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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

An entire Dig... step by step

Lots of people have asked to come on "digs" with us --  (once again that's the part where we open up the unit we've bought).  It's the most rewarding part of the storage unit business-- but it's also the hardest and most disgusting part as well.   Our policy is NOT to let anyone we know help us do this.  It's not that we don't trust you or think you're going to run away with our treasures...  it's that against better judgement we've let people a time or two help out and then we've had to listen to whining all day long.  "EWWW!  Dirty underwear!! You're going to TOUCH that??  Why not just leave it there??   GROSS!"     Any job has pros and cons-- including this one.  

But... I know people are curious, so I decided a few weeks ago that I was going to photograph a dig, beginning to end.  I didn't pick one that I thought was going to be super interesting (although they all are) or that I knew would have a lot of treasure-- I just picked one at random.   I hope you enjoy it.

Not that it matters, but just so you know-- we purchased this unit on a Monday morning at 11am.  We had packed it into the van by about 3pm, and because Brian wasn't free that evening (he was working at Java House) we decided to park the van at my house so that I could unload it as best I could.  We had auctions the following day, so hypothetically if we bought a unit on Tuesday, we'd only have until Wednesday to pick it up-- so I only had about 72 hours to do this dig!    I worked non-stop, through dinner, and finished the dig around midnight Monday night/Tuesday morning.

My setup consisted of a few empty rubbermaid bins, a pile for trash, and a lot of drinking water:

The unit we purchased was a fully-packed 10X10, so we had a lot of things to work with.  Here's a shot of the van before I took anything out:

I'm not off to a great start, with some of our most common and most disgusting items.   So far I have a prescription pill bottle, a dirty diaper, and an unused tampon.

I found a purse, which usually is super exciting because often times they contain cash, jewelry, or more often than not-- unused gift cards and "loyalty" cards... I can't tell you how many free smoothies / free breadstix / free whatever we've gotten, because we had a punch card for some place that was 90% full!

Although purses contain awesome items, they also kind of stink too, because it usually takes about 20 minutes of your time to stick your hand in and pull things out one by one.  There's always a lot of old mints and gum and sticky change and things like that, too!

Ahh, my first really exciting find!  (Brian is always mad at me when I go "ooh" or "aah" and it's not something that's REALLY valuable... and I guess I see his point,  but wow, these yellow glasses are pretty cool!)

There's also a kneading massage cushion that's unopened, still in the original box.  It's also shrink wrapped inside.

Ooooh.... I see a Louis Vuitton bag and my heart stops for a minute....

But it turns out that it's filled with pots & pans.  At least they are clean pots & pans!

Oh my goodness... this shirt says it all about the woman who lived in this house!  Maybe you'd be treated more like a princess if you didn't eat like a clumsy elephant.

 This belt buckle tells us a lot about the gentleman of the house too...  good to see he's got all of his priorities in order!  Now I know why his stuff ended up in storage.

Let's take a look at what the van looks like now to see my progress:

There's now a few clothing piles amassing... the one on the left are the things I'm keeping for myself (this girl was actually my size, or at least at certain times she was!)   the pile in the middle is garage sale clothing, and the pile on the right is designer / consignment clothing.

Our rubbermaid bins are also filling up quite nicely.  That thing with the "Defend New Orleans" sticker on it is a laptop. We ended up selling it for $45.

Lots of shoes!  Women's size 9.5-10 (my size, which I always appreciate).  Men's and boys shoes, too!

I discovered very quickly on that our tenants were unemployed-- but they did have a lucrative DVD copying business.  They'd rent from blockbuster or buy from Walmart, and then make illegal copies and sell them for $5 a piece.  The stack on the left is the legit DVDs --- stack on the right is the copied DVDs.   There were over 500 copies when all was said and done.  We don't sell them (for legal reasons)-- but I'd be lying if I said I didn't keep a few for myself! :)

Gotta love Saints fans, even if they do lose their storage lockers!

From the "WTF outfit is this"  collection!  I will point out that the socks are white/clear MESH so that the yellow/blue/red stripes appear to be floating in mid air.  Combined with those sweet yellow & white striped hi-top Reeboks, I think anyone would look fly.  (sarcasm).

Let's look at the progress in the stack in the back of the van:

And how our rubbermaid totes are filling up.  We also have a really disgusting box of disgustingness that I've assembled (the brown cardboard one).

A look inside our box of disgustingness:  We have a dirty pan, the dirty diaper, half of a cockroach,  really dirty underwear, and a used douching device (yeah, like I know what it's called!)

Ahh... and in case you were wondering, here are our three top items...  Condoms, tampons/maxi-pads, and fake hair!

The van is completely cleaned out!  I left only the big items... there's a one-armed rocking chair (we ended up throwing that one away),  2 or 3 nice picture frames (about $30 at a garage sale),  a carpet cleaner that actually worked really well that we sold to a friend for $50,  and a microwave.

Here's a look at part of my finished pile (look at how many rubbermaid totes I had to add)

And the rest of my finished pile:
 Our riches for the day included:  clothing, costume jewelry, shoes, 3-4 bedding sets, 10-12 rubbermaid totes, 2-3 laundry baskets, hangers, belts, belt buckle, purses, massager cushion, Coach nail polish gift set, the pictures, carpet cleaner, one armed rocking chair, 25 cds, 500 pirated cds, a garbage can, posters, Christmas decorations/ trees/ ornaments, fake hair,  hair dresser equipment (dryer, foils, dye, etc),  and a portable nebulizer.

This is the basket I kept for myself.  Contrary to popular belief (Brian)-- I do NOT keep everything for myself.  Only a few things.   If you're wondering,  there is a sundress (new with tags),  a pair of capri pants,  2 tops,  a black wrought-iron decoration for the wall, a flashlight (for our company),  a few movies,  a fashion book (for Holly),  and A Wrinkle In Time, one of my favorite childhood books.  I've read it about 4 times since I got it out of this unit!  Oh, and a laundry basket... because you can always use an extra (free) laundry basket!

That's it for this dig!   All in all I think we made about $200 on this locker, which isn't our max, by far, but every little bit helps!   And I still have almost all of the things I kept, with the exception of the sundress which doesn't fit right and will be sold this weekend.  Let me know if anyone wants it!

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