Portable Storage Containers: What You Need to Know Before Booking Your Move or Storage Project

Andreea Draguleasa
Last Updated on April 28, 2024
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Are you in need of some extra storage space but feeling overwhelmed by the various options available? In recent years, portable storage containers have emerged as a popular and convenient solution for homeowners and renters alike. Offering flexibility and ease of use, these nifty storage solutions are changing the way we think about storage.

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What Are Portable Storage Containers?

Picture this: you need a storage solution that’s convenient, adaptable and tailored to your specific needs. Enter portable storage containers! These versatile, sturdy containers are designed for a variety of uses, from decluttering your home to simplifying your big move. But what sets them apart from traditional self-storage? Well, for starters, container storage units are delivered right to your doorstep, allowing you to load and unload at your leisure. 

When it comes to choosing the right size, portable storage containers come in a range of options to suit your needs. There’s something for everyone, from smaller containers perfect for stashing seasonal items to larger ones that can accommodate an entire home’s contents.

To give you an idea of what is available, here is a brief look at the offerings provided by PODS storage:

  Container Length Container Volume What Fits In It Comparable To
Small 8 feet 402 cubic ft. 500 sq. ft. (studio) 5’x10′ storage unit or 10′ rental truck
Medium 12 feet 689 cubic ft. 800 sq. ft. (2-3 rooms) 10’x10′ storage unit or 15′ rental truck
Large 16 feet 835 cubic ft. 1200 sq. ft. (3-4 rooms) 10’x15′ storage unit or 20′ rental truck

Check here for a comparison between container storage units and rental trucks to help you decide.

And the best part? Storage pods can be used both short-term and long-term, making them versatile solutions for various scenarios.

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Common uses for portable storage containers include:

  • Home renovations: Keep your belongings safe and out of the way during construction.
  • Moving: Load your items at your own pace and have the container transported to your new home.
  • Seasonal storage: Easily store holiday decorations, seasonal clothing, or recreational gear.
  • Decluttering: Free up space in your home and store items you don’t need daily access to.

Pro tip: Some portable storage container companies offer climate-controlled units, while others may not. If your belongings are sensitive to temperature and humidity fluctuations, it is best to check with the specific company you’re considering renting from to confirm whether they provide climate-controlled options.

Top 4 Benefits of Using Portable Storage Containers

While costlier than traditional self-storage units, portable storage containers offer several advantages:

  • Convenience: Storage pods are delivered directly to you, allowing you to load and unload at your own pace, right on your property.
  • Flexibility: Need more time? No problem! You can rent containers for as long as you need on a month-to-month basis.
  • Security Features: Rest easy knowing your belongings are safe and sound in container storage units. These containers are typically made of durable, weather-resistant materials and come with secure locking systems to keep your items protected from theft and damage.
  • Accessibility: Accessing your stored items has never been easier. With portable storage containers on your property, you can conveniently retrieve or add items whenever you want.

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How Do Portable Storage Containers Work?

Once you’ve scheduled a date to receive your portable storage container, here is what you can expect next:

  • Delivery and pickup: The portable storage company delivers the container directly to your location. Once you’re done loading it, they’ll pick it up and transport it to your new destination or their storage facility.
  • Loading and unloading: You have the freedom to load and unload your container at your own pace, without the pressure of a moving truck waiting outside.
  • Rental duration and fees: Portable storage containers can be rented for short or long periods, depending on your needs. Rental fees vary, so it’s essential to research and compare different companies to find the best deal.
  • Environmental impact: Portable storage containers can be more eco-friendly than traditional moving methods. Fewer trips mean less fuel consumption, and many companies offer containers made from recyclable materials.

Keeping on-site storage units in your driveway: How long you can keep a portable storage container in your driveway depends on the rental agreement with the storage company and any local regulations or HOA rules. Generally, you can keep a pod in your driveway for as long as you’re paying for the rental period.

Factors To Consider Before Renting a Portable Storage Container

Before you jump on the PODS storage bandwagon, consider these factors to make an informed decision:

  • Keeping on-site storage units in your driveway: How long you can keep a portable storage container in your driveway depends on the rental agreement with the storage company and any local regulations or HOA rules. Generally, you can keep a pod in your driveway for as long as you’re paying for the rental period.
  • Location and accessibility: Think about where the container will be placed. Ensure the drop off spot has the appropriate clearances for the delivery vehicle. Some locations may not be accessible.
  • Weight and delivery: Keep in mind the weight of your items and the container itself. Heavier loads may require additional equipment or affect the delivery process. Check with the company about any weight limitations.
  • Permits and requirements: Placing and leaving a portable storage unit on the street is subject to local regulations and permit requirements. It’s essential to check with your city or town’s ordinances to determine if this is allowed and if any special permits are needed. Do this before the on-site storage units arrive.
  • Additional fees: Be aware of any extra fees associated with renting a portable storage container, such as delivery, pickup, or long-term storage costs. Get a clear understanding of the pricing structure to avoid surprises.

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How To Prepare for Using a Portable Storage Container

To make the most of your portable storage container, follow these preparation tips:

  • Packing and organizing: Properly pack your items to ensure their safety during transport and storage. Use sturdy boxes, bubble wrap and packing paper to protect fragile items. Organize and label your boxes to make unpacking a breeze.
  • Loading the container: When loading the portable storage unit, distribute the weight evenly and secure your items to prevent shifting during transport. Place heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on top, and use moving blankets or padding to protect furniture and other large items.
  • Protecting items from damage: To minimize damage, use furniture covers, mattress bags and plastic wrap to shield your belongings from dust, moisture and other potential hazards during storage.
  • Locking and securing: Invest in a high-quality padlock to secure your container and prevent theft. Follow the storage company’s guidelines for locking and securing the container properly.

Closing the Container

Portable storage containers offer a convenient, flexible, and secure solution for your storage needs. They provide easy accessibility, save you money and give you peace of mind knowing your items are protected.

Just remember to consider factors like location, permits and additional fees when renting a container. With proper preparation and packing, you’ll be well on your way to a stress-free storage experience.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published on May 4, 2023 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Andreea Draguleasa

Andreea Draguleasa showed an affinity for foreign languages and literature at an early age and started writing when she was 6. She studied journalism, advertising, and public relations at the University of Bucharest and worked as a content writer for a tourism agency and as a journalist for a magazine in the hospitality industry until 2010. After seven years as marketing manager for a Home & Deco online shop, she realized that learning something new every day brings her the most joy, so she went back to researching and writing informative articles. Through her experience traveling the world, she's picked up tips and resources she now shares on self storage solutions. When not writing about home organizing and storage, Andreea spends most of her time reading, playing video games, and spoiling her cat.
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The SpareFoot Blog offers tips about self-storage, information about storage auctions, advice about home organization, news about SpareFoot and much more.
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