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Top 12 Items That Don’t Belong in Your Storage Unit

Krista Diamond | May 31, 2017 @ 9:00 AM

Your storage unit might be a dumping ground for your stuff, but that doesn’t necessarily include all of your stuff. If your storage facility didn’t mention anything about prohibited items when you signed the lease on your storage unit, you might think that you’ve entered into an anything goes kind of situation. Unfortunately, that line of thinking can end in disaster. If you’d like to prevent your storage unit from exploding, becoming overrun with cockroaches or simply smelling very, very bad the next time you open it, refer to this list of 12 items that don’t belong in storage.

Weapons and Ammunition

If you’re moving to a college dorm, military barracks or you’re living with someone who isn’t comfortable with having guns in the house, self storage might seem like the perfect solution. But hold up before you put that rifle in a storage unit. Some storage facilities might let you store guns but none will be cool with you storing ammunition.


First off, if you’ve got leftover fireworks after 4th of July, you clearly didn’t celebrate hard enough. And secondly, save the colorful explosions for the sky and keep your fireworks out of self storage. As self storage enthusiasts, we like to think that the experience of renting a storage unit should be a blast—but not a literal blast.

Junk Cars

We’ve all got the friend with the beater car that barely runs. Maybe it’s got plastic wrap instead of actual windows. Maybe it’s missing half of the fender and most of the bumper too. Don’t be that friend when it comes to vehicle storage. If your car can’t get from Point A to Point B, it shouldn’t be in storage either.

Perishable Food

That lifetime supply of potato chips you won sounded pretty sweet until you assessed your limited kitchen cabinet space. If you need storage space for all that food in your house, we suggest your stomach over a storage unit. Perishable food attracts bugs, mice and other pests.

Anything Living

Take it from the storage auction winner who found 40 dead cats inside a unit: living creatures don’t fare well in self storage. Don’t store your pets or your friends in your storage unit. Even if a cozy 5x5 concrete area is your dream apartment, don’t store yourself either.

Anything That Used to Be Living

Most people aren’t serial killers, and yet storage facilities still find an alarming amount of human and animal remains in storage units. Don’t be like the guy who operated a morgue out of a storage unit. Spring for an actual grave in a graveyard.

Dirty Items

Why should you wash your clothes before putting them into a storage unit, you might ask? Why indeed. Dirt causes fabric to deteriorate and any food particles on clothing can serve as a breeding ground for creepy-crawly creatures. Boom. Question answered. Go buy some detergent.

Wet Items

Anyone familiar with that summertime smell of a wet bathing suit knows the effects of putting damp items in unventilated places. In addition to causing your storage unit to smell like an old wet bathing suit, damp items can cause mold, mildew and rust.


Bringing plants into your home can have all sorts of beneficial effects. Plants filter the air, they look pretty and if you have enough of them you can pretend you live in the jungle. Plants in your storage unit are a different story. Not only do they attract pests, they don’t fare well without sunlight. Be a good plant owner and keep them out of storage.

Anything That Needs to Be Plugged In At All Times

By now, we’re all familiar with the story of the guy who lived in his storage unit for months. If you’re interested in attempting something similar (please don’t), you’re going to need to plug some things in. And if you’re going to plug in items that draw electricity, you’re going to get caught. Trust us.

Very Expensive Items

We know, we know. All of your possessions have value to you. But for items that are valuable from a financial standpoint instead of just an emotional one, self storage might not be the answer. You’re more than welcome to store that painting you did in college but if you’re trying to store the Mona Lisa, think again.


Just hit the jackpot in Vegas? Storing stacks of cash in your storage unit might allow you to fulfill that fantasy of rolling around in a pile of money, but it’s not permitted. Congrats on being a high roller, but even a mob boss would know better than to keep cash in a storage unit.

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