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What You Can & Can’t Store in Self-Storage

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Self storage is ideal if you are de-cluttering, moving home or need to keep some possessions safe whilst renting out your property. Recently, the boom in smaller new-build houses, coupled with the trend for extending or converting rather than moving, has left many people with reduced storage space.  Self-storage facilities can offer large, well lit, and secure premises. They are often staffed around the clock and run by companies with a vested interest in customer satisfaction. Your belongings will be kept dry and clean, often in a space fitted with its own alarm system. This will avoid theft and tampering, so you can be sure your belongings will be safe, secure and dry.

You can keep almost anything in self-storage; some customers store antiques that require rigid climate control, whilst others store disused furniture. However there are a small number of items that are not allowed in a self-storage facility, for security, legal, and health and safety reasons. It is worth being aware of these and checking your own items before you go to the trouble of packing items away in boxes. Here at Nationwide Storage we are experts when it comes to self-storage, outlined below is everything you need to know.

Restricted Items

Food, or any items that can degrade or perish are not permitted; units are not refrigerated and will not preserve them for any length of time. Moreover, badly secured packaging could cause smells to leak out into the general area; this could attract rats or other scavengers. Some facilities will accept thoroughly covered, well wrapped consumables, but this is with special permission only. The owners and staff are vigilant in driving away pests, so any factors which may encourage an infestation will be avoided.

No living creature is allowed under any circumstances, for practical and ethical reasons. Most customers understand that there are appropriate services elsewhere for keeping their pets. No animal can be cared for adequately in a confined and windowless storage facility. iStock_000016945763XSmallThe same is true for plants; they need sunlight to survive and would quickly die in a darkened environment. Plants can also rot and are therefore classified in the same way as food.

For safety reasons, no flammable chemicals or combustible materials can be kept in your unit. This includes many everyday items like solvents, industrial cleaning agents and gas canisters. These pose a risk of overheating or leaking during extended periods of time, an obvious recipe for disaster in an enclosed area. Similarly, any toxic or waste products are not allowed.

Finally, because of the extra security that would be required, cash or valuable documentation is not permitted. Some storage facilities will offer additional insurance for high value items, but due to the sensitive nature of documentation this is not encouraged.

Permitted Items

Luckily, the list of what you can store is far longer that the items you can’t. Customers often keep furniture, clothing or equipment that they are unable to house or use at that time. Instead of having to throw items away, they choose to keep them safe until they are needed again, or until they have more space at home. This is ideal for people who are renting for a period of time, having renovations to their property, or those who need a larger area to sort through their belongings.
With businesses, access to stock and document storage is a popular choice. Documents must be preserved for a minimum number of years, so rather than have them using valuable space in an office or another area of their premises, companies pack these archived records away in self-storage. The size of storage facilities varies, therefore you have complete freedom of choice as to how much space you need and for how long.

industrial warehouseSome specialist self-storage units are extremely large and will allow some restricted items; such as a place to store a caravan or campervan away from their home. This is perfect if van owners do not have the room to park a large van on their own property, or if they feel it is more secure under lock and key. However this is not a standard item and you ought to check with the individual company beforehand.

Despite the restrictions, self-storage remains one of the safest, most convenient and economical ways to keep your possessions until they are needed. However, each individual company will have their own rules and regulations. Take time to familiarise yourself with these before you pack and then discover one of your items is not allowed. Doing some research will save you time and worry in the longer term.


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