario: your current lease ends in a few weeks, but you’re not moving into a new apartment for a few months. You have found temporary housing for yourself, but where are you supposed to put all your stuff in the mean time?

Portable storage might be the answer to this problem. Portable storage companies provide containers to folks who need to deal with this tricky moving scenario. Convenient and affordable, pod storage is quickly becoming a very popular moving assistance option.

In this guide to portable storage, we’ll look at the benefits and drawbacks of this kind of moving storage and help you determine whether portable storage might work for your moving situation.

The ABCs of pod storage
Portable storage containers offer customers a unique two-for-one moving solution. When you rent one (or several) pod storage units, not only are you renting a storage unit, you’re also hiring a mover.

To get a better idea of how portable storage works, let’s look at the steps involved in renting pod storage:

1. You estimate how much stuff you have to move. (A company rep can help you do this over the phone.)
2. You rent an appropriate number of pods to accommodate your stuff from a portable storage container company.
3. The company drops off your pod(s).
4. You take as long as you like to pack up the unit.
5. When you’re finished, the company picks up your packed pod and transports it to their secure storage warehouse.
6. When your new apartment is ready, the company transports your pod to your new place (either across town or across the country), where you do the unloading.

The number of pods you rent depends on the offerings of the company you choose. Some portable storage companies offer units that are as big as a small moving truck (about 12 to 16 feet long), while others offer smaller cubes (about 8 feet long). The storage units are secure and weather-proof, and you can rent as many as you need.

Portable moving storage: the pros
There are several advantages to moving with portable storage containers. The biggest one is price. Because you’re getting a mover and a storage unit all in one, you save on moving expenses.

If you chose a full-service mover and ended up needing storage, you would be charged extra for that service. Then, you would pay an additional fee based on the amount of time your things stayed in storage — that’s on top of being charged for routing the truck to a storage facility and having movers load and unload your things at the storage warehouse.

Another thing that makes portable storage popular is convenience. You choose when the storage unit is dropped off at your apartment and when it’s picked up. This convenience allows you to take your time moving out. And when it’s time to transport your stuff to your new home, someone else takes care of the driving.

The cons
There are a few disadvantages to portable storage, as well. For one, while the unit is in your possession, you have to provide a place to put it, like the parking lot in your apartment community. This may be an issue, depending on the policies of the community and space availability. Also, you generally have to load the unit yourself; professional packing services are not typically bundled with portable storage.

Another possible disadvantage might be an uncertain delivery time frame. As with any professional mover, portable storage companies provide a window of delivery at the pod’s final destination. You might decide to send only the items you could live without for a period of time, opting to take the things with you which you will need immediately in your new home.

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