What Not To Store in Your Climate-Controlled Self-Storage Unit

One of the most significant developments in the recent advent of the self-storage industry was the addition of climate-controlled storage units. With the climate controlled, these units are an important addition for anyone storing antiques, artwork, collectibles, rugs and other items that can be damaged by fluctuations in temperatures. (See our article here on the types of self-storage units available.)

This though does not mean that everything can go into a climate-controlled self-storage unit. Certain items, whether you have a climate-controlled unit or not, are not allowed in your self-storage unit, as they bring with them some level of risk to your other items, yourself, your neighbours’ items, your neighbours or the self-storage facility itself.

Here, we at Real Storage outline the sorts of items that cannot or should not be stored in a climate-controlled self-storage unit.

You and your pets

While you make think that saving some rental cash by giving up your apartment to move into a self-storage unit is a savvy, economical trick, it is actually entirely illegal to live out of a self-storage unit. Regardless of the spaciousness and quiet of a self-storage unit, living in one is not allowed – and that’s what the law says, not simply us at Real Storage.

And the same goes for your pets – by law, no living things can reside in a self-storage unit – and if you did try this, there is a very good chance that you will be up for animal cruelty and abuse charges when your storage neighbour hears the crying of your dog or the scratching at the door of your cat.


Did we just say that “no living things can reside in a self-storage unit”? Yes, we did. And we mean that: the same goes for plants. While, legally speaking, you are allowed to store your plants in climate-controlled self-storage units, given these indoor units come with no access to sunlight, those plants won’t be living in there for long! In this case, we can amend our previous statement: “No living things can reside in a self-storage unit because they (i.e., plants) will die.”

Of course, there are further reasons to not allowing plants in the storage facility, as they can be breeding grounds for small insects and pests, which cannot merely harm the items in your unit, but can also make their way to surrounding units.


Food items are also not allowed in a self-storage unit. This will only increase the odds of pests, stench and mold. Even in a climate-controlled storage unit, food will still rot and create an environment ripe for unwanted results. You will not only harm your other storage items, but the stench of rotting food will infiltrate the storage units around you, harming your neighbours’ storage items as well.

In fact, we advise that no containers or packaging that have come into contact with food or beverage be used in your self-storage unit: any one smote of food can result in any or all of the above unfortunate circumstances.


Similarly, you cannot store garbage or toxic waste in your climate-controlled self-storage unit. These, like food items, can lead to pests, stench and mold. Even worse, waste can create a biohazard to you, your storage items and anyone else and their items at the self-storage facility. Take you waste to a proper disposal site before moving your items to your self-storage unit.

Firearms and explosives

Storing anything explosive is of course a no-no at any self-storage facility. Hazardous materials, fireworks, munitions, flammable or corrosive items – these are all highly illegal to store in a self-storage facility, as they put anyone and everything at the storage facility at risk.

This includes lead paint, asbestos, urea formaldehyde, polychlorinated biphenyl, petroleum, methane, medical waste and toxic substances. If something of this sort is found in your self-storage unit moreover, you may very well be at risk of prosecution under the law.

Cold hard cash

Be aware that insurance policies do not cover cash. You can store your cash in your self-storage unit if you would like, but if something does occur, there is very little (if anything) that anyone, including you, will be able to do to retrieve that cash.

While we at Real Storage have complete security over our premises (see here for our security measures), storing cash may increase the odds of the facility being targeted by thieves, putting your items and everyone else’s at risk. We don’t care why you’re trying to store cash, but we strongly advise that you store it where most of us would: at a bank or in a safety deposit box.

A climate-controlled self-storage unit is the best type of storage unit you can probably have, but it is not good for anything and everything. If you have any doubts about any of your personal storage items and whether they are acceptable in your storage unit, please speak with your Real Storage agent for a complete list of prohibited items and/or verification of the item(s) you have in question.

We’re here to make sure you and your belongings are taken care of well, and it is important for us to inform you of what works and what doesn’t at the storage facility. Together, your items will come out of storage in the same condition they went into storage.