Knowing what not to keep in storage is as important as deciding what types of items you need to move out of your apartment and store away to free up excess space. When planning what to store in your unit, find another place for the following:
1. Important Documents
Few people use important documents like birth certificates, car titles, diplomas, credit card agreements and the like every day, so when considering what to keep in storage, you may have thought of tucking these items away. However, this can be a bad idea.
First off, putting these items in a storage unit, even if they’re just copies, is a security risk, as employees of the unit can have access to them and the units can be somewhat easy to break into.
Secondly, the unit may be susceptible to fire or flood damage, so it’s safer and more secure to keep these items in a locked vault. However, it’s probably best to just keep them in your apartment in a lock box, as you may need to access them at some time and it’s highly inconvenient to trek across town to do so. (Keeping copies or a flash drive with copies in a locked vault is a good idea, though.)
2. Family Heirlooms/Items of Sentimental Value
It’s easy to accumulate multiple family heirlooms or items you just can’t bear to part with even when you simply don’t have the space in your apartment to display them. However, putting them in a storage unit puts them at risk for theft and disaster damage. If an item is truly irreplaceable, keep it in your apartment or in a locked safe.
3. Expensive Valuables
Likewise, expensive valuables, such as antiques, jewelry and coins do not make good items to keep in storage. They can be easily damaged and are at greater risk for theft than they would be in a locked box at your apartment or in a locked vault.
4. Most Foods
Putting anything perishable in a storage unit is a bad idea because temperatures are usually more extreme than in your own apartment. Even long-lasting boxed and canned foods can go bad quickly in a storage unit. Likewise, wine won’t be stored at the optimal dark lighting. However, you may decide to keep some dried foods, such as spices, in a storage unit if you like, although it’s still not the best place for them.
5. Hazardous Items
The extreme temperatures of a storage unit means that anything you keep in storage should not be highly flammable and/or at great risk for explosion. This means no:
- aerosol cans
- weed killers
- motor oil
- paint thinners
- fire extinguishers
If you simply can’t find a place in your apartment for those items you can’t keep in storage, there’s locked vaults to consider and the homes of family and friends. Beyond that, you should consider parting with items of little sentimental value that you simply can’t find room to display.