Don't Store These Items Without Asking First

By Patrick Galvan,

As a self storage tenant, you obviously have a number of conditions you want met. However, you have to follow any rules and stipulations put forth by your storage facility. Often, these rules concern what you can and cannot store inside your unit. Because of this, you should always talk with the facility operator or manager before storing anything. That way, you don’t wind up getting kicked out of your unit or having to pay for damages later.

Here are four storage situations where you should check with your storage facility before moving items in.


A number of facilities do not allow food storage because it increases the chance of infestation, which can be costly for the facility to eliminate. When food spoils, the scent attracts both rodents and insects, and you certainly don’t want them getting in to your storage items. Furthermore, tainted food often grows mold. Once mold starts growing inside of a contained space, it can easily grow elsewhere in your unit. Serious mold growth is a health concern, too.

If the facility allows food storage, you should still ask for advice. In addition to climate control, they might suggest specific containers to protect your food from spoiling or attracting pests.


Water and wine are usually allowed, but that depends on the facility and how long storage is needed. Water can be stored at most facilities, as long as it’s kept in sealed containers (which keeps it from evaporating and stimulating mold growth). With wine, there are facilities that feature state-of-the-art climate control specifically for wine storage.

Flammable liquids, however, aren’t allowed. That means propane tanks or gasoline. If you’re storing vehicles or grills, you need to speak with the storage facility operator or manager.


Just like alcohol, some facilities specialize in the storage of firearms and ammunition. Some of these facilities feature cabinets designed for rifles and handguns, climate-controlled storage, and other amenities to keep your weapons in good, rust-free condition.

Other facilities might not allow firearms because of their intrinsically hazardous nature. Not to mention, it’s a liability issue for you and the facility, especially if your guns get stolen from your unit.

Vehicles, Boats, and RVs

Never assume that renting a large unit (such as a 10×30) means you can put anything inside. Just because it’s large enough to contain, say, a vehicle doesn’t mean the facility will allow you to use it for a garage. They might be worried about fuel leakage, exhaust, tire tracks, and dirt brought in from the outside.

This doesn’t necessarily mean vehicle storage in a large unit isn’t allowed. You simply need to ask about it ahead of time. Many facilities have indoor, outdoor, and covered options for vehicles, including boats and RVs.

Remember—if you’re not sure about your storage items, it’s best to ask.