A personal storage unit serves as an ideal location to store all sorts of things that you either don’t need in your home or place of business and can benefit from a temporary housing space elsewhere. People often rely on storage facilities like Stor-It Self Storage when they need a place to keep some of their belongings for a given period of time.
Whether due to downsizing, a relocation, or something else entirely, a storage facility can be a lifesaver for those in need of a place to keep their furniture, large home appliances, old collectibles, and even vehicles when they don’t have anywhere else to store them. However, a storage facility isn’t always the best solution for every item a person may need to store; it works for most things but is entirely inappropriate for others.
4 Things You Should Never Store in a Storage Unit
We want to be there for you in your time of need, but a storage unit, no matter how high-tech it may be, can’t house certain items that you may wish to put up. Some things pose too much of a threat to not only your unit but all other units in the storage facility.
Video: 4 Things You Should Never Store in a Storage Unit
#1: Food and Perishable Items
When it comes to putting together a list of what items you should not put inside of a storage unit, perishable food items should sit firmly at the top of the list. While it’s true that most canned foods can easily be kept inside a storage unit, most foods, including pet foods, should never be kept inside a storage unit. Aside from the fact that these perishable food items spoil quickly and rot, they could also turn your storage unit into a health concern for the entire facility.
If you’ve made the decision to store perishable foods inside your storage unit, mold and mildew won’t be far behind. Fungi will quickly grow and spread to other stored items in your unit. The infestation will impact all the precious belongings you’re storing inside of your unit, regardless of whether they’re perishable or not. Worst of all, the rotting food and unwanted smells could also lure pests such as rodents and insects into the storage unit. These unwelcome visitors will quickly turn your extra space into a nightmare of extra horrific proportions. To avoid these issues, simply keep perishable items out of your self-storage unit.
#2 Hazardous Materials
Hazardous and toxic materials such as biological waste, asbestos, and acids are far too dangerous to be kept in a storage unit. While this may sound like an obvious statement, some toxic materials aren’t as obviously hazardous as others. For example, fertilizers and even some cleaning chemicals can prove harmful if improperly stored. The decision to house these hazardous materials can quickly turn your storage unit and the surrounding areas into a danger for customers of the entire property.
Let’s take a closer look at asbestos as an example. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in some common household items such as adhesives, plastics, baby powder, hair dryers, and much more. It is made up of microscopic fibers that can easily be released into the air and inhaled. If exposed to these hazardous items, they may cause serious harm to individuals and can lead to an array of different diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and even lung cancer. Beware of the dangers that ordinary household items can carry.
Items considered inherently dangerous such as explosives tend to be prohibited from most storage facilities. The possibility of combustion and igniting a fire proves too risky for items such as gasoline, kerosene, and fireworks to be housed inside a standard storage facility. Items that have the remote potential to be explosive pose a serious hazard to anyone that enters the facility. If you are unsure and have concerns over items that you intend to store, be sure to check in with the storage facility staff prior to moving these items inside.
As a general statement, it’s best to avoid keeping liquids inside of your storage unit. The most obvious reason being the dangers of leakage. An unexpected leak not only means you’ve lost whatever precious liquid you were storing, but it also often leads to damage to the rest of the contents inside of your storage unit. Additionally, if these liquids are some of the hazardous materials mentioned above that contain dangerous chemicals, they may quickly damage the storage unit itself. While these may be the obvious dangers of storing liquids, there are also inherent dangers involved in housing something as simple as bottled water.
While keeping a stockpile of bottled water stashed away somewhere may sound like standard fare for your average doomsday prepper, this isn’t always the best decision when it comes to your health. When bottled water is stored in a warm place for an extended period of time, the plastic that is commonly used for water bottles has been found to release bisphenol A, more commonly known as BPA. This makes the water inside undrinkable. And while your desire to prepare for the apocalypse is admirable, do yourself a favor and don’t store bottled water inside of your storage unit.
Understanding What to Store
While it’s true that some climate-controlled storage units may help dampen some of the dangers listed above, a general rule of thumb is to avoid placing these items inside of your self-storage unit. Storing these items may make your life a little bit easier in the short term, but the long-term risks remain far too high. The risks involved with storing perishable foods, toxic materials, explosives, and liquids are simply not worth it.
Stor-It Self Storage is the oldest storage company in Idaho, and with all our years of experience comes an unparalleled wealth of wisdom. In an effort to best serve you, we’ve taken the time to compile all of the answers to your most frequently asked questions on our site. If you ever have specific questions about what you can and cannot keep inside one of our storage units at Stor-It Self Storage, feel free to contact our trusted team of storage specialists.
When in doubt, do not store these items in your storage unit:
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#1: Food and Perishable Items
Perishable food items are a big no-no. Not only can these items grow mold and mildew that can spread to your other storage items, but they can attract insects and rodents. Don’t store the following:
- Boxed foods
- Fresh fruit and veggies
- Pet food
- Rice and flour
#2: Hazardous and Toxic Materials
Hazardous materials can catch fire, explode, and even release toxic elements into the air. Avoid the obvious culprits like biological waste and acids, but keep these toxic items out of your storage unit, too:
- Cleaning supplies
- Aerosol cans
- Paint thinner
The last thing you want is to start a fire in your storage unit. This means combustible and flammable items are no-gos. Whatever you do, don’t place the following in your unit:
While liquids may seem harmless at first glance, they can cause a big mess if they start to leak, potentially ruining the other items in your storage unit. And if the liquid is hazardous, you’ve got an even bigger problem on your hands. Avoid storing these items:
- Water bottles
- Nail polish remover