When Self-Storage Auctions Go Wrong

When most people think of self-storage, they think of furniture, clothes or even business inventory. And that’s true for majority of people who use self-storage. Typically, there are restrictions on storing hazardous materials, illegal items, perishable goods, and living organisms. All of which will be listed under the Limits On Use part of any contract. It is always best to check with the specific self storage facility for their list of prohibited items. However, every now and then, self-storage is used for something more menacing. Some of these things found in units include human remains, haunted dolls, illegal drugs, weapons, and even live animals. It’s important to remember that storing illegal or dangerous items in a unit is not only strange but also illegal. The following stories you can find with just a simple Google search or you can click on the title of each Auction story.

A Meth Lab

If you are a fan of the reality TV shows for storage Auctions; then you probably have seen just how these types of Auctions are done. Majority of Storage auctions are public sales of abandoned storage units by storage facility owners. Just like those shows, you never know what you could get buried in the units once the lock is removed. Back in 2015, a South California man and his uncle got more than they imagine with a unit they won. Although, one of their units made them a profit, the other one caused a commotion. Unknowingly, the second unit turned out to be boxes filled with equipment and chemicals for a crystal meth lab. The findings were so toxic, that Hazmat had to be called out to clear the unit.

Photo courtesy of KCRA 3

Grandma’s Body

Losing a loved one is hard, and sometimes it can be difficult to let go. There have been dozens of cases of people keeping the ashes of their loved ones in their storage units. When a Florida unit was set for auction back in 2012, the Manager of the facility reached out in hopes to obtain payment. During this call, is when the family’s morbid secret came to light. Apparently, a grandmother who passed away in 1995 was stored in the unit for over 17 years in a homemade casket. The Police were called to the unit and found nothing else suspicious. After which, Largo chapel of A Life Tribute took possession of the grandmother’s remains.

Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Times

Suitcases filled with body parts

In August 2022, an unsuspected New Zealand family won a unit auction that would cause nightmares. The family loaded up the unit in a trailer and brought all the contents home for them to inventory. Once they started to unload the items, the smell from the suitcases started to get stronger. Upon opening them, they were startled to find what looked like human body parts. They quickly called the Authorities to their home, where it was determine the suitcases contained multiple sets of human remains.

Photo courtesy of New York Post

A Human Leg (Wrapped In Tin Foil)

Shannon Whisnant got more than he bargained for when he bought a grill at storage auction. Taking ownership of all the items only to discover a human leg, nestled inside a gas BBQ. As many of us, Shannon had a lot of questions but didn’t stop him from trying to become famous on finding the mummified human foot! While Shannon was living in his 15 minutes of fame for his find, it grab the attention of the original owner, John Wood. John did in fact come forwarded requesting his leg back. Unfortunately, due to the possession is nine-tenths of the law, Whisnant had the right to refuse causing a custody battle to begin. After a f few years, and life style changes the original tenant was finally reunited by court ordered with his missing leg. If you would like to know more about the amputee, check out this Finders Keepers (2015 film) article on Wikipedia.

Movie Posters from IMDB Finders Keepers

How about those intense auction stories?!? Even more of a reason to always make sure to carefully review any contracts or agreements before agreeing to them. Especially when it comes to storing items or information. Storage units have always been convenient for people who need the extra space. However, many of the items in the articles above are not permissible! But they are the perfect examples of what not to store in self storages! Luckily here at Belton Self Storage we’ve never had anything like this, and we hope we never will. But if you would like to know some of the weirdest things we’ve seen or experience, contact us today.

Tips to declutter your garage

Declutter your garage with ease. Garages tend to collect items you don’t use or don’t need, which makes them a pain to organize. With a little bit of effort, you’ll have a neat and organized garage in no time! Take everything out of your garage and sweep it thoroughly. Sort through what you have and […]

How to pick the right size self storage for your needs

Choosing the right size self storage unit can be tricky. Here are some tips to help you select the best size for your needs:

  • Make a list of items you plan to store. This will help you gauge the amount of space you need and determine the size of the unit.
  • Measure the items you plan to store. This will give you an idea of the size of unit you need.
  • Consider your budget. The size of the unit will impact the cost of your rental.
  • Consider any special needs you may have. If you plan to store sensitive items, you may need climate control or other features which will affect the size of the unit you select.
  • Visit the self storage facility. Seeing the units in person will give you a better idea of the size and features that will work for you.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you select the right size self storage unit for your needs.

A 5×10 self storage unit is a 5 feet wide and 10 feet long. For comparison, a 5×10 space is a small storage unit that’s about the size of an average walk-in closet.

A 10×10 self storage unit is 10 feet wide and 10 feet long. When visualizing the size of a 10×10 storage unit, it can be helpful to picture an average small bedroom or half of a one-car garage. 

A 10×15 storage unit are 10 feet wide and 15 feet long. Ideal for storing items from a two-bedroom house or apartment.

A 10×20 storage unit are 10 feet wide and 20 feet long. Is great for storing contents of a multi-bedroom home, about up to five rooms of space.

Need a lock for your storage unit? Or want additional packing supplies for your move?

For your convenience, we offer small, medium and large moving boxes for purchase in the office, along with other moving supplies that you may need.

See us at Budget Self Storage as we sell moving boxes, packing supplies, locks, and more.

Holiday Storage Tips

Finding space to store all those Holiday decorations can put anyone in a Bah Humbug state of mind, so let us help you with a few hoilday hacks that are worth a try!

Storing your holiday decorations properly can help keep your space clean. To help you get it done, we’ve compiled a few clever storage solutions to declutter after the Holidays. From keeping wreaths in good condition with a wreath container, installing overhead shelves in your garage or basement. To storing wrapping paper in garment bags, there are tons of ways to organize and store your holiday decor!

Holiday Wreaths

Homz 24 in. Clear/Red Storage Unit 27 in. H X 24-1/2 in. W X 7 in. D

We welcome the Holidays by hanging a wreath on the front door. Firstly it’s easy to understand that a wreath can often lose its original glamour not from its time in use, but from its time in storage. Secondly, utilizing a wreath container can not only help keep your Holiday wreaths looking fantastic just as the first day you bought them, but will also protects those wreaths from collecting dust and bugs! Above all, the best part about using these types of containers are that they simple to store in the closet and will take up less room overall!

Garment Bags

How to Organize Wrapping Paper - 15 Gift Wrap Organization Ideas

Next on our list is clear garment bags! In other words, you can use Garment Bags to store your wrapping paper rolls. Let me tell you, this little hack has helped alot especially if you don’t have any more room for totes! For instance, Take your different-sized rolls of wrapping paper, place them in the garment bag, close the zipper and hang your wrapping paper up in your spare closet. There should be no arguements on how simple this is?!

In addition, , no more wrestling with storage bins that seem to lose more and more space every year. More importantly, don’t even get me started on the wrapping paper rolls that are always slightly too long to fit. Besides, we already have so many storage bins stacked up in our basements, attics and garages—we don’t need to add another to the list!


Wrapping your Christmas Tree

Wrap your Christmas Tree in heavy duty Stretch Wrap and an extra set of helping hands. Do NOT use kitchen stretch wrap. The heavy duty wrap that is suggested is typically used for moving and storage. Kitchen wrap will NOT work.

Having one person hold one end of the wrap, while the other person walks around with the wrap makes it quite a bit easier. After the first layer, the second person can help guide the wrap. Or you could even switch off on either side of the tree. You will quickly find what works best for you. Make sure to start at either the top and bottom.

Remember to wrap as tightly as you can so that everything will stay in place. You will want to wrap several layers so that it will be nice and secure.

Overhead Storage

EZ Slide Tote Storage System - Overhead Garage Storage

There are many ways to maximize your garage. You should know that your garage can be an extra place for you to save some of your stuffs. You just need to have a well-organized garage. Most garage spaces contain a lot of unused space along the top edges of the walls. This is a great location to build some easy storage shelves that will greatly increase the amount of square footage that you can use for storage.

Gift Boxes

Another fun little hack is to use a holiday-themed gift box to store all your holiday cards. This is an nifty way to keep all of those greeting cards together and organized for years to come. Simply store all of your greeting cards, stamps, pictures and envelopes in one spot!

Don’t wait until the last minute: Start packing away your holiday decorations as soon as the holiday is over. This will help you stay organized and avoid any last-minute scrambling. Get rid of anything you don’t need: Before you start packing everything away, go through your holiday decorations and get rid of anything you don’t need or want anymore. This will save you time and space in the long run.

Here at Budget Self Storage, we will love to assit your storage needs.

Prevent Pest Invasion

How to keep mice and bugs out of your storage unit.

It’s vital that everyone learn how to keep pests and rodents out of storage units whenever possible. The best way to keep rats and other vermin out of storage is by taking preventative measures. Storage units are attractive nesting sites for rodents because they sit undisturbed most of the time. Tenants will sometimes check on their belongings, which could mean an infestation could grow and spread with little to no disturbance. By storing items correctly, removing food and picking the right facility, it’s unlikely you’ll have an issue. We have compiled a few tips to better assist you in preventing those unwanted guest living rent free in your unit.

Do not store food inside a storage unit.

This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people make the mistake of keeping food items unintentionally inside storage.

Firstly, look for food where you might not have intended to leave it. Vacuum or clean out furniture beneath the cushions that you plan on storing. Secondly, check your kitchen storage containers, pots and pans for any crumbs or residual food on the surfaces. Lastly and very important tip is to make sure that the unit was broom swept and no crumbs are leftover from previous tenants or a lunch you ate in there on moving day.

Nonetheless, if you’re moving in a hurry, don’t leave your entire pantry inside a storage unit expecting no rodent to take notice.

Keep items raised a couple of inches off the ground.

The Pallet Supply Chain and Lumber Price Impacts! - Supply Chain Game  Changer™

While bugs and rodents can crawl, it is helpful to keep your items elevated off the ground. One easy way to do this is by using open shelving or placing clean pallets on the ground.

Not only will this step help deter pests from making a home in your boxes, but it will also protect your belongings from moisture.

Boxes and Mattress covers

Amazon.com : U-Haul Apartment Moving Kit - 21 Boxes, 1 Dish Packing Kit,  Foam Pouches, Tape, Mattress Bag, TV Cover, and Other Assorted Packing  Supplies : Office Products

If you’re using moving boxes, we recommend buying new cardboard boxes for storage. New boxes are stronger and are less likely to have gaps or punctures that pests could enter. They are also manufactured with added strength to withstand stacking for long periods of time.

Bugs can burrow into any upholstered furniture and rodents will chew through it. The most common way that bed bugs get in storage units is through mattresses. Make sure any mattress you keep in storage is free of insects before being stored. To prevent them from coming in, use a plastic mattress cover that is specifically designed for keeping pests out.

You are in luck!

To our current and future tenants, rodent proof storage is our goal for all our customers. Just come to our office and we will be happy to supply you mice treatment free of charge. We also sell new and used boxes, mattress coverings, and other moving supplies.

Packing Tips No One Tells You!

Whether you are packing for a vacation, camping trip, or moving across the country, these tips can help save space and lessen headaches. Once you know these you will wonder how you ever packed before!

#1 Master the Art of the Russian Doll Technique. The dolls are actually called Matryoshka dolls and they are essentially a set of brightly painted hollow wooden dolls of varying sizes, designed to nest inside one another. The idea can be the same for packing. by combining similar items and nesting them inside one another. Even as little as simply putting things inside of other things when packing will make a big difference – you’ll be actually packing your belongings, not empty air.
So, next time you’re packing for moving, try to stack as many of your household items inside one another as possible – like nesting dolls – and you’ll save not only space, but also time and money.

#2 Trash Bags Aren’t Just For Trash. If you need to move your entire closet, just keep them on the hangers and bundle them together in a trash bags. It not only keeps them clean, and wrinkle free but makes it easy to move from one place to another. We suggest using white ones an marking them so no one confuses them for actual trash. If you want another option we sell wardrobe boxes. Stop by the office and get a few to help with your move.

#3 Home-made Bubble Wrap. You got that right. Although it’s not as fun as popping those bubbles you can use your towels and clothes, especially socks to wrap up glasses, cups, plates, and other breakable items. If you want to buy bubble wrap, packing paper, or boxes you can still come check us out for those too.

#4 Never Get Stuck Naked – Okay, that title is an attention seeking, but have you ever gone on vacation and the airline lost your luggage? Make sure you have a change of clothes in your carry-on bag. If it’s a beach vacation, pack an extra swimsuit so you can at least enjoy part of your vacation until your bags show up. Same goes for jewelry, cash, etc. You never want to have all your “eggs” in one basket. Trust us – We speak from experience on this one for sure. No one wants to be in the Caribbean with only what they wore on the plane (jeans, sweatshirt and winter coat)

De-Cluttering before The Big Move

Decluttering for a move is different than just decluttering for general purposes. Many people use a storage unit for excess furniture and sentimental items they want to keep but temporarily need a place to store them. Here is a list of helpful tips that we found online at artofhappymoving dot com.

  1. Think about how much money is at stake – It’s a costly decision to wait to declutter until after your move. For one thing you are moving things that you don’t need or want anymore. It’s a waste of time, energy, and ultimately money. When you declutter, you can make money by selling items, or donating them to charity. You will save money by using less packing supplies and maybe even renting a smaller truck . Your budget and your wallet will thank you for decluttering before moving.
  1. Start with the heavy stuff and the easiest to pack – Books are a great place to start. Even if you are drowning in books, it’s a fairly easy category to get through. You don’t need to try them on and your not getting sucked into a project you have been putting off like scrap-booking or organizing your pictures from 30 years ago. Now is not the time to be taking a trip down memory lane.
  1. Tackle by category – not by room. This means if you are starting with books, gather every single book you own from all corners of the house before moving on. Go to the attic, basement, office, closet and find them all. Then lay out each book and decide which one you want to keep. There are many places to donate locally. Find one you like and bless someone else.
  1. Set up five piles – Pack (keep), display, sell, donate, and trash. Keeping garbage bags handy for your trash and donate piles is essential to a smooth project. The boy scouts have different color trash bags to help differentiate donate vs trash. If you are donating, write each item down for tax purposes. If you are selling, go ahead and take a picture right away so you can list it online later. There will be some “keep” items you can store for now, and some that you will want to use to stage your house for sale. Get with your local real estate agent for staging tips and tricks.

5.Rephrase the question in your head – Don’t ask yourself “Should I get rid of this?” Instead ask “Do I want to pack, move, and then unpack this in my new home?” You need to decide if these items in question bring you joy. Is it worth the money and hassle to move it? Will it make you happy? If the answer is Yes, then by all means, place it in your keep pile for saving.

  1. If you are a “Keeper” ask for help – Invite a friend, your mom, or an expert organizer (yes that really is a thing). Sometimes having another set of eyes to help you through the process and motivate you to declutter things that you won’t really want in your new place.

Good luck with your move and happy decluttering – You will feel so much better once it’s all over and you are unpacked in your new space. For more tips and tricks on organizing your home, check out other blogs on abudgetselfstorage.com/blog

Cleaning Smelly Shoes

No matter how clean you may be, your feet will still produce an unpleasant odor, especially if you wear the same pair of shoes day every day. It doesn’t matter if you’re running, walking, or merely sitting all day long, your feet will naturally sweat — some people’s more than others. Some activities, such as working out may increase the smelliness. My son has the nastiest smelling feet I’ve ever encountered. During baseball season in the summer is the absolute worst.

Odor eliminators help, but getting to the root of the problem and preventative measures are the best way to combat this stinky situation. Keep your shoes and feet as dry as possible. Try to rotate your shoes and not wear the same ones day in and day out, even though they are so comfortable. I’ll admit to having 2 pairs of the same exact shoes because I love them so much. Unless you are wearing sandals, your should ALWAYS wear socks. They will absorb the dampness and keep that off your shoes.

Sometimes the inevitable strikes and the smell is stuck. Thanks to Good Housekeeping, I found some instructions to aid in cleaning your shoes and ultimately eliminate the foul stench.

1St – Before you start, make sure your shoes are completely dry. If they are damp or wet from daily wear, exercise, or poor weather conditions, stuff them with crumpled newspaper and let them air dry away from direct heat.

2Nd – Fill two socks with baking soda, tie them off at the top, and slip one sock in each shoe. Let them sit overnight.

Some shoes are machine washable – Follow care instructions. Most shoes can be washed on gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent. Shoes should be air dried to prevent shrinkage. No one likes shrinkage. If you’re afraid to use the machine, you can always try spraying Lysol, or sprinkle baking soda inside.

If you have done all of the above options and the odor still persists, it may be time to invest in a new pair of shoes.

Check out abudgetselfstorage.com/blog for more tips and tricks around the house.

6 Quick Tips To Stop Paper Clutter

Do you ever feel like you’re drowning in paper?

Is your husband’s wallet is overflowing with receipts? Are your desk drawers crammed with wedding invitations and old Christmas cards? Or maybe you have piles of kids’ school artwork and math homework shoved in the far corner of your kitchen counter.

Let’s face it: Paper clutter is one of the worst offenders to make a messy home. It accumulates quickly and can be totally overwhelming if you don’t deal with it on a daily basis.

Here are some tips I got from a website called makespace to help banish paper clutter from your home.

1.Go Paperless – Bills and bank statements are common offenders for paper buildup. If you stop them from coming in the mail at all you are cutting the paper off at the helm. Most banks and utility companies now offer email statements. Cloud storage is free or cheap these days. You can even take it a step further and pay bills online too, skipping the need for checks, envelopes, and stamps.

2. Purge your paper – Gather it all up in one area such as your kitchen table. Then sort them – recycle, scan or save. Scan any important documents like tax returns, lease agreements, insurance information. You can also scan those Christmas Cards or sentimental papers and keep them on your computer or external hard drive for safekeeping. Recycle everything else.

3. Recycle Magazines and Newspapers – Let’s Be Honest – those magazines you kept because you were going to try that recipe or future craft project isn’t going to happen. If you really want to keep it. Scan the article and recycle the magazine. While your at it, cancel those subscriptions and save money too.

4. Designate a “Take Action” Spot – Put papers like RSVP cards or forms that need filled out in a high traffic area of your house. I use my refrigerator in the kitchen. Those papers are at eye level so I see them multiple times a day and it prompts me to complete the task and clear that space. It’s also useful to not let it grow too much, so make sure you take action on at least a weekly basis.

5. Shred personal documents – Anything that has your address, social security number, phone number, or bank account number should be shredded to protect yourself from identity theft. If the shred pile is too big to do yourself there are companies out there that offer paper shredding. If you are in the Kansas City area, I recommend Access Records Management. They are a locally owned family business that offer drop off paper shredding for a small fee.

6. Use Binders – Binders aren’t just for middle schoolers any more. Use binders to keep your receipts, coupons, or papers you still want to keep a hard copy of. You can use labels or tabs to organize them and make it easier to locate what you need faster.

For other useful tips and tricks head to abudgetselfstorage.com/blog

7 Easy Tips to Organize The Bathroom

I’ve never been a morning person, so I’m all in when it comes to anything that will help make our morning routines run smoother. Having 2 kids making messes along the way, an organized bathroom can really help speed things up when it comes to getting ready. My favorite saying is “A place for everything, and everything in it’s place”. These days there are so many products to organize in every room in your house. I hope you find something in this list that can help. Feel free to comment any ideas that you have as well. Enjoy!

  1. Declutter First – With any organizing project, you should always start with Decluttering. There is no point wasting time organizing stuff that you don’t use or need. Purge first – then organize.
  1. Keep the Counters Clutter Free – Keep as few items out on the counters as possible and use a tray to corral any products that you do want out. This creates a tidier look and makes it easier to clear off your counter for cleaning. A good rule of thumb is to only use 1/3rd of the counter space so you have more room to get ready.
  1. Use The Inside of Cabinet Doors For Storage – You can gain a TON of extra storage in your bathroom by using the inside of your cabinet doors. I saw a study about the germs that get on your toothbrush from flushing the toilet.(Click For Article) Trust me, you want to start storing your toothbrush behind a closed door. You can use over the door organizers or clear organizers stuck to the door with command hooks work great.
  1. Hang Towels From Hooks – It’s much easier to hang up bath towels on a hook than it is to hang them on a towel bar. Plus it allows the towel to dry better. As a family of 4, you can hang up 4 towels at once and take up much less space than a bar. Depending on the bathroom size, every inch can count. This is a great space saver suggestion. If you don’t want to install or make holes in the wall, or perhaps you don’t have the wall space, a great option is over the door hooks.

5. Use Drawer Dividers – There are so many little items that can get lost in those cluttered bathroom drawers. Using a divider to give everything a “home” will make it much quicker and easier to find what you are looking for. If you are extra fancy and crafty you can add a drawer liner.

  1. Use Clear Containers – Another great idea to store medicine, sunscreen, deodorant, q-tips, etc is to use a clear container to be able to see what’s inside. I have a few with drawers and they are stack-able. It makes things so much easier to find and looks much cleaner.
  1. Label, Label, Label – Labels make it easier to find what you are looking for and, even more importantly, where to put it back. Now your kids (and husband) can’t tell you they didn’t know where to look for something. A label maker is a cheap and easy way to not only find items but to personalize them as well.

For more ideas, head to www.abudgetselfstorage.com/blog