What To Expect When You Move With U-Haul’s U-Box (2024) (2024)

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What To Expect When You Move With U-Haul’s U-Box (2024) (1)

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What To Expect When You Move With U-Haul’s U-Box (2024) (2)Written byThis Old House Reviews Team+ 1 otherWhat To Expect When You Move With U-Haul’s U-Box (2024) (3)Reviewed byKent SisnerosUpdated 06/05/2024

This Old House Reviews Team

Kent Sisneros

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U-Box is U-Haul’s portable storage container service that allows homeowners to load containers themselves and leave the driving and transport to the professionals. Our guide outlines the DIY facets of the service, explains how to rent and load U-Boxes, and offers packing tips for a complete moving guide.

Rental Process

Start the rental process by using U-Haul’s online quote tool. U-Haul’s U-Box containers come in only one size, so decide how many you need. The containers are approximately eight feet long, 4.6 feet wide, and seven feet high. Each box offers about 257 cubic feet of space and can hold 2,000 pounds. U-Haul estimates that you can fit the contents of up to 1.5 rooms in each container, and there is no penalty if you reserve too many containers.

U-Boxes are plywood containers with weather-resistant vinyl covers. U-Haul claims this material offers better breathability than metal containers and prevents mildew. However, this material is not as strong as steel frames and aluminum or plastic siding, the materials typical of other companies’ containers.

Reserve Parking

You can load your container at a physical U-Haul location, but it’s more common to have U-Haul deliver the containers directly to you. Clear a flat, level surface near your property that can function as a drop-off spot for the moving containers. Each U-Box moving container can typically fit in a single parking space.

You can also rent a trailer with one or two U-Boxes that you can tow behind your vehicle or a rented U-Haul truck. This gives you complete control over transporting the containers, but you’ll still need to find parking while you load and unload.

You may need to check with building management or your homeowner’s association to ensure spots will be available if you don’t have your own driveway. You may also need to purchase a parking permit from the city, depending on your location.

Preparing For Your Container

Start packing your belongings before the containers arrive. U-Boxes are small, so this may be the perfect time to downsize and donate any items you don’t need.

Each U-Box comes with 24 furniture pads, but you must supply other equipment, such as dollies and hand trucks, yourself. U-Haul sells many packing supplies that you might need, such as boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, and furniture covers. Consider renting plastic bins for packing delicate items. U-Haul rents 20-inch by 24-inch by 12-inch plastic bins called Ready-To-Go-Boxes, and you can return them when you’re finished moving.

U-Boxes have a door on one end that opens outward. Leave sufficient space around the container through which you can enter and exit. U-Haul will provide you with a lock, and only you will have copies of the key.

Packing Tips

Loading a moving container is different than loading a moving truck. You must consider weight distribution within the container to make sure it stays as balanced as possible. U-Haul recommends loading the heaviest items at the bottom and center of the U-Box.

Below are additional packing techniques to consider:

  • All items should be dry when you load them into the container to prevent mold or mildew growth. Wait until it stops raining to load.
  • Break down furniture as much as possible. Remove table legs and disassemble bed frames.
  • Fill all gaps between items with furniture pads, linens, or pillows to prevent items from shifting in transit.
  • Pack as many items as possible into boxes or bins instead of stuffing them into the container.
  • Stack items vertically to get the most out of the container’s overhead clearance.
  • Your heaviest items should make up the base layer, with your lightest items at the top. Each layer should be lighter than the one below it.

U-Haul can recommend local professional movers through its Moving Help program if you need help with packing, loading, or unloading. Professionals have experience loading and moving containers and can help you make the most out of your container’s space. This experience is similar to full-service delivery.

Preparing for Delivery

If you’ve opted for self-delivery with a trailer, you can take your U-Boxes back to a U-Haul location for transportation or drive them directly to your new home. Otherwise, you’ll need to schedule a pickup time and date online or by phone.

U-Haul can take your U-Boxes directly to your new location or put them into a storage facility for a monthly fee. Your quote includes one month of storage, but there may be additional delivery fees if you move your U-Boxes to storage before moving them to your new home.

U-Haul guarantees its shipping and arrival times, so you’ll know when to expect your U-Boxes at your destination. You’ll need to reserve one parking space-sized area for each U-Box at your destination.

You can access any U-Box that you store at a U-Haul facility at any time as long as you alert the facility at least 24 hours in advance. U-Haul’s storage buildings are clean, dry, and secure, but they’re unlikely to be climate-controlled. You can use any U-Box for self-storage at your home for a monthly fee.

Returning Container

You rent U-Boxes for a full month, so you have plenty of time to unpack them once they arrive at your destination. Once you’re finished unpacking, contact U-Haul and arrange for the pickup of your empty containers. Note that the one-month rental period begins at your delivery date, so plan accordingly to avoid being charged for an extra month.

Our Conclusion

U-Haul is one of the cheapest moving container companies available. U-Boxes are small and lightweight, which may be a good fit for long-distance moves. We recommend getting an online quote if you’re interested in moving with U-Box. Book in advance to ensure you have the containers and equipment you need for your DIY move.

FAQ About Using U-Hauls U Box

What is not allowed in a U-Box?

The following items are not allowed in a U-Box and most other storage containers.

  • Compressed gasses (as in propane tanks, oxygen tanks, etc.)
  • Explosives
  • Hazardous or flammable chemicals
  • Living organisms such as plants, pets, or people
  • Motor vehicles with oil or fuel in them
  • Perishable items

What is the weight limit for a U-Box?

A U-Box container has a weight limit of 2,000 pounds.

Should I use U-Box or PODS?

U-Boxes are typically less expensive than PODS storage units, but the moving containers are smaller and less durable. PODS offers three sizes of secure containers, but the company has less nationwide availability and offers fewer moving services. Read our PODS vs. U-Haul comparison for more information.

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What To Expect When You Move With U-Haul’s U-Box (2024) (2024)


What items are prohibited in the UBOX? ›

Items prohibited inside a U-Box container include living organisms, flammable/combustible liquids, hazardous materials, compressed gases, perishables and explosives.

How are UBox containers shipped? ›

Delivery with Loading –Professional, customer-rated providers bring the container, pack it with your belongings and return it to your neighborhood U-Haul facility for storage or shipping. Self-Delivery – Tow your U-Box container to your place and load at your convenience, using a specially designed trailer.

Does UBox fit a couch? ›

Remember: each U-Box container can fit about a room to a room and a half's worth of household belongings, and that includes furniture.

Will a UBox fit in a parking spot? ›

U-Box® containers are compact! Because of the compact size of U-Box® portable containers, they conveniently fit in standard-sized parking spots. Our containers provide you with the convenience of fitting as much as you would be able to fit in a truck.

What cannot be moved in a pod? ›

What can't I load in a PODS container? Items that are considered hazardous materials, flammable/combustible liquids, compressed gases, perishable items, and explosives are strictly prohibited from being stored and/or moved in a PODS container.

Will a king size mattress fit in a UBox? ›

In fact, you can easily fit a king size mattress. A U-Box moving container can give you plenty of flexibility when trying to figure out how many containers you need for your move, renovation project, or extra storage.

What will fit in a UBOX? ›

U-Box containers are a convenient and secure moving and storage solution designed to fit any furniture that fits in your house. Each container can fit about a room and a half of household items. Easily fit a king size mattress inside your U-Box. If you have it in your house, you can get it into a U-Box container.

Is a UBox waterproof? ›

There's no need to worry about the weather. when using U-Box containers! U-Box containers are water proofed to give you peace.

How many pads come with a UBOX? ›

Each U-Box moving container comes with 24 (two dozen) furniture pads, and you should make use of all 24 furniture pads. Even if you don't have enough belongings to wrap 24 furniture pads, furniture pads are a great way to fill gaps in your U-Box storage container.

Does a queen bed fit in a UBox? ›

The U-box is seven feet long, five feet wide, and seven feet tall. That's large enough to fit a queen mattress or king mattress.

What size is a UBox compared to pods? ›

PODS container sizes compared to U-Box
Container sizePODSU-Box
Small8 ft. x 7 ft. x 8 ft.7 ft. 11 in. x 4 ft. 8 in. x 6 ft. 11 in.
Medium12 ft. x 8 ft. x 8 ft.NA
Large16 ft. x 8 ft. x 8 ft.NA
May 10, 2024

Will a couch fit in a 10 foot U-Haul? ›

Space. Ten feet may not sound like a long enough truck to fit your whole life into, but you can fit much more than you think. If you have larger items to move, such as couches, mattresses or desks, along with your many boxes, there is plenty of room to do so.

What kind of lock do I need for a UBox? ›

Please keep all questions appropriate and related to the product. Will this lock fit on a UBox container? For U-Box containers, we recommend the 1-9/16" Brass Security Lock or the 1-3/4" High Security Steel Lock Thank you!

How big is a UBox container? ›

U-Box only comes in one size, 8'x5'x7. 5', and it would take four of their containers to equal the capacity of our popular PODS 16' container.

What can I pack in a UBox? ›

U-Box containers are designed to hold common household items, such as furniture, clothing, boxes of books, mattresses and linens, housewares, dishes, small and large appliances. For packing tips and to see how you can pack your container like the pros, visit ubox.com/loading.

What Cannot be shipped in containers? ›

And the term 'highly flammable' can refer to a wide range of goods: aerosols, batteries, fireworks, fertilisers, cleaning products, nail varnish, solvents, and oils, among other things. If a fire does break out, it has the potential to not just destroy your shipment, but everyone else's too.

Which item do you not need to Box? ›

Generally, the answer is that everything needs to be packed into boxes, except for indoor and outdoor furniture which professional movers will protect with pads and furniture quilts (as shown below).

Can you pack cleaning products in a pod? ›

While you can pack most household goods in your PODS storage container, stashing cleaning products may not be the best idea.

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