For many people planning a move, the need to store items for an extended period of time is not uncommon.
One thing people moving often run into is a span of time between when they need to leave their old place and when they can move into a new residence. This can be caused by a number of factors ranging from waiting for a real estate closing to remodeling or simply just not having a new place lined up just yet.
Some people may travel between moves, or move to a smaller place temporarily.
Whatever your reasons for needing storage during your move, you should know that there are simply some things that you should not keep in a storage unit for any amount of time, whether it is a week or six months. Such items should either be kept with you, sold, given away or disposed of when you move out of your previous residence.
To avoid complications with the storage facility and to keep all of your belongings safe, we’ve compiled a list of five things you should never put in storage while you are moving:
1. Plants or Animals
Self-storage units are dark when you aren’t in them, so your treasured houseplants are likely to wither in die if you put them in storage. Ask a trusted friend to plant-sit for you while you finish your move instead.
As far as animals go, this should go without saying, but leaving any animal in a storage unit is considered cruelty and abuse. Dogs, cats, snakes and other pets are too frequently discovered inside of storage units, including 20 cats found at a Virginia Beach facility after the owner lost her home.
If you do not have a place for your pets to stay while you move, it is your responsibility to re-home them or take them to a shelter.
2. Hazardous Materials
You better think twice about keeping that propane grill, ammunition or gas can in a storage unit. In most storage facilities, hazardous and flammable items like chemicals, fireworks, and fuel are prohibited. You could get evicted if found out. Plus there is a real chance that all of your stuff could go up in flames as a result.
A storage unit is no place for food.
You should even avoid storing canned goods and other packaged foods, but especially open packages of pantry staples like flour and sugar.
Never store perishable items like fruits or vegetables either. Bottom line: food attracts pests such as roaches and rats which can destroy your other stored items, not to mention those inside neighboring units.
Before you move out of our house, be sure to cook and eat everything in your cabinets and fridge. Whatever you can’t consume compost it, give it away or trash it.
Technically you can store wine in a self-storage unit, but you may ruin your wine in the process. Wine should be kept within a very specific temperate range to avoid spoiling.
Even in a climate-controlled self-storage unit, temperatures can fluctuate and are likely not optimal for your vino.
Instead, drink up, or find a specialized wine storage vault near you to keep your bottles safe for you.
5. Anything Wet
Moisture plus cardboard boxes equals mold.
Before you pack anything away, such as clothes or toiletries from your bathroom, be certain that it is completely dry. Otherwise, it could lead to an explosion of mold and mildew that can destroy everything you own, or at the very least cause you to spend countless hours scrubbing and cleaning to salvage your goods.
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If You’re Not Sure, Ask
While this covers most of the items that you shouldn’t put in storage, there may be other items that are best kept out of storage not mentioned here.
If you aren’t sure whether you can or should store something in a storage unit, contact the storage facility. This is the most surefire way to assure that you’re getting the right information.