Mini storage auctions can be fun because you never know what treasure you’ll find. However, if you are new to the experience, you may benefit from the following tips from an experienced bidder on mini storage units.

1. Bring a Good Flashlight

Most mini storage facilities will not allow you to rummage through the unit. Instead, you are usually only allowed to view the contents of each unit from the door. Some units will be lighted, others will not be. Regardless, you will need a good light to view into dark crevices and corners.

2. You May Want To Wait Before You Bid

The final bid for morning auctions tends to be higher than for afternoon auctions. Therefore, if you wait until later in the day, you may be able to walk away with a better deal.

3. Be Prepared For Auction Cancellations

Those that rent storage units (like these in Sydney) have until just before the auction starts to settle their bill. If there is only one or a few storage units up for action, this could mean the auction will be cancelled at the last minute. Keep this in mind if you are planning on traveling a long distance to attend an mini storage auction event. It may only be worth it if there are a large number of units up for auction.

4. Bring a Padlock

If you win an auction, you will usually be required to remove the contents within 24 hours. Sometimes this means you may have to go borrow or rent a moving truck or trailer. You may also need to go recruit someone to help you move the heavier items. Since there will be no lock on the unit, you will want to have your own lock to secure the contents while you get the moving truck and/or help.

5. You May Be Able To Barter For Help

Often times, you will want to keep only some of the contents of a mini storage unit. If there are items you don’t want, you may be able to barter with other bidders at the auction to help you move what you do want in exchange for what you do not want. This is one of the many reasons it is always advantageous to stay friendly with your fellow bidders.

6. Bring a Toolbox

Inevitably, you’ll be sorry if you don’t bring along your toolbox. You never know when you’ll need a hammer to knock open an old rusty lock. You may need a screwdriver to pry something open. A wrench set and a good pair of pliers can come in handy too. And… don’t forget the scissors!

7. Bring Old Blankets and Tape

One of the best ways to protect furniture from being scratched is to wrap it with an old blanket and then run tape around it. This is what professional movers do. This can also help protect lamps and other fragile items during transport.

8. Smelly Mini Storage Units

If you come across a unit with a mysterious foul odor, this might be an excellent opportunity to get a great deal on some amazing treasure. Many bidders will avoid units that smell bad. However, the foul odor may just be emanating from one box of stuff that happened to have something perishable. The rest of the unit contents may be fine.

9. Mondays Vs. Fridays

In general, auctions held on Mondays go for a higher price than those held on Fridays. This is because professional dealers will always have more cash to spend on Mondays since the weekend is almost always their biggest sales days. You can often get great deals at mid-week auctions too.

Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be in a better position to find something great. Good luck.


When you are planning to put your belongings in a storage unit, you rarely think of items you cannot store away. It might seem to be common sense to most people, but you would be surprised at the things people think they can store.

Certain items should never be placed in storage units according to laws, government and safety precautions. Since different regions have different laws, it may be challenging to come up with a comprehensive list of things that should never be stored in a storage unit. However, there are 8 items that should never be stored irrespective of the region and its laws.

Perishable items – Perishable items such as animal food, animal litter, drinks and food should never be stored even if the unit has climate control. Such items not only attract different types of pests, but they also create an unsanitary storage environment.

Pets – Storing pets is never an option as it is unethical and cruel. Put your pet up for adoption if you feel you can no longer take care of it. If you are in need of a short-term place to keep your pet, ask a friend to babysit or take it to an animal shelter. Some areas can send you to jail for keeping a pet in storage.

Combustible items – Storing flammable items can be extremely dangerous because storage units have inconsistent temperature changes. A fire resulting from storing such items may result in a lawsuit.

Stolen items or illegal drugs – Never use a storage unit as a place to stash illegal items such as stolen goods or drugs.

Unregistered vehicles – Any kind of vehicles such as motorcycles, snow-mobiles, boats or cars should be registered before they are stored. It is also advisable to ensure they are insured in-case any damage occurs.

Guns or weapons – Storage should not be used for any kind of weapons. This includes knives, arrows, bows, hunting rifles and illegal firearms. The weapon can go off accidentally and spark an explosion. Furthermore, they could be stolen or fall into the wrong hands when left in your unit. A storage unit is not safe enough to keep such items.

People – With the recent hard economic times, some people have resorted to living in storage units (source) as they are more affordable. It is illegal and unsafe to live in such units. Any type of person, whether deceased or alive, should not be kept in these units.

Radioactive or hazardous materials – Any material that can cause damage in case it spills should be kept away from your unit. It is dangerous for other people, and it could also put you and your things in danger.

  • List of hazardous materials can be found here.
  • List of radioactive materials can be found here.

Finally, it is prudent to always check with the storage facility of your choice. The facility you choose will have a more extensive list of things that cannot be stored based on the area’s

laws. It is therefore important to keep in mind this list when you are storing your personal items. Such a move will substantially increase your safety as well as the safety of your belongings.


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