Whoa! That doesn’t go there!

Whoa! That doesn’t go there!

You rent a storage unit and now you’re free to store anything at all.


As convenient as the extra space is, there are limits as to what you are allowed to store. They’re pretty common sense, to be honest, but you’d be surprised at what some people want to pack away.


Do not store …

Flammable goods.

Unfortunately, this means you can’t store spare gas cylinders for your cooker. Nor can you save space in your garage or shed by storing half full paint cans. You can store your petrol-powered lawn mower, but you have to empty the tank first.

No fireworks, please; nor your collection of Zippo lighters.

Perishable foodstuffs and plants.

Feel free to store tinned food galore but don’t try to stock up on fresh potatoes and cheese. And don’t turn your storage unit into climate controlled pseudo-greenhouse for your herbs and veggies.

Why not?

Two reasons: They will rot and they will stink to high heaven. They will attract vermin. Your fellow storage users will be very unhappy on both counts.

Live animals.

This is not the place to hide your pet rabbits because your partner doesn’t want them in the house. Their waste matter will attract vermin, but that won’t be a long-term problem because they’re likely to die of asphyxiation or heat or get a deadly infection because their cage or hutch isn’t cleaned often enough.

That brings us to the next item on the list …

Dead animals.

This really shouldn’t need an explanation. The smell, the pests and vermin, the danger of contagious diseases, and the fact that it’s just plain disgusting should suffice.


Your storage unit is not accommodation. You can’t sleep in your unit when you’re between homes. Your friend can’t sleep in your unit when he’s between homes. It’s not a place for an overnight stopover when you’re travelling.


No handguns, no semi-automatic weapons, no automatic weapons, no hand grenades or bombs or explosives of any kind, no crossbows, and no ammunition.

No toxic materials.

No insect repellent, no weed killer, no drain cleaner, nothing corrosive, and it’s a good idea to ask the provider if aerosols are allowed. Pressurised items like aerosols could potentially explode and are thus considered hazardous.

Nothing illegal.

Obviously. You’re also not allowed to store legal goods that have been illegally obtained. That means nothing that has fallen off the back of a truck.

Non-operational vehicles.

You can store your precious Porsche Boxster that you only take out on weekends but you can’t store your Boxster if it’s up on blocks while you hunt for genuine spare parts.

A genuine request

According to a self-storage company in South Africa, they’re repeatedly asked if dead bodies are allowed – people and animals. The answer is no.

Most companies have a list of what you can and can’t store available, but if you’re still unsure if something very specific is allowed, best ask before you find yourself on the wrong side of the law.