Oct 28 2021

What Should You NOT Store in a Storage Unit?

Self-storage units are a great solution for many storage needs, including furniture while downsizing, cars and boats, or your extensive book collection that won't fit on the shelf. However, there are some things that you should not store in a self-storage centre, mainly if it concerns safety, legality, or attracts pests to the facility.

Safety rules are there to protect people, the property, and other storer's belongings. So if you were looking for a place to store your exotic plants or fuel cans, you may need to find an alternative solution.

Some of the main item categories that highlight what is banned from storage units include:

1. Hazardous Materials

Collection of opened paint tins

As a general rule of thumb, anything that has the potential to create substantial damage if opened or spilled is considered a hazardous material. This includes any item that is corrosive, flammable, or explosive – the reason for which is self-explanatory. This includes gasoline, propane, oil, grease, chemicals, cleaners, aerosols, and paint. This also means you should not store any yard equipment that contains fuel, so ensure you drain any lawnmowers or similar items of fuel and oil while preparing it for storage.

While it may seem obvious not to store any hazardous materials, the more common application may be an easy oversight. Some of the more real-life contexts of this rule can include:

  • Your art supplies such as mineral spirits, paint thinner, or paint itself.
  • Bathroom and kitchen items that include any aerosol sprays (e.g., hairspray or cooking spray) and nail polish remover.
  • Gardening supplies such as fertilizer and weed killers.
  • Liquor.

2. Perishable Items

Collection of perishable foods
Most storage facilities, including Fort Knox Storage, take a number of preventative measures to keep pests away. But if you keep food in your storage unit, you are asking for a cockroach or rat problem.

This includes any fresh food, contained food, or animal food – even canned food can attract pests. Rodents can even smell and chew through some plastic containers that may appear thick enough to seal your food in. In turn, those insects and rodents will likely damage the rest of your stored items and possibly nest in them. It can also affect the entire storage facility by causing an infestation.

Even if pests are narrowly avoided, perishable items will attract mould and bacteria when they begin to rot.

3. Living Animals & Plants

pot plants
We probably don't need to tell you that it would be inhumane to store your pets in storage, but it is worth including in this list regardless. You may be wondering who would put their cat or dog in a storage unit, but it is actually more common with reptiles. In any case, all animals need regular care, feeding, light source, and fresh air – even if it is just for a few days.

Additionally, plants will often die in storage units, not to mention their soil will attract moisture that leads to mould, mildew, and pests.

4. Suspicious Items

fireworks
It goes without saying that storage companies don't want to be involved in any illegal activities, so it probably comes as no surprise that you cannot store any illegal items in your unit. This includes any illegal substances, stolen items, weapons, and explosives. A more likely application will be to ensure you're not storing any small fireworks (including poppers and sparklers) for your next special event.

5. Scented or Wet Items

incense burning
A less dangerous but still important category of items you shouldn't store in your unit includes any wet, damp, or strong-smelling items. As you may have gathered by now, strong smells can attract pests, rodents, insects, or vermin trying to seek out the source of the interesting smell. It definitely makes sense that you don't want anything flying or crawling around your rental unit. Some examples of scented items to keep at home include incense, candles, oils, perfumes, and lotions.

As has also been highlighted, any items that are wet or damp will begin to produce mould, mildew, and spread bacteria throughout your storage unit and can cause permanent damage to your belongings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you hang out in your storage unit?
You cannot hang out for long periods of time or live in a Fort Knox Storage unit.

Can you sleep in a storage unit?
You cannot use the unit for residential purposes, meaning you cannot live or sleep in your storage unit.

Can you keep guns in a storage unit?
You are not able to store firearms of any type in your storage unit – instead, look for suitable weapon storage at your local gun shop or shooting range.

Need Storage Advice?

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