What Are the Items You Should Never Put in Storage?

Storage TipsAugust 22, 2023

When planning a move, many people consider renting a storage unit to keep their belongings safe temporarily. While storage units can be a lifesaver in such scenarios, it’s essential to remember that not all items are suitable for storage, and there are items that some of the best moving and storage Columbus Ohio companies never store. Some can become damaged, while others can pose hazards. So, what are these items you should never put in storage? Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, understanding what to avoid storing will ensure your possessions remain intact and safe. This blog post delves deep into the essential items you should steer clear of when considering storage options. We’ll walk you through each category, providing tips and reasons why these items don’t make the cut.

A glimpse into items you should never put in storage

Before we delve into the details, let’s give you a quick roadmap of what we’re about to cover. Understanding the categories will help you get a clear picture of the items you might need to reconsider before putting them into storage. Here’s a brief overview of the upcoming sections:

  • Hazardous materials: A look into items that can pose risks due to their volatile nature.
  • Perishable goods: Items that can spoil or attract unwanted pests.
  • Living things: Yes, some individuals consider storing these, and we’ll tell you why it’s a bad idea.
  • Valuables and irreplaceable items: Treasures that are too precious or invaluable for a storage unit.
  • Sensitive electronics: Devices and media that can get damaged with fluctuating conditions.
  • Items that attract moisture: Belongings that can inadvertently introduce mold and mildew.
  • Regulated items: A brief insight into items that can land you in legal or financial trouble.
Two people painting walls
Hazardous materials cannot be put in storage

With this overview in mind, let’s dive deep into each category and expand on why these are items you should never put in storage.

Hazardous materials

Storing items safely requires careful consideration, especially when it comes to materials that can be harmful to the environment or the people around. Hazardous materials are a category that demands our utmost attention. For instance, if you live in Hilliard, you must know how to handle these materials before putting your other allowed items into storage Hilliard Ohio. When we mention it as ‘hazardous,’ the first things that might come to mind are explosives and firearms. The volatility of such items cannot be understated. Explosives, ammunition, and firearms in storage units can be exposed to conditions that increase the risk of accidental detonation. This is not only a danger to the individual but also to those around and the property. Furthermore, the legal ramifications of storing such items inappropriately can be significant, with many storage facilities outright banning them due to these concerns.

However, the domain of hazardous materials isn’t restricted to just the obvious threats. Chemicals, for instance, which might include everyday items like pesticides, paint, and cleaning supplies, can become problematic. Over time, these chemicals can leak, leading to toxic fumes or even unintended chemical reactions. A general rule of thumb is to check the label for storage instructions to prevent potential hazards.

Another category that often gets overlooked is biological hazards. Medical supplies particularly used needles and bio-waste, can turn a harmless storage unit into a health hazard zone. The risk they pose when interacting with other stored items or when accidentally discovered can be alarming, and that is why you cannot put those into any of the residential storage units.

Perishable goods

Perishable goods are another area where many often go wrong while choosing items for storage. The primary concern here is the attraction of pests and the subsequent damage they cause. Food items, for example, can be a banquet for pests, especially perishable ones like meat, dairy, and fresh produce. While it might seem harmless to store a canned good or a packet of pasta, even non-perishable food items can become an unexpected lure for rodents and insects if stored for extended periods.

Canned food that is among items you should never put in storage
Among items you should never put in storage is food

And it’s not just food meant for human consumption that we should be wary of. Pet food, often overlooked, falls under the same category of items prone to attracting pests. Just like the food we consume, pet food, if left unchecked in storage, can become a feast for unwanted guests. It’s always advisable to store these edibles, whether for you or your furry friend, in the home or a dedicated, pest-secure pantry.

Living things

Understanding the needs and requirements of living things is crucial when considering storage. Many individuals, in the hustle and bustle of relocating or decluttering, might ponder upon the idea of storing plants or even, sadly, pets. However, this is far from ideal.

Anyone with a green thumb or even a minor understanding of botany knows that plants are living organisms with specific requirements. Most plants thrive on a combination of sunlight, water, and air. When you consider storage units New Albany Ohio or any other storage facility, these units are often dark, with little to no air circulation. These conditions are the polar opposite of what a plant requires to flourish. In the confined and dark corners of a storage unit, plants will not receive the vital photosynthesis they require. This deprivation means they’ll wither and perish rapidly, leaving you with a sad reminder of what once was a thriving green companion.

A girl holding a rabbit
Unfortunately, some people try to keep animals in storage

Also, it’s alarming that some might even think of storing pets, but it’s worth mentioning. Pets, like humans, are living creatures with emotions, needs, and daily requirements. Storing living animals in a confined space without interaction, food, or adequate care is not just inhumane but also illegal in many jurisdictions. They are family members and deserve the care and attention that any family member warrants.

Valuables and irreplaceable items

Certain items hold more than just monetary value; they carry memories, histories, and emotional significance. These are the belongings that require more than just physical safety; they demand utmost care, proper handling, and ideal storage conditions.

Documents like birth certificates, wills, passports, and other crucial papers often represent significant milestones or critical information in our lives. Such papers aren’t just pieces of printed material; they are gateways to our identity, heritage, and, in some cases, our future endeavors. Storing them in any typical storage unit can expose them to potential damage, theft, or misplacement. It’s always recommended to keep these essential documents in a secure environment, like a home safe or a bank’s safety deposit box. Before that, you can store them in bins storage Columbus Ohio. That way, they remain accessible yet protected from unforeseen damages or loss.

A USB connected to a device when stored improperly
Some devices can be seriously damaged

Family heirlooms, whether it’s grandma’s vintage necklace or an ancestral handwritten journal, hold a piece of family history. They are irreplaceable, bearing stories from generations past. While many storage units offer security features, the ambiance might not be conducive to preserving the inherent value of such items. Fluctuating temperatures, potential moisture build-up, or even just the risk of forgetting where they were placed can be detrimental. It’s always wise to keep these treasures in more specialized environments, perhaps a climate-controlled unit or a dedicated space at home where they can be admired and preserved for future generations.

Sensitive electronics

In the modern era, our reliance on electronic devices is undeniable. They help us communicate, work, entertain, and document our lives. These technological marvels, as intricate as they are, remain susceptible to environmental factors that can severely hamper their functionality. Hence, when it comes to storing them, utmost care is necessary. Even though you can store them in some of the best commercial storage units, some of them can be seriously damaged if you don’t pay attention.

Gadgets you use every day

Think about the gadgets you use daily—laptops for work, tablets for entertainment, and cameras to capture memories. These devices, packed with delicate circuits and batteries, are sensitive to their environment. In non-climate-controlled storage, extreme cold can reduce battery efficiency, while intense heat can damage circuits. Moreover, moisture, often an unseen culprit in storage units, can seep into these gadgets, causing corrosion or short circuits. For those thinking about long-term storage, it’s wise to invest in climate-controlled units that keep these essential devices safe from temperature extremes.


The joy of holding a vinyl record, inserting a cassette tape, or exploring a CD collection provides a nostalgic journey for many. Physical media, despite being robust in playback, are surprisingly delicate when it comes to storage. Vinyl records can warp, changing the sound quality. Cassette tapes, with their magnetic strips, can degrade, leading to loss of sound or visual content. CDs, too, can become scratched or lose data if stored improperly. A controlled environment, free from humidity and temperature swings, is vital for preserving these cherished collections. So, it is possible to store these items in one of the storage units Dublin Ohio, but protect them well, use climate controlled storage, and store them only if you must.

Pots with plants on a table
Plants shouldn’t be stored

Items that attract moisture

Water is life, but in the realm of storage, it’s often a harbinger of destruction. Moisture, be it from the atmosphere or items, can instigate a series of problems that range from mold growth to pest infestation. That is why you need to be familiar with the list of items you should never put in storage.

Imagine storing a damp piece of clothing or a slightly wet piece of furniture. It might seem harmless initially. However, the enclosed environment of a storage unit provides an ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew. These fungi thrive in damp conditions and can rapidly spread, damaging not just the source item but surrounding items too. Additionally, certain molds release spores that can cause respiratory issues in humans. Thus, ensuring that every item is dry and periodically checking them, especially after rainy seasons, is essential.

Additionally, students in dormitories often face unique storage challenges. Between juggling academic responsibilities and personal lives, it’s easy to overlook the details of proper storage. Damp clothes from a rainy day or a mini-fridge not adequately dried before using dorm room storage can introduce unwanted moisture into confined spaces. It’s essential for students to be especially vigilant about ensuring items are dry before tucking them away for the semester break.

Also, storing scented items should be avoided. Who doesn’t love the calming aroma of scented candles or the refreshing scent of potpourri? But in a storage unit, these lovely fragrances can prove problematic. Warm conditions can cause candles to melt, ruining other stored items. But beyond the mess, these fragrances are magnets for pests. Mice, rats, and even insects are drawn to these scents, which can lead to a full-blown infestation. For those considering storing such items, it’s essential to weigh the risks against the benefits.

Regulated items

While the vast storage spaces beckon with the promise of storing virtually anything, there are legal and logical boundaries that one must adhere to.

Illegal goods

The allure of hiding something away in a storage unit, especially if it’s of questionable legality, might be tempting for some. However, it’s a misguided and dangerous endeavor. Whether it’s stolen artwork, black-market goods, or any illicit item, the ramifications of getting caught are dire. Storage facilities frequently conduct checks and collaborate with law enforcement, which can lead to unexpected inspections.

Uninsured items

It’s comforting to believe that once items are locked away in storage, they’re safe. But accidents, break-ins, or natural disasters can strike unexpectedly. While many dismiss insurance as an unnecessary expense, the value becomes clear in dire times. Storing valuable or sentimental items without insurance is a significant risk. If any items you should never put in storage without insurance come to mind, reconsider their placement or make sure to procure comprehensive coverage.

A person putting a passport in a bag
Don’t store important documents unless you protect them well

Respect the boundaries when using storage

Storage can be a lifesaver when you’re trying to declutter or transition between life stages. However, it’s crucial to recognize and respect the boundaries of what’s safe and advisable to store. From sensitive electronics to moisture-attracting items, being informed ensures the longevity of your belongings. Always remember the items you should never put in storage to guarantee not just the preservation of your possessions but also your peace of mind.

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