Self-storage is an excellent option for storing overflow of many different types of materials from your home or business. You can think of your storage unit as a second garage or business supply room.
When planning what to store in your unit, whether for business or personal purposes, consider that all storage facilities have restrictions on what they will allow you to store on their premises. This is for the protection of not just you and your belongings, but the facility staff and other customers and their goods. You will be required to sign a lease indicating that you understand and agree to adhere to the rules and restrictions for what items are allowable. As a general rule, any item or material that is considered “inherently dangerous” will not be allowed.
In preparation for renting a storage unit, make out a preliminary inventory of the items you wish to store. Bring this with you to review with the storage facility manager to make sure you’ll be in full compliance with the list of allowable items. Full disclosure of what you will be storing is required. Or, if you’re not sure if an item is allowed, call the self-storage facility ahead of time to find out. This will prevent any related inconvenience upon arriving at the storage site.
Extra Space frequently gets questions about what is acceptable to store. Here is a list of items and materials about which we are commonly asked:
Combustible, Flammable, Hazardous or Toxic Materials
Considered “inherently dangerous,” these include gasoline, compressed gas, propane tanks, kerosene, lamp and motor oil, acid, grease, corrosives, fertilizer, paint, cleaners, chemicals, narcotics, or hazardous, toxic or biological waste. Asbestos or products containing asbestos are not allowed. You also cannot store fireworks, explosives, weapons or ammunition.
Tires & Vehicles
Storing vehicles is generally acceptable, as long as they are registered, insured and in operational condition. Most facilities will not let you store more than four tires in your self-storage unit because of the cost to dispose of them.
Medical/Pharmaceutical Supplies & Equipment
If you are a sales representative, you may find a self-storage unit a convenient place to manage medical supplies and pharmaceutical samples. It is a useful way to keep your products organized and easily accessible without cluttering up your office or filling your car trunk. While most supplies are acceptable, radioactive equipment – or anything that contains radioactive materials – cannot legally be stored.
If you work in construction, it can be convenient to stop by the storage unit on the way to the site and pick up the equipment you need. However, please check with the self-storage facility before planning to store any construction equipment. Some equipment – for example, equipment used to locate underground water – is prohibited.
Perishable Food and Animal Products
Canned foods can be stored in storage units, but perishable food products such as cereals, produce or meats are not allowed. These may spoil or attract pests.
Miscellaneous Prohibited Items
Any animals or plants – alive or dead – cannot be stored. Nor can any stolen items. People are not allowed to plug in or use refrigerators, freezers, generators, space heaters or live in storage units.
If you have any question about the items you wish to store, consult the manager of the self-storage facility before you pack and arrive at the site.
Hints for packing and storing
Use furniture drawers to hold delicate items. Wrap them in bubble wrap or newspaper.
When packing toys or smaller objects, remember to fill boxes completely, stuffing open areas with plain newspaper to prevent collapsing when stacked.
Be careful not to store anything combustible (such as paint and chemicals) or perishable (such as food that is not permanently sealed).
When storing lawn and garden equipment, drain any fluids prior to storage in order to avoid corrosive damage.