Safe, durable and waterproof, shipping containers provide sufficient but compact on-site storage.
Whatever use you need extra space for, the key, as with most business projects, is to start with a plan. Let’s review the process.
Create a plan
Consider the size and configuration of the shipping container – a standard 20-foot container will be a rectangle with interior measurements of about 19ft 5in in length by 7ft 8in wide by 7 feet 10 inches high. Develop a sketch to plan the optimal layout, using design software or good old paper and pencil, as you prefer.
Make a list of all your items
Make a list of all the items you are going to put in the container, noting their dimensions and the planned locations. Keep a main list of content on an online spreadsheet that can be easily shared with colleagues or easily updated, and make a paper copy to publish in the shipping container itself. Once you’ve chosen an accessible layout, also prepare a map of the unit.
Making things easy to access
Your biggest challenge will probably be maximizing the available storage space, while making things easy to access. This is where the organization of a shipping container for storage differs from the packaging for a move. Use these tips:
- Group similar elements together, whenever possible.
- Store small items in clearly labelled filing cabinets or boxes with easily accessible lids.
- Keep a clear path through the unit.
- Place your most frequently used items near the storage container entrance, with less needed items at the back.
Add storage attachments
It will be much more convenient to organize your shipping container when you add specialized storage accessories. Select standard or sturdy shelves, supports and fittings. You can also choose to install vents and a safe.
New or used
New and used shipping containers are available. The new ones are more expensive but tend to be equipped with secure locking systems and new pockets for forklifts. Used containers, although still strong, may have aesthetic defects such as bumps or scratches.
Rent or buy
Another important decision is to rent or buy your shipping container. Weekly or monthly rentals are a great option for short-term storage, such as when renovating your premises. However, the purchase will allow for a complete customization of the container according to your company’s storage needs.