Published on 2021-07-05

A self-storage unit can be the perfect place for seasonal home décor, unused furniture and heavy winter clothing. There are, however, certain items that should never be kept in your self-storage unit. While self-storage is definitely convenient and hassle-free, you need to be aware of what you shouldn’t keep in your unit. After all, you don’t want to keep anything that could potentially damage other precious or expensive items you keep in there. Play it safe and continue reading to be sure you are storing the right items in your storage unit and using it the way it was intended.

1. Perishable items

Fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy should never be stored long term in a self-storage unit – they should always be stored in a refrigerator or they will quickly go bad. Keep in mind that you can always store canned goods and non-perishables in a self-storage unit as they have a much longer shelf life. If you need to, you can also store dry goods such as pasta, rice, and flour. Keep these items in glass or plastic containers and remember to check them periodically to ensure they haven’t turned rancid or attracted bugs and pests to your unit. It’s always a good idea to keep checking the expiry dates on any food items you store to ensure they are fresh and safe to consume.

2. Plants and pets

One of the main things you must remember when using self-storage is never to use it as a home for your pets, plants or any living things. A self-storage unit is not an optimal place for living beings, as the conditions don’t meet their requirements. Left in a storage unit, plants and pets will most likely end up dead or deprived. All living things need light, air, room to grow and nourishment. This is why a self-storage unit is a huge ‘no’ for any of your pets, no matter how small they are, or for any of your plants, no matter how low maintenance they are.

3. Money or currency

For obvious reasons, there are better places to store wads of cash, currency, gold bars, or cheques. Find a safety deposit box or a bank nearby to store these items instead of relying on your self-storage unit. While self-storage units are often very safe and equipped with cameras and high levels of security, it’s still not the best idea to store your cold hard cash in a place not designated for it. Keep it in the bank where it’s meant to be.

4. Hazardous items

It should go without saying that hazardous materials should never be left in your self-storage unit. This includes household items that are corrosive, flammable, explosive or biological waste. Anything from car batteries to fireworks and motor oil should never be stored in your unit. If you decide to store your car, make sure it’s registered and insured in your name. It will also need to be in good working condition and drained of any oil and fuel before storing. The last thing you want is a dangerous material causing major problems or accidents within the storage facility and hurting others or damaging your (or someone else’s) belongings.

5. Electronics

Electronics are another item that should never be kept in the confines of self-storage. This is because they are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures and humidity can easily seep in and cause them to become damaged. If you do want to store your electronics, ensure that your self-storage unit is climate controlled so that they stay in good working condition for when you need them.

6. Strong scents

Not only can strong scents overwhelm the air and cause nearby items to reek, but they can also attract bugs and pests to your storage unit. Steer clear of any strong smells and try to maintain a scent-free environment within your storage unit.

7. Stolen goods

In an ideal world, no one would ever be in possession of stolen goods. However, since this is not the case, it may be worth mentioning that stolen goods should never be kept in a self-storage unit. It doesn’t matter whether it’s equipment, clothes, jewelry or whatever, anything even remotely illegal should stay far away from any storage unit.

8. Weapons and firearms

Depending on what the rules are and the contract with your storage facility, you may or may not be allowed to store firearms in your self-storage unit. In any case, you should consider other places to store your weapons and firearms that may be safer and more contained. For example, if you can’t find a proper storage place for your firearms, you might consider contacting a local shooting range to see if they can safely store them for you.

Basically, you want to make sure you are using your storage unit in the best way possible. You don’t want to damage your belongings, the environment or any living things. Remember to be mindful of what you store and follow guidelines set by the storage facility.