Moving is all about the when, where, what, and how of getting your stuff from point A to point B. All of these logistics can be hard to balance, especially during times of uncertainty like a pandemic). But using storage when moving can make everything much easier — and sometimes it’s just unavoidable.

People use storage and moving services for many different reasons, but these are a few of the main ones: 

  • To store their possessions while they wait for their new house or apartment to be available 
  • To move in stages or over time, rather than all at once (helps reduce stress and maintain flexibility) 
  • To store their stuff because they’re downsizing 
  • To store furniture, appliances, and other things while remodeling their new home 

There are three main types of storage you can use: moving and storage services with portable containers, full-service moving and storage, and local self-storage units. We’re going to talk about the pros and cons of each type in this article, so you can figure out which one best meets your moving and storing needs. 

PODS Moving & Storage container being delivered

1. Moving and storage services with portable containers

You’ve probably seen these giant boxes strapped to the back of semi-trucks or parked in front of people’s homes. These portable storage containers can be used to both move and store your stuff in an affordable and convenient way. 

These are some of the main benefits of using moving and storage container companies like PODS: 

  • Contact-free service. You don’t have to be present during container pick-up or delivery, and no one handles your possessions but you.
  • No need to drive. Forget navigating busy city streets and speedy highways with a huge moving truck. With PODS your storage unit comes to you, and then you can have it shipped and delivered where you want. 
  • Only load once. If you’re moving and storing around the same time, you can save yourself a ton of effort with PODS. Rather than loading, unloading, and then loading your stuff again at a self-storage unit, you just need to load and unload one time.
  • Flexible loading and storage. You can load your stuff at your own pace and keep the container in your driveway (or on the street) for as long as you want for extra storage. Or your container can be sent to a secure storage center and then delivered to your new home when it’s ready. At PODS, even when the container is at the storage center, you have easy access to your stuff. Just give them 24 hours notice and your container will be ready for you.
  • Easy loading. PODS containers lay flat on the ground and have wide openings, making loading and unloading easy. 

These features make PODS ideal for long-distance moves and for local moves when you need storage as part of the move.

The biggest downside to using storage containers for moving is that loading and unloading isn’t automatically included. However, you can easily hire hourly moving help to take care of the heavy lifting, and even the packing and unpacking. A lot of people like the option to pay only for the services they need. For example, they might want help loading the container, but once it’s delivered, they just want assistance with a few large pieces because they want to take their time sorting through and organizing things room by room. 

Ready to get a quote from a moving & storage company? You might be surprised to see how affordable moving and storage services from PODS can be. Visit PODS for local moving and storage, or call 877-350-7637 for long-distance moving quotes.
Full-service movers loading furniture onto a moving truck.

2. Full-service movers with storage

Now that storage has become so popular, more movers are starting to offer it as an add-on. For folks who want to be as hands-off with their moving process as possible and don’t mind shelling out some serious cash, then hiring full-service movers that also offer storage may be an option. 

Full-service movers will do everything for you: load, drive, unload, and take your stuff to storage. You can even pay extra to have movers pack your boxes for you. Obviously, that sounds great. But there are some potential downsides to using full-service movers. 

The biggest barrier for most people will be cost. Full-service moving and storage services can cost $10,000 or more for cross-country trips. You can buy a decent used car for that much mula. 

But even if you can afford the cost, the full-service option comes with some risks: 

  • Other people will handle your stuff. This is obviously a concern during a pandemic, but it also poses the risk of damaged and lost goods. 
  • You may not have access to your stuff in storage. Many full-service movers don’t provide a way for you to get to your belongings while it’s in their warehouse.
  • Your possessions may be mixed in with others’. With storage containers your stuff is all together in one box, inside a storage center, which provides a double layer of protection. But full-service movers will sometimes mix multiple customers’ things on the truck during transit or within a warehouse or single storage unit.
How much does it cost to store furniture between moves?
We’ve mentioned that some moving and storing solutions are cheaper than others. But just what kind of prices are we talking about? 

Renting a local storage unit can cost anywhere from $65-$160 a month, depending on the size. If you use a container service, like PODS, prices range from $155-$215 a month. Since the type of storage provided directly by movers varies significantly, check with your mover for their storage rates. 

3. Self-storage unit

On the surface, the cheapest option for storage is to go with an old-fashioned local storage unit. If you live in a metropolitan area there are probably several storage locations nearby. 

The advantages of using a storage unit are, of course, the low cost. But it also offers you autonomy. You can load and unload your storage unit at your own leisure, whenever you want. It’s a great option for those who are just storing stuff and not moving at the same time. 

The biggest disadvantage is that it takes a lot of work. Not only do you have to load your stuff into a truck (and rent a truck if you don’t have one), but then you have to unload it at the storage unit. Then, when you’re ready to move into your new place you need to do it all over again. 

If you want to avoid the hassle of schlepping all your stuff around multiple times, a portable storage container may be a better option. 

What should I put in storage when moving?
You can put pretty much anything in storage when you’re moving, but some of the most common items are: 

–Tables, chairs, and other bulky furniture items
–Mattresses and beds
–Seasonal items like holiday decorations and warm winter clothes
–Large appliances and kitchenware
–Books, art, and files (Note: Don’t put high-cost items or important documents in storage.) 

In general it makes sense to store things that you don’t need every day. That way you can prioritize unloading and unpacking essential items (like your toothbrush and your deluxe waffle-maker). 

Choosing the right company

Once you’ve figured out what kind of moving and storage services you want to use, it’s time to find the right company. Be sure you use an established and reputable company (they will be handling all your beloved possessions, after all!). 

Here are a few tips to help: 

  • Look at online reviews to see what previous customers have to say.
  • Read all contracts and agreements carefully.
  • Compare prices so that you don’t overpay.

That’s all for this moving with storage review. Whatever you decide to do, we hope you have a safe and easy move! 

(Source for image featured at top: @tulatrails via Instagram)


Easton Smith works as a freelance writer and researcher, reviewing technology trends and the moving industry. He moved all around the continent, from New York to California, before landing back in his hometown of Salt Lake City.