A Curious Kitty Storage Stowaway
We get it – moving is stressful! There is so much to do, so much to think about. In my job as Customer Service Supervisor at PODS, my primary goal is to make your job of packing and moving as easy as possible. My job is also to help solve problems. I have taken many a phone call from a frantic customer needing urgent access to their stored contents because they are desperately looking for something they have packed. Here I thought I’d share a few real-life stories that serve as good lessons of what NOT to pack in your storage container.
The tale of a curious kitty
I know this sounds crazy, but we have actually had a much loved family pet stowaway in a container. A customer’s pet cat let curiosity get the better of it and wondered into their container while it was being packed. The packed container was returned to the Storage Centre.
A couple of days later, the customer called in to see if we had heard anything from their container, as their cat had disappeared. We pulled the container to ground level but there was no sign nor indication of the cat inside. The PODS team was charged with the task of listening for any noise coming from the container – and it was a task we took very seriously.
The very next day the meowing began. We immediately contacted the owner who returned to the Storage Centre to unpack the container and coax their cat out. After some fresh water, food and cuddles, a relieved owner and happy feline headed home.
The moral of this story … be very aware of where your pets are, especially cats, when you are packing your container – be it packing for moving or storage.
My tip … consider keeping your beloved pets in a lockable room in the house when you are packing, or having a friend pet-sit; or even put them in boarding while you are packing. Then you’ll know they’re safe and settled while boxes are packed and moved into your container.
The Passport Needle in a Haystack
One Monday morning I arrived early to the office to hear a frantic phone message from Jackson. He needed early (and urgent) access to his container. Before I could even call back, he had already arrived at the Storage Centre, waiting for the office to open.
Why was he so keen? He was flying out that day on an overseas holiday.
His problem – he didn’t have his passport – it was packed in his storage container!
Jackson was already in good hands – our Branch Manager had the container out and Jackson was frantically rummaging through boxes, looking through everything for his passport. He was looking for the proverbial ‘needle in a haystack’! Thankfully, Jackson did find his passport, made his flight, and had a great holiday.
But not every story has the same happy ending. Jessica and Ben found themselves in the same predicament. Their container was packed tight with all their worldly possessions. They had packed their container with the intention to pack once, then unpack once when their new home was ready. Unfortunately, this included the passports they needed for their overseas holiday.
The day they realised they needed their passports was an intensely hot day. Given how tight the container had been packed, it had to be emptied to give them the access they needed to look through all their boxes. The heat was too much for everyone, so half way through the job they decided to stop; but the next big problem was that they couldn’t fit everything back into the container. So at the end of the day they still had no passports, and the time lost trying to repack their container meant they had to postpone their flights and their holiday.
The moral of these stories … don’t pack your passport into your storage container. Keep your passport in a safe and handy place. And this includes all other important documents such as birth certificates, contracts, insurance and tax documents, legal documents and wills.
My tip … buy a concertina file and place ALL important documents in that before you start your packing. Don’t forget to include your moving documents; and keep that concertina file with you – not locked in your storage container! Or take copies of your important documents by scanning them and storing them electronically – but keep your passport with you at all times.
You might find this article with tips about preparing your goods for long term storage useful.
Portable containers are not portable fridges!
Believe it or not, we have had some customers leave food in their fridge and freezers when packing them into storage containers! On one occasion a customer put her fridge in the container – with the entire refrigerated contents. We were to move the container from one property to the next, but en route our Podzilla was held up in traffic for several hours as a result of an accident. By the time the container arrived at its destination, the food had spoiled!
The moral of this story … please don’t store food – of any sort – in your container! That includes canned or dried food. Firstly it violates the terms of our rental agreement; and secondly, food can attract rodents, insects and other pests. It can also rot and create some very nasty odours.
My tip … plan to eat down the contents of your fridge (and pantry) before you move. Pack cold food in an esky and move that in your car on moving day; or give fresh food to neighbours if it isn’t practical to take it with you.
Keep your hands on your handbag
In one perplexing incident we had a customer pack her handbag. In the flux and flurry of packing, she stowed it away with everything else, then locked the container, and off it went to its destination.
We have even had times when the professional packers, absorbed in the “packing headspace”, pack EVERYTHING – including containers with lunch still in them.
We had one packer who packed a bolt from a property’s security door into a container. The container was shipped interstate and the security door bolt ended up far, far away from where it should have been.
The moral of the story … take your time packing. Stop every so often and take stock of what is where.
My tip … nominate a special place or box to store keys, locks, handbags, wallets (all those little essential items) in a safe and out of the way place while you pack. And make sure to let everyone know not to touch the box and its contents.
So there you go. A few crazy stories from the PODS vault with lessons learned about what NOT to pack when you’re packing your container for storage or a move.
To help get your started when you next need to pack for moving or storage, you might find these Checklists useful – especially our Storage Checklist. You can print it out and tick off items as you prepare and pack your possessions for storage or moving.
And remember that when you rent a PODS storage container, whether you rent the container for a few weeks or several years – you can store it onsite at your own property or at one of our Storage Centres. Either way only you have access to your possessions as you keep the key that locks the container. If you store onsite at your own property, you have immediate access to your goods. When your container is stored at PODS, you can still easily access your container by contacting our customer service department on 1800 467 637. Access is available to our Storage Centre locations typically within 24 to 48 hours, 6 days per week. Click here to see access hours at the Storage Cente nearest you. If you have an urgent access situation, we will do our best to get you to your container in as short a time as possible. And there is no additional charge for this service.
Written by Lisa Gerding
PODS Customer Service Supervisor