Moving Storage Container Or Moving Company: Which Is Right For You?


Your Move Will Determine The Service You Need

Every move is different and, therefore, has different needs and requirements. Depending on the type of move you are doing, factors like time, money, and experience should be considered when deciding between renting a moving storage container or hiring movers. To help give you a better perspective, here are some facts you should know about each move and which service would be best for each one.

Staying Local

Remaining within your state and moving less than 50 to 100 miles from your old residence is considered a local move. Since the move won’t take long and you won’t be crossing any state lines, a moving company will charge you by the hour for the loading, transporting, and unloading of your things. However, many companies require that you also buy insurance and other liability coverage, and can charge you any number of fees they don’t always tell you about upfront. To avoid this hassle, your best option would be to use a moving storage container. This way you can pack and unpack at your own pace, schedule your move on your own time table, and know the exact price you need to pay beforehand. Moving container companies charge for:
  • Initial delivery: delivery of the empty container to your location
  • Rental charge: based on length of time the container is in your possession (usually a weekly or monthly charge)
  • Transport of container: the cost of transporting your loaded container to your new residence
  • Pick up of container: retrieving the empty container after your move
  • Additional coverage: optional coverage in case of damage to your possessions or the container itself
Typically, a local move that requires a month’s rental on a moving container, which is enough for three rooms, will cost around $400 to $1,000. On the other hand, using a moving company for the same move can cost between $1,800 to $2,500, not including other moving services and fees. SEE ALSO: 5 Unexpected Moving Expenses Everyone Needs To Know About

Going The Distance

Moving long distance means you are moving over 100 miles but still within the state. Like a local move, renting a moving container instead of hiring a moving company will save you money and allow you to set your own schedule. However, for this move, there are other things to consider before choosing which service to use. Experience, for example, can be worth the cost of labor. Professional movers would know the most secure way to load and transport your items for such a long journey. Even if you’re extremely careful, your inexperience can end up costing you a lot since moving containers don’t cover damages due to improper packing or normal shifting during the move. Time is also a factor. Moving containers are not climate controlled, so anything susceptible to extreme temperature or humidity can be damaged if left in the container for long periods of time.

Traveling From State To State

If you move to a different state, no matter what distance, it’s considered an interstate move. If the move isn’t very far and won’t take long, renting a moving container will, again, be less hassle. A move that takes more than a few hours or crosses more than one state border, however, might need the expertise of a professional mover. No matter which option you go with, make sure the company you choose has the right permits and licenses. Each state has their own set of rules and regulations when it comes to transporting goods into and out of its borders, and without the right permits your goods can end up impounded.

Keeping It Small

A small move is just like it sounds: a local move of a small amount of items, usually 2,000 pounds or less. Small moves include dorm and apartment moves, as well as partial house moves (one or two rooms of a household). Since there aren’t many items to deal with, hiring a moving company or paying a month’s rent for a storage container doesn’t make sense (especially if you don’t have anywhere to keep it). Your best bet is to ditch the costly services and move yourself. Pack all your things in advance and when moving day comes, bribe some friends and family to load your stuff in their cars and head over to your new place. The most it’ll cost is a few pizzas and a case or two of beer. However, if you have some heavy or bulky pieces of furniture, consider renting a truck for a few hours or hiring mini movers, movers who specialize in small moves. Although both options are more affordable compared to storage containers and traditional movers, you should still shop around and compare to find the best price available. SEE ALSO: Everything You Need To Know About Mini Movers   No matter what service you use for your move, make sure you do your research and pick a company that not only saves you money and time, but is also dependable. You are trusting them with all of your possessions, after all, so go with a company that has excellent reviews and a first-rate reputation.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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