People are pretty creative about how they utilize a garage for rent or find a warehouse for rent. Storage units are used for all sorts of reasons. But there are a few situations where storing certain items are either not a good idea or are outright illegal. A rental host will also have some say about what can and cannot be stored on their property. If in doubt, always ask. Here are 5 things to not put in a storage unit. Ever.


It’s tempting to want to save food, especially canned and jarred items that can potentially stay edible for a long time. But before you pack away food items, consider a few things first.

If you have food that you aren’t planning to eat for several months, why not donate it to a food bank and give it to someone who could use it right now?

Secondly, food attracts rodents and bugs. And anything stored in plastic wrap or a cardboard box is short work for a determined mouse. That includes dried foods such as pastas, beans, rice, etc. Not only that, but attracted mice or rats will find the area an ideal spot to make a nest and now you have a bigger problem, not to mention an angry rental host.

2-Live Plants

There are some situations where live potted plants can be kept alive for a short period of time in storage. It’s definitely not ideal, and it is going to require a lot of attention to keep the plants happy. Also, plants emit moisture, which is no good if you’re storing other non-organic items as moisture can induce mold. If you love your plants that much, let a friend take care of them.

If growing seedlings or plants is your business, you’re going to need a climate controlled space. Also some plants are state and/or federally regulated. A typical storage unit is not normally equipped for this type of operation. Check the seed distributor or a local nursery to find the best accommodations for your needs.

3-Hazardous Materials and Guns

Anything that is flammable, explosive, oxidizing, corrosive, or combustible cannot be stored in a storage unit. Lead paint, asbestos, and wast material are also prohibited. Ammunition and guns often fall under this category, although each state has their own laws regarding gun storage.

Here are further resources regarding gun storage laws in each state:

4- Contraband or Illegal Activity

If your storage host suspects anything funny go on, they will call the police. And the police will get a court order to open up your unit. Contraband includes stolen goods, illegal drugs, and basically anything you would have a hard time explaining to a judge in court.


Don’t be a jerk. If you can’t responsibly own something that depends on you for its life and well being, let someone else take care of it. Find a friend to help, or pay for a boarding house, or give it up for adoption if you have no other choice. Keeping an animal in a storage2unit is not a choice. 

In a storage unit, space equals money, and if you don’t have to store it, or shouldn’t store it, don’t. Check here more information about renting storage units in your area. 

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