What can you keep in self-storage? What should you not put in self-storage?

While most typical self-storage facilities do provide you with a great deal of freedom and privacy, it’s not an invitation to store absolutely anything you want. There are indeed a number of different rules that you must abide by – all of which are critical for the safety and security of your and every other storage unit owner’s property. 

But, what are these rules? What can you keep in self-storage, and, what should you not put in self-storage? Read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know…

What you can keep in self-storage?

Self-storage facilities are fairly liberal with what you can store in your unit. To give you a better idea, here are some examples: 

  1. Furniture items: You can store furniture of all types in a self-storage unit, from sofas and chairs to tables and beds. Whether you are keeping old antiques to sell at a future date or saving certain items for one of your kids for when they get a place of their own, self-storage is a great solution. 
  2. Clothing & textiles: Clothing, bedding, and other textiles can be kept safely in self-storage units. Of course, be sure to use plastic storage containers or vacuum-sealed bags to protect them from dust and pests. Failure to do this will invariably result in your clothing and textiles falling into disrepair, thus defeating the purpose of storing them to begin with. 
  3. Electronics & parts: Electronics items such as televisions, computers, and audio equipment can be stored in self-storage units as well. Any tools and parts and odd bits and bobs can be kept tucked away, ready for when you may need to tinker with them. 
  4. Books & documents: Books, paperwork, and other documents can be stored in self-storage units. Again, be sure to use waterproof and fire-resistant containers to protect them as they can easily fall into disrepair if they are not stored properly. Just be mindful of storing any particularly valuable documents in your self-storage. While security is very tight in the average self-storage facility, if you can’t afford to lose it, don’t store it outside your home. 
  5. Vehicles: Vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, and boats can be stored in certain self-storage units provided they are large enough and there is ample access. You can even store bicycles, skateboards, ski equipment, camping gear, and any other hobby items you don’t have space for at home. 
  6. Artwork: Many people choose to store various artworks in their self-storage units. Again, depending on how valuable your artwork is, this isn’t necessarily the safest option. For any items that might be considered priceless or highly valuable, you may wish to consider alternatives. 
  7. Musical instruments: From bulky drum kits to cumbersome trombones, a self-storage unit can be used to safely store all manner of instruments. Some self-storage facilities even allow bands to use self-storage units for practice. For example, if your neighbours aren’t a big fan of you playing the drums at all hours, a secluded self-storage facility with a sound-proofed storage unit could be a viable alternative. Please note, this isn’t a service offered by all self-storage facilities. 
  8. Wine: Bottled wine and liquor that is properly sealed can be kept in self-storage, however, any other form of food or beverage (perishables) are not to be stored. If your wine cellar at home is getting a little busy and you have some choice bottles that you wish to store for a later date, self-storage is the ideal solution. 

What you should not put in self-storage?

As for what you cannot store in self-storage, most of the following examples will likely be fairly self-explanatory:

Funny young dog peeking out from locker
  1. No people or animals (dead or alive): Not only can you not live in your self-storage unit, but you can’t keep any pets there either. The same applies to dead animals (e.g., stored after a hunting trip for example). You can, however, keep taxidermy in your self-storage unit, provided they have been treated properly and are stored correctly. 
  2. Perishable items: As previously mentioned, perishable items such as food, plants, and animals should not be stored in self-storage units. They can attract pests and create unpleasant odours which will negatively impact the other storage unit owners surrounding you. Some facilities might allow you to keep a fridge plugged into the mains at your self-storage unit with some cold beverages, but generally, food is a no-no. 
  3. Hazardous materials: Hazardous materials such as toxic chemicals, and flammable materials (particularly anything that can be explosive when mixed together) should not be stored in self-storage units. This is an obvious one. 
  4. Illegal items: Of course, any illegal items such as stolen goods and illicit drugs should not be stored in self-storage units. Naturally, anyone who is alright with stealing likely won’t have much interest in abiding by the storage facility rules anyway, but you’d be taking a gargantuan risk. 
  5. Valuable/priceless items: While valuable items such as jewellery and cash can legally be stored in self-storage units, it’s not recommended at all. Self-storage units are certainly not as secure as a bank vault or a home safe, and they may not be covered by insurance. Yes, self-storage facilities are generally very secure and the odds of you being robbed are slim to none. However, on the off-chance that somebody catches wind of the fact that you have highly valuable items in storage, it could be a devastating blow for you. Even more so if the items are not so much valuable than they are sentimental. Any items that cannot be replaced by money should be kept in a bank or in a home safe. 

Final thoughts 

Hopefully, this article has given you a fairly accurate idea as to what can and cannot be kept in self-storage. If you are unsure, it’s always worth giving your chosen self-storage provider a call and asking them before moving anything in.

Failure to abide by the rules could end up in a costly fine or worse, being banned from the facility altogether. Better safe than sorry!