As a general rule, you can fit the contents of a one or two-bedroom home into a standard 20ft shipping container. However, larger homes may require 40ft containers for transport and storage. Distribute heavy items evenly throughout the container. That will shield lighter objects from harm while in transit.

Household Goods

The household goods of a one- to two-bedroom apartment will typically fit in a 20-foot shipping container. It is also possible to ship a small car, though this is only recommended for FCL shipping (full cargo load) due to the high likelihood of property damage with LCL shipping. Most new and used shipping containers in the United States are 40-footers, but 20-foot containers can still be found. These can be ideal for storage if you are okay with their exterior appearance or the fact that they’re slightly older. You can also find refurbished shipping containers that have been cleaned, primed, and painted to ensure wind and water-tight. A brand-new 20-foot shipping container in California usually costs between $4,500 and $8,000. Twenty-foot containers used could run you $3,500 to $5,000. Standard dry containers are the most widely used California 20′ shipping containers for cargo transportation.


Fitting furniture into a shipping container can be challenging, especially when doing it yourself. However, with a few clever tricks and the help of some friends, it’s easier than you might think. Ensure everything is secure: tie down the heavy items and anything that might move around on its journey across the ocean. Also, put the most essential things in last. That way, if you need your pottery first when you get to your destination, you can grab it without fighting through a wall of tightly packed boxes. If you need more furniture to move, consider getting a high-cube shipping container. These are one foot taller than standard containers, giving you more space to move your belongings.


While a 10-foot shipping container may suffice for minor storage needs, 20-foot units are ideal for more extensive items. You can fit the contents of a one-bedroom apartment in a 20-foot container, including furniture and appliances. You can also use a shipping container as a durable shed or on-site office. Additionally, you can convert a container into a compact garage to store standard cars or seasonal vehicles like snowmobiles and ATVs. It is possible to fit two small cars in a 20-foot container. However, this is typically not recommended because the vehicles must be partially overlapped and suspended using container straps. It is a risky process and can lead to property damage.


You can use a standard container to store or transport various electronic devices and other items depending on your needs. However, consider a high-cube shipping container if your items require a specific temperature or don’t fit nicely into a standard container. These containers are the same size as standard shipping containers but offer an extra foot of headroom. They can fit household goods from a one- or two-bedroom apartment if they are correctly packed in boxes and protected with bubble wrap. They can even accommodate a small car if you partially overlap them and take care not to damage any parts.

Miscellaneous Items

The idea that a typical 20-foot shipping container can accommodate the belongings of a three-bedroom house is prevalent among people who use containers for house moves. Of course, this will depend on the shape of your items and how well you pack them, but it’s worth trying to get your belongings in a container as it can save you a lot of money on transport.

A standard shipping container can store many boxes, miscellaneous items, and 80 standard-sized bicycles. Knowing the dimensions of a container can help you plan your storage space, and it may also be helpful if you’re planning to place a shipping container on private property and require that you obtain the necessary permits.


Navigating the world of shipping containers, pallets, and boxes can feel like a foreign language. Terms such as TEUs, LD1s, and pallet sizes can confuse determining how much space you need for your freight. Convert an old 20-foot shipping container into the perfect hideout for hunting season. Install windows and doors to provide access while remaining discreet. Use camouflage paint and fabric to blend in and stay hidden. Turn a shipping container into the ultimate relaxation space. Add a sauna or bathtub, comfortable furniture, and calming decorations for a serene escape.