Storage units are great to have when you have very limited space in your home or you don’t want to get rid of extra things you own. They’re especially helpful for storing seasonal items like pool or snow supplies, as well as your holiday decorations.
Many people assume that when you buy or rent a storage unit that it is yours to do with as you please, but there are actually many restrictions on what you can and can’t store in a storage unit, mainly for the safety of your possessions and your health.
Many of the items you can’t put in a storage unit are self explanatory, but there are some things that aren’t allowed to be stored that may surprise you. Before you put something you’re not supposed to in your storage unit—which could land you a large fine or even the loss of your items—let’s take a look at the top 10 things you cannot house in a storage unit.
“Can I live in my storage unit?” is one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to storage units, . The answer is no. While it may be climate controlled and have enough room for one person to live (decently) comfortably, it is not legal for any person to sleep or live in their storage unit. Some people try to get around these laws by stating that it is their “work space”. This is also illegal. Do yourself a favor and only go to your storage unit when picking up, dropping off, or checking on your possessions.
You cannot leave any live animals in your storage unit for any length of time. If you are caught leaving an animal in your storage unit, you can be charged with animal cruelty and abuse, so a general rule of thumb here would be to not store anything living in a storage unit.
3. Plants and seeds
Since we just talked about not leaving anything living in storage units, plants and seeds fit in this category as well. While some storage companies may not have rules against storing plants and seeds, it is not recommended. Plants need sunlight, fresh air, and water to survive, and none of these things can be found in a storage unit. Plants also increase the humidity levels in a storage unit which attracts mold, bugs and other pests. If you don’t have room for them in your home, consider gifting them to friends or selling them.
4. Guns, ammunition, explosives, and gunpowder
Whether you can store guns and ammunition can vary depending on the storage company, but for the most part they are not allowed to be kept in most storage units. Explosives and gunpowder are never allowed in storage units, as they could explode and damage you and your storage unit neighbor’s belongings. This restriction applies for fireworks as well, which many people forget are considered explosives.
5. Perishable food and liquids
This one should go without saying, but do not leave food or liquids that will expire in your storage unit. The last thing you want is rotten and smelly food in your storage unit, not to mention the things that come along with rotten food like animals, bugs, and maggots.
6. Hazardous materials and toxic waste
Rules surrounding hazardous materials and toxic waste can vary for different storage companies, but a good rule of thumb is to never store hazardous material or toxic waste in your storage unit, or your home in general. Some examples of materials you shouldn’t keep in your storage unit are lead paint, petroleum, methane, medical waste, etc. For more information about what materials you can and can’t keep in your storage unit, consult with your local storage company.
7. Stolen or illegal goods
Again, this should be common knowledge for most people—do not put anything that is stolen or illegal in your storage unit. If the owner sees you putting something fishy into your storage unit or has any suspicion of illegal activity taking place in your unit, they have every right to call the police and have them investigate.
8. Cash and valuables
While technically allowed, it is strongly advised that you don’t leave cash or other valuables hanging around your storage unit. Storage units are generally safe and under surveillance, but there is still the chance that it could get broken into. Why take the risk when you could just keep these things in your home under your own watch? Some storage companies will offer insurance on your items, but cash cannot be insured,o if you store cash in your unit and it gets stolen or lost, there is nothing you can do but take the hit.
9. Scented or wet items
This goes along with not putting food or liquid in your storage unit. Do not put anything scented or wet into your storage unit unless you want to attract animals and mold. Keep your belongings safe from any potential damage and make sure everything is dry and void of smell.
10. Unregistered vehicles
If a vehicle is unregistered in your storage unit, it can be considered a stolen good and will be treated as grand theft auto. For a vehicle to be stored in your unit legally it must be registered, insured and be able to operate. This includes cars, boats, RV’s, motorcycles, etc.
Many of the items on this list are self explanatory, but you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where the police are calling you down to your storage unit or you have pests scurrying through your things. Some storage units may have more restrictions than the ones listed above, so before moving your things into a storage unit, make sure to double check your storage company’s list of storable items.
Need help finding someone to move your things in or out of a storage unit? TSI has the solution for that. We have professional carriers across the nation who can transport your items safely into storage, including specialty items. Meanwhile, our operations team will monitor your shipment’s progress and keep you updated.