There are several tools that will prove to be very useful at your next storage auction. Definitely the most important tool to bring is a good flashlight. Many people keep their most valuable possessions in the back of the storage units, and since most of the units do not have lighting inside of them, you should have a flashlight that is reliable and bright enough to illuminate the back of the unit. Get a rechargable flashlight or bring extra batteries–there’s nothing worse than a flashlight dying on you halfway through the auction!
You also will need a lock to secure the unit after you buy it. It is a good idea to have several padlocks with you at every auction, because you might not know exactly how many units you are going to bid on. Storage facilities rarely sell locks, but if they do, they will be very overpriced. Make sure you have a good place for your spare keys, it would be troublesome and embarrassing to have to cut the lock off of your own storage unit! Also make sure the locks and keys are color coded for easier identification, or have one key that fits all of your locks–you don’t want to be fumbling with a huge key ring looking for the right one while the auction party is heading off to the next unit. If you plan on leaving the unit for a long period of time then I would suggest using a disc lock. They are more expensive, but very resistant to bolt cutters.
Since you will be dealing with a lot of boxes it’s highly suggested that you bring along a box cutter or knife to make the sorting process more efficient. Also bring containers to sort things into. Many people bring garbage bags for clothes and linens, and crates and boxes for other items. Even though the items in the unit may have been moved in their existing boxes, the boxes themselves may be in bad shape, or have bugs in them. Heavy duty gloves and a first aid kit will come in handy too; cuts and scrapes tend to happen while moving heavy or awkward items.
Another good tool to carry along is a dolly or a hand-truck to move large items such as appliances or heavy furniture. You don’t have to move the items out immediately, so bring some friends along later to help with the heavy stuff. Don’t try to be the hero and move heavy furniture by yourself…you could risk a serious injury that will prevent you from attending storage auctions for a long time.
And…don’t forget to bring cash! Without cash you cannot pay for the unit that you just won!