Storing food in self-storage units during the COVID-19 pandemic

April 09, 2020 by: Lisa Roberts

The COVID-19 pandemic has caught us all a bit unprepared. Stock markets are shaky, to say the least. Medical facilities are struggling. And even our best epidemiologists cannot say for sure when will this outbreak come to an end. That is why it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that one of the things people tend to do in these situations is to stock up, especially on food. But is storing food in self-storage units during the COVID-19 pandemic really a good idea? And if you choose to use a storage unit to store your food, how should you go about doing it? Well, that is what we are here to find out.

Is storing food in self-storage units during the COVID-19 pandemic a good idea?

At first glance, storing food until the coronavirus outbreak ends might seem like a good idea. However, as it is with most ideas, there are certain pros and cons that you should weigh out. That way you'll be able to decide whether going with storage is even necessary.


Having your own supply of food sure is a great thing, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the pros are:

  • Not having to go to the store.
  • Not having to worry about food shortages.
  • If there is a sudden fluctuation in food prices, it won't affect you.
  • You will be able to practice social distancing much better.
  • If you live far away from the nearest grocery store, you won't have to take long trips.
  • Buying in bulk is often the cheapest way to buy food.


To offset this, there are a couple of cons you should be aware of:

  • Not all food can be stored.
  • Most of the foods that can be stored aren't particularly healthy.
  • Modern food supplies are abundant.
  • Most groceries are quite well stocked.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic will probably end in a month or two.
  • You can spread out your food costs, instead of spending all of that money in one go.
  • If the nearest storage company is far away, it will be costly to retrieve food from it regularly.
  • If there is a 24-hour quarantine in place, you might not be able to visit your storage unit.

With all this in mind, you'd be smart to think twice before you decide to store food during the coronavirus outbreak. Depending on where you live and what you plan on storing, it can be a good idea. But for some people, it is simply a costly investment that will probably end up being unnecessary. Nevertheless, if you deem that storing food in self-storage units during the COVID-19 pandemic is something that you should do, here is how to go about it.

How to prepare for storage

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that food is quite complicated to store. So, to give you a comprehensive guide on how to prepare, we are going to take it step by step.

Pick the right type of food

Not all food can be stored. For instance, there is no storage company in the world that is going to accept your regular fresh food. In order to store food items like meat, dairy, fruits, vegetables or anything perishable, you need to have refrigerated storage units. Such units are almost exclusively for commercial use, which is why you likely won't be able to use them.

Instead, you will have to limit yourself to canned goods and food that is not perishable. To be on the safe side, you should contact your storage company and see what types of food they will allow. Some, unfortunately, might not allow any. And those that do will probably have strict regulations on how to pack and which insurance to get, so you should be in contact with your storage company from the outset.

Making an inventory list

Once you decide which foods you are going to store, you need to make an inventory list. Ideally, you should write down the amount of food, and the rate in which you think you will consume it. This will make packing, and later on storing, much easier to organize. Remember, the whole point of storing your food is to not worry about it. And the only way to do that responsibly is with rationing. So, make a list and make a rationing plan that you'll stick to.


For packing, we suggest using plastic bins. While quality boxes can potentially do the job, plastic bins are your safest option. You will have a much easier time stacking up these containers than boxes since they are much sturdier. Plus, if you plan on storing canned goods, you will need a container that can support their weight. When it comes to keeping rodents and bugs away from your food, plastic bins are the safe option. Finally, be sure to label your containers properly so that you can easily see what is inside them while they are in the storage unit.

Proper storage procedure

It is paramount that you keep the size of the storage unit in mind while you decide what to pack. This is another reason why you need to be in contact with your storage company from the start and why you need to plan the amount of food that you are going to store beforehand. You should store your food in such a way that you can reach any item at any given time. That way you will not have to "eat your way" in order to reach a certain can or rearrange your unit every time you want to get something. There are many websites such as where you can learn how to organize your storage unit.


While storing food in self-storage units during the COVID-19 pandemic is possible, it is not always advisable. If you decide that this is something that you should do, you need to follow the procedure that we've outlined. Especially if you've never dealt with storage before. Know that food can easily spoil while in storage. This is why you want to prepare for it properly and have a well-equipped storage company helping you out.