Can You Store Furniture In A Shipping Container?

January 18, 2021

#shipping containers

If you run a commercial business, you’ll know that having to work with minimal space and constantly reorganise your storage is an ongoing challenge.

If your office space, retail store, or commercial building needs maintenance or extensive renovations, you might struggle to find an accessible, secure, and cost-effective solution to store your furniture, equipment, and other items.

When looking for storage solutions, health and safety for your staff should also be a priority – precariously-stacked chairs and tables are an accident waiting to happen!

For homeowners, a growing family, home renovations, and relocating place a huge pressure on how and where you’ll store your furniture and other large items. Spare rooms and garages have major disadvantages, and external storage facilities are expensive and time-consuming!

Luckily, shipping containers are a great way to solve storage problems for residential and commercial customers.

In this blog, we’ll explain how and why a shipping container is a perfect option to store commercial and residential furniture, and what you need to know about long-term storage regulations for your property.

Can You Store Furniture In A Shipping Container?

A storage container is a strong and hardy vessel for transporting goods – we’ve all seen container ships transporting valuable goods all over the world. The rigid steel design can withstand harsh weather environments and as well as rough shipping and handling conditions.

When you’re looking for long-term storage for valuable residential and commercial furniture items, such as:

  • Wooden furniture
  • Antiques
  • Electronics
  • Cushions
  • Equipment

It’s vital that you consider the environmental factors that can cause rot, mould, and other types of damage caused by exposure to the elements.

If you store valuable items in poor quality conditions, such as a leaky storage unit, a damp garage, or a shed with holes in the walls and roof, you’ll find yourself having to spend thousands of dollars on replacements in the future – not to mention the potential health and safety risk of damaged equipment!

Shipping containers are a great option for long-term furniture storage because they are water-tight, protected from the elements, and able to be insulated and ventilated very easily. Plus, you can keep them on your property for easy access and more peace of mind regarding security.

Here are some of your options when it comes to shipping container sizes and dimensions when choosing the right container for you:

  1. 10 foot containers are great for regular items and furniture storage
  2. 20-foot containers are large enough to store more oversized items such as a vehicle
  3. 40-foot containers are excellent for customisation of living space

Store Your Furniture In A Shipping Container In 3 Steps

1. Make Sure Your Shipping Container Is Insulated

You have a few options when it comes to insulating your shipping container. Either purchase a shipping container with insulation or install it yourself.

Shipping containers are coated with a treatment to withstand exposure to the sea, which is excellent when the containers are used for cargo and transportation. It’s important to be aware of how the treated surface will affect how you’re using your container – make sure you consult with your shipping container provider.

If you find a used shipping container for sale, call the manufacturer to find out what kind of paint they used. Keep in mind; you will need to provide your shipping container number.

Here are ways to deal with treated paint:

  1. Spray the shipping container with foam insulation
  2. Encapsulate or remove the paint completely

When you have dealt with the paint, it is time for insulation. This procedure will help stabilise the internal temperature. The quickest and easiest form of insulation is foam sprayed on the interior of the container.

Foam is an excellent source for controlling humidity, condensation, and mould. Using foam insulation also prevents rotting, rusting, and deterioration. Another option would be to affix foil board insulation which can also be done by yourself.

2. Check That The Roof Is Weather-Proof

A shipping container is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions at sea, which is a great reason to use them for furniture storage – even if you live in a remote area prone to intense weather.

If you want to use your shipping container for storing furniture, you should make sure that the roof is weather-proof and follow consistent maintenance checks.

Here are four tips to maintain the roof of your container:

  • Purchase from a reputable provider

With the growing popularity of shipping containers for a variety of purposes, it’s essential that you quality-check the supplier before purchasing. Ask your provider about the history, historical damage, and potential modification requirements of the container.

  • Avoid excessive weight on top of the roof

The roof of your shipping container will warp and break if you put too much weight on it, such as if you were to walk across it. If you are planning to put weight on the roof, you will need to reinforce it.

  • Remove water from the roof

Removal of rainwater and other debris will protect your container’s roof. Shipping containers can rust and leak water if they are not looked after, so make sure you keep on top of regular roof maintenance to protect any furniture stored inside.

  • Clean your container regularly

Keep your container clean by washing it with mild detergent and an anti-mildew product and a brush or hose.

Using your shipping container for long term storage requires you to intensify the weatherproofing. Modifying the roof of your container will protect from extreme sun exposure, increase temperature control, and lower damage during seasonal conditions.

3. Protect Your Furniture From Moisture

Furniture and moisture are a terrible combination. Can you imagine opening your shipping container and having all of your favourite pieces ruined? Thousands of dollars down the drain and there is no getting back that antique table.

Wooden pieces rot when exposed to moisture, and plastic and vinyl will begin to chip and bubble. In some cases, it becomes too damaged to use. Mattresses and couches exposed to moisture start to grow bacteria. Goodbye to your favourite sofa!

Don’t worry; we have some simple solutions for you.

Two words. Cat litter.

Cat litter is a natural desiccant and absorbs moisture that builds up in the air. What you do is open a bag of cat litter and place it in the middle of your storage container. The clay in the cat litter will absorb the moisture and protect your furniture from mildew and mould.

For those not feeling so adventurous with the cat litter, another option is desiccant bags which consist of silica. This product is also non-toxic and water-soluble. These guys will have a selection of desiccant bags and products to browse.

A few tips about storing your furniture in a shipping container: - Store your mattress in a bag - The more air space you leave in your storage container, the more likely you will have condensation issues

If you find used shipping containers for sale, we suggest looking for one with vents. The vent will help filter out the moisture inside.

Tips For Buying Long Term Storage For Your Property

Before you jump the gun and purchase a shipping container, it’s important to do your homework on the relevant regulations and laws around shipping containers in your area.

We suggest contacting the council in your region to make sure you meet all of the standards, criteria, and regulation laws.

Some regions in Australia do not allow storage containers placed on your property.

Obtaining A Developmental Permit

Depending on how you intend to use your shipping container, you’ll need to apply for a Developmental Permit.

Storage containers classify as 10A and 1A structures, which means that your application process will involve different assessments and application fees.

By purchasing your shipping container from a reputable provider, you’ll be given professional advice on how to get a permit for your container, depending on how you want to use it and where you want to keep it.

Call Today For More Information

Our goal is to ensure we provide you with the most up-to-date information you need to store your furniture damage-free.

We have a full team of friendly staff that are happy to help you find a shipping container to suit your needs and plans.

We value our customers, so we want to provide helpful tips and information about storage containers and how to use them before and after purchase properly. Refer to our blog page for more useful articles.

If you are looking to purchase a new or used shipping container, call us today at 1800 549 798.