Did you know that America has more self-storage facilities than we do McDonald's? At the end of 2014, there were 48,500 of them, which is more than 3 times the number of McDonald's restaurants!

Obviously, storage units are commonly used. But despite this fact, not many people are aware of what you can and can't store in these places.

Have you used a moving cost calculator, figured out how much using a storage facility is, and want to protect your belongings once they've left your hands? Then read on.

Here are 7 things you should never put in a storage unit.

1. Perishable Food

Maybe you've run out of space in your fridge and pantry. You're putting some items in the self-storage unit anyway, so why not toss some food in there too?

That's actually a bad idea! Not only can perishable foods rot and smell bad, but they can also attract pests like ants or even mice.

In general, anything that's nonperishable or sealed can be stored in storage units. But fresh foods and those that have expiration dates in the near future should be kept at home.

You'll also want to avoid putting food-related items in your storage unit, such as smokers. Of course, if you can clean it meticulously so not a trace of food is left on it, then you can put it in a storage facility.

2. Flammable and Combustible Items

When you're using movers, they'll usually give you a list of things that they won't take. This includes flammable items, which shouldn't be stored in storage facilities either.

What are some examples of flammable items? They include:

  • Gas
  • Motor oil
  • Propane tanks
  • Kerosene

You also shouldn't store combustible items like acid, cleaners, corrosives, fertilizers, and other chemicals.

Don't forget about tools and equipment that might have gas or chemicals in them as well. If you're putting them into a storage unit, make sure you drain everything completely before you do so.

Good storage units should have fantastic temperature control. But in the rare case that something happens, you want to make sure nothing burns up or even blows up. That way, you can keep everything in the facility safe.

3. Toxic Substances

From the above section, you already know not to put anything flammable or combustible in your storage unit. In addition, you shouldn't store anything that's toxic either.

Storing toxic substances and/or waste can be illegal to do. Not to mention, it can be potentially harmful to everyone around. This means you shouldn't be putting things like radioactive or biological waste in storage facilities.

You might be stumped as to what to do with the toxic substances while it's in your possession. But never put it in a storage unit while you're figuring things out.

The best thing to do is to get in touch with authorities and to dispose of these things quickly, safely, and legally.

4. Valuables

Many people mistakenly think that because storage facilities are secure, they can leave valuables in their units. But there's always the off-chance that someone might break into your unit and steal these precious things.

Do yourself a favor and spend a little extra money by getting a safe deposit box at your bank. This is a more appropriate and safer place for things like cash and jewelry.

When storing personal items in storage units, keep them to more replaceable things.

5. Stolen Items

It's a popular trope in crime movies and shows. When someone obtains an object that's stolen, they'll stash them in a storage unit.

Needless to say, you shouldn't be doing this in real life. We'd argue that you shouldn't be dealing with stolen goods in the first place.

But even if you have a slight inkling that your belongings are stolen, please don't put them in a storage facility. You'll get the owner in big trouble, even if they're unaware that you've done such a thing.

6. Yourself

You might've hit hard times and need a living space that's as cheap as possible. You're trying to think out of the box for affordable solutions, and eureka! Why don't you rent a storage unit and live there?

Surprisingly, others have done this before. But let us tell you, it's definitely against the terms and conditions of your contract. While you might be granted 24-hour access by the company, storage units are not meant to be lived in.

So think twice about this "life hack." It's just tacky and if you're caught, you can lose out on money. You'd be violating your contract, which means the company can revoke your right to access the storage unit.

7. Animals

On that note, you should never store animals in a storage unit as well. We've mentioned above that these units should be temperature-controlled, but even then, it's cruel to leave your pet here! Not only will they be lonely, but they might also be frightened, as the unit will be dark and unfamiliar.

Also, if your pets aren't contained, they can end up doing damage to the storage unit through scratches, bites, or waste products. So when moving with pets, make alternative accommodations.

Similarly, don't put plants in storage facilities either. There's not enough light and ventilation for them, which means you'll com back to dead plants.

Make Sure to Use a Moving Cost Calculator When Moving

Now you know the main things you shouldn't put in a storage unit if you're in the middle of relocating or just need some extra space.

But before you even get started on that, make sure you use a moving cost calculator! This will help you figure out just how much you'll spend on your move so you don't have any surprises. Your bank account will definitely thank you.

Speaking of which, if you need to transport your car, use our moving cost calculator now. Our quotes are free and anonymous!


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