Items You Mustn’t Keep in Your Self-Storage Unit

Published on 10/5/2021

Items to Not Store in Your Storage Unit

A gun and bullets symbolizing items you mustn’t keep in your storage unit

Renting a storage unit is one of the more useful things you can do to create extra space around the house. However, one of the mistakes people often make is thinking you can put anything you want in a storage unit. Keep in mind that some of your belongings are more secure in your home, while some are not even allowed in a storage unit. Here is the list of items you mustn't keep in your storage unit to clear the mist around this subject!

Foods and perishable items

If you leave any food in your storage unit, it will attract pests or rodents. Not only will it start to rot over time and create a disgusting smell, but it can also cause mold. The scent of rotten food is hard to get out after it sets for a while.

A bowl of rotten fruits
Food spoils quickly and creates an unpleasant smell that attracts pests, insects, and rodents.

Pets or any other living things

People rent storage for a variety of reasons. However, one thing you should definitely keep out of a storage unit is anything living. Humans, pets, or plants need sunlight, air, and food to survive.


Therefore, do not store any plants inside, and don't use it as a pet house.

Anything with a strong odor

Another thing you should keep off of your inventory list for storage is anything that has a strong smell. Not only will your other items start to smell, but strong scents can attract pests or rodents.

Radioactive equipment or dangerous materials

No one will allow you to store radioactive equipment or dangerous materials inside a storage unit. It is against the law, as it can jeopardize anyone in close vicinity. Keep in mind that these materials need special containers and a controlled environment to prevent any harm.

A yellow triangle sign for hazardous materials
Hazardous materials are dangerous for people, and they need to be stored inside special containers.

Weapons and ammunition

Some companies allow for weapons and ammunition to be stored in their storage units. However, the majority will not let you keep these items inside. If you plan to store weapons, speak with the company and see if their contract allows this. Even if they do, it would be better to keep firearms and ammunition either inside a gun store or a shooting range.

Electronic devices

There is no reason to keep electronic devices in a storage unit for a longer period of time. If you don't need them, sell them. If they are broken, fix them or throw them away.

If you keep electronics stored in a unit long-term, they could become damaged. The humidity levels are different, and it can often be too hot or too cold. There is no reason to risk the safety of your gadgets since they are expensive.

Malfunctioning vehicles

You can keep a car or a bicycle inside a storage unit, but only as long as it's registered and fully operational. If you need to repair your vehicle, you cannot keep it inside a storage unit.


There is no valid reason to keep cash, jewelry, or any other valuables inside a storage unit. No matter how good the security is, it is much better to keep your precious belongings in the house. Another alternative is to take them to a bank.

Rolled US dollar bills
It is best to keep cash and other valuables inside your home. If you think you need more protection, it is better to go to a bank.

Illegal items

It goes without saying that illegal items should not be kept anywhere, not only in a storage unit. If you own something illegal and store it in a storage unit, the owner of the facility has the full right to report you to the police. These rules exist to keep everyone safe, and they also protect you against other people that might keep illegal items in a storage unit next to yours.

Some clothing items

Expensive clothing items like furs are definitely best kept inside your closet. After all, the layers of dust and temperature variations might ruin the delicate pieces and cause irreparable damage. The same applies to leather items.

How to prepare your items for a storage unit

Besides the items you should never keep inside a storage unit, we must cover one more mistake people make. Not knowing how to prepare your belongings before storing them might cause more problems down the road.


To prepare your items properly, first create a list of everything you want to store. Before packing for storage, clean everything thoroughly. Also, check if you have enough space to store all of your containers. Renting a small storage unit and trying to store more than it can take is not recommended.


Furthermore, keep in mind that some items, like paintings, documents, or wines, require temperature-controlled storage units. Speak with the company and see if they have what you need.


The same applies to items that need protection from water or humidity.


Another good piece of advice is to install shelves and keep all of your belongings off the floor. This is just another layer of protection.

In conclusion

Let's do a quick summary of everything you should never put in a storage unit:

  • living things;
  • anything with a strong scent;
  • foods;
  • radioactive equipment and dangerous materials;
  • weapons and ammunition;
  • electronic devices;
  • malfunctioning or unregistered vehicles;
  • valuables;
  • illegal items;
  • delicate clothing items.

 If you remember this list of items you mustn't keep in your storage unit, you will avoid any potential problems or damage to your valuables.