Container Storage Tips & Tricks

Shipping containers are weatherproof, pest-proof mobile storage boxes that can be used as static or mobile storage units. 

Regardless of whether you are shipping your goods halfway around the world or using a container to store your excess belongings, there are good ways and bad ways of storing your goods in them. Let’s look at some shipping container packing tips so you can store your possessions with minimal fuss, either on your property, when starting your new life abroad or easily accessing your gear here at our Gateway Container self-storage area. 

Storage in static and mobile use

Whether your container is static or mobile, you need to have a plan to store your goods in a certain way to maximise efficiency and the safety of the gear within. In these shipping container packing tips we will look at some more general advice. 

What’s the purpose of the container?

Are you sending all your gear to another country like the million or so other Aussies who live abroad? You should buy an A or B grade used container. You can buy new, but for a one-trip use our used containers are perfectly suitable even for a long trip to Europe. These are easily sold on at the other end at brokers like ourselves.

If you want one as a secure shed at home or in the workplace we have containers that will suit your needs too. The containers at our self-storage yard are of high quality and well maintained. 

How much space do you need?

The next thing to consider is how much space you need and this will inform you how big a container you want to hire or buy from us. We offer 3 metre (10ft), 6 metre (20ft) and 12 metre (40ft) length containers at Gateway Containers. A 20ft container will generally have enough space for in a one or two bedroom home to be packed up.


You should protect all your fragile goods with padding, such as newspaper, bubble wrap or packing peanuts regardless of whether it is being moved or not. Furniture should be wrapped in moving blankets or some kind of padding and secured within the shipping container. Smaller pieces should go into plastic containers and cardboard boxes. Boxes with heavy items such as books should be placed around those that have breakable items in order to minimise the amount that they will shift around during the journey. Remember to label everything so you know what’s what!

Static storage 

Where it comes to static storage you should consider the following points:

  • Do you need shelving? We can install shelving in the container for a small fee.
  • Do you need wall fixings to hang things like tools and other easily accessed stuff? We can help with that too.
  • What do you use most? Store that towards the front of the container and less-used gear towards the back.

Cargo packing tips & tricks

When the full container is being shipped it won’t be treated with kid gloves. Though it won’t be deliberately abused during handling, at sea the ship could be thrown about in weather. This all means that you should carefully secure your gear inside. Here are some cargo packing tips & tricks to bear in mind for the journey:

  • Secure your goods well. Earlier on we suggested only getting the size of container you need. If everything is packed tightly then it is less likely to be thrown around in transit during its inevitable knocks and bumps.
  • Wrap all valuables tightly. Personal computers and electronics should ideally be in their original boxes with their Styrofoam padding.
  • Box your smaller items for ease of loading and unloading.
  • Make sure the gear is in good condition before it goes in. Little things like washing, drying and ironing your clothes before they go in matter as they could end up mouldy if damp and dirty. Consider putting some cedar balls among the clothes to maintain their freshness.

Do not pack the following as they are either illegal, dangerous, or could be stolen:

  • Anything of high personal or financial value such as laptops or jewellery. These should go with you as you travel on your own trip.
  • Important documents should also go on your person
  • Perishable or food items might rot in transit
  • Seeds or live plants will be refused by most foreign customs
  • Firearms or other weapons
  • Spray cans or compressed gas are considered hazards
  • Flammable liquids will also be refused.

Call Gateway Container Sales today!

Whether for self-storage or transporting your goods across the continent or world, here at Gateway Container Sales and Hire we have just the containers you need. Get in contact with us today!

Ready to start your container journey?
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About Mark Finnegan

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