Quick Answer: A 16-foot POD is usually suitable for storing or moving up to 1,200 square feet — the average size of a 1-2 bedroom apartment or a small 2-3 bedroom home.
A PODS rental can make cross-country (or even cross-town) moves faster and more affordable.
But opting for these steel containers is different than using a moving truck, so you might wonder how much these containers cost, how the process works, and whether PODS are a fit for your move.
With moveBuddha’s FAQ, you’ll become a POD pro in no time. Check out this guide to learn everything there is to know about 16-foot PODS.
How does PODS work?
89% of users select this mover
PODS is a unique system where:
- A crane truck delivers empty containers on-site to your home or business
- You load the POD
- The delivery driver hauls the POD to either a storage area or to your new address
- You unload the pod at your new home
The PODS system became popular in the late 90s by targeting storage container customers, but it quickly expanded to include local moves and long-distance moves, too.
Today, portable storage container companies likePODS andU-Pack are popularizing shipping container-style moving.
These services gobbled up big chunks of traditional movers’ business by offering this convenient and affordable DIY moving service.
Regardless of whichmoving container company you hire for the job, most offer the 16-foot POD as the largest container. The exception is MiniMoves, which offers a 20-foot container — the largest available in the industry.
What fits in a 16-foot POD?
Althoughmoving container companies may claim otherwise, realistically, a 16-foot POD is only large enough for a 2-bedroom apartment or a small 3-bedroom house.
Sizing is tricky since not everyone’s home or apartment is the same size. 16-foot PODS can fit a maximum of 1,200 square feet.
Here are the average industry home sizes for reference:
- Studio (400-600 sq feet)
- 1 Bedroom, Small (600-800 sq ft)
- 1 Bedroom, Large (800-1000 sq ft)
- 2 Bedroom (1000-1500 sq ft)
- 3 Bedroom (1500 -2000 Sq ft)
And that’s just with boxes, no furniture. It’s easy to see how the amount of stuff you have can affect whether you can fit your home or apartment in a 16-foot POD.
If you’re trying to fit a lot of boxes into a 16-foot POD, the number of boxes you can fit into the large container depends on a few factors.
Carton size varies greatly, but most boxes are between 1.5 (book boxes) and 5.2 (dish packs) cubic feet, or slightly more than 3 cubic feet on average.
A 16-foot POD has around 850 cubic feet of space.
If your shipment is primarily boxes, you should be able to fit approximately 225 boxes into a 16-foot POD.
Just keep in mind that heavy items, like furniture and appliances, use a lot of space, so plan accordingly.
What’s the weight limit for a 16-foot POD?
A 16-foot POD has a 4,200-pound weight limit.
However, most dwellings with 3-4 bedrooms have more than 4,200 pounds of household goods.
In fact, moving company sales reps will tell you to expect three or four times that amount.
Make sure you reserve enough PODs to move all of your stuff. Take advantage offree online inventory forms and apps to calculate the weight and estimated cubic feet of your items.
Inventorying your stuff can also help you save big headaches down the road, so don’t overlook the value of early documentation.
If you’re moving something smaller, like a 1-bedroom or studio apartment, you can likely fit all of your items in a 7-foot container. Or, if you have a lot of items,a 12-foot container will give you more space.
How much does a 16-foot POD cost?
89% of users select this mover
How big is a 16-foot PODs storage container?
PODS’ 16-foot containers measure 16 feet long, 8 feet high, and 8 feet wide.
When you account for the POD’s outside dimensions, the interior space comes in at around 850 cubic feet.
Compared to interstate movers, that’s relatively small. But as long as you pack carefully, you can fit a surprising amount of stuff into a 16-foot POD.
Of course, bulky furniture like sofas, appliances, and entertainment centers eat up valuable space quickly.
To get the most bang for your buck, you’ll need to think and work like experienced movers. Optimize space by:
- Standing sofas on their ends
- Disassembling tables, beds, futons, and exercise equipment as much as possible
- Filling the gaps around large items
- Packing your boxes and plastic bins properly
Why is a 16-foot POD a good option?
Though you’ll want to pack your container the same way you would aregular moving van, PODs have several advantages.
All PODs are at ground level, so it’s easy to walk in and out of the POD while you load.
Many storage solutions have plywood ceilings or floors that snag on upholstered items, which make it difficult to slide heavy furniture. But a POD’s steel interior makes it a breeze to load and unload.
Moving containers are also:
- Cost-effective alternatives tofull-service movers
- Secure (you use your own lock on the roll-up door and keep the key)
- Flexible — the company adheres to your schedule, not the other way around
- Available in 3 different container sizes: eight, 12, and 16 feet
- Great for those who’d rather notdrive a clunky rental truck
Tips for packing a 16-foot Pods moving container
1. Distribute weight evenly
To ensure proper weight distribution, it’s a good idea to spread your heaviest items out from front to back and side to side.
Imbalanced containers can be an issue if you have weighty furniture or a disproportionate number of book boxes.
Packing a POD is an art, solearn how to pack a moving pod to make the most of your limited space.
2. Give yourself time to load and unload
Loading and unloading often take longer than people expect, so give yourself two days for both.
You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew, especially if your friends or family bail at the last minute.
Giving yourself two days for loading and unloading takes a lot of pressure off of your shoulders. Plus, you can take your time, which means you’reless likely to damage your items — and your back.
3. Load high-priority items at the back
Load the items you’ll need first at the back of the container so you can access them more easily.
If your container shows up at your new residence in the afternoon and you don’t have enough time to unload everything, you’ll still have access to necessities like:
- Toys and other children’s items
- Fresh clothes
- Pots, pans, dishes, and silverware
As with full-service moves, keep irreplaceable items like family heirlooms, jewelry, photos, passports, and birth certificates on your person instead of packing them.
4. Channel your inner minimalist
You can save both time and money if you have fewer possessions to transport. If you’re consideringdownsizing and giving the minimalist lifestyle a try, moving is the perfect time to do it.
Get rid of old, out-of-style, or rarely used items. If you’re having a hard time parting with some belongings, approach this as a fresh start.
If all of your things probably won’t fit into a 16-footPODS container, just take what will fit and donate the rest. That’s a gutsy move, to be sure, so load the most important things first.
Leave yourself some extra time after the move to haul the leftover items to donation centers.
What are other alternatives to a 16-foot POD?
Check out these PODS competitors to find the right company for your move.
As a division of one of the nation’s largest trucking companies, ABF U-Pack has a huge nationwide coverage area and offers some of the lowest pricing in the container moving industry.
Plus, U-Pack only charges you for the containers you use, not the containers you order.
If you’re not sure whether you’ll need one or two, order two to be on the safe side. If you only fill one, you’ll only pay for one.
1-800-Pack-Rat offers both local and long-distance container moving services.
Its standard rates are a bit on the high side, but the company offers price matching, which is a great option for cost-conscious movers.
Pack-Rat containers are sturdier than many competitors and come in the following sizes:
- Small: 8.5 x 7 x 8 feet
- Medium: 2 x 8 x 7.5 feet
- Large: 16 x 8 x 7.5 feet
U-Haul has one of the largest container-moving networks in the country, with thousands of locations in both rural and metropolitan areas.
Plus, you can keep the U-Box for storage at your home, business, or U-Haul location for the same price.
The only issue is that U-Box containers only come in one size (8 x 4.5 x 5.5 feet) and their construction isn’t as robust as other container companies.
Since U-HaulU-Box containers only come in one size (8 feet) you’ll need two to match the interior space of one 16-foot POD.
Unlike its competitors, U-Haul also offers moving labor, pick-up, and delivery services. But you can always opt to transport the container yourself if you have a truck or trailer big enough to haul it.
Should you use a 16-foot POD?
- Reasonable prices
- Moving supplies and equipment
- Large service area across the U.S.
- A varied number of containers
- Hundreds of storage facilities
- Home drop off
PODS.com offers solid 16-foot POD rentals, but it’s still good to do your homework to make sure it’s the right choice for your move.
If you’re considering moving with a container, you’re in luck: moveBuddha did the legwork for you. Check out theTop Moving Container & Storage Companies to find the right fit for your storage needs while streamlining your moving costs.
Learn more about PODs:
Not what you were looking for?
Check out other categories that can help you find the information you need!