A Helpful Guide To Items Not Fit For A Storage Unit
Self storage is a great way to deal with lots of stuff you don’t have room for or don’t need every day. You can store your snow tires, your giant inflatable Easter bunny and the bowling trophies your spouse won’t let you display. Even that fiberglass car kit that you haven’t (yet) finished is permitted.
However, items such as chemicals and live animals top the long list of things you simply cannot put in storage under any circumstances.
Most businesses see some regulation at the local, state and/or federal level, and self storage facilities are no exception. There are a whole bunch of compliance laws about what can’t be stored, and other things may be restricted under the contract you signed with your self storage company. When you signed that contract, you definitely agreed to abide by all of the regulations.
Here are some of the items and uses prohibited by your storage unit:
- Living. Yes, rent costs are going up, and your climate-controlled storage unit is clean and spacious. However, the law does not permit you to set up residence in it. Furthermore, don’t even think about subletting to maximize your deductions!
- Kenneling. If you’re considering saving money by boarding Rover or Miss Kitty in your unit while you take off for the weekend, think again. You may not place your ant farm, tarantula terrarium, fish tank, or living animal in your storage unit. You may be subject to animal cruelty and abuse charges if you choose to ignore this rule.
- Office space. If you rent a regular unit, you can store your unused office furniture, equipment, or sales stock, but you cannot run your business (even a legal one) out of it, nor can you use it as a manufacturing facility. Life Storage has specific storage spaces for small businesses in certain locations including Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas. If you are interested, you can search for office and retail space availability.
- Plants. Plants need light, food and water. They will die faster in a storage unit than they will at your home or office. They are not allowed.
- Firearms, munitions, gunpowder and explosives. Your assault-rifle collection is not welcome in self storage. Neither are those fireworks you smuggled in from Mexico. If you ignore this warning and your storage unit blows up, you could end up celebrating next Independence Day in a federal facility.
- Food stuff. It doesn’t matter if it’s pet food or pâté, stored food will rot, stink and attract vermin, making you very unpopular with facility management and anybody with a storage unit near yours. Canned goods are the exceptions to this rule, so if you find a good deal on creamed corn in bulk, go for it.
- Hazardous materials and waste storage. You’ll need to find somewhere else to keep your excess flammable, explosive or radioactive stuff. If it’s corrosive, chemical, odorous, noxious or toxic, it can’t go in self storage, either. This includes lead paint, asbestos, urea formaldehyde, polychlorinated biphenyl, petroleum, petroleum products and constituents, methane, medical waste, toxic substances and related materials as defined in several federal acts and state statutes with long names and numbers.
- Hot stuff. Stolen goods of any kind can’t be kept in self storage.
- Cash. All that spare money and loot you have scattered around the house will be much safer in a safe deposit box at your bank.
Different storage facilities may have additional lists of prohibited items and activity, but this list covers the basics. When in doubt, read your contract.