How to Use PODS for Moving Cross Country

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You never quite realize how much stuff you’ve accumulated until it’s time to pack and move. It’s a great reality check for most of us as we ponder: “Do I really need 20 pairs of pants?” or “This jar of strawberry jam expired in 2012. Why did I wait so long to clean out the pantry?” Deciding on what to donate and what to take with you really becomes a pertinent issue if you are moving out of state. You only have one trip to take everything, so how are you going to make the important stuff fit? For many, the new trend of long distance moving pods is a lifesaver. Here are some some of our favorite moving pod tips and tricks to make your cross-country move easy as POD – er, pie..

How Do Long Distance Moving Pods Work?

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Let’s discuss what a moving pod is first. Moving pods offer a great solution to a problem many people have when it’s time to move. You’ll get a big, empty container that you fill with all that stuff you can’t get rid of, and they can either move it to your new location or store it for you for a certain amount of time until your new location is ready. This means that you can have a large container situated in your driveway that you can fill at your leisure (let’s say your garage is already full and you need a safe place to store your packed items) or you can have it for a few days and have the company pick it up and move it for you to your new home. This gives you the benefit of not needing to pack everything all at once and you can also unpack items or store them if needed (maybe your new home isn’t ready yet, but your lease is up on the old place). In general, long distance moving pod companies charge based on a similar model to traditional moving companies: size of container needed, time used, and distance traveled.

While this is a great way to move, it’s important to note that while these storage container companies will move the pod from one distance to another, they will not load or unload your items; this is completely up to you to do… or not do.

Thankfully, Dolly’s here to help.  Our Helpers would love to help you load up your moving pod at the old home and unload it at your new place. We’re available to help whenever you need it. Just choose one or two Helpers and select how many hours you need the help for. Our pricing is guaranteed, so there’s no hidden fees: you know exactly what you’re paying for.

How to Pick the Right Moving Pods Company

While PODS may be the first and most common form of this service, there are a variety of companies that provide storage containers. Here are some that you might want to consider:


U-Pack is available in all fifty states, so no matter where you’re moving from or to, you can count on this long distance moving pod. U-Pack is also unique in that you don’t have to pay a deposit and you don’t have to pay for space you don’t use. For example, you don’t have to put down money when you reserve your moving pod and your credit card won’t be charged until after they pick up your moving pod. Additionally, traditional moving companies charge by weight. U-Pack only charges by the amount of space you use. So let’s say you use only two of the three ReloCubes you requested. You’ll only have to pay for the two! Plus, you get three days to pack your moving pod before you get charged for additional days.


PODS (Portable On Demand Storage) – I bet you didn’t know what PODS stood for! This is probably the most well known long distance moving pod company and one of the most flexible. They have the largest variety of container sizes – seven, twelve, and sixteen feet – and outshine other companies in that they can probably fit all of your belongings into one container (on average, a single household will need one twelve or sixteen foot moving pod.)  A big selling point is that when you rent a POD, you get 30 days to use it; this includes the time your PODS container spends at your old or new home or at a PODS storage center.


Where 1-800-PACK-RAT stands out in in their unique container design. Their moving pods are constructed from steel and are perfect if you’re moving in harsh weather. They also have barn doors rather than the common roll up doors. This means that you don’t have to worry about the door taking up room on top of the container and it also won’t jam when the items shift during the move. A second stand-out feature that others don’t have is that your quote includes a $10,000 contents protection plan for long distance moves. They also include 30 day storage period to pack, move, and unload your moving pod.

For short distance moves, you can’t beat a Dolly. But when you’re moving a far distance, check out one of these above options and let Dolly help you load or unload your pod. Moving is rarely easy, so let us take care of the heavy lifting while you sit back and enjoy your new home.

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