Self-Storage 101: What to Store and What Not to Store


A common dilemma many of us face in our lives is managing the overflow of our belongings. From our favourite keepsakes to important documents, each item holds a certain value. This is where the convenience of self-storage comes in. It’s an excellent option for those seeking extra space or a temporary home for their items. However, deciding what should and shouldn’t be stored can be challenging. Let’s delve into this and understand what to store and what not to store in a self-storage unit.

What to Store in a Self-Storage Unit

  • Seasonal Items: Think about the items you use seasonally. The winter gear you don’t need in the summer, the bulky holiday decorations that only see the light of day once a year, or even the outdoor furniture that isn’t much use when it’s raining – these are perfect candidates for self-storage. Rather than allowing these items to clutter your home during their off-season, keep them tucked away in a storage unit.
  • Excess Furniture: Often we find ourselves holding onto extra furniture that is either unused or infrequently used. Perhaps it’s a piece passed down through generations or a spare bed for guests. If these items are taking up valuable space, consider storing them away safely until you need them again.
  • Archive Documents: For those running a business, managing a pile of paperwork can be a daunting task. Storing documents such as tax records, invoices, or old project files can free up much-needed office space, providing a more organised and efficient working environment.
  • Collectibles and Keepsakes: If you’re a collector or simply have items of sentimental value, such as comic books, stamps, vintage clothing, or family heirlooms, you want to ensure they’re well-protected. A climate-controlled storage unit can provide the ideal conditions, safe from humidity and temperature fluctuations.
  • Large Appliances: If you’re in the middle of a move or have recently upgraded your appliances, a self-storage unit can be an excellent place to store larger items like refrigerators, washers, or dryers until you decide what to do with them.
  • Personal Items with Emotional Value: Personal items, like photo albums, letters, and other keepsakes, are also ideal for storage. These are items you may not need on a daily basis, but they are too precious to get rid of. A self-storage unit provides a safe space for them.
  • Bulky Sports Equipment: Do you have sports equipment that you don’t use daily or is seasonal? Bulky items like surfboards, skis, or even bicycles might be taking up too much space in your home. A storage unit can conveniently house these items until they’re needed.

Always remember that each storage facility has specific rules regarding what can be stored. When in doubt, ask the facility’s staff. If you’re based in or around Surrey and looking for Walton-on-Thames storage, contact Kiwi Storage’s friendly staff who can guide you to choose the best unit for your needs and help you understand how to effectively pack your items for storage.

What Not to Store in a Self-Storage Unit

While self-storage is incredibly versatile, there are some items that should never be placed in storage.

  • Perishable Food: Food items, especially those that can rot or attract pests, are not suited for storage. They can create unpleasant odours, mould, and potential infestations.
  • Living Things: It’s essential to note that storage units are not fit for living things. Whether it’s plants that need natural light for photosynthesis or pets that need care and attention, a storage unit isn’t a suitable habitat.
  • Hazardous Materials: Items that are flammable, explosive, or toxic should never be placed in a self-storage unit. These include certain paints, cleaning chemicals, petrol, or fireworks. They pose a risk to the facility and other customers’ items.
  • Valuable Items: While storage units offer security, items of significant monetary or sentimental value, like expensive jewellery or cash, are better kept at home or in a bank’s safety deposit box.
  • ‘Borrowed’ Goods: This goes without saying, but only store items you legally own.
  • Sensitive Documents: While a storage unit is a good place for old paperwork or documents that you don’t need often, it’s not the best place for sensitive documents like passports, birth certificates, or current legal documents. You should keep these in a safe place at home where you can access them when needed.

Self-storage can be a lifesaver, providing additional space to declutter and organise belongings. It’s a secure, affordable, and flexible solution to many space-related issues we encounter in our daily lives. However, it’s crucial to make informed decisions about what goes into your unit to maintain the safety and integrity of your stored items and the facility.

Whether you’re in the process of moving, downsizing, or simply looking to declutter, understanding the do’s and don’ts of storage is essential. So, don’t let your belongings overwhelm you. Make a plan, consider self-storage, and breathe a sigh of relief as you create a more organised and spacious environment. Happy storing!


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