Moving with PODS Storage Containers

After much deliberation and not really liking the moving experiences we have had in the past, the Wild Boar and I have decided to try out PODS (Portable On Demand Storage) for our relocation to Oregon.

There is something about the big moving truck swooping in one day and the manic experience that follows we dislike.  It's usually three sweaty men running around like crazy to get everything loaded in one day.  We then race to the new destination where we anxiously receive every single box as it is dumped all at once.

Yes, it's really quick but what you end up with is a mess in both locations.  The boxes are piled to the ceiling at your new place and you have to immediately solve a puzzle more complicated than Rubik's cube. 

Since we do not have to be out of our house on a certain date and our home in Oregon is already a functioning household (i.e. we will not have to find the toilet paper and our toothbrushes...they are already there), there is no reason to deal with all the craziness of a one day move on either end.

I like the idea of being able to load and unload at our own pace.  The pods will be delivered one at a time to us in California, filled then swapped out for an empty one...all on dates we choose. 

The last pod will be loaded by professional movers who will be lifting the heavy items.
Here's the funniest part.  The professional moving company I hired for the loaders came with a "moving coordinator".  Her name is Marcy.  Marcy calls every day to see how my packing is going.  Marcy has a high-pitched super-sugary voice with a sweet as pie Southern drawl.

Marcy tries to encourage me to pack at least two or two-thousand boxes every day to make this as smooth a transition as possible.  Marcy assures me if I can't get it done in time, she can send me packers with supplies galore.  Marcy tells me she believes in me and knows I will get it all done and if I can't there are options.  Marcy likes to talk for LONG periods of time about bubble wrap, styrofoam peanuts, tape and mattress covers.  Marcy reminds me to pack heavy stuff on the bottom of a box and fill the top with lighter items.  Marcy stokes my ego and tells me I am a strong woman who can accomplish anything if I put my mind to it.  (Marcy reminds me of someone who would a work at a W Hotel.  If you've ever stayed there you'll know what I mean.  Whatever, Whenever.)

Marcy is driving me INSANE.

What I haven't told Marcy is that I have hardly packed a thing.  But I've thought about it.  A lot.  I haven't told Marcy I have a food blog and can't possibly pack up my kitchen until the absolute, last possible second.  I haven't told Marcy I am the ultimate procrastinator.  I haven't told Marcy I'm waiting for the packing fairies to show up at night and wrap it all up for me.  Marcy has no idea how much I hate talking on the phone.

I have a feeling during one of these daily power chats, Marcy is going to blow a gasket and turn on me.  There is no way she can keep up her sweetie-pie's and sticky-honey-bun encouraging words as I continually fail to meet all of her expectations.  I'm not sure how many more lies I can tell Marcy.  I already think she's on to me.

Anyway, enough about Marcy,  I was wondering if any of you have had any experiences with PODS?  Any tips, tricks, strategies or no-no's? 

We have the PODS for thirty days and in that period have plenty of time to load and unload them with a delivery transition break in between.

And while stress played more of a factor into our decision making to use PODS instead of a traditional moving company, PODS just happened to be $7,000 less in cost.  Quite a bonus wouldn't you say?

***UPDATE*** I never want to move with PODS again...too much work!! I'll happily pay the extra seven grand....ugh.

One Year Ago Today:  Bake Sale Bars

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  1. I think PODS sound marvelous and wish they were available the last time we moved. ( a long time ago)And I wish there were moving fairies ( hold the off color jokes please!)to wrap and pack , but it sounds like Marcy will be cheering you on until you yourself do just that. Maybe that will be the motivation after all, you get rid of Marcy when you’re finished !

  2. Hilary 2

    Hi Cathy .. it would drive me nutty .. I’d have got Marcy out of the way long ago .. & you’d have probably done your few boxes, and then be ready for the next few .. the concept of PODS sounds great .. Good Luck .. keep wrapping .. it’s awful – been there done it often enough ..
    Hilary Melton-Butcher – Positive Letters

  3. annbb 3

    Marcy, Marcy Marcy! She makes the moving world go around! That was funny – painfully so, but funny!
    And you have my sympathy.

  4. Moving is the penalty fee of getting a new home, which seems steep considering the offense was buying or renting a house. Try and grit your teeth through the pain and when you think about strangling Marcy, remember, a call from Marcy beats a stretch in Q any day.

  5. Marcy sounds like a gym trainer. I bet she’ll be screaming for you to drop and do 50 (boxes), by the end of the week. Moving can be such a pain – good luck with the whole process and hopefully the pods with make it easier on everyone.

  6. jackie cohen 6

    2 ladies that work with me have both moved from California to the DC area via pods. They both were pleased. Both were single and the move was not paid for by the job. They also had way less than a family. My daughter moved from Kansas to MD by pod and was pleased that the pod could even be stored close to the new home until ready for it. I think the trick here is actually packing boxes and belongings and filling the pod. good luck, I hate it also. I hate unpacking more than packing. I moved ALOT over the years, first as military family, then on our own. Have not moved for 15 years. The house is bulging, and I dread the next time having to get house ready to sell,and packing, much less finding a new home and unpacking!

  7. Debbie 7

    Sounds like a very good idea. I do not know much about PODS but I do know firsthand what a pain in the butt moving is….I think Marcy needs to be shot!!!!

  8. I HATE MOVING! Now that is out of my system……
    I have had to do various kinds of moves, including a cross country move after college. I hated it. When the Husband and I finally bought our property last year we decided that we will eventually build a house on the front part of the property. We also decided that after “our” house is built we will move stuff in slowly. And if we take fewer things, all the better!

  9. Moving, the adulthood replacement for timed testing in school. Good luck, sounds like you have researched things well.

  10. We’ve had experience with a company similar to PODS. WHen we moved to Italy, it took me three weeks to pack up all the boxes. My back was shot. Fortunately our kids came home to help load into the “POD” but I also hired a local teenager to help with the moving of boxes to the “POD.” I would suggest you do the same if you want to save your back. Make sure you pack the POD very tightly. You don’t want boxes to shift while in storage and fall on each other.

  11. $7,000 less is a huge savings, isn’t it?

    We’ve never used PODS but it sounds like a great plan. But I’m like you. I hate packing. It bothers me, ticks me off and makes me angry. When we moved from California to Massachusetts, we had a moving company come in and pack everything up for us. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. They took my daughter’s crib apart then promptly lost several pieces of hardware needed to put it back together and they broke an antique chair that’s been in my family for years. It was upsetting to say the least.

    I think packing it yourselves and using PODS will make a huge difference and be easier on you overall.

  12. No experience whatsoever.
    We do it the redneck way. Pick up trucks and all the friends we can bribe. But then again, I’ve never moved long distance.
    I believe I would keep an eye on the caller ID and let the voice mail speak with Marcy.

  13. Kayola 13

    YUCK! I hate moving! I am only good to go under pressure…that’s when I accomplish the most….we had the pods that just come to our home…when we had our flood and then again when I lost my teaching job…just to store our crap while we stayed here and both times we received a ticket from the city because a neighbor complained….can’t handle neighbors like that…we were desparate for storage and they weren’t here that long…but it left a bad taste in my mouth both times….seriously we looked like Sanford and son…not cool! I am probably more like your fencepost friend and haul it in the back of a pickup od ALL of our friends….the $7000.00 has to be so much better for you but that southern belle would drive me nutzty!!!!

  14. My experience w/ PODS is minimal–we packed up one pod right before our house went on the market in an attempt to declutter. They have taken it off to Podland where it will stay until we (hopefully!) move to the new house. Actually–I don’t miss the stuff and don’t care if we ever see it again!

    Good luck w/ Marcy and your web of lies!!

  15. Lies always create peroblems. Always. Even the little ones create expectations or beliefs in other people where they can be jutifiably disappointed in you or lose their trust or respect because of the conscious choice you made to avoid an issue or each issue as it arose…

    Packing sucks. Moving isn’t a bowl of cherries.
    But it can be done much more easily by being honest and asking for what you want up front. Then your expectations can be met successfully – as can those of someone like Marcy.

  16. Julie 16

    I got no experience with PODS, but I definitely want Marcy’s job. Although I think there’s probably only so much I could say about packing peanuts.

  17. Laura 17

    Right before you wrote, “Marcy is driving me insane” I was thinking…”Wow, Marcy would drive me insane.”
    I’m sure she’s very nice…but I wouldn’t like a backseat mover.

  18. Hahaha! You know Marcy is going to turn in to a blood sucking, soul squeezing, child eating maniac if you don’t get on with your packing, right?

    Packing Fairies may be worth the cost!
    Good luck!!

  19. Mary 19

    $7,000.00 isn’t chump change! Tell Marcy to back off.

  20. deeba 20

    No ideas on PODS though they seem quite dreamy to me. No luxuries like that here (PODS I mean/not the sugary babe), but hopefully Marcy shall get to know you blog one day! Hopefully that’ll happen soon, & she shall trip on the blog, & then she won’t trip your fuse!! LOL…by then the packing fairies should be here Cathy!

  21. Trisha 21

    PODS – have never done anything with them so I am anxious to hear how your experience is with them.

    Marcy sounds like the kind of person you could really love to hate!

    Good luck on the packing and the move!

  22. dawn 22

    I am laughing so hard at having a Marcy, it would make me crazy insane. She’s like a wedding coordinator except she’s coordinating something we all hate to do. It’s really very Seinfeldesque!

    I’ve used PODS and loved them…so conveinant and was much better than a moving company.

  23. Kaitlyn 23

    i’m sure my parents would’ve LOVED the PODS on the move from Kansas to Montana. would’ve saved them a lot of hassle. i’ll have to keep that in mind if i ever move.

  24. Bob 24

    Heh, I can’t say I’ve ever used PODS before. I think I might like a moving coordinator to help me next time I have to move though.

  25. No experience with PODS, but it sounds like a good plan! Re: Marcy … you might have to use caller ID and avoid some of those calls. I wonder how many people decide to forget about PODS because of Marcy. LOL Moving is stressful enough without a well-meaning type like her to drive you crazy. Good luck! I’m sure you’ll keep us posted. ;-)


  26. Julia 26

    I have never used PODS but have often wondered why more people don’t move this way. It seems so logical. Good luck with the move… and if you need any tips on procrastination, you just let me know.

  27. Barbie with a T 27

    The only thing I know about PODS is that they are more convenient and less expensive than that big moving van with sweaty men doing your packing for you. My daughter had one of those PODS delivered to her home (she lived in a condominium neighborhood in Florida at the time), and she had her POD half filled when she got fined $750 for having a POD in her driveway!! Her property owner’s association did that to her. She was quite upset to say the least. Anyway, I know moving is a pain in the butt no matter who or what the circumstances. I just wish you good luck and try not to strain any muscles or break any bones!!

  28. Wow, is her position really necessary? It would drive me batty after the first call of someone telling me how to pack. I would introduce her to my ignore button.

  29. Marlene 29

    Hi…I’m Marcy and I am on to you!!!

    Now get packing sweet heart, and if you need ANY help “what so eva”, just let me know and we can have some big guys there to make all your troubles go away. I want to be sooooo proud of you.

    (I’m just joking…but, I had you there for a brief second huh?)

    I would have told her what I needed was a glass of wine and a zanax. Maybe that will keep her from calling you back…maybe you should say that next time!!!

  30. jas 30

    My niece and her hubby just moved from an apt to their 1st house in pods. They loved it.

    I know what you mean about the procrastinating. At our last move, my friends came in and packed for me. They were afraid I would stay, I think. :)

  31. LilSis 31

    We’ve moved across country three times and they’ve all been with the 18 wheeler pulling up in front of the house that morning and loading everything in one fell swoop! It is very stressful loading and unloading! Unloading was even more stressful for me just making sure that every box was checked off and that nothing mysteriously disappeared.

    Not that I ever want to leave CA, but I’ll be anxious to hear how your move goes. It sounds like a great idea to me!

  32. Marjie 32

    I last moved in 1989, and I keep telling my kids that they can clean this place out after they carry me out toes up! We had 2 18 wheelers pull up to move us and load it all in one day. Of course, none of that compares in humor to moving our office 800 miles in 3 tractor trailers, and a bit of space left in the third trailer, so they took my Chevette to their shop and drove it into the last truck. We had to unload it at the Lowes across the street, and they let us drive it through the store and out the door. Now that was a funny move!

  33. Marcy will never turn on you to your face only behind your back! Don’t make her mad, she has all the power in the world to lose one of your pods- the one with your kitchen in it. I hate moving and hope to never move again- famous last words!

  34. Ugh! I have never used PODS, so I have no advice. I’m just also a procrastinator who hates moving, so I wish you a smooth, uneventful move…. although I guess a smooth uneventful move in itself ‘is’ eventful, isn’t it?

  35. Just the word ‘moving’ makes me relive the chaos and agony of packing/moving my household not so long ago. Never again if I can help it!

    Boy, you are funny! I bet ‘ya by the way you talk about Marcy, she had probably shown up, maybe even once, in your dreams, er, nightmare!

  36. dawn 36

    I should let my hubby answer this one. He’s become the pro at moving for us since we’ve moved a total of 5 times in the last 9 years. I hate moving. I will not pack, but I will unpack.

  37. Alisa 37

    I’m sure Marcy is a good Southern woman and will never lose her mind. Good Southern women never do that sort of thing.
    Even if you hate her. Then she can just talk to her Southern friends about that crazy CA woman, who has absolutely refused to start packing no matter how many times she’s called you.
    Saving $7,000 is a great thing.
    Good luck packing, I hate packing.

  38. Kate 38

    Call me nuts, but I like the hectic craziness of moving day. It’s like a fresh start, even when things suck. Like they did when we moved in October and I wasn’t even there.
    Sorry I don’t have any pod experience, but I can pack like an expert. I kinda like packing, actually.

  39. Pam 39

    The pods are an great idea! Marcy would drive me nuts – I think I would stop answering her calls.

  40. Rachel 40

    I think Marcy is trying to hog up all your time by keeping you on the phone so she can sell you her packing services!

  41. I hate packing, moving and the moving coordinators that come with the trucking companies. Oiy! I break out in hives just thinking about it. I’ve not had any experience with PODS but will be reading through your comments above to see who does and what they say and then will anxiously see how your experience pans out. If it sounds good on this end, it’s probably the direction we’ll go once we up sticks and move back to Cape Elizabeth…whenever that happens.

    Just don’t forget the wine. Pack one box, have a glass of wine…then rinse and repeat!

  42. Misty 42

    That was hilarious!

    I hate moving too; the hubby and I moved between apartments every year for five years. I never used PODS – we moved tons in our cars, and rented a U-Haul for large items since our moves were local. I wish you the best of luck though!

  43. Marcy needs a hobby. Or better booze.

    PODS — they work great — but you need to make sure you believe their
    instructions when they tell you not to pack the heavy stuff near the door. They do not lie.

    The heavy stuff will slide, and push against the door, and you will find your precious possessions hermetically sealed inside the PODS container forever and ever, amen.

    So — heavy at the back, lighter at the front, and belt that stuff in across the front with bungee cords or netting to keep it from getting too cozy with the door. Don’t ignore this advice, as that way madness lies. Good luck, and get packing!

  44. I’ve never heard of Pods, but it sounds like a fabulous way to move.

    I think Cass :: pointing up :: has great ideas and tips for you. Maybe she should replace Marcy?

  45. Moving stinks! Bleah.

  46. ER's Mom 46

    I used PODS 3 years ago for my last move. It was wonderful!

  47. Egghead 47

    That Marcy would have to go. I am the kind of person that likes to do things my own way and he/she who is buggin’ gets the boot. I haven’t been able to use a POD but I would love to the next and final time we move. Let us all know how it goes for you.

  48. Laura 48

    I have tried moving both ways and frankly it sucked both ways. But I preferred what you are doing now because the fallout from the movers messing everything up lasts forever.

    You sound like me this past winter–I left the kitchen out til the last possible minute and then carefully packed it such that it would be the first thing unpacked–before we were even done moving.

  49. Mags 49

    The stress of packing and moving is ridiculous, and I feel for you. I was there last year at this time and while I didn’t have a Marcy, I had a realtor from hell. A year from now (and a couple of dozen bottles of wine later) you’ll be able to look back on this and laugh…lol

  50. Michelle 50

    Spoken in true Cathy fashion, “$7,000 less in cost.” LOL All about the savings. “Husband, I just bought a Birken bag and saved $1,500. Great deal, eh?” LOL I like the idea of PODS since you can store the POD offsite if you don’t need it immediately at your destination. I soon will be joining you in the move to the Willamette Valley but I’m coming from the East Coast. I can’t wait to be in OR! Send the moving fairies my way please.

  51. Bunny 51

    Perky people drive me nuts, reading your discription of your conversations with her makes me whence.

  52. Matt 52

    I’ve used PODS on several occasions and have absolutely loved their service! No problems whatsoever, would definitely recommend them!

  53. Paula 53

    I’m so sorry to admit this, but I actually started laughing about Marcy. I wonder what it takes to maintain just a perky exterior. I also wonder how many moving families have entertained the idea of making little Marcy voodoo dolls! :-) On the bright side, I really like your PODS moving plan. It sounds very flexible and will relieve you of having multiple sweaty beings touching your belongings. Please keep us posted! :-)

  54. ntsc 54

    The last time I moved was 96 and while I packed the books myself, we used a moving company. My wife was executive assistant to the guy with the largest office at the third largest bank in NY. Their moving company ‘offered’ us a discounted rate. There is no question they lost on the deal, but it was explained in words of one syllable that I was expected to tip the movers daily.

    It took three days to load and one to unload. I still have boxes in the basement. I will through them out, someday.

    Early summer of 96 I had mentioned to The Chef that maybe it was time to sell the house and move, I had owned a brownstone in Park Slope Brooklyn before we met. She had us looking at houses two weeks later.

  55. If you’re saving $7k I hate the think about how much it’s actually costing! I guess that’s why we have done it ourselves (a few times) and why my hubs refuses to move again (last time I was pregnant and didn’t have to do much :))

    Anyway, God bless your dealings with Marcy…I don’t know that I could!

  56. We used SAM, similar to PODS, to move from our condo to our house. It was great! We were able to take our time packing the boxes and loading the container. Then, when it arrived at our new place, we were able to unload it at our own pace. Thing got put away much quicker than if they had been piled in rooms. It’s definitely the way to go.

  57. krysta 57

    i’m only moving a mile or so away and i’m still dreading it. and if i had marcie on my back all the time i wouldn’t be moving because i’d be in jail for some sort of felony to another human being.

  58. Wendy 58

    We moved back in 2002 into an apartment while our current house was getting finished being built. As much as I dislike moving, it brought out my inner-control freak. I created a spreadsheet listing the contents of each box and then numbered each box. This was necessary because some of our belongings went into storage and some went with us to the apartment until our new house was finished. At a glance, I could tell you exactly what was in each box. This made moving into our new home easier because I could look at the box number and be able to tell the moving guys which room to put the box in. I’ve passed this hint on to friends and it has helped them a lot too.

    Good luck – and just start packing one thing at a time. Pack the things you know you won’t need anytime soon.

  59. Julie 59

    My only experience with PODS is when my new next door neighbor used them to move in. We offered to have a one of the three PODS parked in our driveway for a few days. When they came to pick it up, it hit the house and broke a dozen roof tiles. PODS managment was very slow to respond and their designated PODS roofing contractor tried to come after me for the money when he didn’t get paid promptly. The managment in Sacramento isn’t the greatest. Good luck and pack it tightly so things don’t get broken.

    And just tell Marcie to back off. You’ll get it done when you get it done.

  60. tipper 60

    Marcy sounds like a real trip! But the pods sound great-sounds like it would be so much easier to go at your own pace.

  61. Lori E 61

    1. Marcy is trying to wrangle an invitation to the vineyard.
    2. Mother In Law says to me when I nudged her over the phone to get things packed and offered help: “I’ve moved before you know”.
    3. I needed Marcy to get my M.I.Law moved. She put it off and off until on moving day she was walking out to the truck carrying one pair of shoes at a time to put in the back.
    4. Hottest 3 days of the year. I got to go and pack the rest of her stuff and take it to her new home with a 2 1/2 hour ferry ride both ways.
    5. I love my Mother In Law.

  62. Howdy 62

    Aaaaahhh moving…. yeah I remember that! We used 3 PODS when we moved. We sold our house in MA but did not know just where we would end up in PA and since my husband was working as a consultant the cost of the move was on him – so the cost savings of the PODS was great.

    Be ruthless in cleaning out and getting rid of stuff. No sense packing stuff you really don’t need just to put it in storage and unpack it on the other end. We donated stuff, put stuff on the curb with a free sign on it, paid a junk man to take stuff and I threw out stuff I had no idea why I was keeping it.

    We bought a bunch of boxes all the same size – makes it easy to pack the POD when the boxes fit together nicely. Follow their suggestions on packing the PODS and fill them to the very, very TOP – it’s helpful to have a good ladder handy.

    Remember – The more stuff you get rid of – the less you have to pack.

  63. Louise 63

    Hang in there. Know that this, too, will, pass.

    A few years back my sister-in-law and I cleaned out our mother-in-law’s house while the men handled the paperwork around town. They were fine until we told them that we’d spent $300 on packing materials. But, that said, all was divided, packed, mailed, and recieved in our homes as intended. And peace returned to the families.

  64. We have been in the new house for almost three months and I have to admit… our moving driving me nuts!
    I’ve never heard of Pods, but it sounds like a fabulous way to move.

  65. If you think pods are a good idea you would be right.As they save you the hard work when it comes to moving house.But do follow the instructions with what they come with.

  66. I couldn’t agree more with the above comment.I think PODS are a great idea especially when it comes to moving house.

  67. Reply
  68. mike 68

    This as been a great help.

  69. Life 69

    You have a great blog.


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