You've finally decided to clear out your home and put the excess clutter in storage. Now you may wonder what you can and cannot put in a storage unit. A storage facility has regulations on what can be stored so they stay within the law and the facility is protected. If you store something such as fireworks and they start a fire, you could actually be held liable. For that reason, learn what you can store and abide by the rules to stay safe. Here are some things that are usually prohibited, but you should always check with your facility for a complete list.

Anything Living

Never keep plants or animals in your storage unit, even overnight. The inside is dark and if it isn't climate controlled, it will be stifling hot or freezing cold. You won't be able to sleep in your storage unit either. Some units may allow you to work in the unit for short periods, but you probably won't be able to use a storage unit as office space since they are not equipped for that. A storage unit is designed for storing things only since there are no electrical outlets, windows, and in some cases no climate control.

Illegal Goods

It might seem like a good idea to get illegal goods off your property and put them in a storage unit, but if you get caught, you'll be turned in to the police. Illegal goods are things such as drugs and drug paraphernalia, stolen items, and vehicles that are not properly registered. If your facility accepts cars and motorcycles, they must be registered to you and up to date with licensing so they are street-ready and legal. You also can't store a vehicle in another person's name. The car must be registered to the same person on the storage lease.

Perishable Food

Your facility may let you store food in cans, but anything that's perishable is not allowed. This is necessary to keep down on insect and rodent infestations. Your food could draw pests into your unit that not only destroy the food but also chew up your belongings. Perishable food could be anything from food that needs refrigerated to food in boxes and sacks, including pet food. Perishable food can also attract mold that could potentially ruin your belongings. For the same reason, you never want to store anything wet in your unit.

Toxic Supplies

You can't store chemicals or toxic supplies because of the potential danger of storing them in a hot enclosed space. You can store your lawnmower and other tools as long as the gas and oil are drained out of them first. The list of toxic supplies could be extensive and include paint and various cleaners. If you need to store cleaning or home improvement supplies in your unit, get approval first so you won't be held responsible if they cause a fire or explosion.

In many cases, deciding what to put in storage is a matter of common sense. For those times when you are tempted to chance it, keep in mind, you could get in trouble with the police or be on the hook for any damages you cause.