Sad commentary on Storage Units

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marcie Mac, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    We have a friend whose job it is to clean out storage units that have not been paid for or no one bid on them at auction - he hauls the stuff to the dump

    He had 12 to do today, so i went along to help him and SO, (not to mention I was curious )

    Don't know if I was more amazed, appaled or sad. One unit was 3 feet high of paper - bills, warrants, collection letters in amongst some clothes and more full bottle of pills than a drug store. Took me an hour to shovel it out. Others had boxes/bags just full of kids clothes/toys and personal memorbilia, others just suitcases of clothes and broken stuff that I wouldn't pay 1.00 to store, let alone 100. Some of it was just plain outright nasty stuff-so nasty I won't even say, but jeeze, if you are going to take nasty pictures of yourself, don't put em in storage.. Came across a box of photographs of someones children, lots of nice frames - just tossed in there - couldn't help think some poor woman will never get to see these photos ever again.

    They still have two more units to clean out tomorrow - full apartment size units but it just made me sad today and don't think I will go tomorrow. My job was to sort thru the boxes to see if there was anything worth keeping. SO will bring home stuff here and there - we did get a brand new fridge, sofa set and Dyson Vacume but I find myself always thinking about the person who owned this stuff, what happened to them. But I think all of the personal photographs were most unsettling of all

  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    That's so sad. :(
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean. My best friend has had three storage units since her husband died ten years ago. She had to move soon after his death, and just shoved everything in there. Mixed in with the general crapola are several of his guitars, a drum kit, family pictures, his CD collection, a brand new couch (still in the plastic wrapping), a washer/dryer...I tried to help her sort one of them out, but in true difficult child fashion, we got nowhere fast. It would be heartbreaking for her to let any of it go, but I can't begin to imagine how much she's spent on them in all that time.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My mother LOVES these. As a prof, many times students never returned to pick up reports, regardless of how they were presented. Mom kept the empty binders after she tossed the papers out. Same for folders, even those plastic report covers with the plastic spines that are so hard to read. Heck, at one point she was pulling the spiral spines out of presentations spiral bound at the copy shops. At one point she had an entire storage unit FULL of this stuff. She also had enough fabric to fill a shed in her yard, a large bedroom, AND another storage unit. We think it has grown even more.

    I am dreading having to sort her paperwork to FIND all this stuff and take care of it after she passes. She has all kinds of plans in mind for this stuff. If she were to work through all the plans, doing NOTHING else, it would take more than 3 lifetimes to do it all.

    This is what I will inherit.
  5. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    That does seem really sad for all the lost photos but perhaps they were his own (and yes someone else may have wanted them if he didn't).
    I've always wondered what they would do with stuff like that and now I know. Would seem like an interesting yet disturbing job. Seems like it would
    definitely leave many unknown puzzle (thoughts) in my head if I had to do it too. Do you think anyone is ever able to solve a crime or missing person
    mystery with this kind of stuff? Just curious.
  6. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Good question Tia - just working thru the 3 feet of trash and puting it in bags couldn't help seeing what some of the stuff was and was pretty easy to figure out she had some mental health problems and didn't take her medications (for years) was evicted from oh so many places, sued by oh so many peopole, was in the mh hospital more than a few times - had a little girl and boy from the clothes, their pictures were in there, had a male friend/hubby who was in jail, so many pieces of paper she wrote her thoughts - like when I am 26 I am going to buy a car, when I am 29 I am going to buy a boat. All in a heap along with general garbage, empty toothpaste boxes.empty pill containers, empty asthma inhalers - perhaps had some hoaring issues. She had some pictures for her walls, and broke out all of the glass and mixed it in all this stuff -seems like after a while she even stopped opening her mail, just locked the door and walked away.

    But having this sad senario, the storage facility was in a part of town where it was suggested we finish up by 2:00 as it wasn't safe - hordes of tweekers all over the place. 4 or 5 security people walking around - the tweekers are known to rent the storage lockers to go do their thing - you know its a bad place when you are asked if you have pepper spray or a stun gun with you MMmm, no, but I do have a good set of lungs LOL

    I just hated throwing all of those clothes away instead of giving them to charity- some of it brand new still with tags on. SO was laughing because I snatched a 2007 Holiday Barbie - never been opened new in the box - out of the trash. Told him it was too bad we didn't have money to open a store front somewhere and give this stuff away stead of taking it to the dump to be mulched. I used to have a client who went around to garage sales and bought blue jeans and shipped them to Japan- he made like 750,000 a year doing that. Guess its something to keep in mind if I am ever jobless

  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    When difficult child worked at the storage facility, they had regularly scheduled auctions, but mostly they just waited until the 3 month grace period was up and then they hauled it all off to the dump (except if there was anything worth keeping that is). It's sad to me too.
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I used to manage a storage facility. I know exactly what you are talking about.
  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have two storage units that I've avoided cleaning out. I got one when my dad died, because I was in the midst of difficult child issues and didn't want to deal with going through all his stuff. I went through some, and put the rest in storage. Three years later my mom died, I was still in the midst of difficult child stuff, and her stuff wouldn't fit into the unit I got for dad's stuff.. so I got another. I've now gotten rid of some things in both units, so could at least combine them..but honestly, the thought of going through the rest of it .. the memories.. is pretty overwhelming. I haven't been able to bring myself to ask a friend to go through it all with me, although I know if I just had another pair of hands it'd go quickly (and someone to hand me a tissue when I got to the tough family stuff).

    So, I pay way too much money each month and keep avoiding all of it. This thread does make me think more seriously about just getting it over with, though. promise there's nothing nasty in there .. it's actually quite well organized it's just, too much STUFF!
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, when I thought I was only going to have about 10 days to get out of this house I was thinking of selling whatever I could, taking vitally important stuff in the car, and storing the stuff like you are talking about. I guess that still could happen, but hopefully it won't be quite as desparate of an act as I originally foresaw. If it had been that desparate and difficult child got sent to my bro, I very well could end up having such a mental breakdown that anything in a storage unit got forgotten and abandoned just out of priotizing crisis situations.

    In other cases, it seems like some people stuff things in storage units in order to hide evidence from police or others. I have no mercy on them.
  11. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Its just the waste that bugs me - stuff that some of the down on their luck people could really use. Some of the units were packed very neatly, with everything marked and stacked - others seemed to be grab what you can and throw it in a trash bag in the middle of the night. The place we were cleaning was just purchased - prior storage owners just left the stuff in the units for years, never re renting. We have a list of stuff that friends are looking for, and if we find something, can take a picture on the phone and send it to them.

    Unfortunately, SO can never pass up a tool - we have four table saws in the garage, and he is always bringing home odd ball "stuff" If given free reign, I could easily see him hoarding. He has his own storage unit, and is thinking about something bigger. Originally the idea was Christmas ornaments, but it has ballooned from there. Don't even wanna know what he has in there - probably better that way.
  12. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

  13. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    as the owner of rental property, I could tell you some horror stories about what folks leave behind. Most often it's dirt, trash and spoiled food (!), but we've found closets full of clothes, photos, decorations, important papers, and more. I am not surprise anymore......

  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Wee's last sitter's dad owns a lot of rental properties. He also owns some storage units that he rents out. He holds 4 storage unit for the better stuff that he cleans out of the homes he rents. When I need a new appliance, I go shopping in his storage unit. Our 52" tv came from there. FREE. I got it straight out of the rental propoerty...never even got into the storage unit.
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Marcie -

    You know - I have lost my things so many times over the course of my adult life to fire, flood, tornado - What you described made me think of the first flood I went through and lost baby pictures of Dude. I was heartbroken. We had just about gotten everything back together with donations from family of pictures we had sent them---and my nephew set my sons room on fire. They were 3 & 4 years old. I lost things again. Dude has lost everything he owned over and over so much if he isn't a hoarder by the time he's 30 I'll be surprised or thank therapy.

    My idea was - the people in these storage units who have kid pictures....Could you start a reclaimation business on the side? You know - they couldn't pay the bill for the storage - but you send them a letter and say I have your pictures....I scanned them, stored them on disc - and if you want them you can send me - $$ XX ???? I can't think of any Mother who wouldn't want them or if something tragic had happened to her - the kids would want them someday.

    Just a thought....not with any of the nasty junk or pics - just the kids pictures. It seemed to touch your heart so....