When we talk about long term storage, we usually refer to items you are storing for more than 90 days. Anything you are putting into a long term storage unit should be stored properly and with minimal risk of suffering any negative effects. Here are EIGHT things that shouldn’t be stored long term.
Long Term Storage: What Can’t I Store?
#1: Food (Perishable Goods)
If food is left out too long it can attract pests like rodents and insects. They might chew through the storage container and ruin everything, including your food. If you must store food, non-perishables are usually fine but it’s best to ask the storage facility.
#2: Live Animals and Pets
Animals of any kind should not be stored long term for many reasons. To start with, there’s no guarantee that they will survive whether it’s short term or long term storage. Another reason is that many storage facilities don’t allow pets, not even service animals.
While it’s not uncommon to hear a story about small animals being kept in storage but regardless of the size or type, keeping animals in airless spaces is cruel and inhumane. It is illegal and you can be prosecuted.
#3: Dangerous, Corrosive or Combustible Materials in Long Term Storage
There’s pretty much no scenario where corrosive goods are allowed to be in long term storage. Any potentially explosive material such as gas, paint thinner, oil, propane, alcohol, fireworks or matches should not be stored in a storage unit. This stuff poses a significant danger not only to other items but also to storage facility employees and customers. Some storage facilities may allow storage of these items but always ask beforehand to be on the safe side.
#4: Important Documents, Papers, and Files
Since your most important documents are the ones that keep your business running or prove ownership of certain assets, you cannot afford to lose them or suffer damage during storage.
As safe as self storage units are, nothing is fool-proof and fire or water damage could prove detrimental. For best results, store your documents in a fireproof container and keep them away from humidity and water.
Another issue you might have is not having access to your documents when you need them. A prime example is tax returns or other important legal documents. To help with this, keep an up-to-date record of all of your storage unit contents and label everything properly.
#5: Anything that Requires Regular Maintenance
Long term storage might be ideal for vehicles such as a project car or boat but only if you are still working on it or use it regularly. A camper van, for example, can stay in storage during the offseason if it’s properly prepared but don’t leave it in there permanently without being driven.
The same applies to anything with an engine, complex moving parts or anything that requires regular maintenance. If you are putting something that needs regular maintenance into long term storage, make sure you check on it every now and then to keep it in the best possible condition.
#6: Long Term Storage of Illicit Items
Illicit items are anything that could put storage facility employees or other storage unit occupants at risk. Drugs and weapons are the most obvious examples but the list also includes anything stolen or illegally imported such as jewellery, tobacco, clothes, toys and art.
Related: FAQ About Self Storage Units
#7: Family Heirlooms
Family heirlooms are important as they remind us of our family history and traditions, but they aren’t practical long term storage items. Many storage facilities don’t allow storing things like antique furniture or large appliances unless they are in a climate-controlled storage unit.
As a result, families often end up leaving these items behind if they can’t afford to upgrade their storage space which usually leads to them donating everything instead. Another issue with family heirlooms is that their value changes depending on how many storage companies you ask.
Most storage companies will say they only accept items of value for storage, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If your storage company doesn’t have a list of acceptable items or seem very transparent about their storage conditions, then don’t be afraid to look into other storage facilities just to make sure.
Yes, you read it right as it may seem like common sense but we have to say it anyway; you can’t live in a self storage unit. It may sound unlikely but there have been instances where people have tried to spend nights in a storage unit to save on accommodation costs but it is illegal and unsafe.
Long Term Storage With Space Centre
If there are any items or goods we haven’t covered that you have questions about, please get in touch as we’ll be happy to help.
Our friendly staff have experience handling all sorts of queries but as you can imagine, we can only give advice based on general industry practice and our own centres and rules.
If you are not local to us, your local storage centre might have different rules and regulations when it comes to short term or long term storage. Visit the website for more information on our facilities and pricing in Gloucester, Bristol, Stroud and Stonehouse.