Self-storage units are wonderful things. You can safely and quickly declutter your home and put away items you are currently not using. They allow you to keep them safe and out of the way without forcing you to dispose of them! However, we sometimes go a bit too far in our storing zeal. Where exactly lies the line of what we can and cannot store in a self-storage unit? What are the things it would be unwise or dangerous to keep there? Well, to better help you draw the line, we have collaborated with the self storage experts at London Storage and put together a list of items you must never keep in your self-storage unit!

things that can not be kept in self storage

Living creatures or plants

Now, the first and most prominent of our items you must never keep in your self-storage unit are living creatures and plants. Storage units are not built with living in them in mind. They have no windows, lackluster ventilation systems, no access to water or electricity. We need to prepare units for winter because, unless they are temperature-controlled, the heat and cold in them can get extreme. And we do that to protect the inanimate objects we store in it. You would not enjoy a stay in one yourself, and an animal or plant would fare no better. Forget the stories of YouTubers ‘living’ in storage units. All of them were heavily modified, and they likely had permission. Without these factors, you would be held legally responsible and punished, not to mention miserable. Animals, in particular, should not be left in self-storage units. The darkness and the confined space can cause them to act out and injure themselves.

Food or perishable goods

We have already discussed the conditions inside a self-storage unit. The extreme heat and cold, which occur due to the outside weather, aren’t harmful only to living things. Most food will quickly spoil and rot unless it is in a carefully temperature-controlled environment. Such spoilage can promptly cause mold growth and more unpleasant things, which can then spread to the rest of your items. Even without that, there are pests to consider. No matter how well you pest-proof your storage unit, you can not avoid pest problems entirely if you have food inside. Every time you open the unit door, you risk something getting in attracted by the smell. Even if it is just a fly, you do not want to return to a fly-infested nightmare. Not to mention that most pests stuck inside the unit will likely die, causing even more problems.

Liquid or gaseous chemicals

No matter how carefully you pick the best self-storage unit for your needs, (don’t forget to compare self-storage prices and services) it is impossible to find one that allows you to safely store away chemicals. Particularly not if they are hazardous. It might not seem like a big deal, particularly if everything is carefully sealed away. However, we need to remind you there is always a chance of an accident. Due to the extreme temperature changes that most units go through,  your containers can develop leaks. Some sensitive chemicals can cause fires or explosions in such conditions. Others would be highly toxic once released into the air, making the unit a death trap. Even if you have a temperature-controlled storage unit, the chances of such a thing occurring do not diminish enough to justify taking the risk. Thus, this is one of the most dangerous items you must never keep in your self-storage unit.


While there are many benefits of self-storage units, and security is often listed as one of them, the truth is they are usually not as secure as your own home. The cause of this is simple. Even with security installed, it is much easier to break into a place no one lives in. With little to no risk of coming across someone, the burglars can take their time to dismantle your defenses. Or even try again if they have failed once. It means that money, jewelry, priceless paintings, and similar are better stored in a home safe. Or in a bank deposit box! You should not obsess over the chance of robbery, of course. Then you would not store anything in a storage unit. Still, discretion is the better part of valor. 

Flammable materials

It is another category of hazardous items you must never keep in your self-storage unit. Flammable materials are never a thing to squirrel away in a storage unit. Fireworks, firecrackers, gasoline, oil, propane, paint and paint thinner, and antifreeze can all be dangerous if left unsupervised. Fireworks and firecrackers are particularly dangerous since extreme heat can set them off. If this were to happen, a fire would be all but guaranteed. Consider the losses you alone would suffer, and then remember that most self-storage units are clustered tightly together. It means that you would not only be held responsible for your losses. But the losses of everyone else as well! You would likely be heavily fined and have to pay hefty reparations, making the risk an unjustified one.


Weapons are most definitely one of the items you must not keep in your self-storage unit. It is partly because no matter how carefully you put them away, bombs, grenades, and things such as flamethrowers can always go off and cause massive damage if there is an accident. Not to mention the havoc anything other than a temperature-controlled unit could potentially cause to them. In addition, you can get into serious trouble if you are caught storing weapons without permission or knowledge of the company renting out the storage unit. Most such companies are understandably leery of allowing such a thing and would at least demand all of your weapon permits.

Final Word

With our list of items you must never keep in your self-storage unit drawing to an end, we hope we have helped delineate clearly between what things are acceptable and which are not in your storage unit. Just remember to keep in mind that a storage unit is not as well temperature-controlled as your own home and that the conditions inside it are often not hospitable, and you will be fine!