5 Things You Should Never Put In Storage

Nearly one in ten people in the US rent storage space for one reason or another. Everyone who rents storage space should know that there are some things you should never put into a storage shed. In response to a fire at another storage facility in Utah, the owners of Vernon Storage in Summit County wrote an article about 5 things that should never be put in a storage shed. This article focused on things that are unsafe or illegal to store (also puppies), but these aren’t the only things you should avoid storing. Here are 5 more things you shouldn’t put in storage.

1. Artwork

Starry Night by Van Gogh is a valuable paintingArtwork, particularly, paintings should never be put in storage. The canvass that art is painted on has to be stored at 70-75 degrees consistently. If the temperature can’t be kept at that range, but fluctuates between high and low temperatures, the canvass expands and contracts. This damages the paint and ruins the painting.

Unless a storage shed has really good climate control – and many don’t – the temperatures in the storage unit change with the seasons. They get cold in the winter and hot in the summer. If you store your paintings there, they will get ruined. It’s better to hang them up in your home. After all, art is meant to be viewed, right?

2. Antique Furniture

You shouldn’t store antique furniture for the same reason you shouldn’t store artwork.  A lot of antique furniture is made from wood and that’s susceptible to changes in temperature. Additionally, wood also absorbs moisture, swelling and ruining the wood quality. Just as most storage facilities can’t manage the temperature very well, few storage facilities can keep moisture out as the seasons change. If you pack wooden furniture into them, it will ruin them. If you can’t keep it in your home, it’s better to sell it, or give it to a family member who can use it.

3. Leather or Vinyl

vinyl record
Photo by Brett Jordan from Pexels

Leather and vinyl are also items that can get ruined by fluctuations in temperature and humidity. A lot of furniture is made from these substances, but so are things like old records. Vinyl records are avidly collected by some music enthusiasts. The changes in temperature in a storage shed can warp the records, ruining the sound quality, or even making them unplayable.

4. Sensitive Documents

Storage facilities will do their best to have decent security, but dedicated thieves can still get in. That’s why it’s a bad idea to put anything sensitive in your storage shed. In 2017, a thief broke into a storage shed belong to WSU and stole a hard drive containing personal data for over a million people, forcing them to pay close to $5 million in damages. While you’re unlikely to be responsible for the data of that many people, it would be just as bad for you to have your sensitive information stolen. Don’t ever put anythign like that in a storage shed.

5. Anything Irreplaceable

While on the subject of thieves, you just shouldn’t put anything you can’t afford to lose into a storage shed. This includes old family photos, family heirlooms, and jewelry. If it has sentimental value, or is something that you can’t replace, don’t put it in a storage unit. The risk is too great. Even if thieves don’t get in, remember the aforementioned fire. Storage facilities might have insurance policies and you can get additional property insurance in case something goes wrong there, but that won’t bring back your possessions.

Should You Store Anything At All?

a crowded storage shed

Many people will say that you shouldn’t waste money on a storage shed. They say it’s better to just get rid of things. While it’s true that only keeping what you can store in your own home might save you money on storage, that doesn’t make storage a wasted expense.

Whether or not storage is a good idea is highly situational. Storage rental can work great as a temporary solution to an unforeseen problem. If you’re forced to move to a smaller home, renting a small storage unit can let you keep many of the things you use while still costing significantly less than a larger home. If you’re moving, renting storage can help you organize your possessions while you unpack them, making the mess smaller and easier to manage. There are many situations where renting storage might save you money without forcing you to let go of your prized possessions.

Generally, the best advice is to know what your possessions are worth to you and what your need is. Know how long you need the storage for, how much space you need, and rent accordingly. Most importantly, stick to your plan. A month or two of storage rental can help you out in any number of ways if you’re smart about it.