A storage unit is the perfect storage solution for many things, but not everything. To save you time and stress, here are seven things that don’t belong in long-term storage.

Live Animals/People

For some, this can go without saying. But people do try it! Storage units do not have HVAC systems or insulation required for animals or people to live there. So it wouldn’t be comfortable to stay or live in a self-storage unit.

Comfort aside, leaving a live animal in a self-storage unit is not only against public storage restrictions, but it’s against the law. Don’t leave animals in dark, locked storage units without proper care. If you’re leaving and can’t take your animal friend with you, ask a family member or friend to care for them, hire a pet sitter, or leave them in the care of a professional.

House Plants

Animals and people don’t belong in storage units, and neither do plants. Plants need light, water, and fresh air to grow and thrive. These essentials are nowhere to be found in a storage unit. So if you leave your plant in long-term storage and expect to come back to the same thriving plant, you’ll be disappointed. Not only will your plant perish, but placing a plant in your unit will encourage insect activity.

If you can’t take your plants with you or find space for them in your current place, you’ll need to leave them with friends or give them away.


Food does not belong in any storage unit, let alone one you won’t be visiting for a while. Storing food in your storage unit long-term is a waste of money and resources. The food will expire, and after that, it will be useless. So even if you expected to come back at some point to retrieve and eat your stored food, it likely won’t be possible.

Not to mention food is also a magnet for pests and rodents. Even if you put food in plastic bins, rodents can smell it out and chew through the plastic to get to it. This leads to huge pest problems, especially if you’re storing other items along with food in your unit. The best place for food is in your pantry or fridge, where you can easily dispose of it when needed.

Items that Require Maintenance

Items that require maintenance, such as things with complex moving parts like an old antique clock, don’t really belong in long-term storage. These items need to be used and maintained on a regular basis, or they can deteriorate and break down. Of course, it’s not like these items are prohibited from being left in long-term storage. But if you do, you will likely need to check up on them from time to time. And the problem with long-term storage is you likely aren’t around to attend to your items.

Hazardous Materials

Propane, industrial cleaning solvents, fireworks, aerosol cans, paint thinner, bleach…these are all items that shouldn’t be stored in long-term storage. These items could leak, spill, explode, or release toxic gasses while you’re away. This could mean damage to your items, the units next to yours, or the facility structure itself. To protect yourself and others, it’s best to store hazardous chemicals elsewhere.

Scented or Wet Items

Scented or wet items are also a no-no. Strong scents can easily attract insects, rodents, or other vermin to investigate the source of the odors. And as mentioned before, you don’t want to come back to your unit to anything flying, crawling, or scurrying.

Wet or damp items left in your unit can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. This can lead to bacteria spreading in your self-storage unit and that will likely damage some or all of your belongings. To avoid this fate, make sure every single item you store is perfectly dry before packing it up and dropping it off in your unit.

Critical Documents

You definitely shouldn’t keep critical documents like marriage licenses, birth certificates, personal IDs, and passports in your long-term storage unit. These are items you don’t want to be without for long periods. If there’s an emergency, heading to your storage unit to grab the needed documents is an inconvenience at best. Not to mention accidents can happen, and your documents could be damaged by water or pests. It’s better to have your documents near you, and if you need to store them, don’t keep them there longer than you have to.

EZ Access Storage logo on white background.

If you need somewhere to store your belongings long-term, look no further than EZ Access Storage.

Making Long-Term Storage EZ

Even if you can’t store these seven items in long-term storage, there are plenty of other items that you can! If you need somewhere to store your belongings long-term, look no further than EZ Access Storage. We’ve got your storage needs covered! At EZ Access Storage, we are always here to make your storage experience as EZ as possible in East Wenatchee!

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