Storage in a Rapidly Growing CityUtah is growing. Utah is currently the third fastest in population growth in the nation. More tech jobs mean more people to work those jobs, that accounts for some of the growth but, mostly, it’s babies. Yup, birth rate outshines death rate and the culture of more babies and big families means Utah and its major city, Salt Lake City, are going to continue to grow and grow. This is good, Utah has a solid economy, it’s friendly, it’s got a lot to offer and the growth means it will only get better. But, it does pose a problem if you’re a family with more babies showing up or you’re a single person who used to live in a house but now, it’s too expensive and you find yourself facing the need to downsize. Growth means change and change usually means getting rid of stuff or putting stuff into storage.

Storage units are a blessing in both these scenarios. The family that gets bigger needs the space for the kids but once the kids are grown, you may want that stuff back or you may want to pass it on to the kids, storage holds you stuff for the future. And, for the single person, who knows, maybe the baby bug will bite you and you’ll no longer be single and suddenly realize you need more than one chair and a plastic milk crate. So, storage is the answer. Now most people have had some experience with storage, either themselves or a friend who they have had to help haul things to storage. It’s simple, it’s convenient. However, there are some things that you just shouldn’t put into storage, they can be messy, or worse, illegal. So, to help you deal with the growth of Utah and the change in the family situation, here’s a small list of things that you should never put in storage. These may be obvious to some but, not to others so …

Don’t Store These

Animals. Live ones or dead ones. Don’t store them. The idea of putting your dogs in storage for a weekend while you go skiing is a very bad idea. “But we put out food and water for them.” is not an excuse. Animals evacuate their bowels, a lot, and that smells, attracts bugs and disease. Same thing with dead animals, don’t go off you a hunting trip, bag an eight point buck and hang it in your storage unit til you can get back and skin it. Yuck. Just … yuck.

People. If you come home from the hospital with baby number four bundled in your arms and kids one thru three aren’t around but there is a bill for a storage unit, that’s a red light situation. You cannot use your storage unit as housing for the kids or for yourself for that matter. Nope, you cannot even use it as a getaway from the family and call it an office. You cannot use the storage unit for habitation. No dead bodies either and if you’re asking if you can store a dead body in storage unit, you have more problems than I can address.

Perishable Foods. With more mouths comes the need for more food. But where to put it all? Maybe you get that amazing sale at Costco and you find yourself with 900 pounds of chicken thighs, good deal but you can’t put it in storage. Canned goods, freeze dried space food, those things are fine but nothing that will rot, attract bugs, animals or the ire of neighbors with it’s stink. This includes non-canned pet foods as well.

Live Plants. Not sure why you want to do this anyway, the climate in a storage unit is really not conducive to plants so, unless you’re trying to slowly kill that 6 foot fiddle leaf fig tree your ex-wife bought you, or you’re growing mushrooms, the lack of light and water make a storage unit a very stressful pace for a plant. Also, they aren’t allowed because they attract bugs and vermin. Fake plants are fine so if the fiddle leaf fig is a faux fiddle leaf fig, store it.

Combustible, flammable, Hazardous or Toxic Materials. Now that there are mini humans in the house, with delicate systems and curious hands, you may want to get some of that questionable stuff out of the garage. Good idea. I’ll just put it in the storage unit you think. Bad idea. Gasoline, compressed gas, propane tanks, kerosene, lamp and motor oil, acids, fertilizers, paint, chemicals hazardous, toxic or biological waste, you cannot put that in your storage unit. If you wonder why, just imagine the guy at the unit next to yours pulling away in his truck and casually flicking a cigarette out the window it bounces in slow motion, it slips into your unit and then, you’ve got a Michael bay movie on your hands.

Radioactive Material. First off, why do you have this? Wait, I don’t want to know. I do not want to know. I just want you to know, if you have radioactive material, you cannot store it in your unit.

A Shop. So, you have a bunch of stuff you need to get rid of to make room for more stuff, or more babies or you just need the cash. You hate the idea of a yard sale so, you decide you’ll open a shop in your storage unit. Sell the stuff and be done with it and, who knows, if it goes well, maybe you’ll turn your into into a consignment shop. Nope, not going to happen. Running a business out of a storage unit is illegal.

Also, Think Before You Store These

These are some items that seem really obvious to us but, we want to make sure the thought of storing them doesn’t even cross your mind.

Tires. No tires because they cost a lot of money to dispose of and, storage companies often have to deal with a serious bill when people move out and leave their tires behind. You can ask but, most places will say no or laugh in your face.

Firearms and ammunition. We say don’t because you want to keep these things in good, working order. If you do want to store your firearms and your ammo, you know, for the zombie apocalypse, you’re going to want to store them in a climate controlled unit. The fluctuations of heat and cold in a regular unit will play havoc with your guns and ammo.

Cash, Securities and Expensive Jewelry. Kind of a no brainer but, worth pointing out. You really shouldn’t store briefcases full of cash or tool chests full of diamonds in a storage unit. Those things are more at home, much safer in specialty storage, also known as a bank or a safe deposit box. I mean, if you have so much money and jewels hanging around that you need some place to store it, I’m sure you can afford a safe or a good bank. Unless it’s all hot which leads to the final tip …

Stolen Items/ Illegal Goods. Maybe your job as a second storey man is really going well and you need a place to hide your loot or, you’ve perfected a new strain of weed and you need to keep the forty kilos of it safe til Jimmy the Squid gets it at the end of the month. Don’t bring it to your storage unit. The storage unit is not magical, what’s illegal on the outside is illegal on the inside as well. Besides, you have kids now, you need to change your evil ways.

With growth and change going on so rapidly in Salt lake, a storage unit may be the answer to your problems, but only some of them. Check before you store, use common sense and your stuff will be safe for future generations and, you won’t be watching your kids grow up from prison.