Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

July 9, 2014

Storage wars: Not every locker is a pot of gold

Don’t we just love them? Calvin (the thrift store owner), Jarrod and Brandi (the enthusiastic young married couple), Darrell (the storage auction veteran) and Rene and Casey (the German couple who ruled season 5.) Each week they step into our homes and into our hearts, on what has become the number one A&E series of all time, “Storage Wars.”

The premise is simple. Each episode follows teams of bidders in their quest to unearth hidden treasures from abandoned storage units. The “drama” comes from the frantic bidding and bidder rivalries that have developed into what is, nothing less, than a prime-time soap opera in the parking lot of a self-store facility. These colorful treasure hunters are back again this season, and it is estimated they will be seen by more than six million viewers.

The number of “self-store” units rented in the US has increased greatly in the past five years for two reasons. 1) Drastic increases in foreclosures and evictions have left many Americans in the position of needing a temporary place to store their household contents. And 2) there are a record number of seniors down-sizing and estates being settled. This puts many people in need of temporary storage while they decide what to do with a life-time accumulation of belongings. Storage unit companies provide a much needed service and business is booming – to the tune of 2.3 billion square feet of rented space in 2011!

Sizes of units vary and rent is paid on a monthly basis. Storage facilities may offer climate controlled mini-garages, lockers and containers. Security is a top priority with these facilities, making them a great way to keep your possessions safe. Sadly, in some cases the cost of maintaining a storage unit becomes a financial burden and payment goes delinquent. When this occurs “self-store” facilities have the legal right to offer the contents of the abandoned unit at public auction to recoup lost rental fees.

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