Smart Auction Buyers know that to be successful at cleaning out a unit, you need be in the Right Frame of Mind, have Tools of the Trade, create a Strategy Plan and Organize the Clean Out.
Step One: Tools Of The Trade
In order to clean out a storage unit properly, you should create a “Clean Out Tool Kit.” Being prepared can save you time and money.
- Gloves– have various sizes for yourself and recruited helpers. A properly fitted glove is important for safety reasons. Also, include rubber, latex, or vinyl gloves to use for cleaning up rat, mouse, roach droppings, etc.
- Disc Lock– this lock type is considered the industry standard. Purchase several locks keyed alike (a little more cost upfront but when buying several units it is much more efficient to have only one key to keep track of).
- Masks– are recommended to help prevent exposure to germs, bad orders, and filter out small particles.
- Bags– a unit needs to be thoroughly cleaned out, including trash
- Broom– unit needs to be swept clean
- Packing materials– moving blankets, shrink-wrap, boxes (for loose items), hand-truck, etc...
- Rope/Bungee Cords– for your tie-down needs
- Flashlight/tap light – for illuminating any dark places
- Resale Certificate– keep copies in your kit. A facility will need one to put in their file
- Cash Deposit– keep $100 in an envelope, always ready for a cleaning deposit
- The cleaning deposit does NOT allow a bidder to leave items behind in the unit, please make sure you clean it out completely and the Cleaning Deposit will be refunded.
Step Two: Strategy Plan
Start planning your clean out strategy before you win an auction. This will ensure that the Cleanout Time required is met. To implement a plan, pay attention to the Unit Size and Cleanout Time, found on the “Storage Auction Details” page.
- Vehicle– make sure it is large enough to empty out the unit. Plan on renting a truck or trailer if needed. Trailers are most cost-effective as there are no miles to pay for.
- Extra Muscle– determine if you need to enlist the help of a friend or family member or hire someone
- Schedule– you may need more than one day to clean out the storage unit. Plan accordingly by being aware of the facilities Cleanout Time posted on the auction and printed on your Invoice
- GPS the facility- in case of multiple trips, you should be aware of the distance and time required to complete the clean-out process. The location of the Facility can be found on the “Storage Facility Homepage” page
On the Storage Auction Details page:
- Click on the Facility Name
- The Storage Facility Homepage appears
- View the map and address of the facility
Step Three: Organize The Clean Out
- Vehicle Loading– categorize your load – keep, toss, donate and sell. If you have time to view the contents of your unit, load your vehicle according to your categories.
- Sell – the last load to come off the truck, so pack first on the truck
- Keep – Items to bring home and enjoy
- Donate – drop off on the way home
- Toss –first load to come off the truck (you might want to reconsider trashing anything (people love Upcycling) - donate the items or put it up on Craigslist or Offer up for free pickup or leave it at the curb in front of your house)
Step Four: Reminders
It is always a good idea to revisit these Tips, Rules and Guidelines. Here are a several that might help with your Cleanout Strategy Plan.
- All units are sold “AS IS” (this falls under being in the Right Frame of Mind)
- Always call the facility before you head out to retrieve your treasures! (Unit might have been canceled)
- Cash – bring the correct clean-out deposit and “Total Due at Facility” amount owed (most facilities do not have change)
- The cleaning deposit is returned once the facility verifies the unit is empty and in “broom-swept condition”
- All unit(s) contents must be removed from the facility premises
- Facility dumpsters or trash cans may not be used.