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John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/23/21 10:58 a.m.

We will be getting started on a major house remodel.  In short, about 50% of my house needs to come out of my house in the next week.  We will be sleeping in the living room and surviving on a half bath as we rebuild much of the bedroom wing of the house.  

I have an odd "driveway" that gives me significant concrete.  My intention is to get a shipping container to place on the concrete.  I contacted many options and then got into price negotiations and the net result is that tomorrow, a 40ft container will be delivered.  I could have maybe gotten by with a 20ft but the savings was minimal and I have the space for 40ft.  

So, here is the real question for y'all with some experience...anything I need to know about storing in a shipping container during the hottest months of the year?  

 

I expect they build some heat, but being here at home, I can open the doors for some afternoons.  I don't have critter problems here.  

 

Expect the contents to include some soft items like 2 or 3 sofas and 6 overstuffed chairs.  Also, a couple dressers and desks.  I'll probably be taking stuff out of my overfilled garage Like winter items and putting them in there too.  This will create some garage space where we can put some daily needed items.  A lot of my attic-like storage items will be going in the unit as well.  

 

The unit will go where the pick up truck is in this picture and the Prius(es) wont be there either.

Older picture from back when we bought:  

I have lots of room for a semi to come into what from the road seems like a tight driveway but really becomes a sea of concrete when conbining the neighboring 4 unit condo building with my place too.  

The rectangle portion of my concrete is 84' x 40'.  The big 40ft'er will extend just past the courtyard opening

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/23/21 11:02 a.m.

I would expect it to get very hot and possibly humid inside the container.  Covering the top with a white tarp or something similar might go a long way towards keeping temperatures down a bit.    Best of luck with the remodel, that sounds pretty awesome!

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
6/23/21 11:07 a.m.

It'll be hot. The stuff nearest the doors will get dirty.

If you won't need to be in and out of it look at sealing the gaps, critters will find a way in.

rob_lewis
rob_lewis UltraDork
6/23/21 11:10 a.m.

Looks like it'll be shaded often with those trees, so heat might not be too bad.  Humidity, however, could be an issue.  Might want to look for some industrial size damp rid bags to keep the moisture down.  I assume you'll put a fan in it to keep things on the cooler side.

-Rob

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia SuperDork
6/23/21 11:13 a.m.

Are you buying the container or renting it ?

there are 3 heights , 8 , 8.5 and 9.5

if you are buying it can you put an exhaust fan back in the rear corner ?

Any  cheap pallet racks on Craigslist ?

We put 12ft  tall pallet racks down both sides of our shop,   3-3.5-4ft are the common depths of the uprights

Put an ad on craigslist  "Wanted pallet racks  / storage racks "  and a photo , there is a lot of them laying around .

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/23/21 11:18 a.m.

We have one at work that we use for long term storage. It's a "one way" container, has only done one trip. It's completely sealed when closed. 

Haven't been inside much - it's mostly to put the landlord's crap out of our way - but I would not worry about sealing. These things float. 

In terms of heat buildup, it should be any worse than a metal shed, should it?

Pallet racks are a good suggestion because you can sell them. If you can't deal with the full depth units, Husky makes a "prosumer" version you can get at the box stores that's about 2' deep. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/23/21 11:19 a.m.

Rent.  I hope to have it only 3 months.  I'd love to own it but it would be a big ugly.  

Yes, the spot where the truck is in the photo above does mean the container will get the best shade I have to offer.   Good thought on the damp rid!

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
6/23/21 11:26 a.m.

No critters if the doors are shut.  Humidity is the only problem I have.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
6/23/21 11:37 a.m.

I'd go so far as to at least think about putting a dehumdifier in there on super humid days. Use a hose into a large bucket/trash can so you don't have to constantly drain it.

Throw some cedar sachets in the dresser drawers. 

Mouse traps - the bucket with a can kind - may be a good idea as well. 

 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
6/23/21 11:45 a.m.

Got a few. They get super humid and super hot. All I really got to say. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/23/21 11:57 a.m.

Bucket mouse trap...good idea!  

Dehumidifier becomes a challenge in that I can run and extension cord to the box but I can't really close the box with the cord through the door.  Running a  dehumidifier wit the door open seems like trying to dehumidify the whole atmosphere?  I guess, if I placed the unit deep, far from the door, it might do a good job of betting out the deep moisture.  

Since I went with the twice as big unit, one dream I have it to keep a walkway either down a side or down the middle.  This should aid in keeping access to the end away from the door.  I could see putting a large house fan back there and blowing air toward the door.  

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
6/23/21 12:11 p.m.

Paint the roof white.   Ventilate.

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo UltraDork
6/23/21 12:17 p.m.

I think to a point you guys are overthinking it.


90% of the stuff in your house already spent a few months in one of these on the slow boat over from China already.  Would I put Grandmama's 200 year old heirloom dresser in there?  No.  An ikea bed?  Sure.  Break it down and toss it in.  Worst case scenario it gets a little haggard.


Alternate option: sell/donate/throw away anything you don't need, replace with stuff you like when you are done.  No sense saving or moving things twice if you are not madly in love with them.

jharry3
jharry3 Dork
6/23/21 12:30 p.m.
John Welsh said:

Bucket mouse trap...good idea!  

Dehumidifier becomes a challenge in that I can run and extension cord to the box but I can't really close the box with the cord through the door.  Running a  dehumidifier wit the door open seems like trying to dehumidify the whole atmosphere?  I guess, if I placed the unit deep, far from the door, it might do a good job of betting out the deep moisture.  

Since I went with the twice as big unit, one dream I have it to keep a walkway either down a side or down the middle.  This should aid in keeping access to the end away from the door.  I could see putting a large house fan back there and blowing air toward the door.  

Just drill a hole in the side, pass the dehumidifier power cord through it, and seal around it.  You also need another sealed hole penetration for the dehumidifier drain hose to expel what is collected.

But think about all the stuff shipped in containers from all over the world.  They sit on top of a ship in equatorial conditions for weeks on end and no one worries about heat and humidity causing problems for the items inside.

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/23/21 12:32 p.m.

In reply to 93gsxturbo :

Oh, I hear ya!    However, we are 10 years deep into this house and have accumulated.  I realize I will be possibly moving things more than once but this container is also part of the process of trying to eliminate and reduce.  It just may require enjoying the freedom of something being gone (if even only into a big box in the driveway) to realize we will be better off without it.  Said another way, I think we will be more critical when moving stuff back in.  If the "new house" doesn't have room for keeping an item then I too want it gone.  

There is some marriage balancing-act in all this too.  smiley

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
6/23/21 12:32 p.m.

It's basically going to be the same as a metal shed or a cheap U-store-it place - including that I wouldn't trust it to be fully rodentproof and it might have leaks. But I wouldn't freak out about it too much; just check for any signs inside that there may be leaks before you put anything in there and check after the first couple rains, set a mousetrap, and call it a day.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
6/23/21 12:39 p.m.

A few LED shop lights and a dehumidifier should go a long way to making one of these good for the purpose at hand.

rob_lewis
rob_lewis UltraDork
6/23/21 12:44 p.m.

Just a reminder to folks, he's renting it.  So, painting or cutting holes in it aren't an option.  I'm sure you will, but just airing it out every few days or once a week or so will probably help with the moisture buildup. 

-Rob

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/23/21 12:53 p.m.

The rental brand seems to be all beige...close to white and not as gaudy as some rusty box with a Chinese name on the side.  

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia SuperDork
6/23/21 12:59 p.m.

In reply to rob_lewis :

ask the company you are renting from to drill the hole for power !  All they can say is no :)

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/23/21 1:03 p.m.

I'm reading that railroad ties are a good idea.  Looks like later today, I'll be taking the gov't mule down toward the big railroad crossing near my house to see if I can find some discarded ties.  

 

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
6/23/21 2:13 p.m.

After contemplating my humidity note from an hour or so ago, I stored my Camaro in one for seven years, and its a wee bit musty, but really, not anything I can't live with.

A summer will be fine.

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/23/21 2:32 p.m.

3 months?  You'll be fine. 
 

I strongly recommend some shelving. Run it down 1 side. Don't think of the thing as a cave you can stuff things into- think of it as a hallway with storage shelving on 1 half.  That will let you go in there and find stuff. 
 

The minute you start piling stuff it's all over. 

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/23/21 2:34 p.m.

Also...

I've never seen a shipping container that was air tight. They've all been used hard and have some form of hole in the bottom you can pass a cord through. 

wawazat
wawazat Dork
6/23/21 2:37 p.m.

Have you looked in to PODS?  Might be better solution for your short term needs.  

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