All About Containers: 4 Creative Ways People Use Shipping Containers

People’s creativity always amazes us, especially when it comes to storage containers. It’s no secret that we love all that shipping containers accomplish, but even our container-savvy minds get blown by all of the ways we use storage containers.

Reusing shipping containers provides many benefits. Recycling old containers means less waste. Containers provide an inexpensive housing or office space option for those who might not be able to afford anything else. What could be more festive than a box that is both eco-friendly and provides options for those in need?

Here are some of our favorite ways we’ve seen containers being used.

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Here at Simple Box, we’re no stranger to using shipping containers as donation boxes. We’ve donated countless containers to charities both local and abroad. We certainly aren’t alone in this endeavor. Shipping containers make excellent donation boxes since they can be taken directly from a donation center, put onto a truck, and be on their way to where they need to go. In an organization run by volunteers, ease of distribution is key. Shipping containers eliminate hundreds of distribution man hours on any charitable project by negating the need to pack donations into a truck; the shipping container full of goods is already prepared for travel!


Minimalistic living is a hot topic these days. More and more people opt for more compact living options in order to save money, save space, and leave more time and energy building experiences rather than dealing with the stress of owning a large home. Shipping containers provide ready-made, durable materials made to withstand some of the worst weather on Earth. Their stackable design makes for easy construction in a building block fashion. Once the general frame is set, the floor plan is up to the imagination of the new homeowner. Beyond shipping container housing as a lifestyle choice, some cities are exploring the idea of using storage containers for housing for the homeless. The nature of the shipping container means that buildings as large as an apartment complex can be completed in as little as 6 months, creating a fast and simple solution to help those in need.

Barnes and stables

Using shipping containers to create a barn or a stable is so popular, it even has its own Pinterest page. Simply building a barn roof over two shipping containers on either side lends endless storage space in an inexpensive and secure setting. The steel containers provide a sturdy base as well as watertight storage. Variations of the shipping container barn include massive, two-story styles, fitting a single container with a barn-style door for a small-but-convenient space, simply slapping a roof on two shipping containers for a large covered area, and more. The only limitation is your creativity.
Shipping Containers used for barnes

Open Air Theaters

Musical performances, plays, and other live events provide entertainment for families and help build community spirit. Shipping containers provide a perfect option to create a stage. The uniform style of the containers means that one can create a stage setting in a unique design, much like using building blocks. Even with a small budget, producers can build a gorgeous, three-dimensional theater space that will last a long time. Shipping containers offer an outdoor theater building material because of their storage capacity. There’s no need to build a storage unit or backstage area; it’s included in the stage materials! Shipping containers also provide a large canvas, so set designers can enjoy painting the containers and making each performance unique.
Open Air Theater Utilizing Shipping Containers


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2 Responses

  1. I like the idea of using a shipping container for a stable. My wife and I just moved to a rural area and we are thinking about getting some horses and we don’t have a stable to put them in. Maybe a few modifications can make a shipping container ideal for a simple stable, as you showed in your picture.

  2. Wow, I didn’t know that a storage trailer has a lot of usage through the modification process. I’m so amazed that it could turn into an open-air theater with very unique stage design, props and it can also serve as a large canvass that would help us to save money on our event. I’ll be sure to inform our stage director regarding your article because it is so informative on how a shipping container can be modified into different usage.

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