Living in a Storage Unit

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Urbanization and gentrification in the big cities in 2023 make it almost impossible for many Americans to make ends meet. Paying over a thousand dollars for renting a one-room accommodation is not what the majority expect when moving to bigger developing areas. Unfortunately, housing nowadays is limited for many people.

Nevertheless, the latest trend is pushing people to find other kinds of dwelling facilities. Therefore, people started replacing common apartments with living in motels, cargo containers, and even storage units.

This article is exactly about the experience of people living in a storage unit. What are the pros and cons, is it legal, and what you should consider if planning to move there.

Unconventional Urban Housing

That is exactly how many people may call living in self-storage units. It is considered that there are more disadvantages than benefits of living inside a storage unit. There is not enough space, natural light, and familiar facilities; there is no electricity, proper ventilation, and running water; you also need to make a lot of effort to make the place look as if it is not a military shelter but a cozy dwelling.

Nevertheless, a storage unit is a highly viable option to lease and live! You can open YouTube to prove it for yourself. There are many channels of storage unit tenants that tell about their experience of living in a storage unit for two months or even more. So, you can see it to justify the use of such an option and also become the one who contributes to the million views on these videos.

You can also find any Reddit thread to ask tempting questions about what interests you the most. Surely, the video will show you the most benefits and shortcomings of a unit apartment. However, some law niceties and pricing tips are better to be answered by the tenants right away.

Storage Facilities

There are many storage facilities that you haven’t even thought of before. The first and most obvious is the difference in the price of an actual apartment ground on the rental market and the storage unit. Instead of spending loads of assets on a relatively good facility away from the city center, you can rent a storage unit, especially if you are not going to stay here for a long time.

Another almost invisible perk of staying in a storage unit is that the place can contain all the necessary living facilities without requiring too many assets to be paid. So, a new tenant can bring all the needed equipment to live a comfortable life there.

Things that you will most possibly need in a storage unit:

  • extension cord, many of them. You need to provide electricity from the main block of the storage building to your unit. It is possible that all your devices will work with the help of this cord.
  • hot plate and microwave to make your food warm and to produce boiling water when needed. Surely, you can even bring an oven to the unit but the fire safety in such property is questionable.
  • water supply system so that it is possible to wash dishes or take a shower. It is not a big problem, however, you should prevent possible matters that may destroy the inner stability of the unit.
  • security system to lock the door. We are not scared to leave our assets in storage units, so why not live there with nicely locked storage unit doors. You can also set additional remote security cameras to be sure your safe place is actually safe so you will not become homeless because of the thieves.
  • compact furniture is perhaps the first thing to consider when moving to a storage unit. Since there is not enough spare space, it is essential to find furnishings that will not take up a big area.
  • central lighting and heating systems may also be set in your storage unit, however, it is better to avoid heating the unit again due to lack of fire safety. But what is about lights. It is possible to provide enough power to the unit to establish a wholesome system that will provide you with enough light instead of windows.


There are also many other options that seem to be profitable while renting a storage unit. For instance, it will not let you buy too many useless things, thus you will spend less money on the unneeded stuff and even food.

Cons of Living in a Storage Unit

Except for the fact that there exist some advantages that can really be considered when you need to save money and not gain homelessness in a big city, there are still many premises that matter. Even though living in a storage facility is better than sleeping in a car, people living in a storage unit warn others that there is lots of stuff that may make one’s life harder.

First of all, the safety of the storage unit is a debatable topic since the storage locker may not be enough for restricting access for unwanted guests. The storage unit is not a common apartment that can be locked with a usual key, so you must prevent any break-in with a security camera or with a door lock from the inside of the self-storage.

There is no storage unit that has any running water system, so you have to prepare the water storage from scratch. You also should consider tubes and venting. What is more, it is almost impossible to cook food in a storage unit due to the fact there is no access to gas or fire. Even if you have a hot plate, the risk of starting an unexpected blaze is extremely high.

There are no rooms provided. A storage unit is just one room that you can divide into several areas. It means that you will have to organize the facility so that there will be a chamber for a bathroom with a toilet and a living room. It may be very inconvenient, especially if talking about a bathroom.

Another shortcoming is that there is not enough natural light, which actually is an important part of human life. Seeing the sunlight is what gives us endorphins and keeps our mood up. When not seeing the light for a long time, the risk of getting apathy or even depression increases. Another factor that creates emotional pressure is the constant probability of being caught by police.

Is It Legal to Live in a Storage Unit?

A storage facility is generally not a unit to rent for living, especially for a person who is not homeless. So, are there any legal pitfalls about trying to live in a storage unit?

Well, guys who film those YouTube videos about living in a storage unit for two months claim that paying less for the facility is equally balanced with being a “ghost”. The government does not like people who live in the country and do not pay taxes, so they have to chase them. And that is why storage dwellers have to become invisible in order not to be caught.

It is slightly obvious that it is better not to live in a storage unit with family. It may happen that child protective services may take away the child if they live in a storage unit. What is more, since living in a storage unit is a civil offense, you will have to pay fees or undergo other sanctions.


All in all, to live in a storage facility is a very debatable decision. It is cheap and may be suitable for a short period of time. However, you must become a ghost and live in a small dark room. So, choose for yourself, but we highly do not recommend considering that option as a long-term decision.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

Can You Sleep in Your Own Storage unit?

Surely, you can spend your time in a storage unit as you want, as in your own flat. However, the only danger, in this case, is that you can feel uncomfortable in a room without a proper venting and heating system.

How Do You Secretly Live in a Storage Unit?

You should act as a true spy. Nobody should see you coming out of a storage unit in the morning and going back at night. You should also not make loud sounds that can become a sign of your dwelling activity there.

Is Living in a Storage Unit Legal?

No, there exist several local and federal laws that restrict any person to live in a storage unit. It is not only because of the country’s desire to have taxes from the residential areas but also due to the safety of a person’s life. Storages are extremely unsafe and may cause injuries and deaths.

What Is a Storage Locker?

A storage locker is a kind of storage space that is smaller than a storage unit and is created for storing staff there. Storage lockers are usually used as temporary warehouses for furniture or appliances.

Do Storage Units Have Lights?

It depends. Some buildings have a central electricity system that provides light to every unit, while others ask to provide light from your own sources by using extension cords.


A former USA Army sergeant and a highly educated survivalist and prepper with a degree and interest in Engineering and Electronics, Mike Millerson applies his extensive expertise in survivalism, homesteading, backpacking, hiking and hunting, spreading his deep knowledge about handling emergencies and prepping for them reasonably and effectively.




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