Moving Companies vs. PODs


When it comes to relocating your home there are several factors to consider and several routes that you can choose to go. It can be a very stressful time for anyone. Having to change your address, a possible job change, learning a new neighborhood, and adjusting to a new home are just a few of the things you will encounter while trying to take all of your possessions from one place to another safely and efficiently. So what is the best way to move? Use a Pod or a Moving Company? Well, that depends on you.

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Do You Need Help Packing and Loading Your Move?

packing for your move

When it comes to moving your home from point A to point B understanding your personal requirements is an important first step. If you are pregnant, elderly, disabled, or injured then it may be very difficult for you to do a lot of heavy lifting.

A full service moving company supplies you with professional movers that will quickly and carefully load your things from your home to their truck. This will save you from having to bang your walls, break your table legs, and smash your fingers. A quality moving company will also lay down runners and cardboard protectors on your door frames to insure that your carpet and trim do not get damaged on your way out – potentially saving your deposit if you are a renter. You can expect the same thing upon delivery of your goods. Professional movers will unload the truck and bring your boxes and furniture into your home, placing your things wherever you’d like.

(Read: What You Need to Know the First Time You Hire a Moving Company)

If you do not mind heavy, repetitive, lifting then you can load your own things into a Pod. While there are many companies that offer Pod services, the principles are basically the same. A Pod is a square or rectangular wooden crate that gets delivered to your driveway and left for you to load yourself. One of the often overlooked aspects of Pod rentals is estimating the size, and number, of Pods that you will require.

(Read: The Ultimate Guide to Moving Boxes)

It may seem that a 16’ Pod should fit your 2 bedroom apartment but there is a science to loading not-square furniture into a square crate. It can be very difficult to efficiently use all of your square footage if you are not a professional mover or have limited experience with moving. It is like a very physical game of Tetris. In addition, if you do not have high quality moving boxes, tape, and furniture blankets you will be setting yourself up for future destruction of your property. If you decide to load a Pod on your own it is essential that you use quality materials to do so.

What Type of Moving Budget are You Working With?

moving budget

Your budget. It is an obvious factor in most decisions. None of us are made out of money and most of us don’t like to spend any more than we have to. When it comes to hiring a moving company, you can expect the price to be higher than just renting a Pod. The reasons seem obvious. With a moving company you are hiring professional movers, buying packing materials, and provided a truck and qualified driver to safely get your possessions to their new destination.

(Read: How to Host a Profitable Moving Sale)

That convenience is going to cost more than just renting a wooden box. But, when hiring a moving company, there are ways to keep your costs down. You can pack your things yourself, supply your own packing materials, unpack your things yourself, have your furniture broken down when the movers arrive, and assemble it yourself upon delivery. Generally speaking, the more you can cut down on the amount of time your movers need to be there, the less expensive your move is going to be. (You will not be allowed to load into the truck for liability reasons.)

When utilizing a Pod it is pretty much a one cost solution. The ways to keep your costs down there is to minimize the amount of things you will be taking, so you can rent a smaller box, and limit the number of days that you will be renting the box. The cost to rent a pod for a local move (25 miles or less), if moved in less than a month, is around $650. The cost to rent a pod for a long distance move, depending on total distance and size of the pod, will be around $2,300. The average cost for an in-state move with a moving company is $1,170 while the average cost for an out-of-state move is $5,630. Keep in mind these are averages for every move, for every person, in every state. Your move is unique and you will want to get a free moving estimate so that you can accurately weigh your options.

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How Valuable are the Goods You’re Moving?

Moving Breakable items - image from Pixabay

When you hire a moving company they will professionally pack and load your goods with proper moving supplies and equipment. That will offer some initial security to the safety of your things. However, there are always situations that defy odds. If you hire a moving company and your things are damaged, whether it be your house while moving things out, or your possessions while in transport, you have the ability to recoup these losses.

Moving companies offer what is called “valuation”. There are several levels of valuation that offer different amounts of compensation based on the value of your belongings. When you get your original moving quote, an estimator will tell you the value of your shipment and explain the different valuation options that are available to you.

(Read: Local Moving Services)

When you rent a Pod you will be, essentially, on your own. You will be relying solely on your own skills and abilities to pack and load your things properly. If you packed your boxes haphazardly, or there is a lot of loose space in the Pod that allows your things to shift and move in transit, than there will be a good chance that your goods will be damaged upon delivery.

On top of that, there is little you can do as for as filing a claim. Since you packed your Pod, you are responsible. Even if the outside of your Pod is damaged, and it looks like there was a mishandling issue in transport, it will be very difficult to get any kind of compensation for your loss. If you don’t have that many valuables, or you are well versed in packing, then this may not be an issue for you.

Movers vs. PODs Conclusion

In conclusion, renting a Pod is going to be the cheaper, more risky, option. You will be able to load your things yourself, have them dropped off at your new address, and unload them for a slightly lower price point. Hopefully nothing is destroyed in the process.

(Read: Top Moving Tips from Moving Professionals)

Hiring a moving company will alleviate the need for you to pack and load all of your household items. The moving company will disassemble and reassemble your furniture. They will deliver and unload your goods for you and offer free valuation protection in the rare case that there is any damage along the way. If you are looking for the cheapest route to relocation, and you don’t mind the added risk of your household goods getting damaged, then choose a Pod service. If you like the idea of a full-service move, from packing to unloading, and trusting your goods with professional movers then you will want to call a licensed moving company.

Have you ever used a moving company or a PODs service? Let us know about it in the comments section below!

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14 Responses to “Moving Companies vs. PODs”

  1. Daniele

    It is in reality a great and helpful piece of info.
    I’m happy that you just shared this helpful info with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

    • Elijah @ Olympic Moving & Storage

      I’m very happy that you found it helpful, Daniele 🙂

  2. Springdale

    Hi there, I enjoy reading through your article post.

    I wanted to write a little comment to support you.

    • Elijah @ Olympic Moving & Storage

      Thanks, Springdale! We post new content often – so check back in the future 🙂

  3. Simon Cross

    I appreciate the efforts you people put in to share blogs on such kind of moving companies topic , it was really helpful. Keep Posting!

  4. Jeremy Thompson

    It’s great to know that hiring a mover will do everything to make one’s move easier such as disassembling and reassembling the different types of furniture. We are moving soon and I believe I’ll do get movers so things can be less stressful. Thanks for the indulging read!

    • Olympic Moving & Storage

      We’re glad you enjoyed it Jeremy. Thanks for letting us know!

  5. Amy Winters

    I’m glad you pointed out that hiring a moving company means your goods will be professionally packed with high-quality supplies and proper equipment. My husband and I will be moving to a different state soon, so we’ve been trying to decide whether to hire movers or handle things ourselves. Since we’re traveling a long distance, I want our belongings to be as well protected as possible. I think hiring a moving company will be the best choice for us!

    • Olympic Moving & Storage

      Hiring professional movers also helps alleviate the stress of a move. Let us know if we can help!

  6. Caden Dahl

    I’m going to be moving here soon and I’ll need a place to store my things for a little bit. Now as you said here, it would be good to figure out what kind of a budget you are working with. That way, you can decide what you ultimately want to do.

  7. Silas Knight

    It’s great to know more about moving. My wife and I are going to be moving for the first time this summer, so this is great. It sounds like hiring a full service moving company is great because they’ll quickly get all of our stuff loaded and moved! I think that’s worth it.

    • Olympic Moving & Storage

      Thanks for reading, Silas! One of our primary goals is to alleviate as much stress as possible with your move.

  8. Callum Palmer

    I’ll be moving to a different state at the beginning of next year. Now as you said here, I’ll need help with packing and loading things for the move as it’ll just be myself. it would be wise to go with a moving company that would be able to do this for me since I’d probably struggle with the larger furniture items.


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