5 Items You Should Never Put in Long-Term Storage

Here at Countryside Self Storage, we know that people have lots of different things in mind when they search for "storage units near me," and that Missouri storage can be put to all sorts of uses. Need a place to keep your project cars? Have to clear out your house so you can stage it for sale? Looking for a place to keep excess inventory for your small business? Self-storage can help with all of these things and more. However, there are some things that you shouldn't put into self-storage, at least not for the long haul.

Before we get too far into what you should and shouldn't be storing, though, let's talk a little about what we mean when we say "long-term storage." Long-term storage is more than a temporary solution that you take advantage of during a move, for example. It's a great way to store stuff such as seasonal items, holiday decorations, business equipment, and more all year long.

When we talk about "long-term storage," we're usually referring to things that are in your Missouri storage unit for more than 90 days. Anything that you're going to be storing for that long should be able to be stored without suffering any negative effects. Here are five items that shouldn't be stored long term and what you should do with them instead:

Dangerous or corrosive materials – Sure, this includes obvious stuff like explosives, but it also includes fuel (including what's in small motors), pesticides, propane tanks, liquor, guns and ammo, and even batteries of all types and sizes. Batteries, for example, can corrode over time, while just about any liquid will expand or contract when exposed to heat, cold, and humidity. Even bottles of water stored over the long term can potentially burst! Exercise caution when storing, and remove any fuel from motors and all batteries from electronics before you put them into storage!

Important documents, papers, and files – Wait, you might be saying. Haven't you written before that self-storage is a perfect place to keep documents? We have, and it can be, so long as you're using climate-controlled self-storage in Missouri. But not all documents should go into storage. Some things that are directly tied to your personal identity should be kept closer to hand, preferably in a fireproof document safe within your home. This includes things like birth certificates, passports (even old ones), medical records, marriage licenses, and so on.

Anything that requires regular maintenance – Vehicle storage can be a perfect solution for a project car, boat, or RV, but only if you still work on it or take it out and use it regularly. An RV can stay in storage during the offseason if it's properly prepared, but it shouldn't sit in storage all year long without being driven. The same goes for anything with an engine or complex moving parts, such as an antique clock. When things like that aren't regularly used, they break down over time. If you're putting something that needs regular maintenance into long-term storage, make sure you check on it every now and again.

Illicit items – Sure, this one may be a no-brainer, but it still has to be said: If it's illegal, it doesn't belong in your Missouri storage unit, whether it's for a day, a week, a month, or a year. Illegal items don't go into self-storage, and if your self-storage provider observes any illegal activity, they're obliged to report it to the police.

Family heirlooms – Fluctuations in temperature and humidity can lead to mold and mildew (not to mention warping) that can cause damage to family paintings, antiques, furniture, clothes, and even jewelry. If you have items that are of value to you, ask your Missouri storage specialists about climate-controlled self-storage or keep them in the home. And, of course, make sure that you're insured for anything particularly valuable. Some of these items can be stored over the short term if they've been properly prepared or kept in climate-controlled self-storage. Others should not be stored under any circumstances. But regardless of what you're looking for when you search for "Missouri storage units near me," Countryside Self Storage can help find the perfect solution for you. Just contact us at any of our Pittsburg, Joplin, or Frontenac locations and let us help you get started!