What happens when you try to store something at home or in the office — and realize that you don’t have enough space?
If you want to save some space, then you should consider everything about a self-storage facility. Part of that consideration includes what can not be allowed in a self storage center.
What if you’re planning to move out of your current residence, then you probably know how stressful moving is. It takes time, money, effort… and sometimes even emotional stress as well.
But what if I told you that you could avoid all of that hassle by simply renting a storage unit? It may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t.
In fact, it’s quite easy to rent a storage unit and use it for your personal needs. People do that all across the country every day. The best storage rates are often not shown on the internet.
However, storage units are not one size fits all. There are some things that are not allowed to be stored.
These can vary from company to company, but when you know all about storage center’s requirements, you find that they have a similar list of restricted items.
In this article, we’re going to share 16 items what not to put in a storage unit or locker.
Self Storage Do’s and Don’ts in 2023
Self-Storage facilities are becoming very popular these days. When the economy is doing great (or when it’s going slow), storage always seems to keep busy.
Mini storage offers a safe and secure place where you can store your belongings. It also means these are belongings you store yourself without any assistance.
There are several types of storage units available depending upon the size and purpose.
Some of them include climate controlled units, units accessible from outdoors, a space for boats, vehicles and trailers, and more.
The units are designed so you can pack lots of boxes into them along with your various possessions. This helps take some of the burden away from the space you need to use at home or in the office.
Because you can privately enter the storage center and load items into a unit without any assistance, some ask us about what not to put in storage.
In other words, “what is not allowed in storage units?” or for mobile storage containers “what can’t I put in my portable storage unit?”
Let’s talk about that.
There are certain things that you can’t put inside a storage unit because the items might get damaged or that they could cause damage to the storage center.
Briefly the items regarding what not to put in a storage unit include food, liquids, chemicals, flammable materials, batteries and more.
The list of prohibited items that surprises people the most is that these items are also prohibited from storage — and Omaha storage is no different:
- Furs – precise climate control is needed
- Tires – these are costly to dispose of
- Unlicensed or unregistered vehicles, trailers and boats
So if you try to store any of those, be sure to reach out to your storage center for the reason why they’re not accepted.
Now let’s dig a little deeper into what storage centers do not allow.
What Not to Put in a Storage Unit
To answer your question on what is (or is not) allowed, you can check the list below.
If you plan on storing any of these potentially restricted things, make sure you check with your storage center first — so that you don’t have any inconvenient surprises later on.
Below is a list of 16 things that you should not put inside a storage unit. Some of these are fairly obvious, but others may not be.
Some of them might even turn your stomach — but it helps to know where the guidelines are.
Items Not to Put in Storage…
3) Any kind of hazardous material
5) Any kind of illegal material
6) Alcohol (fine wine could be an exception)
11) Flammables including anything that could be easily combustible
14) Human body parts, blood, body fluids and feces
15) Medical Waste
16) Unsafe waste and hazardous waste
It’s important to know what is not allowed so you don’t get caught by surprise later.
Details About What Can’t You Store in a Storage Unit
You can’t store fireworks inside a storage unit. This includes sparklers, firecrackers, bottle rockets, Roman candles – you get the idea. The reason why is simple: they contain explosive material and could cause serious injury or death if they explode.
You can’t store explosives inside a storage unit. This would include dynamite, blasting caps, black powder, gunpowder, ammunition, nitroglycerin, TNT, C-4, Semtex, plastic explosives, military ordnance, grenades, mines, bombs, landmines, artillery shells, mortars, rocket launchers, missiles, cluster munitions, nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons, radiological weapons, incendiary devices, pyrotechnic devices, and improvised explosive devices (IED).
Sometimes people have classic grenades that are supposed to be inert but might not be, so not a good idea to store items like that.
Any kind of hazardous material such as chemicals, propane, aerosols, asbestos, lead, mercury, arsenic, cyanide or other dangerous materials are the kind of item not to put in storage.
Anything that could possibly blow up or cause damage to the storage facility shouldn’t be stored there — as it could hurt someone.
You can’t store weapons inside a storage unit. You can imagine why that is. Items like these can greatly increase liability issues for the storage center.
Instead, you should keep all firearms unloaded and locked away at all times and preferably in your nearby possession.
Any kind of illegal material
If you’re planning on holding tobacco products, gambling equipment, stolen property, counterfeit currency, unclothed pictures, human remains, contraband, or any other type of illegal material, you’ll need to find somewhere else to store it.
Can you store alcohol in a storage unit? You can’t store alcohol inside a storage unit.
Even if you think you’re going to drink it, you won’t be able to store it. It is against the law to store liquor or beer inside a self-storage facility and it might even be flammable.
If you have a fine wine to store, you may want to talk with storage centers that offer climate controlled storage to see if they will let you store your wine.
There are several centers that recognize your value in the fine wine and that will find a way to accommodate your storage need.
You can’t store illegal drugs inside a storage unit. It is against the law for anyone to knowingly possess illegal substances.
You also cannot sell or give illegal drugs to someone else. Not only is this illegal, but it also poses a health risk for everyone who works at the facility.
You can’t store food inside a storage unit. There are many reasons why this is bad idea.
First off, you never know when someone is going to want to steal your food. Also you run the risk of having rodents or insects get into your food.
Then there’s the chance you could end up with spoiled food which might make people sick.
Lastly, you might accidentally eat some of the food yourself. Overall it’s just not a good idea.
You can’t store liquids inside a storage unit. Liquids like gasoline, oil, paint thinner, solvents, cleaning supplies, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, drain cleaner, antifreeze, motor oil, windshield washer fluid, brake fluids, transmission fluid, engine coolant, radiator fluid, power steering fluid, windshield wiper fluid, windshield wash solution, car wax, window cleaner, floor polish, carpet cleaner, bleach, ammonia, turpentine, nail polish remover, and kerosene are examples of things that should not be stored inside a storage unit.
I know that I’ve got several of those item for taking care of the car in my garage — but for storing them in a storage unit it’s not permitted.
You can’t store chemicals inside a storage unit. Chemicals like acids, pool acid, alkalis, caustics, oxidizing agents, reducing agents, corrosives, organic compounds, inorganic compounds, solvents, detergents, bleaches, dyes, stains, paints, varnishes, adhesives, sealants, glues, resins, epoxies, polymers and elastomers are examples of what you can’t store inside a storage unit.
I was actually surprised about the pool chemicals but it makes sense. If you have any of those, you will need to find another place to keep them.
It’s amazing how many of those items we each have at home — but can’t place into storage. Makes me think… is my garage safe with all this cleaning stuff I have in there?
These include anything that could be easily combustible where it could pose a fire hazard. Just like was mentioned above being anything that could create an explosion.
This could include anything that could contaminate the air quality and cause harm the storage building itself.
These most likely would be included above as a hazardous chemical liquid, pesticides are so very commonplace that it’s easy to forget how potent they can be.
They’re often used on lawns, gardens, crops, trees, shrubs, flowers, fruits and vegetables. Pesticides are usually applied by spraying, dusting, spreading, dipping, soaking and other methods — so they can come in liquid or powder form.
When moving belongings from a garage, its easy to forget that those pesticides are not allowed at the storage center.
Most storage centers do not allow animals inside their units. The reason of course is fairly obvious. For example, imagine if an animal gets loose, it could damage property or even injure someone else. Plus it’s very cruel to subject an animal to certain seasonal conditions.
Animals such as dogs, cats, birds, snakes, lizards, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, mice, rats, turtles, frogs, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, cockroaches, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, termites, wasps, flies, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, hornets and others are all strictly prohibited and not allowed inside a storage facility.
Human body parts, blood, body fluids and feces
This is a harder one to talk about. Nobody wants to picture these things, but the storage center doesn’t want to see them either.
Human body parts, blood, human blood products, human body fluids and excretions (feces) are all considered biohazardous materials and are therefore not allowed inside a storage unit.
Similar to the last one mentioned, obvious medical waste includes needles (used needles too), syringes (used syringes), scalpels, bandages (used bandages), gauzes, sponges, cotton balls, swabs, thermometers, IV bags, tubing, bottles, vials, tubes, caps, stoppers, clamps, sutures, dressings.
It goes even deeper and includes anything made out of plastic, metal, glass, rubber, paper, wood, cloth, foam, cardboard or leather that has been contaminated with bodily fluids, blood, tissue, pus, urine, saliva, sweat, mucus, breast milk, amniotic fluid, oral rinse, ophthalmic solution, otic solution, parenteral solution, intravenous infusion, intrauterine device, tampon applicator, contraceptive sponge, cervical cap, diaphragm cup, condom, dental dam — I think you get the idea.
That’s a long list but I guess someone in the past has tried to store something like these items in the list.
Unsafe and Hazardous Waste
In addition to all those hazardous items mentioned above, this goes further by including toxic waste, radioactive waste, and even electronic waste. These are another example of what not to store in a storage unit.
If it’s liquid, living, food or flammable, it’s best not to store it. For questionable items, check with your storage center for advice.
In addition to the above list, there are other items that you should not store inside a storage unit that isn’t climate controlled.
These items include furniture, appliances, electronics, musical instruments, treasured heirlooms, high value items, important documents and more.
We have more information about that here.
It’s very important to know what type of storage unit you need before you start looking for one.
With this long list of what is not allowed in storage units, some people ask “what can you store in a storage unit?
Fortunately the list of things you can store is a lot longer than what you can not store.
There are many different types of storage facilities available today, especially in the Omaha area.
Some are climate-controlled while some aren’t. Some are secure and safe while others may not be. You’ll find that most storage centers offer both options so you don’t have to choose between safety and convenience.
The best storage rates are often kept secret. Call now to get an estimate and reserve your space — all within 5 minutes. To serve you quicker, call wait time is near zero.
Once you find your own favorite storage place, its good to abide by their rules and restrictions so you don’t have surprises later. They will thank you for it too. That way everyone can win.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use a storage unit as an office?
No, using a storage unit as an office is generally not allowed.
Storage facilities are designed and zoned for storage purposes only, and they typically lack the necessary amenities, safety features, and infrastructure for use as an office space.
Additionally, using a storage unit as an office may violate local zoning regulations or the terms of your rental agreement with the storage facility.
Some people confuse an office with having a place to warehouse their physical items. You can store physical inventory (as long as it isn’t on the list of prohibited storage items) in your storage unit. You can then go back and forth to get the inventory as needed.
You just can’t transact sales with your customers at the storage center site — or do anything that makes your storage unit function like an interactive office.
Some storage facilities offer dedicated office or workspace rentals that are separate from their storage units.
These spaces are specifically designed for business purposes and comply with local zoning and safety regulations.
If you’re interested in renting an office or workspace, it’s best to look for commercial spaces or shared workspace providers in your area.
Is it safe to store electronics in a storage unit?
When answering the question about can you store electronics in storage units, the answer is “it depends.
Storing electronics in a self storage unit generally can be safe as long as precautions are taken.
Here’s some things to consider:
- Climate Control: Electronics are sensitive to temperature and humidity, and extreme temperatures or humidity can damage them. Therefore, it’s important to rent a storage unit with climate control to ensure that the temperature and humidity levels are kept within safe ranges.
- Packing: Proper packing is essential to keep electronics safe in storage. Electronics should be packed in their original boxes or in sturdy, properly sized boxes. Wrap each item individually in bubble wrap or packing paper to protect it from scratches or other damage. Label each box clearly so you can identify the contents later on.
Can you store alcohol in a storage unit?
Storing alcohol in a self storage unit is generally not recommended. Here’s a few reasons why:
- Legal restrictions: Depending on where you live, there may be legal restrictions on storing alcohol in a storage unit. Some states prohibit the storage of alcoholic beverages in any self-storage unit, while others may allow it under certain conditions, such as requiring the unit to have a specific type of lock or restricting the amount of alcohol that can be stored.
- Temperature control: Just like with electronics, alcohol is sensitive to temperature changes. Extreme temperatures can affect the taste and quality of an alcohol, so it’s important to store it in a temperature-controlled environment. However, not all storage units have climate control, which can be problematic if you are storing expensive (or rare) bottles of alcohol.
- Risk of theft or damage: Alcohol can be a valuable commodity, which makes it a target for theft. Even if your storage unit is secure, there is always a risk of theft or damage from other units in the facility, such as a leak or spill from a neighboring unit.
Can you store cleaning supplies in a storage unit?
Yes, you can generally store cleaning supplies in a storage unit, but it’s important to take some precautions to ensure that they remain safe and effective.
Here are things to consider:
- Hazardous materials: Some cleaning supplies, such as bleach or ammonia-based products, are considered hazardous materials and may be prohibited in storage units. You should check with your storage facility to find out what types of items are allowed and if there are any specific restrictions on cleaning supplies.
- Temperature control: Extreme temperatures can affect the quality and effectiveness of some cleaning supplies, so it’s important to store them in a temperature-controlled environment. If your storage unit does not have climate control, you should consider storing your cleaning supplies elsewhere.
- Packaging: Make sure that your cleaning supplies are tightly sealed and properly labeled to avoid spills and leaks. If you are storing cleaning supplies in their original containers, ensure that the caps or lids are securely fastened to prevent any accidental spills.
- Accessibility: If you plan to use your cleaning supplies frequently, consider storing them in a location within your storage unit that is easily accessible. This can save you time and make your storage experience more convenient.
Can you store a car in a storage unit?
Yes, you can store a car in a storage unit. It’s important to select the right type of unit and to take precautions to ensure that the car remains in good condition.
Here are some things to consider:
Can you store food in a storage unit?
It seems like food would not be a big deal. However any kind of food is among what should you not put in storage.
Storing food in a storage unit is not recommended for several reasons:
- Health concerns: Storing food in a storage unit can pose a health hazard, as it can attract pests such as rodents and insects. These pests can carry diseases and contaminate food, making it unsafe to eat.
- Temperature control: Food is perishable and requires proper temperature control to remain safe and fresh. Many storage units do not have climate control, which can lead to extreme temperature fluctuations and spoilage of food.
- Restrictions: Many storage facilities have restrictions on the types of items that can be stored, and food may be prohibited. Even if it is allowed, there may be specific requirements for storing food, such as using airtight containers or refrigeration, which may not be available in a standard storage unit.
- Smell and odor: Food can produce strong smells and odors that can permeate the surrounding area. This can be unpleasant for other tenants in the facility and may violate the terms of the rental agreement.
Can you store a gun in a storage unit?
You can not store firearms in a storage unit. It’s one of those important things about what can you not store in a storage unit.
Storing a gun in a storage unit is generally not recommended, and it may be prohibited by some storage facilities — or state and local laws. Here’s some reasons why:
- Security concerns: Guns are valuable and can be a target for theft. Most storage units have basic security features, but they may not be sufficient to protect a gun from theft.
- Safety concerns: Guns are dangerous and can pose a safety risk if they fall into the wrong hands. Storage units may not have adequate security or safety features to prevent unauthorized access to a gun.
- Legal restrictions: State and local laws may regulate or prohibit the storage of guns in certain locations, including storage units. It’s important to check the laws in your area to ensure that you are in compliance.
- Insurance: Most storage facilities do not provide insurance coverage for items such as guns. If you choose to store a gun in a storage unit, you may need to purchase additional insurance to protect it.
Can you keep animals in storage units?
No, it’s not safe or appropriate to keep animals in storage units. Storage units are not designed to accommodate the needs of animals, and keeping animals in storage units can be dangerous and inhumane.
It’s definitely among those things what not to put in storage unit.
Here are some reasons why:
- Lack of ventilation: Storage units are typically not well-ventilated, which can lead to poor air quality and an unsafe environment for animals.
- Temperature control: Storage units are often not temperature-controlled, which can cause extreme temperatures that are unsafe for animals.
- Inadequate space: Storage units do not provide sufficient space or exercise areas for animals, which can lead to physical and psychological harm.
- Prohibited by law: Keeping animals in storage units may be prohibited by law, as it is not a suitable living environment for them.
Is it against the law to live in a storage unit?
Yes, generally speaking living in a storage unit is illegal.
We were surprised at how many people ask can you live in a storage unit. Knowing the answer, some people even ask “how to get away with living in a storage unit?” We recommend to not even go there.
Storage facilities are not designed or zoned for residential use, and lack the amenities and safety features needed for human habitation.
Nonetheless, living in a storage unit can be a violation of local building codes, fire regulations, along with health and safety standards.
Storage facility operators typically have strict policies against using their units for anything other than storing personal belongings or business inventory.
If someone is discovered living in a storage unit, the facility operator could evict them, terminate their rental agreement, and possibly involve law enforcement.
If you know someone facing a housing crisis, it’s crucial to explore alternative options. Fortunately there are lots of options available these days.
This includes as seeking help from local shelters, social services, churches and other nonprofit organizations that provide assistance with housing and other basic needs.
Can you store furniture in a storage unit?
Yes, you can store furniture in a storage unit.
Storage units are a popular choice for storing furniture, whether it’s for a temporary move, during a home renovation, or to declutter your living space.
To store furniture in a storage unit, follow these tips on storing furniture.
What can’t I put in my mobile storage unit?
The items for what not to put in a mobile storage unit include food, liquids, explosives, chemicals, flammable materials, batteries, animals and more. If it’s liquid, living, food or flammable, it’s best not to store it.
Check the list in this article above regarding what cannot be stored in a storage unit as it also applies to portable storage containers and to PODs type mobile storage units.