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Steel Shipping Containers: The Tiny House lifestyle empowers a brighter future

sustainable containers

Affordable housing is difficult to find. Especially when it comes to downtown apartments, as luxury high-rises are constantly being erected. There’s a fast-paced life happening all around you, and you just need some space to exist.

Most Americans spend between 1/3 and 1/2 of their income just to put a roof over their heads. With 76% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, that adds up to about 15 years of a lifetime spent working to pay for that huge house. The typical American home contains about 2,600 square feet of space.

In addition to living paycheck to paycheck, almost 70% of Americans are buried in debt. This forces them into a ceaseless cycle of dependence, practically chaining them to their jobs.

For all those stressed-out people living in over-priced and over-sized housing, there’s a better way to do it. There’s a social housing movement that’s been spreading globally over the last decade with stories featured on CNN, the Guardian, Huffington Post and the Oprah Show.

The alternative to all of this financial chaos is to live smaller.

Opening Opportunities In Housing With Tiny Houses

The Tiny House movement encourages people to purposely downsize their living space to pursue simpler, smaller and more efficient spaces. The typical small or tiny house is between 100 and 400 square feet. They can be mobile or stationary.

Some of the top reasons people choose to make the tiny house lifestyle change includes:

  • Financial concerns
  • Desire for more time and freedom
  • Environmental concerns

For many in the rut of seeking “more,” the idea of moving into cheaper place may feel like a backwards move. Yet thousands of people have written and shared their tiny living stories that reflect increasing life quality and overall fulfillment.

Sometimes it’s difficult to separate our wants and needs. Living in a tiny home lifestyle forces you to question yourself in ways you likely never would.

If you’re dying under debt and stress to sustain your current lifestyle, it’s worth taking a step back to reassess your life game plan. Try a life inside the box.

More About The Tiny House Movement

The tiny house wave has grown popular for its ability to empower. It’s a change in lifestyle that allows people to direct their future wants by rethinking their present needs. It forces people to question what is truly important and breaks the mold of the ordinary.

Think about it. If your house were burning down and you had second to run out with your life, what would you grab? As it turns out, aside from your loved ones and a few memorabilia-type items, most things are replaceable.

There’s tons of research showing that clutter has a very negative impact on our well-being. This shift in lifestyle commonly leads to more life adventure, simplification, self-efficiency and control over your finances. When you’re in a financial crisis or not, you can begin to consider the factors of true joy and contentment in your life.

Living in a tiny home can allow for a more streamlined existence with increased opportunity for education, travel and life experience. Instead of living to work, try working less and living more.

Over A Certain Number Happiness Does Not Corrolate To Increased Income

A Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School study found that a $75,000 yearly income is the “peak of happiness.” However, after that there’s no correlation between a higher salary and increased happiness. If anything, there’s a decrease in happiness due to additional stress that likely comes with an intensified workload.

A $75,000-salary may seem like a steep number for a lot of people. When you cut expensive housing from that equation (that’s at least 30-40% of most people’s income), the number goes down to $45,000 per year. This much more achievable income allows for many highly-satisfied tiny home dwellers.

This trend has been especially popular for singles and married couples looking to pare down their life. Most of these small residencies include the basics such a kitchen, bathroom and living-area in a scaled-down version. This allows for design to be more tailored to the owner’s needs and tastes.

For someone who may not be interested in designing an efficient home interior, there are other options. Several companies offer prefab-kits and a variety of build-to-order homes that meet the growing demand for tiny houses

Steel Shipping Container Construction

The steel shipping container was globally standardized as a transportation module back in 1956. They were designed to ship loads of heavy material across the world. They’re meant to withstand weather, weighty stacking and ocean travel.

These durable steel containers have become the latest trend for reuse construction material, especially in the tiny home movement. At 150 square feet of space, a single container easily doubles as your next simplistic home, retreat or office space.

With all the disaster resistant capabilities (hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes), they also make really great community centers or post-disaster housing.

The History Of Shipping Containers

They’re built to last through hard labor for at least 30 years. However, they’re typically left by the wayside at 10 years. That’s because shipping them back and forth around the country is really pricey, especially when it’s over water. They’re also inherently fireproof.

Often the receivers of shipments will give the container to a local building site to avoid the cost of shipping it back to the sender. There’s about 30 million unused shipping containers all around the world. A decent steel shipping container can be bought for about $2,000.

With the global standardization, you’ll know what you’re getting into with these containers. The most common container sizing will be 8 feet wide, 8 feet and 6 inches high, and either 20 or 40 feet long. This makes it really simple to find containers to design together.

If you want an especially high ceiling, there’s also these “high cube” containers that are rare. The high cubes are 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, and then 9 feet and 6 inches high.

Tiny home people love these because they’re inherently within the sizing range. If 150 square feet sounds too tiny for you, no worries. With standardized sizing, these containers easily stack and link. They often are. Just Google search shipping container construction, and you’ll quickly run into some of the most innovative housing you’ve ever seen.

Architects sometimes lovingly refer to them as heavy Legos. Their versatility has captured the imagination of designers around the world. Anything from a high rise to a rustic cabin or spa retreat can be created. All the fun around the cool construction material has constituted a movement: “cargotecture.”

Shipping Container Lifestyle

They’re sleek and compact. You definitely won’t have to sacrifice style here. If you’re used to spending much more on housing, you can easily add all the creature comforts you could imagine. These can be extravagantly designed and endlessly remodeled.

These containers provide an outlet for you to unleash your wild side through interior design innovations. It’s a fun and creative way to rethink home design where efficiency is key. Think of it like a puzzle.

You can quickly cut out the required energy that is soaking up your time by not needing to spend as much time working to pay for it. These homes are super cheap! If you’re able to fit your life into one of them, with an average $2,000 price tag. People are often able to find them for even cheaper.

The containers meet all of the most common desires that tiny home people are looking for: financial, environmental and time surplus benefits.

You can build it almost anywhere. Whether you fancy living in the country, in the city or out in the woods, you can make it happen. You can easily lock it up while you’re away or move it around with you.

A Refreshing Way to Live

The movement entices people from a great variety of backgrounds to decide their future. It’s an empowering way to take control of your finances and lifestyle for the better.

Many people who have heard about the tiny house trend associate it with urbanist or mindful-type people. The trend has gotten grown even more appealing and accessible.

How To Live Small

Yes, it will be small. But with so much push in the media and in the business world to expand and expand quickly, living small is an often under-rated choice.

There is a certain joy in the need to carefully select your possessions. It allows you to return the focus on quality over quantity. It doesn’t mean you have to sell all possessions and give your money to the poor.

Living in a container is also one of the most effective ways to lessen your clutter, that stuff that causes all those mental issues. By clearing the clutter, you can make more space for you. By reframing your perspective, your “stuff” will naturally lose its power over your money and attention.

Keeping A Simple Lifestyle

Aside from narrowing down your possessions, you can cut out some of the responsibilities that are draining your energy.

When homeowners are looking to purchase new houses, they often overlook the costs of time and maintenance fees that quickly add up. A SmartAsset study found that 38% of new home owners reported feeling overwhelmed with upkeep prices.

They’ll greatly cut down on maintenance time and costs. They have low heating and lighting costs. You can build windows into them for easy ventilation. These are shipping containers. They’re light, sturdy and make ideal dwellings for people who like to move. They’re built to be transported and fit easily on a trailer.


If you enjoy standing out, you can definitely accomplish that with one of these incredibly modern designs.

If you’re environmentally conscious, you’ll have the additional satisfaction of making things a little easier on the world around you. Environmentally-friendly people use steel containers because they love the inherent efficiency of these structures.

For those impacted by spiritual or philosophical concerns, this type of lifestyle can be particularly appealing. It enables you to easily forgo most of your worldly possessions, do it cheaply and stylishly, and focus more on what matters.

Getting Started

This stuff may sound all fun and dandy… for those people. However, the idea of uprooting your life into a box probably still sounds far-fetched. Rest assured, there’s no rules that say you have to jump all in at once. You can always start by building a container design as your vacation home, office or quiet retreat haven.

You can create as much privacy as you could ever want with a little woodsy retreat.

There are some technical things that you should be aware of as you move forward. Some of the primary concerns for fresh shipping container builders include:

  • What kind of weather do I want to live in?
  • What was the containers previous use?
  • How are you going to deliver the container?
  • What kind of building permits will I need?
  • Do I need an architect or engineer?

This is where you’ll need to dig in your heels and do some research. There are stories about living small everywhere. If you ever wanted to check out some of these ideas without turning your life completely upside down, some relaxed reading is a great way to get started.

Living small is about grounding yourself. It’s about focusing on what’s really important in your life. People who choose this route often feel more gratitude and appreciation through their daily lives.

The term “mindfulness” used to hold a lot of mysticism. Gautama Buddha use mindfulness in relation to a person’s spiritual journey. Despite initial reluctance, many people are talking about mindfulness now.

From self-help gurus and business leaders to scientists and politicians, the practice of mindfulness is more than practical. Psychologists often link mindfulness to productivity and emotional intelligence. In case you haven’t heard, EQ has been shown to be even more useful than IQ in moving up the ladder of your work field.

Whether you’re looking to save some money, the planet or your soul, steel shipping containers have something to offer. At a minimum, the simplistic lifestyle will provide a fresh perspective for increased life fulfillment and happiness.

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