What Should I Not Put In Self Storage?

Feb 9, 2015 | | Say something


Your storage company will have certain ground rules about where they draw the line about what can or can’t keep in storage, but there are certain principles that everyone would agree on, and that you wouldn’t want to fill the storage units near you with.

Substances that might cause harm – we’re talking here about anything that pose a risk to the storage facility and its users, no matter how slight. Substances that have potential for explosives are one obvious no-go area here, so keeping gas for camping or fireworks is definitely not allowable. However, the list may stretch very long and you might find that several items you take for granted in your own garage are not covered on storage premises – some examples might be feritiliser, paint, oil for the car, lighter fuel and various types of solvent. Anything potentially radioactive from any distance is not allowed. Neither is asbestos. You may store containers for any of these, but only if thoroughly cleaned out. If you think you are storing something that might be treading the line, no matter how trivial, ask your storage facility. It’s better to know the score for sure than take a risk that might have serious consequences.

Perishable items – food that is designed for very long term storage, such as tinned food, might be allowable but otherwise storing food items is much off limits. We all know the feeling when we make a coffee in the morning and the milk that was fine yesterday is now off – that is how rapidly food can turn and if left to persist then it can attract all sorts of pests and nasties to the unit, and it will certainly not attract humans going anywhere near the smell of rotten food seeping into the corridor. Other than food, also count anything into this that might given off a smell or has retained moisture from outdoors – make sure items are clean and dry to prevent similar problems developing in your unit.

Unregistered/unfunctioning vehicles – generally you are fine to keep your vehicle in storage if suitably prepared, whether a car, motorcycle, whatever. However you need the correct insurance and papers in place, and it needs to be in a state that you could simply drive it away if you had to. An interesting quirk here is that many storage facilities will not let you store extra tyres; this is chiefly due to the cost of disposal should you not honour the terms of your contract.

Weapons – under usual circumstances, weapons and particularly ammunition are not welcome in storage units, no matter what their purpose. It’s a conversation to be had with your unit providers, who may have certain ground rules in place for this.

Industrial-scale building tools – check with your storage facility what tools can be stored. Some of the larger types of machinery may be considered off limits for safety.

Anything illegal – really this should be at the top, although there’s little to say other than if you are planning to fall foul of the law, storage companies are not there to share the blame. If drugs or stolen goods are discovered it would get you and possibly also your storage provider in a lot of trouble.

Pets – putting an animal in storage would be most cruel. Plants are also not allowed, not just that they wouldn’t thrive but just think of the measures you have to put in place to detract pests.


The list could run on and on and include items you might bring in temporarily and use such as heaters, items that will need preparation or cleaning out before storage, and items that might simply be too fragile for what your storage plan can offer. Your storage company will have its own boundaries laid out, and if you feel that you might be pushing them then a frank discussion should be able to sort out the rights from the wrongs.

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