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Can I work in a storage unit?

A man in a yellow shirt and white hat holding a chair in front of a storage unit.
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What can you do and not do in your storage unit?

Going by what’s coming up in our search analytics a lot of you have some innovative ideas to get the most out of your storage units. However, some activities could invalidate your insurance, and may be against the terms of your lease. Here is our take on a few of the most common questions.

Can I work in my storage unit?

Most storage companies will not allow you to work out of your unit, even if it’s just tapping away on your laptop. And commercial goods in your unit are not covered by your Store and Insure policy.

Instead: Look for shared office space, or co-working spaces. Share My Office has plenty of options. Or rent a commercial storage space, workshop or studio instead.

Can I live in my storage unit?

Your storage company almost certainly has rules prohibiting you from moving into your storage unit, even if it’s just for a few nights. There will be a clause in the lease saying that your unit is for storage only.

Instead: If you are facing homelessness, the charity Crisis has resources to help.

Can I exercise in my storage unit?

You are probably not allowed to work out in a storage unit, but you should check with the storage company. Some of the larger ones may have a more appropriate service to offer you. However, self-storage offers a safe, accessible place to stash bulky sports equipment. And personal effects, including sports equipment, are covered by your Store and Insure policy.

Instead: Consider joining a gym instead of exercising in a self-storage unit.

Can I keep animals in my storage unit?

You are not allowed to keep livestock of any kind in a storage unit. A storage unit is never an appropriate place to keep animals and you will be breaking the law as well as the lease agreement. Storage units might be climate controlled, but that doesn’t mean they are right for animals. Cats and dogs will suffer left alone in the dark, even for a few hours, and a storage unit is not the right place to leave them.

Instead: Use a pet boarding service or leave your pet with a friend. And make whatever changes you have to so that your pet gets the care it deserves. You might have to go as far as re-homing it if you really can’t look after it. See the RSPCA for more advice on re-homing a pet.

Can I restore my motorbike in my storage unit?

You can store motorbikes – and they can be covered by a Store and Insure policy. Fixing a motorbike in your storage unit is likely to go against the terms of your lease. Storage units may not have sufficient ventilation or the right sort of fire walls to keep you safe as you work on your engine repairs.

Instead: Rent a workshop space where you can work on your bike.

As you can see, the answer to most of these questions is no, storage units are for storing your stuff. But it is always worth asking if your company offers a service that would better meet your needs. Most self-storage sites are carefully monitored to ensure that people do not try to use the units for anything they are not supposed to. And also, misuse of your unit could invalidate your insurance. But if you’ve got any questions about the impact of activities on your insurance policy, please do call us up and ask.