You won a unit at an abandoned storage unit auction. Now is the time for cleaning out the unit! Sell items right out of the unit to make it easier on you.
You won an abandoned storage unit at auction. Sell items right out of the unit to make it easier on you.
If the storage unit business owner gives you plenty of time to get out of the unit, use it to your advantage. Take photos and measurements of large items in the unit and post them on your favorite selling site like Craigslist or a Facebook selling group. You can research how to do that on each site’s information page. When people contact you, you can sell it right out of the unit. The buyer may buy other items out of the unit as well. This is less hauling for you. Sometimes they buy something we were thinking we might have to pay to dispose of.
After the auction, if you have the time, get out of the unit right away. If not, come back later with your hauling vehicle, moving buddy, flashlight, rubber gloves, tape measure and garbage bags. Keep your rental receipt and track your mileage for tax purposes. Check with your accountant to find out all the items that are deductible in your area for this business and keep track. Schedule a time on your calendar to do this weekly or monthly and keep tax items in one “tax area” or “tax tote” so you can find it easily when “tax recording” next comes up on your calendar.
Sometimes units are a mess and you have to pick up garbage off the floor and put it in the trash bags just so you can walk through it. Put on your rubber gloves and pick up all the loose items you can. Put trash in trash bags and put items to sort in other bags or half filled containers or boxes you find in the unit.
If you have days to get out of the unit, take photos on your smartphone of the larger items you would like to sell right out of the unit. Be sure to write down measurements, brand name, model number, year manufactured, etc. to assist in looking up prices these items are selling for and to help in listing the item to sell. With large items, we are in a Facebook rummage sale group where you can list the items you have to sell (for free) and communicate with a potential buyer through Facebook on your arrangements to meet to sell it. We sometimes list items on Craigslist (for free) to reach potential buyers who may search Craigslist, but are not a Facebook user. We list it there with the photo, measurements, details and price. Get resourceful and creative and find ways to advertise for free.
Take your buddy and the key to your lock and meet the potential client at the storage unit at the pre-determined time. Be patient with the buyer and give them time to look it over. Always remember to ask the potential buyers to look around to see if there is anything else they are interested in. We have sold many items we were intending to throw away in this fashion, which saved us on transportation and disposal costs. If the person mentions they are looking for something, keep note of that with their name and method of contacting them in case you find one someday.
If you don’t have days to get out of the unit, first look around to estimate how much garbage you have. If there is about enough for a load, load it all up and take it to the dump for the first trip. Next, try to take as much as you can in one load. If it looks like it will be more than one load, take all the smaller items to your sort facility first, then large items in the last trip.
Always be out of the unit before the deadline and clean out the unit as best you can to keep a good reputation with the storage unit owners. Because we have left a good impression on unit owners, we have been contacted and offered a unit if no one showed at an auction or if a renter wanted to give up the unit because it was owned by a deceased family member. Sometimes we don’t even have to pay and the storage unit owners are happy to have it cleared by a reliable person. When you are out of a unit that you have been given days or weeks to get out of, contact the storage unit business owner to let them know you are out so they can rent it to another person. We have known other auction buyers who were not out on time, or that did not empty it completely that were banned from purchasing more units from the facility.
When you bring these items to your storage area, put them all in your “incoming” section Take photos and measurements of any large items and advertise those items right away (Craigslist, Facebook, newspaper for example). You want those to get out of your way to make it easier to get to the boxes to sort through. Also, you might as well have people coming over to see the large items while you are there sorting the other items. Don’t forget to ask if there is anything else they are looking for! That makes it less for you to have to figure out how to sell later.