Self storage is a great place for your stuff—but not all of your stuff. If you’re the kind of person who merely skims leases and contracts before signing them, you might not realize that when you rent a storage unit, you agree to never store certain things. Some items don’t belong in self storage for safety reasons while others are straight up illegal. Storing prohibited items can cause damage to the rest of your belongings and the items in neighboring units. It’s also a surefire way to get evicted from the storage facility and in some cases even face legal trouble.
You might think you already know what does and doesn’t belong in self storage, but trust us, a few items on this list may surprise you. Here are 13 things that you should never, ever keep in a storage unit:
Super Expensive Items
Did you see the section of your lease entitled “Limitation of Value?” That’s a fancy way of saying that you shouldn’t store anything that’s extremely expensive. No, we’re not talking about the nice winter jacket that set you back a few hundred bucks; we’re talking about diamonds and pearls and that painting you swiped from the Louvre (more on stolen things in a moment). At All Storage, super expensive is defined as items totaling over $5,000.
Your dog doesn’t want to hang out in your storage unit. Neither does your cat. Or your horse. It may sound crazy, but people have attempted to keep living animals in storage before, so it must be said.
No one is trying to crush your dreams of become a taxidermist. That being said, keep dead animals out of self storage.
There are a lot of other people storing their stuff alongside yours. Don’t be the person who is responsible for burning the place down and destroying their possessions along with yours. Flammable items include gas, oil, fuel, antifreeze and grease, but that’s certainly not an exhaustive list. If you wouldn’t light a match near it, don’t store it.
If you celebrated 4th of July the right way, you shouldn’t have any leftover fireworks. But on the off chance that you do, don’t put them in your storage unit. Explosives in a tight space are a recipe for disaster. Keep ammunition out of your storage unit for this same reason. Guns themselves are a-okay, but ammunition should never go in self storage.
You don’t have to be working at a top secret lab to have toxic waste in your possession. This can refer to any chemicals that you might consider storing, particularly those that are corrosive.
Congrats! You just finished putting an addition on your house, and you did it all yourself. The only problem is that now you have a bunch of construction materials leftover. Don’t put them in your storage unit. Dispose of them safely instead. Contact a center for hard to recycle materials. They can help you get rid of motor oil, batteries, tires and other materials for a small fee.
Storage facilities work hard to keep pests out of storage units. If you store lawn debris in yours, you’re inviting bugs in. Don’t do it.
Items That Smell
Speaking of pests, another way to get them to RSVP to the party in your storage unit is by storing anything that smells. This can include cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, scented candles and anything that gives off a strong odor. Use your own judgement when determining which items have too strong of a scent for storage, or ask someone on staff.
Marijuana and Other Drugs
Marijuana laws are rapidly evolving across the country, which has led to some confusion about whether or not weed can be kept in a storage unit. Regardless of whether it’s medical marijuana or pot procured the non legal way, it doesn’t belong in self storage. The same goes for other drugs.
Don’t be like the bank robbers who kept their loot in a storage unit. Stolen property doesn’t belong in self storage. And FYI, stealing isn’t cool.
Keep that pizza where it belongs: in your stomach. Never keep food in your storage unit. This applies to the obvious items that spoil and eventually rot and the non-obvious items that aren’t perishable, like canned goods.
The cost of living may be rising, but that’s no reason to trade your one bedroom apartment for a 10x10 storage unit. Living in a storage unit is against the rules and it’s dangerous. We love self storage, but human beings were meant to be out in the sunshine, not inside a dark storage unit.