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Two Illegal things you just can’t do with storage containers or storage facilities

2 Illegal things you can’t do with storage containers or storage facilities, even in Vancouver

Recently the CBC reported a guy who was evicted for living in a storage unit in Vancouver. While he certainly showed how creative and clever one could make use of a tiny space for cheap rent, nothing he did was legal.

So, as Vancouver storage providers (with secured facility container storage), it got us thinking. What else is illegal to do with storage units? I mean, we see good-guy-bad-guy TV shows using storage units in plot lines all the time. Does that happen in real life?

Below are some illegal things you can’t do with storage containers or storage facilities – whether in Vancouver or not!

Keep in mind, there is a difference between storage lockers and storage containers! That is explained in this article.

You can’t live in a storage unit; not in Vancouver, not anywhere

Above we mentioned the guy who lived in a storage unit in Vancouver for about two months. That was not ok. But he says he only broke the rule of sleeping there at night. Afterall, he wasn’t showering there. And he paid for the power he used via a long extension cord.

But…he was posing other problems, as presented in this article. Apparently, people trying to live in storage units is not uncommon or new. But it’s illegal because:

Storage facilities are not zoned for residential use. Cities have bylaws for housing, in case you haven’t noticed. It’s not ok to have people living without sewage or running water. Those medieval days are far behind us in the Western world.

Storage facilities are not safe for long-term human living conditions. Think about this: what if there was a fire in the storage facility? No one would suspect they need to go in and safe a human. Also, air quality and ventilation are concerns if you’re going to be cooking or using any kind of heat in there, which the above video shows the illegal storage unit tenant doing. Also think about the amount of custom building work that guy had to do. What if his stuff collapsed on him? Sure, maybe he would have only suffered a knock on the head by his shoes or skateboard. But if there’s no way to regulate those units for liveability, they can result in accidents.

People living in storage units poses security risk for other legitimate renters. Storage facilities usually do have security cameras and guards present. Some may be controlled by access codes, and no 24-hour staff at all. But if you rent from a storage facility that has illegal live-ins, would you really feel safe about your belongings? What if there are valuables in storage? It makes it all the more easy for theft, and it can also make it hard to identify who did it, if there are too many people to watch. And we’re not even talking about live-ins having ‘visitors’ over, which is more of a problem to security.

We will mention that in this article on our blog, we did say you can repurpose a storage container into a tiny home. However, please note the difference here: buying a storage container and legally ‘parking’ it somewhere to build (and modify) a legal structure (with permits) could be ok. But using a storage unit in a facility that is zoned for that purpose, to then be turned into a home…that’s not ok.

You can’t run a business in a storage unit

Now, you may have read the above and thought, ok, I can’t live in a storage unit, but that doesn’t mean I can’t use it as an office! No, wrong.

Storage units are for storage, not activities. It has been reported that one storage facility in Florida turned into an artists’ haven, where people were glass blowing, and eventually building septic tanks! Now, it must be hard to build a septic tank, so how true this story is, we don’t know.

But the article makes a point: storage units are not for running a business. They are not built to be offices, or anything resembling an environment for living things.

Another story in the link above claims a doctor tried to run a shady practice out of a storage unit. And people tried working on cars in self storage. All of this is not allowed. No dance classes, no lawyer desks, no computer hacking, no art studio space – nothing. It’s not allowed. Use storage for storage, people.

Stay tuned for more things you can’t do in a storage unit or storage locker

We have a list of more things you can’t store in storage or at a storage facility. Stay tuned and we’ll cover more things you may not have thought of…or that weren’t obvious to some.

Ferguson Moving & Storage in Vancouver BC

If you’re moving your office or need storage space in Vancouver, call on the services of our Vancouver moving & storage company. Give Ferguson Moving and Storage a call at 604-922-2212 or request a quote online through our website!
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More ways to repurpose storage containers from movers in Surrey

New ways to repurpose storage containers from movers in Surrey BC

Previously we presented some tips from movers in in Surrey on repurposing storage containers. When you are moving in Surrey, you may find it useful to have a portable storage container for storage and renovation purposes. Once your storage container has served its purpose, it will provide you with an opportunity to get creative and transform your new backyard. Here are some ideas to get you started on this cool DIY project.

From portable storage to garden gazebo: create your own personal paradise!

If you have a garden in your new backyard, you could also transform your storage container into a beautiful deck or gazebo to complement your outdoor space. Once movers in Surrey help you complete your move and you are done with your extra storage, you can start the transformation process. Search the web for inspiration, create your plans, and get building!

If you are planning on bringing your garden with you when you move in Surrey, check out these tips:

Storage companies in Surrey will love your storage container workshop

If you are done storing furniture, supplies, and other belongings after your Surrey movers are long gone, turn a storage container into a new storage facility with a specific purpose! This can be a great place to store your tools or projects, and can even give you a space to work on DIY projects if you design it that way.

See our related article on how to move a shed:

Plus, how to handle tools and heavy equipment when moving:

After your Surrey movers leave, turn your storage container into a small business

If you have a storage container on your hands after your Surrey move, but no longer want it on your property, combine it with your entrepreneurial dreams to create a small café or shop! Maybe you have a specific location in mind, or perhaps you want to have a pop-up shop on wheels. The tricky thing about this idea is that you will want to make sure you have the right zoning and permits, and these will vary depending on what your business plans are. Once you have your ideas mapped out, check with the city of Surrey before bringing your plans to life.

Use Pinterest to find more ideas on repurposing portable storage in Surrey

Many of these ideas can be found on, and you can find many more ways to repurpose your portable storage in Surrey there. Check out our article about moving hacks on Pinterest to learn more about how to use Pinterest, and to pick up some helpful moving tips while you’re at it!

One of the great things about moving into a new place is the opportunity to get creative and try out new projects that fit with your new home. Transforming portable storage in Surrey is a bigger project, but it is a great way to spend time getting to know your new living environment and really make it your own. Turn this into your own personal project, and have fun getting in touch with your creative side!

If you need a professional moving company in Surrey BC, give Ferguson Moving and Storage a call at 604-922-2212 or request a quote online through our website!