Sorry kids, the short answer is no, you can't live in a storage unit.  Storage units make wonderful places to (wait for it) … store things.

Boxes. Furniture. Documents. As attached as you are to your things, you cannot stay with them at the storage unit. Simply put, you are not permitted to live in your storage unit.

Oh, you may have seen a video of someone doing that or heard about it? Don’t do it. It is generally against the law and certainly not safe. Yes, it might be tempting to try it, given how high rents are in certain metropolitan areas. Why, you may think, should I pony up $2,000 for a tiny apartment when I can pay $200 a month and sleep in my air-conditioned storage unit?

The first reason you may not do this is that it is generally prohibited by the operator of the storage unit facility. You will be in violation of the agreement you signed and, when caught, you and your possessions will be kicked out. Facilities have security cameras and managers and the grounds are monitored.

Another is basic safety. Where are you getting water and electricity? If you tap into the unit’s power, the operator will soon know. Where are your bathroom facilities? How do you come and go in a facility that is not open 24 hours? And what will you do in a medical emergency? In such a case, how will someone who comes to help gain access? Most storage units are not made to be opened from the inside, so entrance and exit in a dire circumstance could be difficult.

All of this could be exacerbated in a storage unit that is not heated or cooled. Extremes of temperature and a lack of fresh air do not make for a suitable residence.

One more biggie is legal liability. Living in a storage unit violates your terms of use; living in one with children can lead to criminal charges. Storage units are not considered to be habitable.

If you search the internet, you will find many videos about how people manage to live in storage units. These videos rarely go into any detail about what happens when they are caught and booted out or where they go afterwards. So let us repeat this one more time – storage units are not tiny apartments. They lack sufficient light and water to be considered appropriate dwellings and your contract to use the facility specifically excludes living in the unit.

Sadly, homelessness remains a problem in the United States and those with no other alternatives sometimes try to make a home out of their storage unit. Do not do this. Consider all of the alternatives – shelters, lower-priced motels, sharing a living space to cut expenses.

Your storage unit is exactly that – a storage unit. It is not, and wasn’t designed to be, a home. For when you do need a storage unit or portable storage pod, contact UNITS Moving & Portable Storage!

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