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I plan to renovate my house by next week. So I need to shift my valuables to the new house. I have arranged to use portable storage containers for the move. But now I have doubts about the packing process. Can we pack as much as the stuff in a storage container? Are there any limitations regarding the weight of the stuff? Please share your experience.

  • Are the containers going to be moved? Or just filled and left stationary? – Solar Mike Jul 4 at 9:38
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The packing and weight restriction questions are things you should be asking the moving pod provider. They can give you their recommended procedure to safely pack the pod and how to distribute the weight in a safe way.

Any restrictions on weight are going to be fully dependent upon pod design and usage scenario (stationary storage or transport storage). In the case of the transport usage there will be limitations based upon the vendor's truck and lift mechanism.

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Last year I renovated 2 homes. We packed 90% of one home into a pod that was left onsite. The other was packed and moved. The most valuable and essential daily use items were moved in cars to our temporary housing. Think carefully about everything you'll need, and some things you'll want (special blankets, children's toys, your favorite skillet) and keep those separate. Once things go in the pod they're generally not accessible. You'll find some things you missed and it may be easier to buy another to use until you unpack.

As for packing, the pod company and moving companies have moving guides available just for asking. There are also dozens of moving guides on the web. The guides are more detailed than we have room for here but here's a few things I've run into with every person I've helped move.

Get a good supply of strong boxes that can be completely closed, turned upside down, and shaken without things falling out. It helps to use 2-3 standard sizes so you can more easily see how things fit in them and how they'll stack in the pod. They should be big enough to fit nearly an entire shelf of a bookcase into, but not so big you can't lift them if they're packed full of books or canned goods. They should also have a blank area on the sides (the top isn't visible once they're stacked) for labeling what's in them and the room it's from or going to. Pack room by room. Use the opportunity to get rid of what you don't want. Get plenty of magic markers, tape, packing paper (newspaper), and a few tape guns. Fill the boxes completely full before closing them; things get broken when they shift & move during transport and you'll have fewer boxes to move. Remember the people who help you pack & move. Feed them and treat them well. Remember, your home is in their hands.

On packing the pod... Find out if they use a tip-up and roll-off truck or one that lifts the pod flat. If it's roll off you need to pay closer attention to securing everything well, as the pod will tip up to 30-45 degrees during transport. Load it floor to ceiling, front to back, in layers. Put solid, heavy things on bottom of each layer and stack on top of them. Light, fragile, and odd-shaped things go on top with soft things packed around them to keep them from moving around. As you finish each layer, block it off with large, flat or solid items (bookcase, table with legs removed, mattress, box springs, appliances) to build a wall, then tie the layer securely forward with strong rope and ratchet straps. Use the tie points on the wall, floor, and ceiling, that's why they're there. Remember, the pod may get tipped up to 45 degrees and things break when they shift. Fill each layer as completely as possible, wall to wall, floor to ceiling, filling every hole possible before starting the next layer; if you've been there a while you'll always have more stuff than you thought. If you have a friend who's good at Tetris and who can think ahead about what you have, put them in charge of the loading. Consider weather when you pack the pod, don't put anything in there that will be damaged by cooking in the hot summer sun (food, medicine, old vinyl albums, slides, film & negatives) or a drip or two from the ceiling. Put cleaning supplies and things you'll need first into the pod last.

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