If you are planning a move, or want to transport some large objects to your vacation home without renting or driving a truck, you might want to consider becoming a POD-person. No, we’re not talking about Invasion of the Body Snatchers, we’re referring to the increasingly ubiquitous portable storage units being used all over the country. If you haven’t used one yet, or haven’t seen them in your neighborhood, it’s likely you might see one soon.

Last year, as part of a move from Connecticut to Vermont, I contacted a local company that offers portable storage units for rent. At first, I rented two 5’ x 7’ x 8’ weatherproof boxes, so that I could remove personal items and some furniture from the house, to prepare it for sale. After the sale of the property, I rented 4 more units, in order to pack the rest of my household goods and prepare them for shipment north. These storage units were a great help in moving. In previous moves, all of the packing and transporting of stuff needed to take place in a very short period of time, usually one or two days, driven by the high cost of long-term truck rental. And apart form the time factor, better yet, I didn’t need to drive the loaded truck when it came time to transport the storage units north, instead, the storage company trucked them to Vermont for me.

My good experience with having used portable storage units notwithstanding, there is some downside to the use of this method for moving your household. One of the primary problems, these units are not very pretty. They can clutter your yard or driveway, or worse, the street in front of your house, until they are loaded and moved. This could definitely hurt the curbside appeal of your property and could also offend your neighbors. I was lucky on this front. I had ample room behind my garage to tuck the units in out of sight of the street and my neighbor’s homes. This likely wouldn’t be possible in many cases.

If you want to know more about portable storage units, click here for an article that describes some of the pros and cons of using them from the Washington Post.