We’re all for moving containers.
They allow you to move at your own pace without having to drive a large vehicle long distances.
However, your average person is not a moving expert. So how are you expected to properly load a moving pod?
To make matters worse, an improperly packed pod can cause damage to your beloved items.
Today, we’re going to help you solve this rather simply game of Tetris by going over everything you need to know to correctly pack and load a moving container.
Let’s get started.
What is A Moving Container
Portable moving container, storage container, moving pod, or simply pod.
All of these terms and their variations are referencing the same moving method.
Basically, this is the in-between of hiring professional movers and completing the entire move yourself.
The moving container company will drop off the pod at your old home, you load it at your own pace, they pick up the container, ship it and drop off the pod at your new home.
For the best relocation experience, be sure to hire one of the best moving container companies.
Plan Your Pod Move
Planning ahead will prevent your pack from becoming a hodge-podge time waster. Follow this checklist.
- Purge all unwanted items beforehand. Packing your pod is no time to decide whether you really want an item or not.
- Clean unpacked items such as furniture and appliances, especially if your pod is going directly into storage. Cleaning these items at your new destination only adds to the work.
- Pack your items in stackable storage boxes so you can create a compact and efficiently loaded pod. Bulky, odd shaped boxes from the supermarket may be free but they lead to a poorly packed moving container.
- Divide all your packed boxes into heavy and light piles. This will make it easier to properly distribute weight when you load the moving container.
Load Efficiently: Best Ways to Load Pods
Create Floor to Ceiling Vertical Walls
Start at the back of the moving container and create floor to ceiling walls or tiers of packed boxes. Place heavy boxes at the bottom and lighter boxes at the top of each wall.
Moving pods have hooks or anchors throughout the container. Secure each tier with rope or moving straps to these handy anchors.
Think of leaving each wall you finish with a big X of braided rope. Complete each wall and gradually move to the front of the moving container. Leave no gaps behind!
When it comes to loading heavier items like furniture and appliances, balance them evenly on either side of the moving container. Heavy items all on one side can lead to dramatic shifts in weight and possible damage during transport.
Stuff the Empty Spaces
As you get closer to the front of the moving container you may notice spaces between furniture and other odd-sized items. Fill these gaps with blankets and garbage bags filled with clothes or stuffed animals. The goal is to minimize space and to minimize movement.
The more tightly packed your pods container, the more secure the move.
Preparing Furniture and Appliances
Follow these steps before you load furniture and appliances.
- Break down furniture as much as possible
- Wrap furniture and appliances in moving blankets, bubble wrap and pads to protect surfaces
- If possible, pack couches on their ends to leave more storage space
- Load heavy items along the sides of the moving pod close to anchors
- Secure your mattresses in mattress covers
- Secure all your heavy items with moving straps for zero movement during the trip
Loading Fragile items
If you can, avoid storing heirlooms and keepsakes or highly valuable fragile items in your moving pod. If you must, then follow these tips.
- Carefully wrap fragile items and secure then within the box to minimize movement. Pack these boxes into the tiers with other boxes but marked as fragile so you take more caution during unloading.
- If your moving container load takes more than one day, be sure to lock it up at night.
Preparing Your Moving Pod for Long-Term Storage
If you will not be unloading your storage pod right away upon arrival at its destination, take these extra steps to protect your belongings for long-term storage.
- Add moisture absorbers to the storage container to prevent mold and mildew growth over time.
- If you think you will need to access the pod during storage, rethink your packing plan. Place items you may need access closer to the front of the moving container.
What Can Go Wrong When Loading a Moving Pod
- You just start load with no system. You run out of packing space and have to unload and start over. Think and plan ahead.
- You pack all your appliances and furniture at the back of the pod and all your boxes at the front. The result may be toppled boxes and damage when you unload. Evenly distribute items and weight through the packing container for a tight load.
- You leave some empty space for last minute items that never gets filled. When you unpack you find items have shifted and there is damage. Load and pack tightly. No space and no movement leads to a secure move.
- You’ve packed the pod pretty tightly, so you don’t think you need ropes or anchors. During transport vibrations can cause “wiggle room” to form and cause heavier items to shift. Secure every moving box tier and all heavy items with rope. Take advantage of the built-in pod anchors!
More Loading and Packing Tips
- Never pack perishables in a pod
- Always label your boxes so you can see at a glance what each tier contains
- Use specialized picture boxes for artwork, mirrors and flat screen TVs
- At the entry of the moving container place a large sheet of cardboard or flattened boxes to create a barrier that will prevent items from falling against the door during the move. This will prevent door jams when you go to unpack.
- Always keep an itemized list of what you packed
- Keep your highly valuables and important documents on your person instead of loading them into the pod
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