What’s Not Allowed to Be Stored in a Storage Unit

If you are using self storage for the first time, or you are a self storage veteran, you may be wondering what can’t be stored inside your self storage unit and why. Let’s review a list of some of the things that you can’t store in your storage unit. This is not a full list, but it does give a great overview for reference.

Food or Perishable Items

Anything we can eat, they can eat – even if it is in a can or in a plastic bin. Rodents and other pests have a great sense of smell and great teeth. They will be able to smell out the smallest crumb then eat into the plastic and the metal to reach a meal. For this reason, you are not permitted to store any food or perishable items inside your storage unit or on the property at any time.

People or Pets

Although this seems like a no-brainer, we need to review this one. You, anyone else, pets or live animals cannot live in any storage unit at any time. Most units don’t have power for lights, heating or air conditioning. Plus, there is no access to running water or bathroom facilities. Self storage units are essentially metal boxes designed to store your stuff. They are not for living in – which is also against our rental agreement and the law. You cannot keep pets or live animals in a storage unit either – it’s just not safe for anything alive. You are also not permitted to store human or pet remains inside a storage unit, which includes ashes from a deceased loved one.


Plants are alive, and if you want them to stay that way, put them on the list of what not to store in a storage unit. Not only will your plants die in the storage unit (which is too dark, too cold or too hot for them) but damp soil can cause bad odors or mold to grow. Plants can also create smells and are perfect nesting areas that can attract a variety of pests.

Dangerous Materials

You cannot store any dangerous materials inside a storage unit or on the property at any time. This includes but is not limited to, the following items; flammables, corrosives, combustibles or explosives. Other prohibited items include things like gasoline, propane, kerosene, grease, oil and anything else that can be an accelerant or cause a fire. Chemicals like fertilizer, cleaning solvents, paint thinner/paint, acids and so on are also not allowed due to the danger, possible fire and health risks they can cause. You also cannot store any biological waste, asbestos or any other illness causing or damaging substances. For example, you can store your gas grill but you cannot store the propane tank in the unit with it. You can store painting supplies like brushes, buckets, rollers, drop clothes and painter’s tape, but you cannot store the paint.

Illegal or Hazardous Items

You cannot store anything that is classified as hazardous or illegal under any federal, state or local law or regulation.

Firearms or Other Weapons

You cannot store firearms or other weapons in your self storage unit – even if you are allowed by law to own or possess them. These items need to stay at your home.


You cannot store tires in your unit at any time.

Valuables like Jewelry

Valuable items such as jewelry should not be stored in your self storage unit. In fact, most self storage companies forbid it.

Other Considerations

You can store the items that house the prohibited items on this list, as long as you can drain the fluids from the equipment. For example, a gasoline container that is empty is ok to place in a storage unit. A lawn mower that has been drained of the oil and gas can be stored over the winter.

It’s important to remember that this list is just an overview and not a full comprehensive list of the items you cannot store inside your storage unit. If you think something may not be allowed, your first instinct is likely correct. But, when in doubt just ask your property manager. We are here to assist our tenants and customers, and answer every question about self storage that can come up!