Can You Live in a Storage Unit?

Cheap rent, free utilities, and, most likely, no neighbors. It sounds like the ideal living situation, right? Why spend a ton of money renting an apartment when you could live in a storage unit at a fraction of the cost? But the question is, can you live in a storage unit?

Back in January of 2017, YouTube user 007craft posted his now-viral video titled “Living out of a storage locker for two months, in style!” It’s since amassed an incredible, if not problematic, several million views. Major sites such as Gizmodo, Popular Mechanics, and Huffington Post even covered it. How could this video gain that much traction? There are, however, more significant questions to ask. For example, where do you get water and electricity? How do you use the restroom? Most importantly, how do you not get caught? Naturally, that video has inspired copycats that have aimed to replicate their progenitor’s success.

We at StorAmerica have highly-trained staff members at all of our facilities, which can spot tenants living in storage. Although we’ll admit, there’s an allure to peeking into this lifestyle. For entertainment purposes, let’s analyze the video, and we’ll point out the flaws in this experiment:

1. Living In Your Storage Unit: Liability and Safety

This is the most important argument to make against the question “can you live in a storage unit?” That’s probably why it’s the first item that the video addresses. “So if you’re going to live in a storage unit, you’re going to need to be as invisible as you possibly can be. You need to be a ghost,” advises our friend. There’s a reason why inhabiting a storage unit is against the rules (not to mention against the law). Storage units are not built for habitation, human or otherwise. They do not have proper ventilation or insulation. That makes them risky for prolonged use.

Running all those devices through a single outlet is a disaster waiting to happen. Then consider the possibility of 007craft’s toaster oven experiencing a mishap. He could be toast (pun intended). Also, consider the risk he poses to his neighboring tenants. If his hot plate causes a fire, it can take down several of his neighbors. You don’t want to be that guy.

2. Why Not Live in Your Storage Unit? It’s Unsanitary

Can you live in your storage unit in a sanitary way? The answer is no. By keeping food and open water sources inside your storage unit, you will attract pests. Although our friend in the video is decently hygienic, he stores items that should not go in a unit. And let’s not ignore the fact that he cooks and eats in what appears to be a 10×10 storage space with no running water. No matter how clean you are, that’s pretty gross.

Restroom usage is not explicitly addressed here. However, we can assume he uses an on-site restroom facility. But could you imagine how awkward it would be to bring a date over to your place? “Would you like some wine? Oh wait, it’s right behind this jug of wastewater. Pardon my reach!” *Shudders*

Can you live in a storage unit?

3.  Another Reason to Reconsider: Facility Costs

Economics 101: There’s no such thing as a free lunch. 007craft didn’t have to pay for his use of water and electricity. That means the storage facility would have absorbed the costs. Therefore, the rental rates would rise for everyone else. What’s worse is the blatant frivolity on display with the likes of wifi, gaming console, 4k TV, and surround sound. How extra! He used way more power than a typical tenant would ever come close to using.

We should also mention that it’s prohibited to make any alterations to the storage unit. It appears he bolted the latch on the inside of the unit, which would require patching or replacement. With the several hacks that he created, who knows what other modifications he put into place. An epilogue to the video follows 007craft as he moves into an actual apartment. While his experiment was informative, there’s no way living in a unit is a sustainable situation.

StorAmerica is sympathetic to those in need and without a home. However, as we have covered, self-storage units are not viable dwellings. You can’t live in a storage unit for several reasons; safety being paramount. Check with your local government and non-profit organizations to help get you situated. If you’re looking to reduce your living cost, DON’T move into a self-storage unit. Get some roommates, instead.

This post was originally published on May 10, 2017
It was updated on October 27, 2020.