Everybody accumulates stuff over time. What stuff? All kinds of stuff. Furniture, vehicles, toys, appliances; stuff just builds up. Sometimes, for whatever reason, you find you just don’t have room in your home for it all. That’s when many people turn to storage units to help declutter the home. But before you go out and find a place, you should be aware that some things should not be put in a storage shed. We ask the folks at Vernon Storage to tell us a few items that you should never store in a rented storage unit.
The term “valuable” is a bit subjective. What is valuable to you may not be based entirely on monetary value. Sentimental value counts for something too. However you define valuable, if you value it highly, don’t store it in a shed. The facility cannot perfectly guarantee security. If an object has a lot of value to you for any reason, especially if someone could easily pick it up and walk away, keep it at home.
2. Guns, Munitions, Explosives, or Flammable Substances
It can get hot in a storage shed. With this in mind, one of the most obvious things not to put in a storage unit is anything that could catch spontaneously fire, or explode. Gasoline, gunpowder, and fireworks are all things that should never be put in storage. If you do, the heat could ignite them. This will not only destroy everything else in your shed, but will cause damage to the entire facility. If you ignore this warning, you can expect to be held liable for the damages, and may even end up in prison for it.
3. Perishable Items
This should be a no brainer, but people do it all the time. Obviously, you can see why this is a bad idea, right? Food spoils even under the best conditions and a storage shed is notthe best of conditions. If you leave food in a shed, you can expect it to go bad in a few days. Once it does, the smell will attract pests, like rats, ants, and cockroaches. All of these pests will damage the other items you’re storing and infuriate the owner of the facility. Keep food at home.
4. Live Plants and Animals
Another thing that might seem like common sense, yet people do it. Plants require water, sunlight, and often have very specific climate requirements to live. Animals have to be fed and watered, and also require special care, not to mention companionship and stimulation. There are some who thought it was okay to put a pet in a storage unit while they went on vacation only to find the animal dead and rotting by the time they returned. Plants die within days of being put in a storage shed. Never do this.
5. Hazardous Materials
What are you even keeping hazardous materials for? Okay, for some of it, you might have a legitimate reason, but even so, it can’t be stored in a public storage facility. This one is actually illegal. If it’s corrosive, explosive, flammable, toxic, or radioactive (yes, people have attempted to store radioactive substances in public storage facilities), it cannot be stored. Dispose of hazardous materials properly.
6. Stolen Items
Did you know that it is illegal to store illegally obtained items in a storage facility? Who could have guessed that? The terms and conditions of any competently run facility will specifically list this. If stolen goods are found in a storage facility, the owner could be charged as an accomplice. Even then, if they find out that anything stolen is stored, they are obligated to report it. Better stash your hot goods somewhere else.
In fact, it’s probably better if you don’t steal stuff in the first place.
I know, rent costs are going up all around, but wages aren’t rising. That sucks and we all know it, but it’s against the law to live in a storage unit. If you find yourself unable to afford a place to live, or evicted from your home, it’s better to move back in with your family, or find a friend willing to take you on until you get back on your feet. If the owner of the unit finds you living in one, he will call the police and you will go to jail.
This list is by no means comprehensive. While the above-listed items are all obvious no-nos that people sometimes think they can get away with, there are always other restrictions. States may have more strict requirements than the federal law, and individual facilities will have rules of their own. Be sure to check the facility’s terms and conditions for more specific details. If you have any doubt about whether or not you can store an item, ask the owner. They’d rather be bothered with a quick question than have you assume something is okay when it isn’t.