If you’ve ever moved before, then you know what a stressful ordeal it can be. And this is true whether you’re moving to a different home in your neighborhood, or scheduling an out-of-state move.

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Many people are torn between whether to pay for the convenience of hiring full-service movers or trying to save some money and manage the entire move themselves. Hiring a full-service moving company is expensive, but doing everything on your own is a lot of work.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative for anyone who wants to save money, but outsource at least part of the move. Moving and storage container companies let you rent a moving container and pack up your belongings on your own timeline.

Once your container is packed up, the company will store your belongings for you and move them to your new home once you’re ready. If you’re interested in pursuing this option, here are seven moving and storage container companies you can consider.

1. U-Pack

U-Pack is is an out-of-state moving service, and it’s perfect for anyone that wants an affordable way to move long distances. The company doesn’t require an upfront deposit to schedule the move, and you only pay for the space you use.

Once you schedule your move, the company will deliver the empty moving container to your home. You’ll have three business days to pack everything up, and then once you’ve finished, the company will drive the container to your new home. From there, you’ll unload your belongings.

Pros

  • No deposit required to schedule the move
  • You only pay for what you use
  • High-quality, safe moving equipment
  • Experienced, professional drivers
  • The company is available in all 50 states

Cons

  • The company doesn’t do local moves
  • No assistance loading the containers
  • Large families may have to use multiple containers

2. PODS

Portable On Demand Storage, or PODS, provides portable containers to help you transport your belongings. You have the option to choose from a 7-foot, 12-foot, or 16-foot container. And you can use PODS whether you’re moving out-of-state or simply cleaning out your garage.

PODS will deliver the container to your home, and you can take as much time as you need to load everything up. If you don’t want to do all the heavy lifting yourself, PODS can connect you with local packing or loading companies.

Once you’re finished loading the container, PODS will keep it in storage for as long as you need it. Once you’re ready to move, the company will drive the container to your new home. PODS is available for local and out-of-state moves.

Pros

  • Choose from three different container sizes
  • Take as long as you want to load your container
  • PODS can refer you to packing and loading companies

Cons

  • Not available in all 50 states
  • You have to call the company to finalize your quote
  • Transit times can take longer

3. U-Box by U-Haul

U-Box by U-Haul provides affordable moving and storage containers. The service is available in all 50 states for both local and out-of-state moves.

To get started, you’ll fill out a form on the company’s website letting them know where you’re moving to and the expected date of your move. The company will then contact you with a quote for the cost of the service.

Once you’ve paid the deposit, U-Haul will deliver your storage container. If you want moving assistance, the company will help you pack up your belongings as well.

Pros

  • Available in all 50 states
  • Available for local and out-of-state moves
  • The company offers affordable insurance plans
  • You can request packing assistance as well

Cons

  • Customers have to pay an upfront deposit
  • The company uses wood containers, which are less durable

4. 1-800-PACK-RAT

1-800-PACK-RAT provides service to customers across the United States and Canada. The company offers 8-foot, 12-foot, and 16-foot storage containers, which makes it especially useful for long-distance moves.

One of the best things about 1-800-PACK-RAT is that 30 days of storage is included in your quote for free. This could be a huge help to anyone who has a gap between when they have to move out of their current home and when their new home will be move-in ready.

And the company’s storage facilities are equipped with 24-hour surveillance and they’re climate controlled and vehicle-accessible. So you can rest assured knowing that all of your belongings are safe.

Pros

  • Three different container size options
  • Availabe across the U.S. and Canada
  • Secure storage facilities
  • Great option for long-distance moves

Cons

  • Not available in all 50 states
  • You’ll have to call the company to finalize your quote

5. SmartBox

Smartbox is one of the most affordable options on this list, and it’s great for local moves, long-distance moves, storage, and corporate moves. The company offers a price-matching guarantee to ensure that you always get the best deal.

The company does use wooden storage containers and only offers one sizing option. But SmartBox is still a great option for anyone who’s looking to move on a tight budget.

Pros

  • Affordable moving option
  • Pricing matching guarantee
  • Great for local and long-distance moves

Cons

  • Wooden storage containers
  • Only one sizing option available
  • Not available in all 50 states

6. ZippyShell

ZippyShell offers flexible moving and storage options for customers. The company will handle your local or long-distance move, and 30 days of storage is included in every quote.

The company’s storage options are what really make it stand out. You can request mobile or on-site storage, and your belongings will be kept safe in a secure, temperature-controlled storage center.

Pros

  • Available for local and long-distance moves
  • 30 days of storage included in every quote
  • Option to add on movers at an additional charge

Cons

  • Containers are on the smaller side
  • Not available in all 50 states

7. Go Mini’s

Go Mini’s offers one of the most flexible rental policies of anyone on this list. You can rent the containers on a weekly basis and can store your belongings at your home, at an outdoor facility, or at an indoor Go Mini’s facility.

The shipping containers are made of steel and you can choose between a 12-foot, 16-foot, or 20-foot container. However, the company is only available for local moves so if you’re moving across state lines, you’ll have to find another option.

Pros

  • Flexible rental policies
  • Flexible storage options
  • Secure, steel storage containers
  • Containers are available in three different sizes

Cons

  • The company is only available for local moves

What is the Best Moving Container Company?

All seven of the companies outlined in this article would make a good choice for your next move. The one you pick will really depend on your situation and the features you’re looking for.

It’s important to consider the flexibility of the company you’re considering choosing. Do they make you pay an upfront deposit and do they require you to call them to receive a service quote?

You also want to think about the quality and size of the containers. If you’re just packing up an apartment and moving 10 minutes away, then this may not be a huge consideration for you. But if you’re packing up a five-bedroom home and moving across the country, this should be a significant factor in your decision.

Bottom Line

Moving and storage container companies are a great way to save money on your next move. These companies are less expensive than full-service movers but save you from having to do everything on your own. Make sure you consider all your options and choose the company that is the best fit for your situation.