Whether you’re moving house or just looking to clear some space in your home, self-storage facilities are a great way to keep your belongings safe. Although self-storage is a great solution for your furniture and other household items, there are a few things that should be kept away for legal, hygiene and just plain common sense reasons. We’ve put together our guide to things that should never be kept in your self-storage unit.
Furry friends – dead or alive
It should really go without saying but, we’re going to say it anyway – a storage unit is no place for your dog, cat or budgie; even for short periods of time. Storage units are designed for inanimate objects and will be neither comfortable or safe for your pet to live in. Similarly, deceased pets awaiting transfer for taxidermy should not be kept in storage due to a potential health risk.
Grandad’s pocket watch
Most reputable storage companies offer exceptional security standards, however, items of high monetary or sentimental value shouldn’t be kept there. As with any other kind of business, incidents do occasionally happen so it’s best to keep hold of any valuables where possible.
Fun fact: In 1989, a man in Long Island, USA, paid just under $100 for the contents of an abandoned storage unit. On inspection, the unit was revealed to contain a white sports car without wheels. After a little more investigation, the man discovered that this very same car was used for promoting the James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, starring Roger Moore. The buyer ended up making a tidy profit when the car was eventually sold at auction for almost one million dollars.
We admit that it may seem admirably frugal to store leftover fireworks for next year, but these don’t belong in a storage unit, however carefully they’re packed. Any items, including fireworks, lighters and other incendiary products are a fire hazard and are usually prohibited in your self-storage contract.
So, you’ve decided to try your hand at making scented candles and need somewhere to store your ingredients – this isn’t the place. Strongly scented items will not only permeate your other stored items but those in other units too. Anything with a strong smell should only be stored with the express permission of the storage company.
Pills and pot
Love may be the drug but, storing medication or illegal substances in your storage unit is likely to see the unit owner falling out of love with you – and handing you over to the law. Prescription and other medications should always be stored and disposed of responsibly.
While we’re on the subject of criminal activity, it should be noted that any items which you have stolen (not that you would do such a terrible thing) should never be kept in self-storage. Even if unintentional, this implicates the unit owner in the crime so you may well find yourself being sued as well as being arrested for the crime itself.
Any chemicals or substances which may be considered toxic, hazardous or corrosive may not be kept in your storage unit – so you may have to conduct your top-secret science experiments elsewhere!
Batteries and building stuff
After a spot of DIY, it’s tempting to put all your leftover bits and pieces into storage rather than working out how to get rid of them. Instead, get in touch with your local recycling plant to find out how to dispose of them safely and responsibly.
Plants and fauna
While you’re figuring out the feng shui in your new home, it may seem like a good idea to pop your plants and garden items into storage. It’s not. Even the most carefully checked plants can hide bugs and creepy crawlies which can quickly turn into an infestation in a confined space so keep your green fingers away from your unit.
No place to store your supper
Obviously, you wouldn’t store perishable food items in your unit but, canned and dried items are OK, right? Wrong. Under certain circumstances, cans will split and burst, quickly turning your unit from a fresh and ordered space to a smelly home for maggots.
A no-brainer – literally
Fun fact: In 2007, Shannon Whisnant bought the contents of a storage unit which contained a meat smoker. It soon became clear that she’d got more than she bargained for when she discovered an amputated human leg inside the smoker which turned out to belong to John Wood who lost the leg in an air crash and was keeping it ‘safe’ in the unit.
We’re only going to say this once – human body parts really should not be kept in your self-storage unit!
“If you’re unsure of what you can and can’t keep in your self-storage unit or locker, this information can usually be found on the storage company’s website,” says Adrian the founder of KK Removal.
Nicci Rae is an author, freelance copywriter, PR professional and founder of FrontPage Promotions, pay as you go PR agency. She works with a number of high profile companies including Jimmy Choo, The Carers Association and Triple Two Coffee and writes regularly for Ezylet and Harrow Online.
Nicci currently lives in Harrow, North West London and is the author of.
Badgers & Jam
Mad Bess Wood