Once you move out of your parents’ house and start living your life on your own terms, you will have to sort out and make decisions about the items that you want to leave behind and those that you want to take with you. You will move around a lot, that’s something we can guarantee. You will start accumulating more and more stuff over the years and then there will come a time when you will realize that there are too many items in your house.

You either might want to move and your items won’t fit into your new house/renovated home, or you might realize that there are some items that you don’t need throughout the year. Either way, you are looking to declutter. In this case, temporary storage is the best option for you! A storage unit will let you store the belongings that you don’t use but don’t want to let go of for the time being. But then the big question arises. What can or can’t you store inside a storage unit? Read more to get your answers.


Things that can be put in a Storage Unit

When you are planning to move or remodel your house, there are multiple decisions to be made regarding what items are to be left behind or sold and what items would continue to be a part of your new house. You might have a tough time making these decisions. There will be some items that you neither want to let go of nor do you want them to be in your new house. These items can directly be stored inside a storage unit. Let us see what items are allowed to be stored inside a storage unit.

1. Furniture

Each one of us owns some pieces of furniture in our houses. You might not need your furniture when you move if your new house does not have enough space. In other cases, you might remodel your house and your old furniture might not fit into the new design or interiors of your house. You might think that selling the furniture off would be your best choice. However, think again!

What if you move into a bigger house again later on? New furniture costs a fortune and you do not want to spend so much money on it.

What if your furniture has been passed on to you by someone you loved dearly? It might have a sentimental value in your life. In these cases, you might not want to sell it off.

You can store all the unused pieces of furniture in a storage unit. However, make sure that the storage unit is in a climate-controlled facility. Wooden furniture and humidity don’t go well together – it becomes a breeding ground for mold and then it becomes open season for pests.

Useful tip: If you own furniture pieces that have removable parts, do not hesitate to disassemble these parts. It will be easier to wrap smaller parts than a whole item like a big table or a chair. Moreover, disassembling a piece will also lead it to occupy less space in the unit.

2. Household Appliances

You may own large household appliances like refrigerators, washers, dishwashers, etc., which may make your move super bulky. Your new house might be a little bit smaller and thus won’t be able to store all these appliances. In some cases, you might be moving into a house that is fully furnished i.e., it might already have the appliances that you own. You might want to store your appliances in a storage unit as there is a chance that you might move again and then you won’t have to buy new appliances for the house.

3. Electronic Items

Electronic items are a little bit expensive because of which they should be safely stored in a storage unit to avoid breakages. A climate-controlled storage unit is an added benefit as electronic items thrive well at optimal temperatures and humidity. You can store anything from a TV to stereo systems and computer equipment in your storage units.


Useful tip: Items like batteries, CDs/DVDs, etc., can corrode quite easily and get stuck inside your electronic items. Make sure that you remove them before storing your electronics in the storage space.

4. Other Household Items

You are allowed to store your other basic household items in your storage units. These belongings could include things like bedsheets, utensils, rugs, lampshades, toys, etc. You probably might not need some of these items in your new house and in this way a storage unit can make the transitional phase of your life easier for you.

5. Clothes and Shoes

You might be someone who is a shopping enthusiast and owns a lot of clothing items. Say you plan to go abroad for a couple of months or years. You probably won’t want to take all your clothes with you, neither would want to get rid of the unused clothes. Consider another scenario. You might own some clothing items that are used only during a certain time in the year, for example, your winter clothes. You can fold up these clothes and put them in a box to be stored in your storage unit.

6. Books

You might be into reading and own books that you love more than your life. If your new place is big enough, you can keep all your books there. However, if it’s a small place, you might face a dilemma about what you should do with your books. We recommend that you sort out your books prior to the move and pick out your favorite ones. These books can be kept in the new house while the others are stored in the storage unit (if you don’t want to sell/donate them). Make sure that these books are wrapped and try to store them in an airtight container to prevent any sort of damage caused by mold or pests.

7. Seasonal Belongings

You most probably own some items that are used in a particular season during the year. You don’t need these items throughout the year and thus you would want to take them out of your house instead of creating clutter in your house. Seasonal items include things like:

  • Holiday-related stuff like Halloween or Christmas decorations, patio furniture or inflatable pools that aren’t used in winters, etc.
  • Equipment like ski gears, summer or winter tires, umbrellas, etc is used during only specific seasons.

8. Home Office Supplies, Files, and Documents

Each of us has some files and documents that are extremely important, but we don’t need them to be with us constantly. These could include things like old receipts and warranties, medical and school records, financial documents, etc. You also might be working out of your home at times and have a big cabinet full of files that you don’t need to look at for prolonged periods. All these items can be stored in a secure storage unit.

Useful tip: If you store your documents in a cabinet near the entrance of your storage unit, you will be able to access these files and documents easily whenever you need them. Make sure these files and documents are stored in a systematic and organized way to avoid things from getting lost.

9. Valuable art pieces and other Collectibles

These items tend to be extremely fragile. At the end of the day, you want to ensure that they do not break or get damaged during a hectic move. Storage facilities and well equipped with surveillance systems and offer adequate coverage options. It is safe to say that all these valuable items can be securely stored in your units until your new house is ready and these can be kept in your houses again.

10. Alcohol

Do you like to age your wine before you consume it? Are you someone who loves storing different kinds of alcohol in your house? If yes, then you might know that alcohol bottles can break very easily during a move. You can keep your stash intact by packaging it neatly and storing it in a storage unit. Some storage facilities also provide you with racks and shelves to store your bottles in a secure way

11. Storage for Commercial Purposes

Many small businesses own stuff that has to be stored somewhere until they are to be used for specific purposes. For instance, you might be a home stager or organizer who owns certain items that are needed for some specific occasions. Or for that matter, you might be a retail shop owner who needs a warehouse for the storage of goods. Either way, storage units are better than warehouses as they tend to be more secure and climate-controlled as well. Moreover, the rates for renting storage units are cheaper than those of warehouses.

12. Vehicles (Cars, Motorcycles, RVs, Boats)

Storage facilities allow you to store your vehicle in a secure storage unit as long as the vehicle is registered and you own it. However, you might want to check with your facility about whether they allow vehicles that are inoperable or uninsured.

Useful Tip: Do not forget to drain your vehicle of fuel before you keep it in the storage space. The fuel tank should be absolutely empty.


Things that Can’t be put in a Storage Unit

All storage facilities have some rules in place regarding what you are not allowed to store inside a storage facility. Don’t even try to negotiate on this as the facility owners won’t heed your demands. It is simply not appropriate to keep some items inside these units for safety and ethical reasons. Let us walk you through a list of items that definitely won’t be allowed inside a storage unit.

Note: Make sure that you ask the storage company to give you a comprehensive list of objects that aren’t allowed to be stored inside their storage units. The following list has been made just to give you a rough idea about the things that generally shouldn’t be stored in storage spaces.

1. Inflammable Objects

Objects that are susceptible to combustion and explosions are a big no-no for all storage units. Materials like motor oils, chemicals, grease, gasoline, paints, propane, fireworks, etc. are things that can catch fire very easily and then burn down the storage facility. Don’t even try to sneak in this stuff because you might be held responsible for all the damage sustained by the facility if something explodes. The government also considers intentionally storing such items in a storage unit as a felony.

Useful tip: When you are packing your belongings for storage, ask yourself a simple question. Can this item cause fire or is it made up of hazardous materials? You will then realize that there are many things around you (for instance, aerosol sprays, beauty products, paints, oil) that should not be packed for storage.

2. Toxic Substances

Hazardous items like chemicals, radioactive materials, fertilizers, asbestos, biological agents, etc. are regarded to be highly toxic in nature and thus aren’t allowed to be stored inside a storage unit for safety reasons. You might not realize this, but everyday household objects like bleach, chlorine, kerosene, nail-polish remover (acetone), cleaning products, turpentine, and many other things like these also fall under this category.

Some facilities might be able to provide you with specially made spaces that can store radioactive material but generally, the facilities cannot accommodate such items. Make sure you don’t put these items into storage units if you want your belongings and the facility to be safe and secure.

3. Firearms, Weapons, and Bombs

According to the Firearms Rules 1998, you aren’t allowed to keep weapons and ammunition of any sort in rental storage spaces in most cases. If you don’t want the cops to think that you are a criminal in the making, you better not store stuff like guns, hand-grenade, nuclear weapons, flame throwers, bombs, and any other types of weapons in your storage spaces. Most of the storage units are equipped with security cameras. If the facility staff grows suspicious of your activities, they can very well report you and you will be busted for storing these items.

4. Illegal or Stolen Items

It might appear as if a rental storage unit is a perfect space to hide stolen stuff and illegal goods like drugs, tobacco, and other unlicensed medical material. Do not store stuff that is not owned by you. As mentioned above, the storage facility is always under surveillance and the facility staff might report you if they think you are using the rental space for some inappropriate reasons. The cops can easily get a search warrant for your unit and you will face negative consequences if you do something like this.

5. Food and other Perishable Items

You definitely wouldn’t want to enter your storage unit and see that your belongings are breeding pests and smell awful. Food items, especially the ones that need refrigeration are not allowed to be stored inside storage spaces. These items can go bad and start smelling. They can even attract pests and rats that might destroy all of your belongings. Perishables are also susceptible to the growth of mold.

If you are planning to store dry food items like rice flour, pet food, etc., either avoid doing that or store them in thick airtight containers. The same applies to non-perishable canned items. Keep checking the expiration date, you do not want to store spoilt food items. Rodents can bite their way through the thickest of containers and thus, we recommend that you avoid storing food in these spaces altogether.

6. Pet Animals

Any sorts of animals, dead or alive are not to be stored in storage units. It is absolutely unethical and cruel to store your pets like hamsters, reptiles, fish, and so on in the storage space units. They might die due to lack of food, fresh breathing air, and many other factors. The storage facility employees will surely report you if you try to put animals into these storage spaces.

See also: Best Pet Shipping Companies

Useful tip: If you are moving and have no place to put your smaller pets like fish or hamsters, consider asking your friends or family members to take care of them instead of giving them away to someone.

7. Plants

You absolutely should not store plants in these storage spaces. Plants require sunlight and water on a daily basis, something that they won’t get inside of a storage unit. They also might attract unwanted bugs and pests and your belongings might end up getting damaged at the end of the day. If you own plants, consider planting them somewhere or giving them away.

8. Wet Stuff

Storing wet stuff inside a storage unit is a big mistake as these items can grow mold and mildew and then eventually damage the rest of your belongings. You can most definitely store your boats, rafts, scuba diving equipment, umbrellas, canoes, etc., inside the unit. Just ensure that these items are dried properly before you store them.

The same applies to clothes. Do not store unwashed or wet clothes in your units. The moisture can end up ruining most of your items stored inside the storage space. Strongly scented stuff also attracts pests because of which they shouldn’t be stored inside these units.

Useful Tip: Using moisture absorption packets in your unit can help you to avoid the accumulation of moisture in and around any of your objects.

9. Garbage (Wet or Dry)

It is common sense to not store garbage as it will start rotting. Your unit might end up smelling really bad and the garbage might attract bugs and other unwanted pests like rodents. You definitely do not want your stuff to get ruined because of an unwise decision to store garbage in your unit.

10. Unregistered Vehicles

All the vehicles that are to be stored should be registered. Some companies do not allow uninsured and inoperable vehicles to be stored in their storage units as well. The company will ask you to provide them with proof of the vehicle registration along with your driver’s license if you want to keep your vehicles in the storage facility.

11. People

You are not allowed to make the storage unit your permanent residence. Many customers want to avoid paying rent for houses because of which they try to sneak in and stay inside their storage units. Storage facilities clearly state that you can’t reside or run a business from their storage spaces and if someone is found doing the same, they will face the consequences for it.


Conclusion

A storage unit is a great solution for temporary storage problems when you are about to move or remodel your house. Research and then settle for a reputable and reliable company that will ensure the safe and secure storage of your objects. It is advisable to ask for a list of things that aren’t allowed inside the unit before you start storing your objects in the space. Most of the companies will definitely help you out when you inquire about what can and cannot be stored in their facilities. Knowing the nitty-gritties of storing will relieve you from the worries of your stuff getting spoilt in storage.

See also: Everything You Need to Know About Renting a Storage Unit