Can You Keep Food and Beverages in Your Storage Unit?

Self Storage Tips

Ryan Moore
March 8th, 2022

Whether you're stocking up on food for emergencies, running an online food company, or are a chef looking for a place to store excess canned goods, beverages, and spices a self-storage unit can be a great option. But to ensure that you keep your storage unit long term, and don’t get costly fees by accidentally breaking a contract it’s important to stay informed about what is and isn’t allowed in the self storage unit. Each storage facility has its own set of rules, so although we’ll give you the major dos and don’ts in this article, it is always best to ask questions before you rent with a company and read the whole contract they give you before you sign it.

What You Can Keep In Your Storage Unit
Canned Goods: Almost all facilities will allow you to store canned foods and drinks, so long as they’re sealed and unopened. A can with even a slightly loosened lid can start to grow bacteria, which is not only not allowed by the facility but can also be a headache to clean. If you live in a hotter climate, make certain that the facility is temperature-controlled. Storing canned goods at temperatures of over 100 degrees can cause the food to spoil prematurely. Look for a storage company that keeps their facility between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, cans can only be stored for 2 years after the best-buy date that’s printed, so make sure to check all your dates before you begin storing and set some sort of reminder for the years that follow.

Dried Spices: If you’re a cook whose kitchen is being overrun by extra spices, a storage unit can be a good solution. But all the spices need to be fully dried to avoid spoiling and mold and bacteria. To store dried spices, you’ll want a temperature-controlled storage facility. Spice should generally be kept at under 60 degrees, and in a unit/facility that has little to no humidity to ensure that they remain edible for years to come.

Grains: This is on a case-by-case basis, although some grains are acceptable for long-term storage units, they can’t be kept there for long periods of time. Grains generally go bad after 6 months in a unit, and if there is any issue with the temperature, they can attract bugs and pests.

What You Cannot Keep In A Storage Unit
All perishable foods cannot be kept at a storage facility. This is for a multitude of reasons such as attracting pests, growing harmful bacteria and mold, and creating a smell that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Due to the lack of windows and ventilation in more storage facilities there’s no way to air out your unit, so whatever begins to grow will be in there for the long haul, and many facilities will charge you costly fees to have it properly cleaned. Beverages are even more dangerous and anything that is wet or holds liquid can be a hotbed for dangerous bacteria and mold.

You can keep some food and beverages in your storage unit, but it depends on if they are canned or perishable and on the rules of each individual storage company.

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