What can you do in a storage unit?

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Self storage units provide the perfect opportunity to keep your belongings safe, and are ideal for those times where you’re decluttering your home, moving house and even looking for a quiet place to work, relax or keep stock. But exactly what can you do in a storage unit?

From storing your seasonal clothing to creating the ideal craft room, storage units provide extra space when you need it most. However, there are a number of items that you’re not allowed to keep in a storage unit, and it’s important to make sure you understand the limitations before you pack up your belongings. To help, we’ve put together our top do’s and don’ts for self storage. Here’s everything you need to know.

Can I use a storage unit as a workshop?

Escaping to a storage unit is the way to get away from distractions at home if you’re looking for a place to work on your latest project, whether that’s repairing car parts, sewing yourself a new wardrobe or working on your latest DIY upcycle. 

Do: use your storage unit as a place to store your bits and pieces and to get creative.

Don’t: store any flammable or combustible materials such as gas, petrol, oil, solvents or paint in your storage unit.

Can I store business documents in a storage unit?

While most paperwork is now stored online, businesses are required to keep paper copies of a number of documents for several years, meaning many have no option but to fork out for expensive office space. If you’re a sole trader or you run a small business, storage units provide the perfect place to store documents, at a fraction of the cost of larger office space. Check out our document storage options to see how we can help you. 

Do: use the safety and security that self-storage provides to keep your important documents, such as tax returns or invoices, protected.

Don’t: use a storage unit to store confidential client information.

Can I use a storage unit to keep stock for my business?

Self storage is ideal if you’re a business owner who doesn’t want to pay expensive business rates or you’re simply looking for more space to store stock. Renting out office space can leave you being tied into a long, costly lease. Our business storage options are flexible to suit your business. 

Do: use a storage unit as additional space for your growing business, or for storing seasonal stock during busy times of the year.

Don’t: use your unit to store any chemicals or radioactive materials such as acids or toxic waste products.

Can I work from a storage unit?

When it comes to working from home, it’s no surprise that a lack of space and privacy can make it difficult to remain productive. Also, it’s hard to mentally switch off and leave your work problems at the office when it’s just metres away from where you relax. As house prices rocket, it’s becoming more and more common for people to sacrifice extra bedrooms or garage space in order to create a home office.

If you work from home and are feeling overwhelmed, renting a self storage unit is much cheaper than business premises and provides an uninterrupted place where you can knuckle down and get your work done. Many of our stores even offer Wi-Fi to help you stay connected.

Do: use your storage space to create a calm and quiet place to plug in and do some work.

Don’t: run your business from a storage unit. You can’t legally register a self-storage unit as your business premises, nor are you allowed to invite customers to your unit for meetings or to collect orders. 

Can I live in a storage unit?

For some people, living in a storage unit seems like the perfect solution – it’s cheap, secure and most self storage providers are located in convenient city-centre locations. However, with no windows, water supply, toilets or heating, a storage unit doesn’t provide the necessities you need to live.

Do: use your storage unit to create some additional space, in your home, or to build a den where you can go to relax.

Don’t: stay overnight in a storage unit – it is illegal for any person to permanently live or sleep in a rented self storage unit in the UK, even if it is just for one night.

Can I use my storage unit as a personal gym? 

woman working out in a storage unit

It’s no surprise that crowded changing rooms and a lack of equipment can leave even the most dedicated of fitness fanatics feeling frustrated and dreaming for their own private gym. If you don’t have enough space at home, a storage unit provides the perfect workout space, just check with your local store first to make sure it’s allowed.

Do: utilise your unit to set up a handy personal gym, without the distractions or to store expensive fitness equipment if you’re taking a break from exercising, or are heading on a long trip.

Don’t: run a gym for others from a storage unit as you’re not allowed to conduct business inside a storage unit.

Can I keep food and drinks in my self storage unit?

For those living in smaller spaces, or who have a lack of extra room, a self storage unit may seem like the ideal place to store additional food or long-life products, however leaving perishables in your storage unit can cause a range of issues. 

Do: use your storage space to keep kitchen equipment and other lesser-used items from around your home.

Don’t: store any food or perishables in your storage unit. Not only can these can cause mould or bacteria to grow, but may also attract rodents. While you can keep white goods in your unit, they must be unplugged and drained.

Can I keep live animals in a storage unit? 

While it might sound obvious, there are a number of people who still enquire about using storage units to keep animals, but you cannot keep anything that needs light, food, and water to survive in a storage unit. 

Do: use your storage space to store spare accessories, litter or toys.

Don’t: keep any live animals in your storage unit, it is inhumane, illegal and you can be prosecuted.

Can I keep cash in a storage unit?

While self-storage units are secure, many self storage providers have a ‘limitation of value’ in the agreement, which discourages storing any valuable items or cash inside your unit. Instead, keep your money at the bank or in a suitable safe within your home or business.

You can’t keep items in self-storage without insurance cover, and at Ready Steady Store we are happy to arrange a new for old insurance policy which covers your possessions for physical loss or damage while using self storage. Similarly, we also allow all customers to make use of existing policies if it covers your items when in storage.

Do: use your unit to store items such as furniture, clothing, household items or technology.

Don’t: keep cash or highly valuable items such as jewellery in your unit, as most insurance policies will not cover it if anything happens. Instead, for optimal safety, these should be stored in a safety deposit box.

Round-up

  1. You can use your storage unit as a workshop, as long as you’re not storing anything flammable or combustible. 
  2. Self storage units provide the ideal place to keep business documents, without having to fork out for expensive office space.
  3. If you own a business that sells products, storage units make for perfect stock rooms.
  4. You can sit down and work from your storage unit, but you can’t run a business from it.
  5. It is illegal to live in a storage unit, even if it’s only for a short period of time.
  6. You can set up your storage unit as a personal gym, but other people aren’t permitted to use it.
  7. Perishable items are not permitted to be kept in storage, and you can’t use your unit to store food in fridges or freezers. 
  8. It is illegal to keep live animals in a storage unit.
  9. You need insurance to keep items in a storage unit, and most policies will not cover cash.

It’s clear that there are many uses for self-storage, making it a versatile and useful option for those looking for extra space or to store unused items along with business owners who are looking to grow.

If you have a question about what can you do in a storage unit and what can’t you do, our team is happy to help! Simply get in touch with your local store now, and they’ll be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have.