evannichols (evannichols) wrote,

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Musings on Storage Unit Auctions...

Tuesday, I went to a Storage Unit Auction. I'd never done this before, but there isn't a whole lot one needs to know. I learned the following:

1. Bring a big flashlight. The storage units aren't well lit, and it's hard to see to the back of a 20' unit. The experienced people all had high-power flashlights.

2. Bring your own lock. If they didn't have a lock, winners either had to leave the unit unlocked or buy one from the storage place. Better to bring your own.

3. Wear comfortable shoes. We walked from unit to unit, and were standing for about an hour.

4. Bring lots of cash. Of the dozen units, one sold for $5, the highest price was $1,200 (a 10'x20' unit crammed full of stuff). Of course, I'd have nowhere to put any of it, so I didn't bid on anything.

I did notice a couple of other things. Storage-unit auctioning is a heavy-person sport; I think I was the lightest person there at 160 lbs (well, 170, but that's the remainder of my Alaska weight). I don't know what that's about. Also, nobody talked about the back story of any of the units, but I couldn't help but wonder. Each of the twelve units once belonged to a person, who for whatever reason, didn't pay the rental fees and had to relinquish claim on their stored property.

Who are these people?

What are their stories?

Did they shrug off the loss of their possessions, or were they grief-stricken?

If I ever bought a unit's contents, I think the lingering uncertainty of its provenance would surround every item like a ghostly question mark. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with that.

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