What Should Not Go In A Storage Unit?

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Storage units are very convenient and let you place things out of the way while you move or remodel. But there are some things that should not go in a storage unit. Obviously, things like flammable chemicals can't go in there, but there are other items that shouldn't be in there for non-explosive reasons. As you pack things away to go in self storage, see where they fall on this list.

Absolute No

Personal papers and anything that should be locked in a file cabinet should not be in your storage unit. The units, while secure, are basically out of sight and out of mind for you. Personal information like that could fall into the hands of anyone who gains access to the unit. At least when you have the items at home and in your file cabinet, you have them behind an extra lock.

Also try to avoid putting dry foods in the unit; even when well sealed, they can attract bugs because pests have a really keen sense of smell. Batteries, too, and any medications should stay out of the unit. Batteries can leak and destroy whatever the acid touches, and medications can go bad. It doesn't matter if they're over the counter or prescription -- the heat, if the unit isn't climate controlled, can make them go bad. So any spare medications you have should stay with you.

Preferably Not

Sometimes you can't help but put irreplaceable things in the storage unit, but really, try not to place photo albums in there. If a vase breaks, you can get another vase. You can't get additional photos, especially if they are not digitized. Older photos would be lost forever if they were damaged in the storage unit.

Likewise, long-playing records -- the ones that warp when exposed to heat -- can be utterly ruined if left in the unit on a hot day, unless the unit is climate-controlled. Place them in the unit only if you have no other place to put them.

Short Time Only

It's not so much which items shouldn't go in the unit except for a short time as it is how those items are wrapped. Boxes that aren't sealed with plastic, or containers that aren't sealed at all, should be in the unit for only a short time. Longer-term items should be wrapped in plastic, either with shrink wrap or by being sealed in a large bag. If you don't seal them, pests can get inside. Even the cleanest storage units can have a spider or two.

The storage facility will have a list of truly forbidden items; for other things that maybe shouldn't be in there for a long time, ask the facility staff about the best way to package them.