20 Things To Never Put In A Storage Unit

A storage unit provides an excellent place to store your belongings when you need extra room. However, due to the confined nature of a storage unit there are some things that you should never place in a storage unit. Here are 20 things that were placed in storage units and later removed by embarrassed or angry owners.

A storage unit can be a lifesaver when you’re moving, downsizing, or just decluttering your home and office space. Getting somewhere to store your items, either on a short-term or long-term basis, is a huge relief. But you should also know that not everything can go to the storage unit. There are several items you can never put in storage for safety and security reasons.

Various storage units have limitations on what you should and should not store with them. Others are a matter of using your common sense, while other restrictions are for legal reasons. Well, even with the restrictions in place, you can still find yourself putting things in the storage unit that should never be there. Some people do this unconsciously, while others are simply careless.

If you’re wondering why you should not store specific items in the storage room, then this is your article. Check out this quick list of things you should never put in the storage unit and why.

1.  Don’t Put Anything Illegal

Anything that’s the government banned out of the storage unit should never be there. This should start from illegal drugs such as bhang and cocaine, unlicensed medicines, and illicit alcohol. This should also include anything that you acquire illegally, such as unregistered vehicles.

Don’t use the storage unit to perform illegal surgeries or smuggle things. You don’t want to store anything that’s going to get you in trouble with the police. If you’re caught in possession of illegal items, the storage facility can also sue you.

2.  Food Items

Whether you’re storing for the short term or long term, the storage unit is not a pantry for food items. Foods can get spoiled in the storage unit, and you might not eat them again when you retrieve them from the store. Foods can also attract all types of insects and pests, including critters and rodents. If you invite rodents and insects into your storage room, they will not only attack the food but destroy other items as well.

A food on a mason jar.
Storing food items in a storage-unit will lead to the growth of bacteria and mold.

If the food happens to expire and rot, it’ll start emitting a foul odor and give room for bacteria and mold to grow. You also risk spreading the rodents and the stubborn insects to the neighboring storage units. Storing food items in a storage unit can cause much more harm than you imagine. Keep both perishable and non-perishable foods out of the storage unit by all means.

3.  Combustible and Flammable Items

For security reasons, keep combustible and flammable items out of the storage unit. These things can catch fire and explode, destroying the entire storage unit and the items inside. A fire outbreak can also injure the people around. These items include paint, chemicals, oil, grease, propane, and gasoline. Don’t store any explosives or fireworks in there.

If you put anything in the storage room and it happens to explode, you’ll be responsible for the damage. Even worse, the insurance companies will not pay for the damages as they might deem it intentional or carelessness. Storing explosives will land you in jail for a big offense like terrorism.

4.  Animals

Whether dead or alive, animals are prohibited from the storage units. The storage units are not pet sitting facilities, so you should never take your animal there. It’s prohibited and inhuman to store a live animal in a storage unit. If you’re going away for some time and don’t know what to do with your pet, take them to pet sitters who’ll take better care of them until you return. You can also consider giving them to a friend or family member to help sit the pet for a while.

A Hamster.
Never leave animals in a storage unit as they will not be able to get enough food or fresh air to live.

An animal might suffocate and die in the storage unit. Also, the staff in the unit is not trained to handle animals. Others, such as snakes, may become cruel and attack anyone they come across.

5.  Too Valuable Items

Every home has those items that they hold high sentimental value to and will not replace no matter the occasion. They are those valuable things that you won’t forgive yourself if they get damaged or stolen. These could be antiques or any ancestral belonging that has passed from one generation to another. You should consider carrying such items with you to avoid any squabbles with the facility owners.

Paintings hanging.
To ensure that the items that are too valuable do not get damaged or stolen, avoid storing them in a storage unit.

Other irreplaceable or valuable items you shouldn’t leave in the storage room include a passport, family photo album, and essential documents. You should consider storing such items in a safe deposit box where they won’t get damaged or stolen. While no restrictions are barring you from storing such items, you should use your judgment to decide whether they’re worth keeping away or carrying with you.

6.  Wet and Damp Items

Any moisture in the storage room is unwelcome. If you want to keep the rest of your belongings safe, make sure there is no moisture exposure in the storage rooms. That means you can’t store anything wet in there.  Make sure you wash and dry all your items before putting them in the storage room.

A hand with a folded clothes and a box.
When packing items and preparing them for storing, ensure that they are 100% dry to avoid bacteria and mold growth.

Even the slightest amount of wetness in the room can pose great danger. A wet room is likely to invite bacteria, mold, and mildew, and all these substances are the biggest enemies of your other items. Moisture can also cause the rotting of a wooden item and damage your precious possessions quickly. You can even store water equipment such as canoe, raft, kayak, scuba gear, and more into the storage unit. But you should never bring them there wet. You should also not store their water tanks in the storage room.

7.  Liquids

Liquid containers may not be wet per se, but they can leak and make the whole room wet. An unexpected leak means you’ll lose the liquid and still cause damage to other items in the storage unit. If the liquid consists of dangerous chemicals such as oil or gasoline, it might catch fire, destroying the entire storage.

It’s also unsafe to store other liquids such as bottled water or beverages. They might not leak, but extensive storage can make the water or the beverage inside the bottle unfit for consumption. When you store water bottles in a warm place for long, they’ll release a chemical called bisphenol A. BPA will make the water inside the bottle unfit for drinking. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

8.  Unregistered or Uninsured Vehicles

If your vehicle is no longer in operation, don’t bring it to the storage room. If you’re going to store your vehicle, make sure they have proper registration and insurance. Such vehicles include cars, boats, motorcycles, trucks, and trailers. Before you store them, you’ll need to provide proof of registration and a valid driver’s license when you take your vehicle to the storage facility.

A truck.
Storage unit facilities will ask you to provide legal and insurance documents for your vehicle before you are allowed to store it.

A reputable storage facility will not agree to store your vehicle without providing the necessary registration and insurance documents. You need insurance coverage in case something happens to the car in the storage.

9.  Plants

What to do with your indoor plants in the event of a move can be confusing. Well, among the decisions you come up with, putting them in a storage unit should never be part of them. If you store houseplants in the storage, they’ll wither and eventually die. The conditions in your storage unit will not be favorable at all to your plants. They won’t receive enough sunlight, natural right, fresh air, or the required water.

A ladder with a plant.
You should never store plants in a storage unit since they will not get enough sunlight, fresh air, and water.

If you can’t leave your plants behind or carry them, consider storing them with friends, family or giving them for charity. There are many people who’ll be so glad to take care of your plants on your behalf. You can also consider selling them and buying new ones when you’re finally settled.

10. Wine

We’ll know that wine can stay fresh for so many years. Even so, the storage unit will only contribute to faster expiry due to changing temperature range. Wine needs a very strict temperature range, so it doesn’t spoil. Wine will not survive even under a controlled temperature unit as the temperature can still fluctuate.

Instead of storing your wine, consider entertaining a few friends and drinking up. You can also look for a wine storage vault to protect your special drink and the bottles from expiry and damage.

11. Anything That Needs Regular Maintenance

If you’re going to store things such as vehicles, you should take them out once in a while for use. You can store your RV during the off-season but make sure you prepare it well first. You should also not leave it in the store a whole year without taking it out for a drive. Anything that has an engine and other complex moving parts should not stay long in the storage. This can also include your car, bicycle, or antique.

Any of the above need regular maintenance and can break down if not used for a long time. Check such items over and over again, so they don’t break down. You can hire a mechanic to do a test drive to your car from time to time, so it remains in optimal performance throughout the storage period.

12. Scented Items

Whether the items smell good or have a bad smell, any scented item should not be in storage. Scented items in the store are the easiest way to attract insects and pests into your storage. If rodents such as rats find their way inside the storage unit, you’ll not find your precious belongings in one piece. They can chew all your toys and destroy your clothes. A single rat can cause too much damage. You’ll imagine you’re in a horror movie.

13. Toxic Materials

Anything that emits toxic chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, cleaning agents should not be in storage. Keep off chlorine bleach, no solvents like acetone, no ammonia, paint thinner, turpentine, and kerosene. You should also avoid storing any poisonous or contagious items. These items in the storage room will endanger the people around and damage other items in close contact.

14. Artwork

The artwork is your creativity and sweat that you can’t allow getting spoiled in the storage. Paints consist of pigment and chemicals that can easily spoil in the storage units, especially under extreme temperatures.  Artwork should be stored between 70 and 75 degrees. Maintaining this temperature range in a storage unit is not easy.

Artwork made of canvas materials can also expand or shrink under different temperature ranges. Before storing any of your artwork pieces, check the materials and the ingredients used in making them. Use a sealing varnish on any item you think can decompose. You can consider finding controlled units perfect for your precious work of artwork if you must store them away.

15. Money and Other Expensive Items

While many storage units take extra security measures by securing their facilities with padlocks and guards, they won’t guarantee the complete safety of all your items. Avoid taking risks with anything you don’t want to lose. Don’t store money and expensive items like precious stones and jewelry in the units. The storage facility owners will not be liable for any missing money or damaged jewelry. Keep your money in the bank and the precious metals in a safe deposit box where only you and trusted people can access.

16. Delicate Items

Delicate items start from family heirlooms, antiques, and any items that won’t withstand extreme temperatures. Others include glass, leather, and crystal. These items need not only good temperatures but also need careful handling. The storage facilities store so many items, and proper handling of your items is not always a guarantee.

Other delicate items like leather and fabrics will not stand fluctuating temperatures. Leather items need careful handling in the storage unit because they’re also very delicate. Leather will not stand bad humidity, cold, or extreme heat. It can crack and warp and may need to be polished or oiled occasionally.

17. Weaponry

Even if you’re a licensed gun holder, you can never store rounds of ammunition in the storage unit. Guns and all kinds of hunting gear should not be in a storage facility. Ammunition is under the explosives category and can be catastrophic if it explodes. Also, weapons can be an easy target to criminals looking for something to aid their robbery activities or even terrorism.

Ammunition is under the explosives category and can be catastrophic if it explodes.

Imagine when a criminal gets hold of your gun and uses it to kill someone? The police can trace the serial numbers back to you, and you’ll have a hard time proving that you didn’t fire the gun. You might risk serving jail time for a crime you didn’t commit.

18. Miscellaneous Dangerous Stuff

There are different types of dangerous stuff that can pose a great danger in the storage facilities. Things like medical waste can cause infections either to human beings or animals in the entire neighborhood. Avoid storing radioactive materials, dead pets, and all kinds of hazardous wastes in the storage unit. Any of such things should be disposed of immediately.

Don’t even think of storing them in your home storage unit so you can deal with them later. This will mean endangering every living thing nearby. It also means contaminating or damaging other things in the storage facility.

19. Yourself or a Friend

 The storage facility should never be a shelter to yourself or someone you want to help. Even if your landlord happens to lock your door or you can’t be home for some reason or another, keep off the storage unit. The storage unit cannot be a temporary housing or a shelter for even a night or two.

Storage units are not made to sustain life and can be very dangerous to your health. The facilities can get extremely hot or cold, and you might end up freezing or suffocating.  Besides, these units have no access to a water outlet or a bathroom. It would be very uncomfortable to shelter yourself in a storage unit.

20. Appliances that Need to Stay Plugged

Many people want their appliances to keep running during the storage period, so they don’t get damaged. Unfortunately, most storage units don’t have an electrical outlet for this. If you want your refrigerator or freezer to remain plugged, you should look for a facility that offers such services. Consider coming up with a prior arrangement with your ideal storage facility to put things in order beforehand.

A washing machine.
To keep your appliances plugged in, find a storage unit that offers electrical outlets.

Understand What to Store under What Conditions

Some rules come with every storage unit, whether it’s at your home garage or a rented facility. Aside from the rules, you ought to take responsibility and store anything in there with great caution. Remember, you’re storing your items, hoping to get them in good condition when you’re ready to take them home. This means you must be careful not to expose them to anything that can endanger the entire storage unit.

There’s no doubt that this list contains other items that you can store under specific conditions. Even so, you might still consider storing such items only in the short term, as long-term storage can increase the risk of damage. There are those items that you should consider parting ways with instead of storing. You can sell or give to charity instead of storing them and not getting them back. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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