5 Steps for Storing Household Furniture in Shipping Containers
Jun 2022

5 Steps for Storing Household Furniture in Shipping Containers

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The rising cost of real estate in Ontario means a growing demand for smart and compact living spaces. As modern homes soar up to the skies and scale down on storage, homeowners are quickly looking for new storage solutions that free up valuable square footage for various lifestyle essentials.

Modified shipping containers are some of the most in-demand storage solutions. Unlike self-storage complexes or permanent home structures, these modular units can be easily configured to store various household items, including large furniture that won’t fit in a small, compact living space. Or, it can be used for old pieces that are valued for their sentimental value that are waiting for a new home.

So, how do you store valued furniture in shipping containers? Here’s a guide to shipping containers for sale, and setting up your storage unit in Ontario to protect one-of-a-kind pieces:

1. Shipping containers aren’t built for storage

On their own, shipping containers aren’t designed for long-term storage; their tough steel build was designed to withstand transport conditions all over the world, not store items for periods longer than shipping timelines. Without the right customization, these containers can easily heat up in the summer and get damp in the cold.

These conditions aren’t optimal for treasured antiques and one-of-a-kind wooden pieces. The fluctuating temperature and exposure to humidity can damage furniture in long-term storage.

Think about what furniture you need to store — can their make and materials withstand storage conditions? When looking for a container for sale, opt for one that’s modified with the right amount of insulation to preserve the appearance and function of valued furniture pieces.

2. Insulate your container

To prevent moisture build-up and temperature changes from damaging furniture in shipping container storage, your container should be properly insulated. Unlike a standard shipping container, these modified units are refurbished with insulation, like ply lining, to stabilize the internal temperature and prevent condensation build-up. By limiting exposure to moisture, you can prevent damage to antiques and rotting wooden furniture.

3. Install a roof

Shipping containers come tightly sealed for transport, but long-term storage requires increased weatherproofing and temperature control. A roof can be made with simple trusses or plywood, which perform well under sun exposure.

Building a roof over your container protects it from weather damage and seasonal conditions in Ontario, so it serves your long-term storage requirements longer. This added protection also helps secure furniture stored inside.

4. Prevent moisture build-up

Furniture doesn’t take kindly to getting wet and accumulating moisture; wooden pieces rot, plastic or vinyl can chip or bubble, and others end up too damaged for future use. Items like upholstered couches and mattresses can also be damaged by prolonged exposure to condensation, and even bacteria when not properly stored.

Proper insulation and moisture build-up prevention can save you the hassle of disposing and replacing furniture damaged in shipping containers. One of the most effective solutions involves cat litter — simply dump a bag into a bucket, and this natural desiccant can absorb moisture building up in the air.

Similarly, a smarter purchase, like a container for sale that’s designed with vents, can filter out moisture and water from occasional downpours and severe storms. These also maintain the ambient temperature indoors closer to the external conditions to reduce the possibility of moisture build-up.

Upholstered furniture should be stored using mattress bags and similar protective equipment to keep them clean and dry for future use.

5. Secure your container

Shipping containers draw a lot of attention — their sheer size and traditional purpose are often associated with high-value and large-volume goods stored inside for transport and storage. Just like typical home burglaries, vandalism, and other property crime, these containers are not immune to break-ins and resulting losses. Despite their tough exterior, sophisticated criminals can still break into a poorly secured container using grinders and cutting discs.

To deter break-ins and prevent losses, it’s important to secure your shipping container. When looking at containers for sale, opt for models designed with a high-security lockbox, insurance-rated padlocks, and alarms synced to trigger smartphone notifications. These security measures protect items in storage and the hassle of replacement — especially rare finds like antiques and irreplaceable family collections.

Setting Up Your Shipping Container

Once you’ve purchased a shipping container that’s refurbished or modified to withstand storage conditions and keep furniture in good condition, it’s time to secure the space for it. Depending on where your container will go, there are a few factors to keep in mind:

1. Delivery truck access

Whether it’s in a residential or commercial setting, shipping containers require space and ample access for delivery and installation. Make sure that access points for delivery trucks have enough height and width clearing so that containers can be quickly delivered.

2. Residential storage

Whether it’s during a home renovation or deep cleaning and decluttering, homeowners will surely benefit from containers for sale. With enough real estate at your address, easy access to containers saves you the cost of self-storage units. You can also easily add or remove furniture while redecorating or deep cleaning, so you can eliminate the hassle of travelling between sites and transporting heavy furniture each time.

3. Commercial storage

Shipping containers are easily mobile and adaptable to various settings, including storage requirements of retail furniture. If you’re struggling to free up space in the stockroom or need an extension, shipping containers modified for weatherproofing and moisture build-up are available for sale. These also come with high-security lockboxes, alarms, and padlocks to keep your inventory safe and prevent devastating losses to your business.

To learn more about how to store household furniture in a shipping container, call Sigma Container at 855-340-3342 or contact us here.

Tom Bray is a freelance writer with over five years experience writing for online publications and over ten years in business and sales. He studied journalism and media and has written for various online outlets on multiple topics. His specialty subjects are shipping containers and transport logistics.

Tom’s passion for writing and transport logistics motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that can show you how a shipping container can be effectively utilized and modified to each person’s needs.

You can connect with Tom via email at