10 Things you should NEVER put in storage

Watching Storage Hunters, you'd be forgiven for thinking you can put just about anything in a self-storage facility. But this is a common misconception. Here are 10 things you'd be well-advised not to.

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1. Your sweatshop

Look, people-smuggling can be a headache. We get that. And if you're looking to supplement your income in these cash-strapped times with an illegal workforce, a storage unit may sound like the perfect cost-effective "office". There wouldn't be any space for mattresses. No, you can't get away with making them sleep in a heap so they're each other's "natural mattresses". You're sick for even thinking that.

2. Your private zoo

Whether you've got orangutans, tigers or Komodo dragons, the rule of thumb is you can't keep them in a storage unit. We really cannot emphasise this enough. Sure, it's substantially cheaper than buying up land and creating faux-natural habitats, but do-gooding animal welfare types are likely to write strongly-worded letters of complaint if they hear about your secret monkey prison. You're better off without the aggro.

3. Your other family

Whether you just have a secret lover and litter of illegitimate spawn, or have gone full-bigamist, you probably feel a duty to look after them. And your first thought may well be, "Can I or can I not put them in a self-storage facility?" Having weighed up the pros (cheap rent, discreet location) and cons (lack of toilet facilities, basic human rights issues), we must reluctantly say no. No, you can't.

4. Your sex things

Look, we're all modern people here. We understand you have that "special" box under your bed, with the fun toys in. We get that you have a wardrobe filled with your bespoke gimp gear. And we appreciate you have that state-of-the-art "real flesh feel" love-doll sat next to you right now as you read these words. But they're really better off in your place than in a storage facility where anyone might see them.

5. Your meth lab

Watched Breaking Bad one too many times? Want to set up a laboratory to create meth so fine, it pretty much deserves a Michelin star? Well, a storage unit's probably not your best bet. It's not mobile, for one thing, and "mobile meth lab" just sounds better. Also, the poor ventilation means you'll be killed by all the noxious phosphine and methylamine gases. Being killed isn't what you ideally want.

6. Your entire worth

Yes, the banks will all soon collapse and take your money with them. It's tempting to take out your entire balance and put it in a storage container where it'll be safe and you can occasionally lie on top of the piles of cash, stroking them and whispering sweet nothings. But think of the interest you'd miss out on. Plus withdrawing a tenner on a Friday night would become a quite stunningly cumbersome process.

7. Your ailing parents

Retirement homes are arse-bleedingly expensive. And you don't want your elderly mum and dad moving into your place, where they'll only sit around watching Homes Under the Hammer and judging you. A storage unit is right in many ways – it has walls and a roof – but a vocal minority of people (for example, the police) will probably object. We're not saying they definitely will, but there is a risk.

8. Your dead people

A self-storage facility is not a morgue. No, it doesn't matter how much ice you pack into the unit. Or even if you rig it up to be a gigantic freezer. Put your corpses somewhere else, for goodness sake.

9. Your booty

We don't mean "booty" in the Beyonce sense of the word. More the pirate/thief/highwayman/armed robber sense. If you're a bad 'un and have lots of hot gear to stash, you're asking for trouble if you put it in a storage unit, because when you get arrested it'll get confiscated by the filth. Instead, go old school and bury it somewhere so it's waiting for you when you get out.

10. Your trendy pop-up bar

Everywhere's a cool pop-up cocktail lounge or artisan restaurant now. There's probably one in your toilet. You're probably thinking of creating one in a storage unit and giving it a coolly minimalist name like "The Unit". Don't. Not because storage facilities aren't suited, but because there are enough vintage-clad hipster barmen annoyance-mongers in the world already. Don't add to the number.

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