October 7, 2016 / Zillow Porchlight, by Moving Tips
Don't have the budget to hire movers, but don't want to drive a truck? Consider containers.
Every journey begins with a single step — even a long-distance move.
If you are on the threshold of a big relocation adventure, you need to make an important decision that will define your entire moving experience: Do you hire professional movers or move by yourself?
Both moving options have considerable advantages and disadvantages, but neither of them may be appropriate for your particular moving needs.
You need a solution that combines the most advantageous aspects of the self-moving process with the greatest benefits of using professional moving services. In this situation, moving with portable storage containers may be the right choice for you.
What are portable moving containers?
You’ve probably seen them parked in driveways or curbside. A portable moving container is basically a large box (usually 7-by-7-by-8 feet) you can rent and use to store your belongings and have them shipped to another location.
How do portable containers work?
The moving containers are dropped off in front of your home and left at your disposal for a prearranged period of time (a couple of days to a couple of weeks).
You pack and arrange your items inside the containers within that time frame. On moving day, the containers are picked up and transported to your final destination. You can unpack at your leisure and have the containers taken away when you’re ready.
What are the perks of portable containers?
Using portable moving containers offers a convenient, safe, and cost-effective solution for your relocation needs.
- You can rest assured that your belongings are safe. The moving containers are handled by professionals who use specialized moving equipment and proven moving techniques to ensure the safety of your belongings. The delivery trucks are equipped with a special hydraulic lift system designed to reduce shifting inside the containers and keep them level during transportation. The container itself is very strong and completely insulated, so it provides the best possible protection against moisture, dust, dirt, and physical impact. What’s more, the containers can be locked to reduce the risk of theft.
- You can pack and unpack your items at your own pace, and you can keep the moving container for as long as you need it. Scheduling is very flexible, so you can take your time to organize and pack your belongings with utmost care, arrange them inside the container in a tidy and systematic manner, and then unpack your items without pressure (some companies allow you to keep the container for up to a month without incurring any extra fees).
- You can use the portable moving containers for storing your items. If you need a temporary storage option for your belongings, the containers can be taken to a secure facility or left in front of your home for as long as necessary.
- You will experience fewer difficulties loading and unloading your household items. The containers sit on the ground, so there will be no need for a loading ramp or other specialized equipment for loading or unloading your belongings.
- Moving with portable moving containers will be easier on your budget than using full-service movers.
How much does it cost to use containers?
You can rent a portable moving container for about $200 per month (plus a pick-up/delivery fee of $100). When moving with a container, however, the final cost is typically determined by the distance the moving container has to be transported.
Any extra services (such as storage in transit) or difficulties with container access (for example, a container drop-off or pick-up location that’s hard to access) will likely result in additional fees.
How to pack a portable moving container
The same basic rules apply to packing moving containers as to boxes: Make sure you pack your belongings in a safe and efficient manner. Seal the boxes tightly and label them properly so you know where to find each and every item.
Here are more specifics for packing containers:
- Read the moving company’s list of prohibited items that you shouldn’t pack in the moving container (such as flammable or hazardous materials).
- Line the bottom of the container with moving blankets for added protection against vibrations and shocks during transportation.
- Arrange your items inside the container in a logical manner. Put all the larger and heavier items at the bottom and near the walls, and make sure the items you are going to need first when you arrive at your new home are packed last. Optimize the available space, and secure your items well to prevent accidental shifting or toppling over during transit.
- Use old blankets, large pieces of corrugated cardboard, and other adequate materials to provide sufficient cushioning between items in the container.
- Avoid transporting items of great monetary or sentimental value (such as sensitive electronics, delicate artwork, and family heirlooms) in a moving container.
- Get adequate moving insurance for your cherished possessions. Better safe than sorry.