Storage units can be a lifesaver if you’re moving homes or office spaces and just don’t have enough space to fit everything in. Storing items also gives you much more time to organise your property gradually, without having to constantly dodge around boxes and furniture that don’t have a home just yet.
Self-storage could also be an option if you want to store items long term – for example, if you’re house clearing for a deceased relative but don’t want to throw everything away, or if you have a business with stock that you need to store somewhere out of the way of your home.
While hiring a storage locker is an excellent idea, there are certain things that you shouldn’t store as they could become damaged or might even be dangerous if you leave them unattended.
What You Shouldn’t Put Into Storage
● Combustible/Flammable Materials
Paint, oils, petrol, or solvents are all combustible materials. It’s not advisable to keep them for long periods of time anywhere as certain liquids do change chemically over time, making them more of a danger. Keep any of these away from storage units unless you plan to only have them there for a few days. Long-term storage for these items isn’t an option.
● Money or Valuables
Although storage units are safe and securely locked, you never know what could happen if you don’t have immediate access and control over your valuables. You store items at your own risk – so don’t take that risk at all if you don’t have to. An ideal solution is to purchase a safe for your home. Your valuables should be the first things that move with you.
● Food & Drink
Food and drink, especially if it’s freshly packed (not canned) will go off pretty quickly, leaving you with a mouldy mess to come back to. Food and drink can also attract pests like flies or rats. The rats will cause damage to any furniture left in your storage unit and you might find chewed holes in any wood.
● Firearms or Explosives
Firearms need to be licensed and kept in a secure cabinet which means that you cannot legally store working firearms in a storage unit.
Legally, storage units cannot store toxic waste, dangerous chemicals, or other hazardous materials. It’s also not advisable to store any smaller household cleaning bottles, such as bleach, for long periods. Not only are they a fire hazard, but if you forget about them and then try to use them years later, they can have harmful effects due to chemical changes or imbalances caused by the environment.
Storage units often don’t have any light or access to the outside air. You’re also not likely to visit your unit daily to water the plants. With the absence of water and sunlight, your plants will die pretty quickly, so make sure you find a place for them at your new property.
● Animals or People
Last but not least, animals and people should NOT be left in storage units. Believe it or not, this fact does need spelling out to some people. It’s been known for people to use self-storage as a temporary office space or dog kennel.
Remember that, once locked, storage units have no access to light or fresh air and your dogs and cats certainly won’t appreciate being shut-in. Inanimate objects only, please!