What not to store in self-storage units

People use storage for a lot of different reasons. You may be clearing your home from some extra clutter that’s taking up space. Perhaps you are renovating your home and need a place to keep your items from getting in the way. Or you are in the process of relocating with the help of moving companies Jackson MS. There are so many reasons for turning to a self-storage unit, and even more items to store in them. However, with so many items to store, there are also a lot of items not to store in units. So, once you make the decision to rent, you need to ask yourself an important question. What not to store in self-storage units? Some items are downright hazardous to store, while others go against the contract guidelines for other reasons.

person signing a contract on what not to store in storage units
Every storage facility has a contract that prohibits storing of dangerous and prohibited items.

Make a list of the items you plan to store and show it to the manager. He will go through it with you and tell you what you can and cannot store. For example, food and flammable liquids are not allowed in storage units. Most facilities will make you sign a contract, through which you will follow a list of rules when it comes to placing items in self-storage units. Even though the storage facility will tell you what you can store, you will be prepared in advance by following our advice.

You should not store explosive or toxic items in self-storage units

Potentially volatile or explosive materials are a danger to you and the people around you. And this is the main reason why these items must not be placed in storage lockers. Potentially explosive materials include propane tanks, paint, fireworks, gasoline, and paint thinners, to name a few. In addition, these are some of the items most residential movers will refuse to load onto their truck. When you put items in a storage unit, you want them to be safe. And placing a potential bomb next to them sort of ruins that goal.

a storage area full of propane tanks
Propane tanks and gas cans can carry a potential explosive risk, even if they are empty

If you have some items which you suspect might be dangerous, always talk to the management first. They will give you advice on the matter and provide you with a list of potentially explosive items. In addition to liquids, weapons of any kind are banned from storage units, for the same reason. This includes both modern weaponry, and antique firearms such as civil war rifles and muskets. Firearms are potentially explosive and on top of that, they can be very dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands. It goes without saying that facilities also prohibits ammunition, because of all the gunpowder contained within it.

You can store mechanical equipment, but not all of it

Even though some construction companies use rented storage to hold surplus equipment, there are a few exceptions to this. For example, water tracking or underground digging machinery is banned from self-storage facilities. Not only does storing them break company policy, but it is also against the law in general. Every storage facility has a list of prohibited items which includes construction equipment, but you should still check about the details with the management. The reason for this is the fact that this list varies from place to place, and is often subject to change.

car in front of a garage
Even though cars should be placed in a garage, a storage unit is a good alternative

While we’re on the topic of machinery and engines, some of these regulations apply to road vehicles. Mainly, these regulations only allow vehicles that are registered, insured, and in working condition. In general, it’s common to place cars in storage, but the common consensus is that they must be driven inside and not pushed. Even if the car is running, you are liable for it, and any damage to the unit that can be caused by it. To back this up, you will need to sign a storage rental agreement. On top of this, no more than four car tires can be stored inside, in most cases. Mainly, the reason for this is the fact that all that rubber is generally a fire hazard.

Food and perishable items are also a big no-no

Perishable foods such as cereal, fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, or flour are some of the items not to store in self-storage units. However, storing drinks and beverages, and canned food is perfectly fine, so long as it is properly sealed.  What you should also avoid, are animal products such as kitty litter or dog food. Not canning items will make them spoil quickly, and that is something you do not want. If you can’t quickly consume these items, consider donating them, or throwing them away. Storing rotten items is a waste of money, and it will contaminate the entire facility. Not only can spoiled food create foul smells, but it can also bring in a wide variety of unwanted tenants, like mice, rats, and insects. This not only exposes your own stored items to damage, but it can also put adjacent storage units at risk.

The last thing you should know not to store in self-storage units – yourself

Yes, you read that right. Do not place yourself in storage units. What we mean by that is, don’t live in them, or operate from them. It seems absurd, but it does happen, believe it or not. When the living situation gets rough, a storage unit seems like a better alternative than the street. However, there are many reasons why this is not allowed. Storage units lack proper ventilation in most cases and don’t have access to utilities such as restrooms, kitchens, or running water. Only some special types of units have climate control built into them.

blue roller gates of a storage unit
Storage units are meant for storage purposes. Don’t use them as makeshift motels

Living out of a storage locker poses a threat to your own health and safety, and can be a general fire hazard. Spending some time in your unit throughout the day is fine, however. Just don’t use it as a motel or a makeshift office for your startup business. This list only covered a fraction of items not to store in self-storage units. As we said at the beginning, you should be a responsible owner and talk to the facility manager about the banned items. However, with this list, you will gain some starting knowledge, and perhaps clear some of the doubts you had about the items you need to store.

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