Here Are 5 Things You Definitely Can’t Store in Self Storage

Jon Fesmire |

There is so much you can store in your self storage unit.

Most household items such as furniture, appliances, electronics, books, clothing, toys, and a lot more are all fair game. In this industry, we want storage to help simplify the lives of our customers, to free up space in your homes and offices, and make sure your belongings remain in good condition.

However, certain things just don’t belong in a storage unit.

We’ll cover what those things are, as well as why they’re prohibited.

1. Combustible Materials

Combustible materials are things that can quickly, or spontaneously, catch fire.

This includes fireworks and other explosives, fuel tanks, fertilizer, paint thinner, and anything else that can easily catch fire.

The reasons are obvious.

If a fire starts in a unit, it can not only destroy the tenant’s belongings, it can also spread to other units, causing terrible property damage. If people are stuck in an area, it could even lead to grievous bodily harm or death.

So, keep the lives of you and your fellow tenants, the facility, and everyone’s stuff safe, and don’t store any combustible materials.

2. Firearms

This category is closely related to combustible materials.

Most storage facilities don’t allow tenants to store firearms. Those that allow firearms typically don’t allow you to store ammunition.

There are exceptions, like a company called Gunsitters, whose entire business model is built around giving people a place to store their firearms safely.

This mainly comes down to safety. Many storage managers and tenants would feel unsafe knowing someone was storing guns at their facility. Ammunition is especially dangerous, as it fits in the “combustible materials” category. When a bullet gets hot enough, as in the case of a fire, the shell case will burst apart and cause serious damage to anything nearby.

Some other weapons may be prohibited as well.

If you have certain knives or other items that could be considered weapons that you’d like to store, clear it with the facility manager first.

3. Living Animals and Plants

Please, don’t put your pets in your storage unit.

Some may think it’s OK to leave a cat or dog in a unit for a day while they go on a trip, as long as they leave water and food.

This is a big mistake.

Not only can it be traumatizing for your pet, but your animal and the food you leave can also attract pests. Bring your pet with you, or find a sitter.

Live plants don’t belong in storage, either.

The plants themselves and their soil attract pests, too, including rodents and bugs, which can damage your goods and cause an infestation in the facility. This is self storage, not a greenhouse.

4. Open Food Containers and Perishable Food

These are prohibited in self storage units for one of the same reasons animals and live plants are prohibited: they can, and will, attract pests.

The smells, both when the food is still fresh and when it rots, bring in bugs and rodents and allow their populations to multiply. They can then spread from your unit into others.

They will also make your unit stink. Tenants and employees may be able to smell this, making the facility a less pleasant place.

Ensure your unit and those of others remain clean and pest free. If you must store food items, canned foods are fine, but other types aren’t.

5. Illegal Items

This covers a wide range of things with one common theme. If it’s illegal, it doesn’t belong in your self storage unit. In fact, you shouldn’t have it at all, but yes, for now, we’re talking about storage only.

Illegal items include prohibited weapons; illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia; pirated media; and stolen items.

If something has been stolen, even if you aren’t the person who stole it, storing it is illegal.

It’s not tough to follow these important rules, and breaking them can get you evicted from a facility or even land you in legal trouble. So, store the things you’re allowed to store. Let self storage work for you, your fellow tenants, and the facility where you store.