No, we are not preparing for the zombie apocalypse…
But these would come in handy if it were to occur.
So, why are we placing two huge shipping containers on our property?
When we sold our house in Illinois to move back to Wisconsin and be close to our land, we knew we were going to rent something small. This way, we could save extra money while building our house and have the flexibility to move into our new home when we were ready.
It also meant that we were majorly downsizing and needed extra storage space. We considered renting a storage unit, but when we did the cost analysis over 2 to 3-years, it was cheaper in the end to purchase two used shipping containers.
The shipping containers arrived to our property the beginning of April 2016, a month before we moved back to Wisconsin, allowing us to start moving boxes right away. This meant we had to label everything very clearly and come up with some sort of system so we would not have to dig through boxes in the back of these huge containers.
Here is what we came up with…
Shipping Container on the Right (in photo below):
- We started packing the back with boxes labeled “10 year – Timber frame”. These boxes mainly contained old memorabilia, toys that our daughters had outgrown (but we wanted to save for future generations) and other random stuff that we thought might be useful in the future.
- The next pile of boxes was labeled “Timber frame”. These contained anything that we knew would not fit in the place we were renting, but would be used in our new home (extra decorations, pictures, dishware, etc.).
Shipping Container on the Left (in photo below):
- It’s sad, but true…we filled the shipping container on the right with stuff labeled “10 year – Timber frame” and “Timber frame”, so the one on the left was the overflow. We first filled the back with extra furniture, rugs, baskets, shelves, small tables, and more decorative pictures) that we knew we would not use in the place we were renting 🙁
- Next, we piled boxes in the front labeled “rental” that we knew would not fit in an enclosed trailer on the final moving day (since we moved ourselves). This way the most important boxes were easily accessible when we did move. Trust me…there were tons of trips between the rental property and the shipping containers the first 2 weeks we moved in! Not. Fun.
We have been renting for a little less than a year now and I can honestly say that the shipping containers have been rummaged through and rearranged quite a bit (mainly the one of the left). I guess you never know what you are going to need until you don’t have it.
Overall, it has been convenient having our extra stuff right on our property, rather than in a storage unit. This past year we were able exchange out our summer and winter clothes, our bicycles, our hunting gear, our Christmas decorations, etc. Plus, we are able store extra things that we use on a regular basis when we stay at the cabin on our property (grill, lawn chairs, extra tables, etc.).
Is it a pain? Yes. Especially when you are standing in a ton of snow or a foot of mud and need to open a shipping container to dig for one box labelled “dress clothes” (yes, this has happened because we had one wedding to attend). I prefer having a basement (or maybe we just don’t need so much stuff!), but it’s a sacrifice we must make to build our home, so it’s totally worth it.