Moving into a Container Home: How to Make the Process Fun and Straightforward


Moving into a Container Home

Whether it’s the van life, the school bus life, or the shipping container life, people are looking for alternative modes of living. Perhaps the result of a rising housing market, more and more people are buying shipping containers to live in, and rather than it being the result of a dystopian future where we’re all compacted like sardines, it’s a cosy, cost effective way of living, akin to a modern cottage.

But it’s such a new concept that some of us need a little know-how. Read our guide to making the shipping container life as easy and fun as possible.

What are the perks of a shipping container?

The obvious perk of living in a shipping container is its price, while it’s often offset by its lack of mobility.

Depending on the size, a shipping container can cost anywhere between £2k and £6k, where a new caravan can cost around £23k for the same space, with simply the addition of an engine making you mobile. When you see so many caravans stationary due to a range of reasons, can you really compare a £4k shipping container?

Once you have your container, and your land, which you will need just like living in a bus, or caravan, you are free to do with it as you wish. You can choose a spot in the woods to live the cabin life, with the wildlife on your container doors.

Moving into a Container Home

What about space?

The thing about van life, shipping life, caravan life, etc. is that you will need to cut back on the material goods. Decide what you need for the bare minimum, then furnish that with what items are most important to you. If you can’t live without your coffee maker, that’s fine, but it will sit on a kitchen counter that might double as your fridge.

If there is simply too much you can’t part with, you always have the option to rent a garage for extra storage. There are some things that are too practical to get rid of, like seasonal jackets and coats, others with sentimental value like photo albums, and then just things that are too bulky that you use all the time, like bikes and other sport equipment. Putting these things away in storage will allow you to access them whenever you need to, and be sure that whatever you are putting away, it will be safe.

What about utilities?

A shipping container obviously isn’t going to come with power. You are only paying for a shell of a home, and it is your responsibility to fill it. This is what attracts the more handy of the population to the shipping life. You will have to get your hands dirty getting power and water into your home. Your lighting, heating, power sockets, appliances and internet will all need power.

Believe it or not there are services, in the UK, that will install power into your shipping container home, but if you are going for the affordable option, you can wire and install strip lights and power sockets to an external power source, like a generator. Equally, your water will have to come from an external source, so that you can shower and clean. You can install a shower and an exterior water tank or an interior freshwater tank. And then there are people who simply collect rainwater, filter it, and shower with it. The perk of a shipping container is that they come in a range of sizes, so while the van life might require showering outside, there is a lot more space available in a shipping container to install a shower and water tank.


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