Moving with pods (please share your advice)

A forum for questions and information about packing, loading and other helpful tips (not related to researching or selecting moving companies).
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Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:37 pm

Moving with pods (please share your advice)

Postby techman41973 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:45 pm

I have some items in storage in the midwest that I want to move to the west coast.
I decided that pods are the most efficient and cost effective option.
There are many companies providing these services. Most people on this forum seem to recommend ABF U-Pack.
A few questions to those with experiences having their posessions moved in pods.

Most of my posessions are in plastic containers, so if there is a water breach there is less likely to be damage to my stuff.
Although I may seal some items in trash bags, inside the plastic containers.
Concerned that my plastic container lids could pop off - even if stacked tight, I will probably add some rope.
A few questions

1. I'm not sure if I have enough containers to completely fill a pod. I'm concerned that they may not give me enough blankets to fill voids.
Some advice on packing boxes/containers inside pods would be helpful.
2. Do movers flip these pods upside down with forklifts? This would significantly increase the chance of damage to my stuff.
Again, want to know best practices to minimizing damage.
3. When is the best time of year to get the best rates? Fall, winter, spring? I'm not in a big rush.

Please share your experiences and best practices

Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:06 pm

Re: Moving with pods (please share your advice)

Postby DurableGoods » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:29 pm

Oh geez, I just wrote you a looooong reply, and lost it while previewing.

Okay, beginning again:

Two years ago, we moved from our home of 27 years in Keene NH to Santa Rosa CA. Fortunately, we found this site before we fully committed to a moving plan! Even with the help and information we found here, we had issues with trying to line up a traditional moving company--the industry is loaded with scams, and we encountered a few in our research.

We considered the "official" pods, but after researching them, we decided to go with ABF U-Pack Moving instead. The containers were larger, the reviews were much, much better, and it was cheaper, too!

Here are the three best reasons we found for using this method (and ABF in particular):

Flexibility. Flexibility. Flexibility.

Our house sold quickly, so we had less than a month to pack. We had no place to live on the other end, so we would have to store everything til we could rent a home. Our possessions were split evenly between household goods, and my art studio.

1) Using the containers allowed us to order whatever number of cubes we thought we'd need, and to not pay for the ones we didn't use.

2) We ordered the cubes halfway throught the month, and spent about 7-10 days loading.

3) Once the cubes were loaded, they were moved to CA and put in storage until we ordered them deliverd. The storage wasn't cheap, but was actually reasonable compared to more traditional moving plans.

3) Once we located a rental home, we ordered TWO of the cubes to be delivered, and the remaining 2 to be kept in storage.

4) Once I'd found a studio rental, we had the remainder of the cubes delivered a month later.

5) We loaded ourselves, and with the help of friends. When it got overwhelming, or difficult (heavy items, stairs, final packing, etc.) we simply hired loaders from local moving companies on both ends (NH and CA). This proved to be extremely efficient, because they were fast, knowledgeable, and efficient. They accomplished a lot in just a few hours (2-3 hours both ends.)

6) I didn't do much of the actual lifting/packing--injured my knee early in (not from lifting!). My husband did the heavy lifting (pun intended). But basically, common sense: Heavy stuff on the bottom, lighter stuff on top, lots of buffering, fill in as much space as you can.

7) The drivers who delivered and picked up the cubes were extremely helpful, too. They gave us packing and unpacking tips, including safe ways to open the doors when unpacking. (Company said to open both doors, drivers said to open one door at a time, and stay out of the way. Contents can shift and become unbalanced.) These guys know their stuff, and want you to have a good moving experience.

8) This also ended up being the LEAST EXPENSIVE solution to our moving issues. We saved a ton of money!

9) The flexibility also allowed us the time to drive cross-country with our two large dogs, doing a little sight-seeing and visiting friends and family along the way. This eliminated the chore and expense of using pet transfers, which we kept getting dodgey reports and horror stories about pet moving services. We also had one cat at the time, but we left her with a good friend until we could fly her back with us. (We knew we'd be back out for family issues soon, and my husband ended up bringing her back in a carrier, in the cabin with him, a few months later.)

I hope this answers a few of your questions. We highly recommend ABF U-Pack Moving.

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