What Are PODS, And Is The POD Cost Per Month Worth It?

Frustrated homeowner packing a PODS container

PODS moving containers or storage containers are popular for cross-country and even local DIY moves. However, many people also use PODS for storage space rather than exclusively as a moving container. 

PODS has gained a reputation as an affordable solution for moving-related and local storage costs. But today, we’re here to take a deeper look into whether the monthly POD cost is worth it and if other alternatives may make more sense. 

If you are considering storing your things at a local PODS storage facility, this is all the information you should need to make the right choice. 

What Are PODS?

The name stands for “Portable On Demand Storage,” which the company has branded as PODS. While PODS is by far the most recognizable name in the portable storage industry, some well-known companies like U-Haul offer the same type of service. 

These services offer a mobile storage unit that can be dropped off in your driveway indefinitely and moved when ready.

So whether you are using them to store furniture during a renovation or you need your furniture packed up and moved across the country, PODS can do that. 

The physical pods, or containers, come in three different sizes and are made of durable steel to protect everything you put inside. 

Location, material, and added security features like keyed entry all but ensure the safety of your belongings. 

PODS containers can also be stored for a monthly fee at a PODS storage facility. The storage facility can be climate-controlled for an additional cost. PODS creates what is supposed to be a moving and storage solution for people who don’t mind packing and unpacking on their own.  

What Is the Rental Process?

Renting a PODS container is relatively simple, but there is a process involved. The most important part of this process is to answer a few questions about what you are looking (before you even contact the PODS storage center).

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Step #1: Decide on a Container Size/Timeframe

You will first want to decide what size PODS container you will need and how long you want it. You will also need to consider whether you plan on moving it and if you want to store it on location or at a PODS secure storage facility.

Step #2: Drop Off Time and Date 

The next step is to choose where you want the PODS container dropped off, as well as the date and time you’ll accept it.

Step #3: Load the Container

Load the PODS container at your own pace. When it comes to storage, remember that the longer you need the storage, the more it will cost. PODS are something you will pay for by the month, so keep that in mind. 

Step #4: Move the Container 

Once the container is full, contact PODS to have them transport it storage facility (or have them move it to your next destination). In the case you’re simply moving your belongings into the POD during a temporary renovation, you can call PODS to have them pick up the empty container. 

The Cost of Renting PODS Containers

The cost of renting a PODS container depends on many variables. They are less expensive than hiring a moving service because you pack everything yourself. But PODS rentals aren’t exactly cheap. If you are moving them across the country, additional transport fees are involved. Every price will depend on variables such as location, pricing, and, of course, the size of the unit. 

This chart below gives you the introductory PODS pricing, but expect this to vary. 

Container SizeMonthly Rental Cost RangeGeneral Starting PriceDelivery & Pick-Up Fees
8-Foot$169 – $309$149/month*$74.99 (often waived)**
12-Foot$199 – $339$149/month*$74.99 (often waived)**
16-Foot$219 – $359$149/month*$74.99 (often waived)**

If you plan on using your PODS portable container to pack up for a local or long-distance move, here are the fees you can expect for delivery. Pricing will vary based on the location of your local or long-distance move. 

Move Type8-Foot Container12-Foot Container16-Foot Container
Local (>50 miles)$225 – $435$345 – $650$330 – $830
Long Distance (up to 250 miles)$760 – $1,970$930 – $2,150$1500-$3500
Cross Country$2,110 – $4,110$3,060 – $4,960$5,550 – $7,660

PODS Storage Container Sizes

There are three size POD containers. The smallest size option will fit about 1-2 rooms worth of belongings, while the largest size will fit closer to 3-4 rooms worth.

Before scheduling a container delivery, it’s advised that you speak with a PODS representative about the items you’re trying to store. From there, an expert will make a final recommendation as to what size POD you’ll need.

SizeDimensionsCapacityBest For
Small8′ x 7′ x 7′1-2 roomsSmall moves or storage
Medium12′ x 8′ x 8′2-3 roomsMedium moves or storage
Large16′ x 8′ x 8′3-4 roomsLarge moves or storage

The Pros and Cons of PODS

PODS are convenient, but most people don’t realize that the convenience is something you are paying for. PODS containers AREN’T usually the cheapest option on the market; in fact, local storage facilities can be considerably less expensive. 

The Pros

Pro #1: Convenience

Convenience is by far the main attraction of the POD storage units. Packing them at your own pace and having them right outside your home is a huge plus. If you know you have some time to complete your moving project or renovation, the POD is something you can have for years if needed. 

Being able to pop into your unit and grab something that you have already packed is invaluable. It is also convenient to have someone else pick it up and drop it off for you.

Pro #2: On-Site Storage

PODS is an option for someone doing a home remodel who only wants to temporarily move items out of a room. It can be like adding an extra closet or storage space to your house for a short period of time! 

Most traditional storage facilities require you to pack up a car and bring your things to a physical location. 

Pro #3: Stress-Free Moving

One of the most stressful parts of the home buying and selling process is juggling the time between selling your old home and moving into your new one. With PODS, you don’t have to worry since you can store your goods in them indefinitely. It also wipes out the stress of driving a massive moving truck

The Cons

While PODS has many benefits, they are not always the best solution. 

Con #1: Finite Space

Even with larger PODS containers, you will run out of room to move fast. Not to mention, the stuff that gets packed first will be almost impossible to reach when the unit is full.

Con #2: Expensive

We know PODS are convenient, but that convenience comes at an expense. PODS storage containers cost more than local storage facilities. 

Con #3: They Require Space

PODS containers are great in theory as long as you have a place to put them. If your driveway isn’t big enough, the POD won’t be an option for you. If you try to put a POD on your grass, it will most definitely kill the grass, adding costs to this need for storage. 

Con #4: Unpredictability

Even with timeframes and quotes in place, you won’t know the exact pick-up and drop-off time until after you book a reservation. This unpredictability can wreak havoc on timeframes and budgets, making it a riskier option at an already stressful time.

Can I Have a PODS Container in My Neighborhood?

Using PODS storage containers can be highly convenient, but there are specific situations where their use might be challenging. For instance, in certain residential areas, particularly those governed by Homeowners Associations (HOAs) or in apartment complexes, the use of PODS containers may be restricted or entirely prohibited.

It’s crucial to be aware of these limitations before investing in a PODS container. Homeowners should thoroughly review their HOA guidelines, while renters should check with their apartment complex’s management. 

Make some calls ahead of time and be sure that everything runs smoothly with the POD being placed on or near your property. Dealing with fees and fines after the fact is an issue that can be avoided entirely. 

Is the PODS Cost Per Month Worth It?

PODS is expensive when it comes to the monthly storage fees. Its convenience is undoubtedly a nice benefit, but there are options less costly than the PODS cost that can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. 

When considering storage solutions for moving or downsizing, the cost-effectiveness of Neighbor, a peer-to-peer storage marketplace, stands out against traditional options like PODS. 

Neighbor offers the convenience of local storage in your community, such as a neighbor’s garage, at a fraction of the cost of PODS. Neighbor can help you bypass any concerns with HOA restrictions. While PODS may be suitable for extensive, long-haul moves, Neighbor provides a more affordable and flexible alternative for those staying local. To explore affordable storage options near you, visit Neighbor’s Self Storage Near Me for a practical, cost-saving solution.

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