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Can You Store It? Guide To Prohibited Storage Items

Just store It | May 17, 2019

If you’re gearing up for short- or long-term storage, it’s worth knowing what you can legally store in a storage unit.

The good news is that storage unit facilities can handle most household items — including boats and cars — but there are still a few prohibited categories of items.

Prohibited Storage Unit Items

In general, you’ll want to check with your specific storage facility to see their protocol. However, there are a few categories of goods that are almost always disallowed. Check out this guide from Just Store It! in Johnson City to learn more.

Food and Perishables

While your picture of a fruit dish is permissible, just about anything that contains food is a no-go. It doesn’t matter if the food is canned, preserved, boxed, or jarred. If it’s a food or beverage, it’s not allowed in a storage unit. Additionally, any food for pets is disallowed.

This probably comes as no surprise, as food is the number one magnet for pests, insects, and mold.

You might be surprised to hear that even food-related containers, such as old food boxes that you might get at a Costco, are best left out of storage. Even the smallest remnants of food can be enough to attract pests to your storage unit.

Firearms and Explosives

Firearms, munitions, gunpowder, explosives, and the like are prohibited from all storage unit facilities. Even if your gun is properly stored in a case without any ammunition, it’s still a significant liability to keep in a storage unit.

Additionally, firearms and related items carry a risk of explosion. It’s not worth it to risk an entire storage facility by housing potentially incendiary items.

Hazardous Material

That lead paint you’ve been storing in your garage? That potentially asbestos-ridden package of floor tiles? That floor cleaning chemical that’s toxic to humans?

Whatever form your hazardous material might take, there’s no room for it in a storage unit. To properly store or get rid of these items, be sure to follow municipal and federal guidelines.


While cash isn’t implicitly dangerous, it’s also not insurable. This means that cash is a bad idea to keep in a storage unit. Should anything happen to the cash, there’s no way to get it back or prove that it ever went missing.

Storage units are secure, but you don’t want to risk it when it comes to liquid cash.

Living Things

This category should probably go without saying, but you’d be amazed to hear what people try to bring into storage units. While people don’t necessarily try to leave their household pets, they definitely try to leave plants, succulents, seed packets, etc., in storage units.

Not only is a storage unit a bad environment for plants (there’s no sunlight), but your plants are also a bad idea for the environment. They can decompose and cause a host of issues.

Storage Units In Knoxville

As you prepare to move things to storage, keep Just Store It! in Johnson City as an option.

Our units come with dozens of amenities, including temperature control, security, and on-site management. Visit us today to learn more!