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January 15, 2015

Top Five Things Never To Store In A Rental Unit

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While we encourage you to think outside the box when it comes to storing unused or excess items — think vehicles, electronics, furniture, toys, and so much more — there are some things you should never, ever try to store with a professional facility. While discovering these items makes for great reality TV, it’s never so fun in reality. These are our Top Four things never to store in one of our units.

5. Stolen Items and Drugs. While we pride ourselves on being your go-to resource for all things storage, we do have our limits — and helping you evade the law is certainly not one of them! Other people have tried it over the years; famously, stolen Picasso, Monet, and Munch paintings (including “The Scream”) have been hidden away in storage units … for a time. Same goes for drugs. We are not your personal depository of stolen goods or banned substances, regardless of value or length of stay. If the police have reason to believe your unit contains stolen goods or illegal narcotics, they will easily obtain a warrant and search it.

4. Insects and Animals, Living or Dead. It’s one thing to store a piece of taxidermy, and quite another to attempt to store decaying materials and all the pests, bacteria, and odours they invite. Even worse is an attempt to store living creatures, such as insects or reptiles, in your storage unit. In one instance, over 30 dead pythons were found in a Minnesota unit — incurring legal penalties for the owner. It’s strange to even imagine having to say this, but there’s no excuse for animal abuse — and storing a live animal is against our policy, illegal, and unspeakably cruel.

3. Plant Life and Perishable Food. This is a no-brainer, right? There’s no way your plants are going to survive without water or sunlight. We don’t want to have to deal with messes associated with decomposition, and you don’t want to lose your precious fica or poinsettias. Moreover, if your food is going to perish, please don’t leave it in one of our units — the smell alone will be enough to make any trip near your goods a nightmare, but they (like other dead things …) will attract unwanted guests like insects, vermin, and so forth.

2. Explosives, Firearms, and Other Dangerous Items. If you’re the sort of person with an excess amount of grenades, bombs, rifles, pistols, and other weapons, you should also have options for storage beyond the usual avenues. Hazardous chemicals, compressed gasses, and oil and gasoline should not be kept in storage due to dangers associated with spills, leaks, explosions, and other incidents. Following this rule means you’ll never endanger our staff or your neighbours’ units by storing potentially dangerous items. If common sense and safety don’t sway you, just think of the liabilities you’ll owe if you end up damaging other people’s particularly valuable heirlooms!

1. People. Though 99.9 percent of the population would never even consider this, there have been occasions when people have tried to live in their storage unit. Moreover, others have tried to hide outlaws, illegal immigrants, and other unwanted people in units until they can be moved. Other more insidious individuals have even tried to set up mini-sweat shops in the larger spaces, forcing their poor workers to sleep where they toil. This warning goes for dead people, too — a number of bodies have turned up in units over the years, with tragic results. Just remember: regardless of your financial situation, a storage facility is not a stand-in for a funeral home!

A great number of people assume that storage facilities are only appropriate for old heirlooms, family keepsakes, or sentimental trinkets. On the other hand, some people assume that only businesses with important (and bulky) files and documents make use of mini-storage units. In reality, self-storage can accommodate so much more than what you see on Storage Wars or Auction Hunters — and it often does, with sometimes less than savoury discoveries. But by following our guidelines and by using a little common sense, you can find all sorts of inventive uses for a newly rented unit, and never endanger others or lose your investments. And the best part? All you need to do is ask!