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What You Can & Can't Store In Public Storage

Dec 25, 2007
If you are going to use a public self-storage unit, you'll want to know exactly what you can and cannot store in the unit. Every self-storage unit has its own particular rules and regulations, so be sure to read through any materials they provide for you carefully. You don't want to get stuck in a bad situation where you have unknowingly stored prohibited materials in a storage unit. If you do, you might have to move your things out, or they might be confiscated or thrown away. So proceed with caution and keep your things out of harm's way.

For the most part, you should use common sense when determining what items not to put in a public self-storage unit. Do not, I repeat, Do NOT put anything illegal in a self-storage unit. Doing so is not only wrong; it could land you in serious trouble. Do not put drugs, drug paraphernalia, forged money or documents, weapons, smuggled items anything against the law in a self-storage unit. All items will be easily traceable to you, and you will land in very serious trouble.

It's a matter of common decency and common sense not to store illegal items in a self-storage unit. However, there are many legal items that are commonly not allowed in a storage unit. To be absolutely sure, double check with your self-storage provider and see what if any of your possessions might be inappropriate. Here is a list of a few commonly banned items.

Flammable Solvents and other flammable items. Most self-storage companies ban these types of items for obvious reasons. They are a fire hazard and release a foul odor. Example of flammable solvents include gasoline, kerosene, motor oil, lubricants, paints and paint removers, nail polish remover, alcohol and any other liquid that might catch fire. Storage units also usually ban any other items that could catch flame or explode. Examples of these items include gunpowder, fireworks, ammunition, fertilizers, pool chemicals, propane tanks, mothballs, batteries or any other potentially incendiary materials.

Living organisms. Don't laugh. Some people have tried to store houseplants, livestock or house pets and even themselves in a storage unit. You absolutely cannot put any living thing or any other organic material in a storage unit. If you are caught living in a storage unit you will likely be expelled, your money won't be refunded, and you may even be arrested.

Perishable Items. Any food, organic fertilizers, or anything else that could rot and start to smell do not belong in a storage unit.

Gas-powered machinery. Lawn mowers, weed eaters, chainsaws and the like are typically not allowed in storage units. However, some units will allow certain gas-powered items after the items have been inspected.

Other undesirable or hazardous items and liquids. Mothballs, acid, ammonia, charcoal and other potentially smelly or hazardous items probably won't be allowed in a storage unit.

Any items in pressurized containers. Fire codes typically ban gas tanks, aerosol cans or anything stored under pressure from storage units.

Well, that should cover it. Follow the guidelines I just laid out and you should have no problem storing your things.
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