Portable Storage – 10 Things You Need to Know

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Moving to a new house or new office can be exciting. It can also be filled with challenges. A portable storage unit is a great option for moving across town or across the country. But it’s important to know what to expect, what’s allowed, and what’s prohibited so that your move is stress-free and successful with portable storage – these are the ten things you need to know. 

I used a portable storage container to pack items up and ship them across country. It was the perfect solution for our situation and was surpisingly easy to do. Knowing these tips for using portable storage will make sure your move with using a portable storage unit is just as successful. 

Portable Storage – Ten Things You Need to Know 

A mobile storage unit is akin to a container at the back of a truck except that it is portable. Often the company that rents you the unit is responsible for its delivery and transportation to the mentioned address.

Portable Storage Units Come in Different Sizes

The metal container comes in varying sizes, and you can rent the size that will best meet your needs. Different companies offer different size portable storage units. For instance, ALTA Storage provides moves for offices and homes of approximately 1500 sq. feet. Be sure to discuss your space requirements with the company you select so that they can make a precise recommendation for the container’s size.

You Will Be Responsible for Packing Your Belongings

A storage company is responsible for delivering a portable storage unit to your address, whether it is your home, office, storage unit or other location. It is up to you to prepare your items, wrap them, pack them and secure the items in the unit. You will be acting as your own moving company packers and loaders.

Reports reveal that 73% of the commonly moved items are household good. Electronic office equipment, such as copiers and computers, comprise 20% of the typically moved items. All these fragile items demand careful packing.

Your shipping container is fastened to a moving truck, which means that your items get jostled around during transportation. It’s critical that you take the time to pack your belongings carefully and correctly to minimize damage.

A Portable Storage Unit Occupies Plenty of Space

When your portable unit arrives at your location, the company drops it off either in your driveway or on the lawn. If there isn’t sufficient space in those areas, the container will have to be placed in the street outside your house.

A Portable Storage Unit Can Damage the Grass

If the only area that can accommodate your portable storage container is your lawn, then your landscape is at risk. The container may occupy space on the grass for long period if packing or unloading takes much time. The longer the shipping container remains sitting on the grass, the more damage will be caused to your landscape.

Communities Have Different Parking Regulations

Be aware that different communities have varying parking regulations. Permit fees can range from just ten dollars to hundreds of dollars. If street parking is not allowed, then your storage unit will have to be placed at some other location. You need to coordinate approval for fees and alternate locations prior to the arrival of your shipping container.

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Plants and Pets May Not be Shipped in the Container

White and Pink Pot with plant

When packing a portable storage unit, you need to pay close attention to authorized and prohibited items. You cannot pack perishable goods, plants or pets in the container. Perishable food will spoil during shipment and that will attracting pests. Plants may not be shipped across certain state borders without approval and shipment in a portable storage unit is not safe for plants or pets. 

Don’t Pack Any Hazardous Material in a Portable Storage Unit

Steer clear of carrying any hazardous material with you in a portable container. Just because you pack the container does not mean that you can pack (or sneak) anything you want into the container. Flammable and corrosive items are prohibited, these include nail polish, household batteries, fireworks, gasoline, and fertilizer among other things. They are prohibited to protect the safety of your other belongings, the truck driver, other people in the area, the portable container and the truck.  The CEO and co-founder of HireAHelper, Mike Glanz, add to the list. He clarified,It is entirely safe and lawful to put a lawn mower or snow blower on your moving truck provided you drain all the oil and gasoline out of it first.”

Not All Portable Storage Containers Provide Weather protection

It is likely that the storage unit that you rent is not climate-controlled. This means that you cannot transport items that are sensitive to temperature change. For example, if you are shipping your container a long distance, then the plastic covers may melt due to exposure to extreme heat.

Additionally, storage containers are made of different types of materials, such as canvas, metal, and wood. When renting a container, ensure that the unit you use does not have any openings that will allow water inside.

Insect Infestation Is Possible

An insect attack is possible if the portable storage unit is placed on the street or ground. However, this usually only occurs if the container is parked for an extended period of time. A responsible service provider will take preventative measures to avoid such a problem.

Not Easily Accessible During Transportation

Once you have loaded your items in a portable container and given the transportation service a green light to move, you cannot retrieve items. Unlike a self-storage container, you don’t have the freedom to add or retrieve new items once you have finalized packing the portable storage container. This means it’s important to plan ahead.

Using a portable storage unit is a great option for temporary storage and for moving across town or even across the country. Knowing these 10 key points will ensure that your experience is a successful one. 

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  1. This is such practical and helpful information. Seems like a lot of the burden is on the person renting the container. I never really considered insect infestation – yuck! This is clearly a post from someone with a lot of experience:) Thanks for sharing!

  2. These are all great tips! I never thought about the container ruining the grass underneath or that plants couldn’t be shipped.

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