The Dos and Don'ts of Loading Your Moving Container
When it comes to moving or storing your belongings, utilizing the available space of your shipping container is crucial. Whether you’re moving to a new home, renovating, or simply in need of additional storage, shipping containers provide a good amount of storage space and cost-effective solution. By following some simple guidelines, you can maximize the space in your shipping container, ensuring that you make the most out of every square foot. In this blog post, we will share the dos and don’ts of loading your moving container to help you optimize space utilization.
- Do Plan Ahead: Before loading your shipping container, take some time to plan and strategize. Consider the size of your container, the items you need to pack, and their dimensions. You may have heard of the “big rocks first” concept made famous by leadership guru Stephen Covey. The same principle applies with storage! Make a list and prioritize your items accordingly. Planning ahead will help you determine the best packing strategy and ensure that everything fits snugly.
- Don’t Procrastinate: Start packing and loading your shipping container as early as possible. Procrastination can lead to rushed decisions and inefficient packing. We suggest having your container delivered a week or more before your moving date. By giving yourself ample time, you can carefully organize and pack your belongings, minimizing the risk of damage and optimizing space utilization.
- Do Utilize Vertical Space: Shipping containers come in various sizes, such as 10 foot shipping containers, 20 foot shipping containers, and 40 foot shipping container options, but almost all of them have an interior ceiling height of about 8 feet (7’ 10” is standard). Regardless of the container size you choose, remember to make full use of the vertical space. Stack boxes and furniture vertically to maximize storage capacity. Your container should have sturdy D-rings along the top of the ceiling. Use those D-rings to apply ratchet straps or ropes to secure items in place.
- Don’t Ignore Weight Distribution: Evenly distributing the weight of your items inside the shipping container helps with stability and safety during transport. Place heavier items at the bottom and distribute the weight towards the center. This will help maintain balance and prevent any potential tipping or shifting during transit.
- Do Disassemble When Possible: Large furniture pieces and items that can be disassembled should be taken apart whenever feasible. This allows for better space utilization and easier maneuvering of items into the container. Keep track of hardware and store it in labeled bags, ensuring easy reassembly at your destination.
- Don’t Forget to Protect Fragile Items: When packing fragile items, take extra care to protect them from potential damage. Use bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or foam sheets to provide cushioning. Mark these boxes as “Fragile” and ensure they are placed securely within the container, away from heavy or sharp objects. Use oversized plastic stretch wrap to cover wood surfaces and prevent scuffs or scratches. Awkward shaped items such as bicycles, patio furniture, and oversized kids toys are often better stored in the back of a pickup truck or near the ceiling of a container, on top of more sturdy boxes or totes.
- Do Make Use of Storage Containers: If you’re not utilizing the entire shipping container for a single move, consider using large totes, bins, or storage containers within the larger space. These smaller containers can help segregate and organize your belongings, making it easier to locate specific items when needed.
- Don’t Waste Space: Make use of every nook and cranny within your shipping container. Utilize the interior space of furniture by storing smaller items inside drawers, cabinets, and appliances. Fill gaps between items with soft materials like pillows, blankets, or clothing to prevent movement and maximize space utilization.
- Do Create an Inventory List: Keeping an inventory list of the items loaded into your shipping container is essential for several reasons. It helps you keep track of your belongings, simplifies the unpacking process, and provides valuable information for insurance purposes, if necessary. If some of your items will be going in the container and others inside a vehicle or to other storage, it’s especially important that you keep track of where you have stored important records, photos, and heirlooms. We once had to help someone unpack their entire container in order to find a passport so they could go on their honeymoon… only to realize that they had kept it in a drawer in the office the whole time!
- Don’t Overload the Container: While it’s important to maximize space, it’s equally important not to overload the container. Exceeding the weight limits specified for the container can lead to safety hazards during transportation. Make sure you are aware of the weight capacity of the shipping container you’re using and adhere to it.
Maximizing space in your shipping container is essential for efficient and cost-effective shipping or storage. By planning ahead, utilizing vertical space, distributing weight properly, and protecting fragile items, you can optimize space utilization and ensure the safety of your belongings during transportation. Remember these dos and don’ts when loading your moving container, and you’ll make the most out of every square foot available. Get Simple Box is in several locations, with shipping containers for sale or storage container rentals near you. Happy packing, and feel free to reach out to any member of Get Simple Box today with any questions. We are always happy to help!