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Can You Have a Gym in a Storage Unit? Here’s How

You might want to set up a home gym for a lot of reasons. But arranging enough space for fitting your gym equipment can be tough. Just like many other fitness enthusiasts, you’re probably thinking of getting a low-cost storage unit for that purpose. Now the question is, can you have a gym in a storage unit?

Yes, you can turn a storage unit into a gym as long as your state laws allow it. Also, you can’t live in or start a business inside the storage facility. If the health, safety, and sanitation laws of your state allow a storage unit gym, you have to ask permission from the facility manager. 

You’ll need to find the right-sized unit, make a contract with the facility owner to get legal permission for a gym, and gather your preferred gym equipment.

Here we will discuss some legal issues regarding the use of storage facilities as a gym and tell you how you can easily set up a personal gym there. So, without wasting much time, let’s jump right in.

First things first, you need to know whether the law of your state allows you to turn storage units into home gyms or not. In most state and federal laws, it’s legal to use a storage unit as a home gym.

Former financial consultant, Buddy Gray, says, “You have to look at the agreement you made with your storage facility. In the contract, it will state exactly what can and cannot occur.”

Renting self-storage units is just like renting an office space or an apartment. So the contract will be based on your state laws, and you need to follow the restrictions given by your storage providers. Hence, it’s always best to consult the storage company before setting up a home gym in their storage facility.

Don’t try to do anything secretly, as the storage facility staff will surely notice your activities, and it’s completely legal to use the storage unit as a personal gym. Here are some restrictions on using storage units:

  • You can’t temporarily or permanently live in a storage unit. That’s because the health, safety, and sanitation laws don’t allow you to stay in a commercial space that wasn’t built by following the city housing codes.
  • You can’t use a storage unit for operating a business. This means you can only set up a personal gym, but it can’t be opened for the general public.
  • You can’t use your storage unit gym for storing illegal items like weapons or any kind of hazardous material.

Difficulties of Turning Storage Units into Home Gyms

Although the idea of having a home gym in storage units is very popular among the fitness community, many people have faced difficulties in that regard. Here are a few challenges you’ll face while turning a self-storage unit into an ideal place for exercise –

Storage Issues

If you plan to do all kinds of exercise in your home gym, you’ll need both light and heavy equipment. But a storage unit is usually small, and certain equipment like treadmills or elliptical machines might not easily fit inside it. 

Moreover, the units often have lower ceilings which might create a problem when you exercise. Even the door of storage units is smaller than regular; tall people will have problems entering the place.

Electricity Issues

Nathan Davidson says, “So far, I have not heard of any storage companies providing an electrical outlet inside their units for fear of fire risks and also to prevent renters from living in the said units.”

In many self-storage units, power outlets aren’t provided. So you’ll need to spend extra money to arrange electricity for your workout sessions. It’s also a good idea to take proper fire and security measures to keep your belongings safe.

Environmental Issues

“Storage units tend to be poorly insulated (hard to heat/cool) and don’t have plumbing. Normally they are not zoned for humans to live in, so the owner has rules against it, and if they catch you, then you are out”, says Josh Osborne.

You need a place where air can pass easily for your workout sessions. If you use a storage unit as a gym, it might not allow air and daylight to pass. Hence, you’ll get sweaty, and this will irritate your skin. However, you can solve this problem by picking climate-controlled units.

Benefits of Turning Storage Units into Home Gyms

Once you overcome the challenges we have mentioned, you can easily use a storage unit as a gym. Here are some benefits of creating a storage unit gym –

Save Money

Gym memberships of luxury gyms can be really expensive. Renting a storage room will be a cost-effective option over a gym membership.

Moreover, you can give your friends access to the room while they can pay you small amounts in return. Instead of hiring a locker, you can keep your valuable items secure inside the storage facilities.

Long Access Hours

A regular gym doesn’t allow you to work out for extra hours or stay there for one night. But if you set up your own home gym, you can exercise whenever you want and stay there as long as you want. Plus, you can use any workout equipment you want. This can be particularly helpful if you work on a tight schedule.

Custom Equipment

As you own the place, you have control over every aspect of your home gym. You can customize your equipment like weights, power rack, bench, squat rack, etc. Also, you get to choose the lighting, temperature, and music for your workout.

Save Home Space

Most people consider starting a home gym in the corner of their house. It takes a large space in their apartments which they could use for other purposes. By using a storage unit as a gym, you can save some valuable space in your home. We even have an article comparing space savers like the Bowflex vs free weights.

You can rent the unit in a different location so that the peace of your family remains unharmed.

How Can I Store My Gym Clothes in a Storage Unit After a Workout?

After an intense workout, it’s essential to store your gym clothes properly to maintain their freshness. Consider investing in a storage unit to keep them organized and odor-free. Start by letting your clothes air dry before folding them neatly. Avoid using plastic bags or containers, as they can trap moisture and lead to unpleasant odors. Adding a sachet with dried lavender or baking soda can also help absorb any remaining smells. Follow these gym clothes care tips to keep your workout gear in top condition.

Can I Set Up a Deadlift Area in a Storage Unit Gym?

Setting up a deadlift area in a storage unit gym is certainly possible. However, finding the best gyms for deadlifting might offer a more suitable environment. These gyms often offer specialized equipment, proper flooring, and experienced trainers who can guide and ensure your safety during heavy lifting sessions.

How to Create a Storage Unit Gym?

Now, if you have decided to rent a storage unit for creating a personal gym, you’ll need to follow some necessary steps. Here’s how you can set up a home gym in a storage unit –

Rent a Correct Sized Storage Unit

As the units aren’t built for storing gym equipment, you should consider some important aspects while choosing one. The storage unit should be at least 10′ x 10′ in size. You should also check the building material of the unit as your gym gear, and weights are heavy and need extra support.

Examine how the door opens as most storage units can be opened only from outside. Hence, you’ll need to keep the door open slightly to avoid unwanted incidents.

Get Necessary Permissions

After choosing a right-sized unit, you need to talk to the storage facility staff and manager to get permission to start a personal gym. Make a written contract regarding the rules both parties need to follow. This step is essential for your safety and avoids any legal issues in the future.

Prepare the Storage Unit

You won’t need to insulate the room to control heat and cold in a climate-controlled unit. If your unit isn’t insulated, take proper steps to save yourself and your equipment from temperature changes. Also, you’ll have to manage electricity outlets for arranging lights and electric machines.

Arrange Gym Equipment

The gym equipment you’ll use is surely your personal preference. However, you can’t fit heavy and large equipment in a regular-sized storage unit. Below are some gym gears you can fit inside a 10′ x 10′ storage unit – 

  • Elliptical machine
  • Stability ball
  • Treadmill
  • Weights and bench
  • Yoga mat
  • Stationary bike
  • A few boxes

Wrapping Up

So now you know the answer to the question can you have a gym in a storage unit or not. Most storage facilities and federal laws permit you to use the unit as a gym. If you’re a busy person who needs to exercise in unconventional times, you can surely pick a proper storage unit and use it for both light and heavy workouts.

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About Ben Adler

I'm Ben, a passionate fitness enthusiast on a mission to help you achieve your fitness goals. With a love for lifting and building a well-rounded physique, I founded Swole Class to provide beginners with the guidance and knowledge they need to navigate the gym and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Join me on this journey as we unlock our potential and inspire greatness together. Learn more about me