3 questions you should ask yourself before choosing a container for storage

In this blog post, we shall ask you three questions that will help you determine which container type is the most suitable for your storage need.

A container is a brilliant solution for both short-term and long-term storage. Containers come in different size and price ranges and they can also be equipped differently to suit your unique needs.

Read through the whole post or jump to the part that interests you the most:

  1. For how long do you need storage space?
  2. What type of goods will you store?
  3. Do you need to access the storage often?

Benefits of using a container for storage

  • Many standard sizes  6′, 8′, 10′, 20′, 40′ ja 45′
  • A container is easy to relocate if your needs change
  • A container isn’t considered a fixed structure which means that you most likely won’t need separate permission to acquire one for your backyard
  • It’s cheaper to buy a standard-sized container than build a fixed structure the size of a container.
  • Instead of buying you can rent a container for storage cost-effectively only for the time you need it for

Let’s now go through the questions we think you should ask yourself before committing to a specific container type.

1. For how long will you need storage space?

If your need for storage is short-term, in other words, less than three years, renting might be the most cost-effective choice for you. When you’re renting, you get to skip the maintenance duties and give the container back when you don’t need it anymore.

If you need long-term storage, in other words, more than three years, buying a container might make the most sense to you. Depending on the age and the type of container you buy, it would take you about three years to pay the acquisition price in rent. Also, when you buy the container for yourself, you can make some money selling the container to the next buyer after you’re done using it yourself.

Here you can read another blog post about whether you should buy or rent a container.

2. What type of goods will you store?

When you’re thinking about getting a container for storage, you should also consider the amount and shape of what you want to store inside the container. Also, the material of the goods plays a huge part when choosing the right container.

People often ask us what sized container they should get to store their belongings during renovations. As a reference, furniture from a 100 square meter flat will usually fit inside a 40′ container. Check out more tips on how to choose the right size for your storage need in a separate blog post.

If you mean to store pipes or something that is very wide, you should also consider how you want to load them inside the container. In some cases, it might be worthwhile to acquire either an open side container with bi-folding doors or an open-top container where the whole roof is replaced by a tarpaulin.

Depending on your location, you might have to take seasonal temperature changes into consideration when choosing your storage space. Especially in the northern hemisphere, the weather gets significantly cooler when moving towards the autumn and winter months and the temperatures can fluctuate close to zero for several weeks. These are the perfect conditions for the accumulation of condensed water inside the container. Some materials are not too picky but for example fabric, wood and electronics start to quickly develop mold or oxidize in moist conditions.

If you’re living in the northern hemisphere and you intend to store things that are sensitive to moisture in the colder months, you should opt for an insulated container. If you know you will need to access the container quite regularly, you might also want to consider adding desiccants to absorb any moisture that comes inside the container when opening and closing the doors.

3. Do you need to access the storage often?

Standard shipping containers have double doors at one end which means that the most efficient way to fill up the container is from the back towards the double doors.  This way it will be quite difficult to access the stuff at the back without unloading things at the front.

Shipping containers have several door variations which enable easier access to your goods compared to the standard version. For example, A double door container that has double doors at both ends or the previously mentioned open side container.

If you have any questions about using containers as storage spaces, you can call or email us.

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