How Much Stuff Can I Put in a Steel Storage Container?

Americans have lots of stuff. There are nearly 300,000 items in the average American home. Our offices aren’t much better.

Now think about your business.

How much time do you spend looking for things you know you have? We waste time losing and looking for nearly NINE items per day.

Put everything into organized packing containers for a simple and clutter-free office space. But wait! You don’t know anything about container packing!

Loading containers can seem complicated, but we can give you some hints to fill your steel storage container to maximize the stuff inside and keep it organized.

Read on to learn more!

How Much Stuff Do You Have?

Temporary excess inventory, extra furniture, records or equipment all take up space. Instead of taking up your expensive office space, why not use a storage container to hold rarely-used or seasonal items? A sturdy (and weatherproof) container can quickly make the difference in your office organization.

Containers come in several standard sizes. A typical intermodal container (that is, a standard size storage container) is 8 feet tall, 8 feet wide and 20 feet long. It doesn’t seem roomy, but let’s measure that volume. What can you fit into 1280 cubic feet?

If you have a bunch of file cabinets, you can fit about 600 legal-size cabinets worth of files into a container. Or about 12,500 binders.  Excess inventory or equipment? No problem.

What Kind of Stuff Can Go in a Container?

The short answer is “everything that fits.” There are a few codices. Unless your container is appropriately climate controlled, do not place people or animals inside. The temperature inside a closed container can quickly reach critical in direct sunlight. Perishable food should also be protected.

Dry goods, records and machinery are typical storage items. If placed into the container correctly, their lifespan is very long without damage or loss of quality. With modification, however, a container can be used for almost anything, including living plants, antique furniture, even fur coats!

Safe, Dry and Portable

A container (also known as a conex box) is made of solid steel and can be fully loaded with more than 60,000 lbs. Solid containers are vermin-proof, as mice and rats can’t chew through steel. The conex boxes seal tightly on one or both ends and can be stacked or raised off the ground. Boxes are humidity-proof.

Snoopy neighbors don’t have a chance against the steel walls, either. Opaque and lightproof, your container keeps valuables out of sight of potential thieves or spies. If you are storing larger equipment or need more volume, there are longer and taller containers available.

Storing wood, paper or other temperature or moisture sensitive items need not be a problem. Some containers can be fitted with refrigeration or climate control units for specialized use. Some people even set up temporary office space inside.

How to Pack Your Container for Movement

If your container won’t be moved while loaded, the process is just a matter of keeping things organized for retrieval. If your container is loaded, then moved to a storage facility or stacked, the process is slightly different. Although your container is rigid and strong, containers do flex a few inches when lifted.

The first portion of your pack is to get the appropriate size container. As mentioned before, the weight limit for a standard sized unit is just over 60,000 lbs. Unfortunately, if you were to fill your container volume with gold bricks, the weight would exceed the safe capacity of the container.

For most storage needs, the weight capacity of your container is sufficient. Begin your pack with boxing your goods into similar size boxes for safe stacking. Try to place the heaviest boxes at the bottom and outside walls of the container. Pack your heaviest and least used items against the back wall.

Fill in all spaces. When the container moves, especially if you are moving by sea, your container may shift 90 degrees in any direction before eventually returning to upright. Use empty boxes, airbags or load bars to reinforce your items. Balance the weight of the container evenly front to back, side to side.

Packing Containers for Record Retrieval

Label your boxes on both ends. Depending on the size and shape of your items, you may create an access aisle in your container. If you leave empty space for accessibility, make sure to secure the load with net, shelves or load bars to prevent injuries. Stack heaviest items on the floor of your container, lighter items above.

Place the most frequently accessed materials closest to the door. Try to keep similar items together. Some systems use dunnage racks or shelving, others simply use tape marks on the floor. You may find a barcode label inventory system most efficient for keeping track of boxes in storage.

Keep a copy of your inventory remote from your storage in case of damage. Use a working copy of your inventory list with the container to keep track of items moving into or out of storage. Your container may be secured with a simple padlock or more sophisticated electronic access.

Where Do I Get Packing Container Storage?

Buy or rent steel storage or packing containers to hold your expensive equipment and inventory safely. You can choose brand new or used, plywood or steel floors, climate control, and more. Containers come in standard lengths from 5 feet to 40 feet, although the typical container is 20 feet long.

Containers are easily moved from site to site. Delivery in a matter of hours or days is the standard. They are surprisingly economical.

Contact our experts today to get a container perfect for your needs. They can help you calculate volume, discuss the use of the container and give you tips to prepare the site.

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