5 Things You Shouldn’t Put in Your Storage Unit

Andrea Hewitt | Dec 11, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Figuring out what you want to put in storage can be hard. Pictures? Furniture? Sports memorabilia? You want to clear space out of your home but you don’t want to put anything in your storage unit that you might need on a whim. It really can be tricky, so here’s a list of 5 things you definitely don’t want to store:

Don't put milk in your storage unit.

> Perishable foods

Keep that milk jug in the fridge on your trip to the storage unit. This might be common sense for you, but if you’re taking your toddler with you on your next trip, make sure they don’t leave a bottle full of chocolate milk behind. That can stink up your unit fast! Other perishable foods can attract bugs or animals, neither of which you want around your belongings.

Don't put marijuana in your storage unit.

> Illegal substances

A quick Google search reveals many cases of renters getting arrested for stashing their marijuana at storage facilities from Indiana to Illinois to California where police found 168 pounds of marijuana in a storage unit. In all these cases, facility owners were quick to cooperate with police. Leave your drugs at home unless the idea of spending time in county jail appeals to you.

Don't put stolen goods in your storage unit.

> Stolen items

On a similar note to the point about illegal substances: Don’t store stolen items in your storage unit. It might seem like a safe place, but much like the facility managers in the drug cases, facility managers aren’t going to protect your stolen goods from police.

Don't put explosives in your storage unit.

> Explosive, combustible or toxic items

Make sure you empty out those vintage kerosene lamps before you store them. Other potentially explosive or combustible materials include gasoline, paint thinners, cleaning solvents, motor oil, propane tanks, paint, corrosives, alcohol and fireworks. You want to ensure the items you are storing are kept safe and having a flammable liquid nearby could endanger them. There have been many odd cases of live grenades being found in storage units, including one where the man who found the grenade thought that instead of calling the police, he should hand deliver it to the local fire department.  Protip: If you find a grenade in a unit, don’t put it in your car and drive it somewhere else. Just call the authorities.

> Yourself

As appealing as low rent prices can be, don’t live in your storage unit. This may seem like common sense, but just a couple years ago, Child Protective Services took six children from their parents after they were found living in a storage unit in Houston. If you need more convincing, check out our top 10 reasons not to live in your storage unit.

It really can be hard to figure out what to store so for more tips on what not to store, visit our storage tips page.