What Can and Cannot Be Stored Inside Your Self Storage Unit 

Storage units are becoming increasingly important as our lives get busier and real estate gets costlier! With working from home becoming the new norm, we find the need to declutter our living space to make room for office stuff – often this involves converting a bedroom into an office room or creating a nook in […]

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By Manjali Khosla | Last Updated: November 18, 2023 | 12 min read

Storage units are becoming increasingly important as our lives get busier and real estate gets costlier! With working from home becoming the new norm, we find the need to declutter our living space to make room for office stuff – often this involves converting a bedroom into an office room or creating a nook in the living room. Either way, adjustments need to be made and furniture needs to get moved around or taken out of the way. A self-storage unit comes in handy to help you make room for change. Storage units provide you with convenient access to your belongings when you need them. There are many distinct types of storage units available, including self-storage units, climate controlled storage units, and temperature controlled storage units. 

Self storage units are great if you need extra space for your possessions. You should keep in mind that there are certain things that cannot be stored in them. For example, you cannot store anything that is dangerous or illegal. You cannot store any kind of animal or pet, either. You most definitely cannot allow anyone to stay there – it is not a loft! You also cannot store anything that will cause damage to the property or other things in your storage unit. 

Self-Storage Units are rented out to store items that you need to keep safe or get out of the way. You can rent a self-storage unit for short-term or long-term use. Self storage units come in varied sizes and shapes. Some are designed for specific types of items like furniture, while others are meant for general-purpose storage. Depending on what you want stowed away, you need to pick the right kind of space. 

What Cannot Be Stored or is Prohibited inside your Self Storage Unit 

Self-storage is a practical choice for storing all kinds of stuff. There are many lists about what you should and should not put in your self-storage unit. Most of them are straightforward and appeal to good, common sense. We will cover 9 broad categories of items you should not keep in storage. 

9 categories of items you should never keep in Self Storage

1. Hazardous Materials 

Storage facilities must follow local, state, and federal regulations governing the storage of hazardous substances. These regulations require that storage units meet certain standards regarding safety, security, accessibility, and cleanliness. Storage facilities also need to provide adequate signage, lighting, and access routes. Hazardous materials may include chemicals, radioactive materials, biohazards, flammable gases, combustible items, and other dangerous substances. 

2. Animals, People and Plants 

Self-storage units are great if you want to store inanimate possessions while you go out of town. It is unsuitable for people and animals to stay in. The storage unit is closed the whole time that you are away, and no one is allowed to open it in your absence. This means that should a person or animal be locked away inside, they will fall sick with insufficient food and water. Pets can get sick, and even worse, they can spread germs around the facility. If your pet gets sick, you could end up paying thousands of rupees to treat it. If you are prone to allergies, you would not want to risk getting sick yourself. It is not advisable even to leave live plants in your storage unit – they are bound to whither without proper care. 

3. Perishables 

Food items such as meat, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and dairy products need to be stored in a refrigerator. Unless your storage unit has this facility, it is best not to store food within it. They could spoil or attract pests. Other food items such as grains, sugar, salt, etc. can be stored in airtight containers to prevent bug infestations. However, it is best to avoid storing food articles in your storage unit entirely. 

4. Any substances that could disturb other customers or other customers’ units 

Perishable foods like meat, dairy products, eggs, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, etc., are all susceptible to spoilage due to bacteria growth. Mouldy food can cause illness. Food waste can cause pollution. Garbage can cause environmental damage. These can attract pests and lead to an infestation that can cause damage to the entire facility. 

5. Wet Items 

Make sure your belongings are completely dry before putting them in a storage unit. Mould, mildew, and other harmful organisms thrive when there is moisture present. If you store wet items, they could become infested with mould, mildew, and bacteria. These organisms can cause serious health problems, including respiratory illness, skin irritation, eye infections, headache, nausea, fatigue, dizziness and even death. 

It is important to keep everything stored in your self-storage units clean and free of moisture. If you see any signs of mould, mildew, or other forms of decay, then you need to get rid of those items immediately. You should also check if any of your belongings are damp or waterlogged. If they are, then you need to move them out of your storage unit as soon as possible. Mould spores are everywhere, so if you do not ensure your items are moisture-free, you might end up with an unpleasant surprise when you unpack. 

6. Unregistered Vehicles 

Storage facilities must register all vehicles before storing them. Vehicles must be fully operational and insured. There are also additional requirements for the type of vehicle you wish to store. For example, if you plan to store a car or motorcycle, you will need to provide proof of ownership, registration, and insurance.  

7. Combustible or flammable substances 

Storage units are not fireproof. Items like gas, paint, petrol, or cleaning solvents can cause damage to both the unit and the contents. If you store anything that is flammable, you should keep it away from any heat sources. You should ensure that there is adequate ventilation in the storage area. The storage facility manager should also be duly informed of what inflammable items you have in your unit and in what quantity. 

8. Money, Jewellery, and anything ‘priceless’ 

While all storage facilities are under 24-hour surveillance and every effort is made to keep your goods safe and secure, it is not the best place to stash cash or lock away jewellery. A safety deposit box at the bank is the best bet for this. 

9. Illegal items, substances, or goods 

Illegal items such as counterfeit cigarettes or alcohol or unsafe goods such as electrical goods, certain toys, or medicines should not be stored in a self-storage facility. Self-storage facilities must comply with all relevant laws and regulations governing the storage of goods. If your items do not adhere to those regulations, the Facility Manager will not allow their storage. 

What Can be Stored inside your Self Storage Unit 

While a self-storage unit can be used to store a wide variety of items, below are ten common personal items stored in self-storage: 

  1. Books 
  1. Furniture 
  1. Artwork, Antiques, and collectables 
  1. Electronic goods and Appliances 
  1. Bed Linen, Pillows, Mattresses 
  1. Home decor 
  1. Clothing (other than animal fur) 
  1. Sports equipment 
  1. Musical instruments 
  1. Vehicles (registered and insured ones only) 

While the storage unit is your private space, it is best to disclose what you are putting away while renting out the space. This will enable the storage expert to allot the right amount of space while also considering how much ventilation is needed. If you are unsure about whether some of your items can be stored in the unit, contact the storage expert, and discuss your options. Keep everything clean and legitimate, and you can go about your day-to-day life in peace, knowing that your goods are in safe hands. 


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