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By Clive Smith 2 weeks ago

Will My Household Contents Fit Inside A Shipping Container?

Will My Household Contents Fit Inside A Shipping Container?


One of the main concerns of people who are considering a self pack move is that they have too much in their house to fit inside a 20ft moving container. It’s a valid concern and as residential removalists we get asked about it all the time. It’s common knowledge that a self pack move is one of the most economical ways to move interstate, however there’s no point saving all that money if you don’t actually manage to move everything that you need to!

The short answer is: it’s very difficult to predict if your household contents will definitely fit in a container. 

The good news is that there are many things you can do though to ensure that they do which we will look at below. One thing you can do in advance of your move is to declutter your house and get rid of anything you no longer use, need or have any sentimental attachment to. There is no point paying to transport anything you don’t need. It’s a great idea to hold a garage sale to offload everything at once and make a bit of cash hopefully, at the same time.  


Reduce clutter with a garage sale - BSPC Removalists


It’s worthwhile mentioning the following statistic from our own interstate removalists who have moved in excess of 1500 customers interstate in Australia. Out of these moves, 95% of them moved their household contents using one 20ft shipping container. 

While we can supply 40ft containers in certain cases, generally we recommend these for commercial purposes as they do not contain many of the features that make our 20ft containers a great option for residential moves (eg. they don’t have interior tie rails and they can be difficult to deliver in a residential street). 

Occasionally we provide customers with two of our 20ft containers for a move, but the cases in which this happens, are rare. Generally for these customers, they either are transporting a vehicle in one of the containers, or they are transporting (in addition to their home’s contents), the contents of a shed, granny flat or similar.

You may have seen online calculators that you predict the square meterage of your household contents. These can be notoriously inaccurate. While some items like a washing machine are a fairly standard size, others such as a lounge suite can vary in size enormously. While this sort of tool may give you a highly questionable estimate of your contents they don’t carry much weight with us as professional removalists.

The most important factor contributing to how much you fit inside your moving container, is how you pack it. A 20ft container has the internal capacity of 38m3. To fit as much in as possible you need to maximise the amount of space that is used and that means packing smartly, and with a plan. Your aim is to minimise, as much as possible, the empty space created by oddly shaped items. For instance, a chair creates a lot of empty space around it, this needs to be filled with smaller items to eliminate that space being wasted. Where possible, always dismantle things like chairs, tables and desks to avoid this wasted space altogether.

Our expert removalists have written numerous articles to provide advice for packing your moving container. Here are some of them or you can check out our blog


If you are still unsure that all your belongings won’t fit into one 20ft shipping container, it may be well worth considering hiring a second container and transporting a vehicle in it. Some previous customers moved a small car as well as the contents of a one bedroom unit this way. You can watch a time-lapse video of them loading their container here. 


Transport your car in a container - BSPC Removalists


Whilst we are confident with most of our customers that they can comfortably move using one container, it’s certainly gives a little leeway to have the option of a second container should you need it. For more information about your moving options or if you would like to speak to one of our experienced removalists about your container needs, call us on 1300 659 221, or alternatively, you can get an obligation free online quote by clicking here.


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