Self-storage exists so that people can keep extra possessions they don’t need at home or in the office in a safe place. You can store so many things, including furniture, clothes, musical instruments, documents, electronics, office supplies, and sometimes firearms.
However, there are some items that self-storage facilities prohibit, most for obvious reasons. Tenants can get into serious legal trouble, or in the very least, banned from renting in a facility for these items.
Explosives and Flammable Materials:
It may seem like common sense to store the fireworks you didn’t use on July 4 so that you can enjoy them next year, but self-storage is not the place to put them. Any explosive or flammable materials, like gasoline, are a fire hazard and do not belong in a self-storage unit.
As mentioned above, some facilities do allow registered firearms in storage lockers. You will need to check with individual businesses. Our StorageFront article, Storing Your Firearms: Safe Options for Gun Storage, goes into great detail on this topic. Always check with your self-storage company on exactly what sorts of firearms are allowed and prohibited.
While some facilities allow the storage of some firearms, they do not allow ammunition. Bullets fall under the “Explosives and Flammable Materials” category, but deserve emphasis.
Hazardous and Noxious Materials:
Is it corrosive, radioactive, or otherwise dangerous to life or property? Then no matter how well you have it sealed, keep it out of self-storage.
Illegal items of any sort do not belong in self-storage, but narcotics deserve a special mention. Never store, sell, or manufacture drugs using your self-storage unit.
Live Plants or Animals:
These living things belong at home where they can be well cared for, not locked up in a sunless room. If you store either of these, expect a visit from the police.
While it is acceptable to store canned food in a unit, any other food item does not belong. They will bring in pests, cause mold, and create a disgusting environment.
No matter the item, if it is a stolen good, then don’t put it in a storage locker. This could potentially get the self-storage company in trouble as well as the tenant.
Sadly many areas are not very accommodating to our nation’s homeless population and a number of homeless individuals have been found living in self-storage facilities. If you suffer from homelessness, call 211 in the United States and ask for resources. Unfortunately, staying in a self-storage locker is not an option.
Some have even put the bodies of dead relatives in units. If a relative has died, call your local morgue. These should be obvious, but you would be surprised what sometimes turns up in a storage unit.
In addition to the items above, most self-storage companies prohibit these activities.
Do not use your locker as an office or a store front. It’s there to hold your belongings until you need them again, not for you to work at your desk, nor to sell anything. Many self-storage facilities even ask that you take your boxes home before you look through them at all.
Keep These Out of Self-Storage!
A few storage facilities actually allow bands to practice in their units, but this is the rare exception. In short, while you can store your instruments there, leave the music making for elsewhere. These days bands don’t have to practice loud with a decent sound setup and headphones.
When in doubt about an item, contact the company you rent a unit from and ask. Use your self-storage for those things you want to keep but don’t need right now, keeping out the items on this list, and you should be fine.