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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This Unit's older than Brian! Part 2

I was starting to sound like a soap opera when I last left off, so I'll start this one the same way--  on the last episode of this blog, we discovered that:

* Gold and silver ARE a reality in most of our units (I'm convinced I can smell it or something)
* Dust DOESN'T kill (although I'm sure for some people it's pretty uncomfortable)
* It is possible for something to be older than Brian!

We still don't know who shot J.R. (did anyone EVER find out on that show?)  but we did know at this point that we had a pretty good locker.  On-site had yielded some kids toys, electronics (including a digital camera),  some silver certificates, silver, lots of 10 and 14 and 18 karat gold, and we still had a lot of boxes/bins to open. 

At the garage sale I opened about 4 boxes of glassware while we were making money & selling things to people-- we always try to make good use of our time!  And I was lucky that we had our friend Trisha there to help us.  We still had about 10-12 boxes to go through (only about 3-4 of which I had actually even glanced at),  so it was still a mystery what was inside.   Oh, and I'm sure you didn't forget about the trunk.

We had opened the trunk a few days before (if you think that either Brian or I are patient enough to wait for opening a locked trunk more than a couple of hours-- you are wrong!  We almost went crazy with that locked safe a couple of months ago, and that took us a few days to get the combination for.  Fortunately he was able to break the lock open!)   Lily was also on hand to help-- so it made it a good time to try to open it.  Brian pried it open (completely ruining the trunk) and here's video of that:

We finally got the trunk open, okay, BRIAN got the trunk open-- although I have to take credit for holding it down while he opened it, still NO IDEA why he chose to put it on the edge of the van so it teeter-tottered as he pulled with me holding it down.  I would have laughed hysterically had it fallen off the van and broken open that way.   We all had ideas about what was inside-- it was very heavy, and very dense-- nothing was rattling.  There was one Winn Dixie (grocery store) plastic bag sticking out of the box and that was really all you could see.  My money was on papers because of the density and no rattle,  I think Lily thought maybe we'd find more adult things (or papers),  and Brian, always the eternal optimist, thought we'd find silver and gold bars.   From checking the poll at our facebook page, ( it appears that people were scattered-- some thought tools, some thought photographs, some thought adult toys (okay, MOST thought adult toys),  one clever reader even put "elephant snot" -- YOU win points for most creative.

But the winner, is....

Sorry, you have to click on it.  It won't let me embed it here for some reason. No idea why.  I'm not a technical genius, just a storage locker genius.

But if you watch the video, you will discover that what we found inside the locked trunk was indeed....


(drumroll please).....

a bunch of papers.
That's right--- there were photos too (so our facebook fan DBW should win some sort of prize for that, at the very least bragging rights)-- but mainly papers.  The photos were all organized-- baby books and albums, that sort of thing, but the papers were just haphazardly thrown in shopping bags and thrown inside the trunk.  There were pages, receipts, tags, more receipts, trash, candy-wrappers, and just... papers.

Here's a picture of one of the bags:

We find this type of thing in storage units ALL THE TIME.  It makes me want to put out a public service announcement to all of you right now, that if you have an important receipt-- file it away.  If it's not an important receipt, throw it away.  Don't put all of your receipts directly in bags or drawers and leave them there.  It's gonna be hella hard to find that Zales diamond ring receipt in the midst of 1000 Popeyes' chicken receipts later on, unless you have the patience of, well, ME.   I'm guilty of this too, but I'm a very patient person and don't mind looking through receipts for hours.  If you do not like to do this, I suggest you heed my advice.

I will also point out that in this unit we found $700-$800 worth of gold in a purse inside a garbage bag, and in a locked trunk that we physically have to bust open, we find paperwork.  Figures.  Oh, the irony.   I guess one man's trash is another man's treasure, and vice versa--- and don't get me wrong, Hurricane Katrina taught everyone 200 miles away from me how important photos are--  I just don't get locking up Popeyes, Walgreens, and McDonalds receipts.

Okay, so back to the digging-- we've done a day at the unit, the trunk busting, a day at the garage sale, and now I'm back for more on day 3 (today).   I finished in about 2 1/2 hours, not bad considering (Brian was checking out some units at one of our favorite auctions, that we will purposely not list here because we want it to remain one of our favorite auctions)-- and I was on my own, which I almost prefer when digging.  But it still wasn't too bad, considering.

Before I get into today let me quickly show you what garage sale day yielded:

 Lots of porcelain religious granny types of items, which are fine-- we just have a LOT of them.

 All of this glassware.  We had to clear off 2 tables to make room for all of this glassware.

 I don't know if you can tell this or not  (my New Orleans friends probably can) but half of these clear glasses are marked with either Jack Daniels or Crown logos.  Apparently this lady LOVED liquor gift sets.

 More glassware...

 Even more glassware--- I have to say, this bunny used to have a mate-- but unfortunately it was destroyed in a tragic storage locker moving accident.  It was pretty funny watching Trisha open the bag and shriek when she saw this evil bunny head (and only the head) staring at her.

 Even more glassware!

 Anyone want a cat?  Or a swan?  I have about 12 of each of these.

 Table 2 of glassware.

 More glassware--  lots of the little figurines and angels and things are $1 items from the Dollar Store, which makes me wonder why people pack the stuff instead of just selling it at a garage sale or throwing it away.

 I found two ziplocked bags, with lots of little things wrapped up in newspaper.  I was pretty excited to see seven small heavy wrapped things, until I found out that it was literally glass fruit.

Okay--- that was exhilarating Day 2.   Day 3 (today)  started with a quick inventory of what was still inside the van:
 and it was time to get to work!

I started with this box... which turned out to be...
 GLASSWARE.  (Shocker)

 We still have these 4 lids left over from the previous dig, so I'm guessing I'll find these canisters inside, and maybe some other figurines and things.

Instead, the first package I go to open pokes me.  Literally scratches me.  I look and see staples and nails poking out of the newspaper.  Interesting.
 First item happens to be an ashtray  (from California, apparently), filled with all sorts of random things. That explains the nails and screws-- there's really not much of value in here.  At least we have a California ashtray?

 I'm curious at this point how long these things have been wrapped up in this locker (afterall, we knew it was dusty and had been there for awhile) -- so I glanced at the Times Picayune they were all wrapped up in.  The date was November 2003.   That's a long time to hold on to a California ashtray!

 This box also yielded some New Orleans decorative glasses, a double sided swan vase, and a bunch of elephants.  Oh, and a few more ashtrays.

 According to Brian, this ashtray is some form of agate.  Oh, science!  Mr. Wizard also thinks maybe it's an onyx.  Whatever.  I think it's an ashtray.   Apparently it's worth like $12 though so if someone wants to buy it (for $3 or $4) just holler.  Ashes included free.

 As thorough as I am (always), I'm looking inside each piece of glassware-- so I notice right away that there's something inside this one.

 And there is--- one American dollar.  Score.

 Finally, I'm free of Box #1,  I'd just like to point out that the bottom of the box contained a green crayon, a dead roach, some trash, paper, and randomness.  Brian almost threw it away but I also discovered a real silver earring back.  Gotta be thorough!

 The next bin looks like either baby dolls or something out of a horror movie.

 Baby dolls!  And kids electronics.

 I also had this bag to go through, but we'll table that for a moment.

 Speaking of tables-- this is how our glassware table #2 is looking at the moment...

 There's also a condom on the ground.  Didn't come out of MY pocket, so it must have come from one of the bags or boxes I've been working with.   Hopefully not the one with the baby dolls.

This particular bag wasn't extraordinary by any means-- it wasn't even a purse, just the kind of bag you get at a trade show for free--- but I could feel something in one of the pockets, that didn't just feel like paper or dirt-- it felt like beads or a rosary or coins or something substantial.  But I couldn't get to it, so I had Brian rip it open.  Here's the video of what was inside:

The other bag, the little black bag, contained the following:  hair, hair, weave, more fake hair, track (which I've learned are pieces of fake hair),  a 20 year old teddy bear, and some type of tools.  Oh, and a bus pass.
A closeup of the hair

Oh, and the little blue bag?  It contained bullets:
.32 caliber, to be exact.   Just 10-12.

Here's a closeup of the bus pass, the bear, and the tools.   Just what every woman needs in her day-to-day bag-- her bus pass, bullets, teddy bear, tools, and enough fake hair to carpet a small office.

My next two piles contained nice jackets & coats (elderly dusty units always contain some REALLY nice outerwear),  and a bag of stuffed animals.  Both nice and sellable-- but nothing major here.

Ahh... other sterilite.  Good times... good sign also.   Wonder what it contains?

GLASSWARE.   How much glassware can one person have???

There is actually so much glassware now, I'm putting it UNDERNEATH the tables (at least if it rains it won't fill up with water) because I'm running out of places to put it.

The round table is to the edges--- here's a peak of what that one looks like now.   I actually realized at this point that I accidentally put a figurine of Jesus Christ in the ashtray.  No offense intended!  I promptly removed it!  I just wanted to put it somewhere where it wouldn't fall off the table!

I unwrap this thing that's wrapped 3 times in newspaper, and find this.  A (PLASTIC) margarita glass, that's missing the bottom, and cracked- but still contains an unused drink umbrella.  WTF?  And where was this when I was looking everywhere for umbrellas for my Wheel of Fortune party (we had Oahu themed cocktails to celebrate my winning trip)

Ooh... an old McDonald's plate. Someone will buy this for sure.  I'm tempted to keep it.  I love how everyone my age says the word "burglar" wrong because we're thinking of "hamburg(er)lar" - for real, ever noticed how many 20 somethings say "burg-u-lar" ?  Happens all the time.  Oh, and for those of you who are going to tell me the character's name is actually "Hamburglar" -- I know you're right, but see Exhibit A:,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=33cf3e2011a76961&biw=1280&bih=626    That's right,  88,000 results for "hamburgular"  - yes, I know I've digressed.

Back to our table-- I've now started piling things on top of other things.  Jesus' figurine is now safe but unfortunately some little puppies have been exiled to the Cali ashtray.  They'll live.

I start finding these bedazzled champagne flutes and wine glasses-- they are covered in curling ribbon and stick on adhesive gems... most of them are red and black but throughout the day I find pearl, rhinestone, and lavender flower varieties.  Is this a new trend?

We're to the bottom of the bin and now there are things wrapped in bubble wrap, wrapped in newspaper, wrapped in grocery bags, inside grocery bags.  This looks promising.

A closeup of the layers of bubble-wrap and newspaper.

It turned out (both of them) to be brand new Eracism mugs from the Natural Museum of... something.  I don't remember.  History?  Black History?  I'm not sure.  I'm not even hating on the eracism mugs, as it's an incredibly nice and important sentiment.  I'm just not sure why the $9.99 mug had to be wrapped like it was something from 17th century China.

A set of Whitney Bank goblets!  Nice!  Although, what statement does it make?  Your bankers drink?   Your money is liquid?   I don't know.  No offense to Whitney.  If you want to let me open up an account with you for Saints tickets or one of those fleur-de-lis cards or something, let me know!

A stack of dolphin stuff.  Who doesn't like Dolphins??  Putting this stuff aside if my friend Susie wants to buy it...

See Taryn (another friend)-- I told you I had bells for your play.  This is like the 4th bell I uncovered in this particular lot-- I think it might actually be some type of valuable metal (though Brian will have to confirm).

Table is getting mighty full again!

There's also an entire set of Christmas dishes, which actually makes me pretty excited because we don't have to deal with Christmas stuff at this moment.  Months ago I had this genius idea to make a whole room of the warehouse dedicated to Christmas stuff--- we will have a BLOWOUT Christmas sale right after Thanksgiving--  so for now we just put it in there and forget about it.

Two more Sterilite bins...   excited to open them!  I wonder what they can be....

Are you kidding me??  Green bin is, you guessed it, Glassware.

Red bin is Glassware too!

At this point I'm freaking, because I already have 2 tables (and underneath of tables) dedicated to glassware, and frankly, that's 2 tables too many.  I remember about our "Glassware of Doom" table-- which is a table in the back corner of our alleyway (where we have garage sales) which literally, is where glassware goes to die.  I've been meaning to throw these things away for forever, but they are so heavy and accumulate nasty water so I try to only do 10-12 of them at a time (throw them in a box and lug them to the garbage area).  It might be time though, with this Glass Dust unit (yes, I renamed it temporarily) to clear off another spot!

I get to work!  My work was definitely cut out for me.

In the new glassware bins, I actually find something interesting (imagine that, I was surprised too!) --  we found one of these the first day of the dig and saved it, so I definitely want to save this one too, to research.  It's Avon, which doesn't seem that great (no offense, Avon ladies)-- but it's from the early 80s and has a serial number.  It also may be silver or silver plate up top, and it's a pretty cool looking stein.  On top of that, it contains what she THOUGHT was silver (but isn't).

The outside detail of the Stein.

The top silver-looking details of the stein

The bottom of the stein.  After looking them up on the all-powerful internet, it turns out Avon made a bunch of these in the early 80s about everything from baseball to aviation.  They're only worth about $4-$12 a piece, but they are still pretty cool!

A little piano.  It's pretty and pretty cool all at the same time.  I kinda want to keep this for my music room.

The bottom is stamped with "Made in Occupied Japan" -- that's not the traditional "Made in ___" stamp, for sure!  From what I understand, any item imported into the US from Japan between war and postwar years of 45-52 had to contain "Occupied Japan" or "Made in Occupied Japan" on the item.  This makes my piano just a little bit cooler!    If anyone wants to make an offer on it, feel free-- otherwise it's going on my bookshelf in my black and white music room!

An owl made completely of seashells-   I now officially dub this bin, "the cool bin".
No idea WHAT this is.  It's a thing of pottery/ceramic-- shaped like... an iron?  But with a faucet coming out of the front, with roses painted on it... and it has two baby ceramic irons inside of it.  What is this rose painted iron family?
The baby irons.  They even have holes in the front.  What gives?

Luckily, I'm thorough and insisted on taking all of the garbage bags and packing peanuts out of this trashcan until I got to the bottom-- the contents of a junk drawer were underneath all of the glassware.  Nothing really good, but I'm glad I checked.

Here's all of the unwrapped contents of the red bin -- must have been their "day to day" dishes-- some apple patterned place setting (for 4 people originally, now it's for 3 1/2)... and some ordinary drinking glasses.

A closeup of the red bin dishes.

Look at all of the things I've thrown away in 2 hours!!  Brian should be so proud!

All that was left in the van at this point was everything you see in this picture, so I just took it all out and arranged it side by side. I  had already gone through most of it the day at the storage unit, but I wanted to check everything just a little more carefully ( I always do, but in this case especially because the lady hid things).

Another picture at what was left.  Don't worry, I threw the car seat away. It's not worth it with all of the safety regulations now on car seats and cribs for us to even bother selling them.  I don't want to get sued off of something I made $10 on.

The suitcase you saw on Day 1 and some really nice South Louisiana gumbo pots

A jewelry holder thingie, brand new and still in the box

This thing has tons of gift sets, unopened (mainly bath products & candles & potpourri) and a really cool and pretty pillow that's clean enough I may keep it for myself.

Now we have the gift basket where Avon went to die.  The sad thing is, you're not even seeing the gift basket in all it's glory.  When I found it in the unit, it was covered with fake lavender and white flowers everywhere, white curling ribbon, confetti stuff, all kinds of baby's breath looking things, I threw them all away before Brian killed me.  Plus, we really don't want to get dust and dirt in the van and warehouse if we can help it-- and that stuff has zero retail value, so might as just well throw it away then.    I left the products though until I could go through them a little better.  Most of it was Avon and most of it was Avon deodorant.  I didn't even know Avon made deodorant, but yet, here I had 22 different varieties of it.

A few spray bottles had no markings and just suspicious invisible tape on them, so of course they were thrown away stat.

I dont' know how old the "Feelin' Fresh"  line is-- but it seems pretty dated.  According to its companion deodorant though, its "Timeless"  - I wonder if they get in fights.

Ahhh.... there were no vibrators or toys or anything like that, which didn't really surprise me because this was more of an elderly lady estate unit-- but she did have a daughter and a niece living with her from time to time, so I was slightly surprised not to find more things like this.  It's not a unit without the EMOTION LOTION!

I finally got to the bottom of this basket and because I'm so thorough, I wanted to check all the way to the bottom because the lady hides things.  I had to go through another layer of fake roses, ribbon, a layer of purple confetti, a layer of pink confetti, white confetti,

and two layers of glitter underneath.  Was glad I did because I found what SHE thought was a real gold watch and two silver bells.  Unsure whether they are real or not real but I'll be sure to let Brian look at them.  Here's a closeup:

I turned the basket over the trashbag to dump out some of the glitter and mess that was left, and this is what I see on the bottom of the basket: "Thank you for choosing kewanna's "any occasion" baskets from "Kewanna""  -- no WONDER.  This explains SO much.  No dig against Kewanna-- I'm sure the basket was ORDERED to contain so much pink and lavender stuff it makes ME even uncomfortable (and I like girlie things)-- and the avon and motion lotion and other things may have been added later.   Although, maybe I SHOULD be hard on Kewanna because she puts her own name in quotation marks. From now on, I'd like you all to refer to me as "Rebecca".  It's like "JUST JACK!" from Will & Grace.  And BTW, there is an actual Kewanna, Indiana-- so please don't try calling these phone numbers-- no idea where the stuff originated.  Had there been an area code I would have blocked them out.  But there isn't.  So just don't try calling them.  And if you do, let me know what happens-- but I definitely didn't condone or suggest it!

Next is the little suitcase which I had already gone through (remember the books?)  but I went through it again and found this Aeropostale Beach Towel hidden in a little compartment.  Awesome.  I always wanted to try one of these to see if it really expands (and no I'm not being sarcastic).

Finally, the very last thing is a laundry basket full of freshly laundered white towels.  I normally don't keep towels or sheets at ALL because it's not like it's designer clothing (it sells for very little) and it can contain fleas, ticks, mites, etc--  especially not in a unit this dusty-- but they were well covered and obviously freshly laundered, and we always get people who need things for their bare homes, so I decided to keep them.   Of course I now wanted to take them all out and make sure there was nothing else in the hamper.

At the bottom of the hamper there WERE some things, another junk drawer, likely:
There was a pretty cool copper and turquoise belt that you can see in the picture, a DVD player remote control, and a few other knick-knacks.  There were also 3 or 4 pieces of paper that caught my attention.
We hadn't gotten any letters or cards or notes yet in this locker so I was a little disappointed about that-- but here we go, some make-shift Father's Day cards.

Three Father's day cards.  All made out in the same handwriting to the same person.  I sure hope that Dmyria is the name of a man, otherwise this kid is seriously confused about what "Father's Day" means. Unless that's the single Mom, in which case it's kind of sweet.  I also like how they put the last name.

When you flip them over, even though they are all done exactly the same and to exactly the same person, the "From" names are all very very different.  Our choices are Tanoy, Trent, and Pickle Pickle. I think this kid IS confused.  But it's still really cute. Maybe Dmyria is the writer of the card and these are the 3 recipients?  I guess I'll never know.  Still cute.  How do you like THAT for "Letters from Storage Lockers?"

And finally, this.  Do you think Brian would be upset with me if I told him I found $500 in the locker? ;)


  1. Long but interesting read! Found this from a yahoo answers post someone made from here, felt like I was unpacking that stuff and brought back memories of going Yard Salin' with my dad. Thanks!

  2. Really like reading your adventures. I, too, run in to idiots all day long in the course of business. Surely your competition is jealous of your blog and ability to spell and use grammar. Refreshing reading posts from someone smart and like-minded. Is it wrong that I like the pic of you and Trish in the pants?

    Keep doing what you guys do!



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