If you plan on participating in a storage auction, you need to be prepared to clean out the unit afterwards. Beginners often assume they can pick and choose what they want to keep, leaving the trash behind for the storage facility to clean up. If you read the fine print in the storage auction’s terms and conditions, however, you’ll likely find that most facilities require the winning bidder to clean everything out of the unit within a 24-48 hour period.
So, why should you follow the terms and conditions of a storage auction by cleaning the unit out? Assuming you want to participate in future auctions, you have to. Failure to clean out any units you’ve won may result in your name being blacklisted from future auctions. In other words, the facility will prohibit you from participating in future auctions. And to make matters worse, they may call and notify other self-storage facilities in the area about your failure to clean, resulting in your name being blacklisted there as well.
Whether you plan on being the winning bidder or not, you should always come prepared to clean out the unit. Lady luck might be on your side that day, allowing you take home a treasure trove of valuables — but only if you clean out the unit. So, this is why it’s a good idea to bring all of the necessary cleaning supplies, including a push broom (the bigger, the better) and dust pain, a box of heavy-duty trash bags, gloves, a dust mask, and a couple cardboard boxes. Personally, I keep these items stored in my vehicle so they are always on hand whenever I need them.
If you asked ten different storage hunters what the best way to clean out a unit is, you would probably get ten different answers. However, I’ve found that it’s best to remove all of the large items first, such as furniture, televisions, storage containers, plastic crates, etc. Once these items are removed, you’ll have an easier time accessing the smaller stuff. Take your time to go through each item to determine whether you should keep it or throw it away. When you are finished, bag and box up the trash and haul it to a local dump. You can then go back and sweep/tidy up the unit so it’s completely clean.
Comment By: Ed Albrecht
“Good info, but from someone who did this vigorously 2 years straight, an additional trip back to clean up is a waste of time. Remove all items you want, bag what you don’t want or junk and be smart enough to bring a truck so everything goes in one trip, garbage included. Often we would win auctions in 4 different locations. We would make the rounds, collecting everything that is in the unit and move on. You have to be fastidious. Truck rental, workers to load and unload as in our case we ended up with 2 warehouses selling the used items. Average truck, 2 guys a day approx. $250., with us plus lunch and tip, but these guys worked. Don’t assume you can use a car to remove all. You would be amazed at how much stuff people can stuff into an 5X5. Lastly, suggested here, take a photo by phone or camera of the empty clean unit. Easy way to be refunded deposits and save time of manager going to check on you. All about expediency. Time is definitely money. “