Saturday, May 24, 2014

Self Storage: Can I Store Anything?

One of the biggest myths you may hear is that you can store anything in a self-storage facility. The quick answer to that question is NO. Although the list is quite extensive of the items you may store, there are certain things that could be damaging to your goods and the facility. Knowing what can and cannot be stored may seem self-explanatory for some, but it’s not that cut and dry.

First, you should know that there are rules that must be followed by the facility. The National Self-Storage Association has guidelines that come down the pipeline for everyone to stay within regulation. Additionally, when partnering with other companies, it is important that they both adhere to regulations. New information is usually disseminated via web pages, social media and direct communications.

What can be stored?

Although there are many documented stories of interesting finds in self-storage units, you should know what can and cannot be stored. You should make sure you are getting the right one to house what you need. Furs, albums, documents and non-perishables should be kept in a climate-controlled unit to preserve what you have. Furs should be stored in a facility that is a little colder than a standard climate-controlled unit to make sure it does not dry out or become damaged. Although climate-controlled units are set at a standard temperature, it’s not a cold environment, but rather a set temperature.

Household goods are usually welcomed, but when acquiring a unit, you need to make sure you avoid flammable liquids like paint or gasoline. Even if you have an outdoor drive-up unit, these items should be first on the list to exclude. Outside work equipment is even in question, depending on what needs to be stored. You may have driving lawn mowers that may not be acceptable at your standard facility and may need to be moved to an auto storage location just because it runs on gas.

Each facility should have a list of acceptable and unacceptable items. Federal agents recently seized 44 guns in a self-storage unit. It goes without saying that these guns were on the list as not being acceptable. Allowing these types of violations could hurt the business and its reputation, especially when it spreads across different social media pages.

One of the best things a self-storage company can do is provide a list of acceptable and unacceptable items on their web page or Facebook page so that current and potential customers will be able to see this list and compare it with what they need to be stored. This can alleviate confusion and potential fines on both ends.

Many people may think they are getting away with housing illegal items in a self-storage unit but should know that closed-circuit cameras show quite a bit and those tapes are reviewed (at least at responsible facilities). There is a reason why certain facilities are more expensive than others, and they usually have more technologically sound equipment to protect their business and their clients.


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