The pros & cons of moving with a PODS® type self-moving and storage system

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Self moving pros and cons

An Opinion By Christopher Noblit - The popularity of PODS® and similar types of self-moving and self-storage systems is growing, driven in large part by the perception that these system are less expensive then hiring a full-service professional mover. While this may be true in some instances, I am of the opinion consumers may find that such do-it-yourself (DIY) moving services, and DIY storage systems, have an equal or higher cost to the consumer when personal labor, potential personal injury and damage to the articles being moved is considered.

In the interest of disclosure, let me start by stating that I work for a full-service moving company, and s a result I have a natural opposition to these do-it-yourself moving schemes...however...a close examination of these systems reveals many issues which may negate many of their advantages.

The pros (advantages) of PODS® (Portable On Demand Storage®) type moving and storage systems ...

  • These systems are convenient; the storage containers are delivered directly to your home or place of business.
  • If you estimate correctly, you know your exact moving costs in advance.

The con's (disadvantages) of PODS® (Portable On Demand Storage®) type moving and storage systems...

  • Leading professional Long Island movers argue that storage containers are most useful when storing garage-type items which are not breakable or susceptible to damage due to changes in humidity or temperature. They warn against storing upholstery, fine wood furniture, artwork, antiques, press board or pianos in containers outside.
  • The Long Island Moving & Storage Association (LIMSA) suggests that consumers seek a free analysis from a professional mover, who is best equipped to advise the consumer on the most cost efficient and safest way to store and ship their valued possessions, with or without storage containers.
  • A Long Island Moving & Storage Association study found that some Long Island towns regulate the placement of storage containers on residential and business property. In those cases the consumer must obtain a permit from the town with fees ranging from $125.00 to $1,500.00. Permits often have time limits and are not renewable. Storage containers without permits may be subject to impoundment by the town, so LIMSA suggests that you check your town’s rules in advance.
  • LIMSA also suggests that consumers will experience less damage while storing or moving a container when the container is professionally packed by a licensed mover. LIMSA points out that if the consumer reviews the container company’s contract carefully, they will note the contract usually excludes damages caused by improper packing or shifting of the load. From a professional mover’s viewpoint, improper packing and load shifts are usually the cause of damage.
  • On the date this article was written (03-02-2011) the PODS® website stated: "PODS® will not be responsible for valuable items that should not be put into the container such as: money, jewelry, furs, firearms, computer software or programs, credit cards, and certain other invaluable or irreplaceable items. Additionally, damage caused by improper packing, normal shifting, or intentional acts by you to the contents or the container are not covered."

LIMSA advises consumers to call a trusted mover in their area before ordering a container. Most movers know town rules and also have access to containers, storage facilities and trucks. They can advise the consumer which alternatives are the most reasonable for their move to save headaches and unnecessary costs.

But is PODS® less expensive than a professional mover?

However, for the consumer who is focused on price the primary question is whether a PODS®  type moving is actually less expensive than hiring a professional mover and the answer to this question lies in the consumer's ability to compare apples to apples.

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