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Self-storage units are perfect solutions when moving between houses, remodeling, or when you want a secure place to store your extra stuff. While storage units are helpful, there are some limitations on what you can store in a storage unit based on the company’s rules, including legal and safety reasons.

If you’re planning to rent storage units, ensure that you’re familiar with what you can’t and can store in them to avoid inconvenient surprises. To get you started, here’s a general list of things not to put in a storage unit.


Things Not to Put in a Storage Unit

Storage companies have different rules and regulations, which also include prohibited items. In general, however, you likely can’t put these 10 items in a storage unit, regardless of which company you’re renting from:

  • Hazardous materials
  • Foods and perishables
  • Wet items
  • Tires
  • Furs
  • Weapons, bombs, and ammunition
  • Illegal or stolen goods
  • Living items like plants and animals (and dead ones)
  • Uninsured or unregistered vehicles
  • Irreplaceable or priceless items


1. Hazardous Materials

Any flammable, explosive, or toxic item shouldn’t be in a storage unit. Examples of hazardous items include:

  • Compressed gas
  • Chemicals
  • Paint
  • Acids
  • Fuels
  • Fertilizer and pesticides
  • Propane tanks
  • Oil
  • Fireworks
  • Grease
  • Medical wastes
  • Radioactive materials

2. Foods and Perishables

Storage units are not meant to be used as pantries. Perishable foods can attract mold, pests, and mildew, even when stored in a climate-controlled storage unit. Likewise, shelf-stable foodstuffs can also attract bugs and rodents, so keeping them in a self-storage unit is not advisable.

3. Wet Items

Whether you’re storing your items in a heated or non-heated storage unit, ensure they’re 100% dry. When you put wet things in a closed storage unit, they’ll facilitate the growth of mold and mildew.

4. Tires

You’ll mostly find tires in the category of banned items. Tires are often not allowed because they’re no joke when they catch fire, and a storage company can face steep disposal fees when caught with left-behind tires. However, you can keep the four tires that are on your vehicle.

5. Fur Clothing

Fur clothing requires proper and strict requirements around light and temperature. As such, most storage companies avoid storing furs in their storage units. That said, ask your storage company if they offer specialty storage units.

6. Weapons and Ammunition

Firearms and ammunition are often not permissible in a storage unit. Anything that might make you look like a terrorist is not allowed, including hand grenades, nuclear bombs, and flame throwers.

7. Illegal or Stolen Goods

The rule of thumb is that illegal items cannot be allowed into storage units. Security staff know that some criminals might want to store illicit items in rented storage units, so you won’t have any luck putting your illegal stuff in a storage unit.

8. Living (and Dead) Items Like Plants and Animals

Living and dead things are among the things that you should not put in storage units. That includes live or dead plants, flowers, animals, and people.

9. Uninsured or Unregistered Vehicles

Most storage companies are open to storing vehicles but have regulations in place. Notably, you must register and insure your car before storing it in a storage unit. Storage companies might ask you to provide proof.

10. Irreplaceable or Priceless Items Like Money

Irreplaceable or priceless items shouldn’t be stored in a storage unit. There’s always some risk, including the possibility of getting into hardship, leading to auctioning of your belongings. Also, important documents like birth certificates and passports should not go into a storage unit.


So, What Items Can You Put in a Storage Unit?

Are you unsure of what you can safely store in a storage unit? Here are some items to store in a storage unit:

  • Furniture
  • Mattresses
  • Clothing
  • Appliances
  • Electronics
  • Books
  • Sports equipment
  • Wine
  • Home decor
  • Antiques
  • Vehicles
  • Musical instruments

Final Remarks

Now that you’re aware of things not to put in a storage unit go ahead and get a convenient storage solution for your items. If you have items that you need to store but are unsure about whether or not you can store them, always confirm with your storage provider for clarification.