Commercial Items You Shouldn’t Put in a Storage Container

You recently bought a storage container so your company could have a little extra space. But now you look around the office, and you don’t know which items you should store. You have files full of documents, and you have those spare chairs sitting in that back room.

What you store depends on your needs, but we’ve given you a list of things you definitely should not store below. For your property’s and container’s safety, you should store these items elsewhere.

Flammables and Explosives

Why should you keep combustibles out of your storage container? Storage containers, especially uninsulated or unventilated ones, can’t control temperature the same way your office can. Temperatures may climb to dizzying levels, so even a small disturbance could ignite the combustible materials. The resulting fire or explosion could damage the container and anything in it.

Although accidents like this rarely happen, you shouldn’t take any chances. Keep the following out of your storage container:

Chemicals

  • Aerosols
  • Ammonia (including ammonia-based cleaners)
  • Bleach (including bleach-based cleaners)
  • Chemistry sets/materials
  • Darkroom materials
  • Fertilizers
  • Herbicides
  • Nail polish
  • Paint
  • Paint thinner
  • Pesticides

Fuel

  • Ammunition
  • Charcoal
  • Gasoline
  • Kerosene
  • Lighter fluid
  • Matches
  • Motor oil
  • Propane tanks

Weaponry

  • Batteries (including household and car batteries)
  • Fireworks
  • Flares
  • Loaded guns

As long as you keep these materials out of your storage container, you won’t have any fiery surprises.

Perishables

Unless you specifically bought a climate-controlled storage container that can refrigerate food, keep employee luncheons and other perishables inside your office.

These include:

  • Food that doesn’t contain preservatives
  • Opened food containers (even for nonperishable foods)
  • Refrigerated or frozen foods

If the perishables rot in the container, they will attract rodents, mold, and bacteria. And if that happens, it could ruin the container and any other contents.

Electronics

Just as containers don’t usually have temperature control, they don’t have humidity control either. This means that you shouldn’t store electronics in them for long periods. You may store your electronics briefly, and you can store them indefinitely if the container has climate control. However, in the meantime, you should store the following in your office:

  • Any computer equipment, including keywords, speakers, and mice
  • Cell phones
  • Desktop computers
  • External drives
  • Laptops
  • Microwaves
  • Mini fridges
  • Services
  • Space heaters
  • Tablets

You’ll need to store your electronics in a cool, dry place. Speak to your storage container manufacturer about climate control options.

Musical Instruments

For the same reason you can’t electronics, you also can’t store musical instruments. Wood and metal instruments warp in high temperatures—and they’ll warp and rust if exposed to high humidity.

Again, you can insulate, ventilate, or climate control your container to make conditions more favorable, but you should store the following elsewhere for now:

  • Brass instruments, like trumpets, French horns, and tubas
  • Drums and other percussion instruments
  • Electronic instruments, including keywords, electric guitars, electric violins, etc.
  • Pianos
  • Stringed instruments, like violins, violas, cellos, bases, and guitars
  • Woodwind instruments, like flutes, oboes, clarinets, English horns, and saxophones

If you sell/have rare or expensive instruments, you should keep them in an area at room temperature with normal humidity.

Sensitive Documents

Storage containers gives you advanced security. Unless a thief had explosives or a blowtorch, he or she wouldn’t have the ability to break through the door. Theoretically, criminals could still break in, but they would have a difficult time accessing the facility and sorting through your contents.

However, thieves know to look for valuables in a storage container, so a determined thief may make the effort to pick the lock. This means that you should keep employee and customer information elsewhere—unless you want to install security cameras and an alarm system on your container.

Sensitive documents include:

  • Calendars
  • Billing information
  • Budgeting information
  • Insurance policies
  • Medical, school, or employment records
  • Prescriptions
  • Tax information

Consider hiding these documents instead of putting them somewhere conspicuous. You should also store cash, bonds, and stock information in a less overt place as well.

Plants, Animals, and Small Objects

Most storage containers don’t have the ventilation or insulation to keep plants and animals comfortable. If your business handles plants or animals in any way, give them better accommodations.

Also, if your company deals with small items, you might want to consider storing them somewhere with fewer nooks and crannies. Small objects could fall in the cracks between the floor and the wall. They could also fall between other items that you’ve stored in the same container.

If you need to store small items, put them in airtight boxes before you load them into your storage container. This keeps them in the same place so you don’t lose them.

 

So what can you put in your storage container? Use for furniture, décor, textiles, nonperishable foods, and spare carpet, to name a few things. And if you get climate control, you can even store perishables and electronics. Talk to your local container provider to learn more.