What not to store in a storage unit

December 21, 2014

Self storage units are a good solution for storing all kinds of things: furniture, books, clothes, dishes, garden furniture and cats. What? No, your cat definitely falls into the category "What not to store in a storage unit."

Of course, self-service storage units are not made for animals, but it isn't always easy to know what you can and can’t actually store in them. Just because it's allowed, doesn't mean it's recommended. Here’s a short list of things you really shouldn’t be leaving in your storage unit.

Hazardous materials

For safety reasons, you can’t store hazardous materials such as toxic or flammable products. So gasoline, propane, oil, paint, explosives, fireworks and corrosive waste are all on the list. Similarly, dangerous items such as weapons and ammunition don’t belong in a storage unit.

Perishable food

Perishable foods are the enemy of self-storage services. Although cans aren’t a problem, perishable foods can attract unwelcome pests. Scented candles and soaps can also be attractive to vermin.

Electronic devices

The interior of self-service storage units are generally very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. Electronic equipment (a TV, for example) may therefore end up in poor condition after being stored in one. There are heated or air-conditioned storage units, however, which allow you to store your belongings without having to worry about the temperature.


Valuable items such as jewelry should not be stored in your unit. In fact, most self-storage companies forbid it. Irreplaceable objects and those with great sentimental value shouldn’t be stored there either. Photo albums and antiques that have been passed down for generations can be damaged by humidity and temperature changes. Are you willing to take that risk?


Plants are alive, and if you want them to stay that way, put them on the list of what not to store in a storage unit. Not only will your plants die in the storage unit, which is too dark and too cold or hot for them, but damp soil can cause bad odours or mold. For this reason, avoid storing other wet objects as well, such as a damp mop.

Some precautions to take

Now that you know what not to store in a storage unit, you still need to know how to protect what you can store there. So, don’t pack your belongings in plastic, which isn’t breathable and holds in any moisture. Similarly, avoid using printed newspaper to wrap your dishes, as the ink may damage some finishes.

Last but not least, make sure your things are insured against theft and damage. Check with your storage unit service for more details.

What not to store in a storage unit
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