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Monday, January 2, 2012

Out with the Old and In With the New

Since we haven't bought a lot of new units lately we have no new units to share with you, but do have several that we purchased a long time ago that we've never gotten to discuss.   This one I figured would be good for New Year's week because this is the week where people are all about resolutions, new procedures, and starting fresh.   This unit belonged to an older lady who was a widowed mother of two.  Her son had some sort of workman's comp accident and died shortly thereafter, so that left the daughter who is now in her 40s, I believe.  The storage facility said that the tenant always paid on time, like clockwork, and suddenly the payments just stopped.  Some of these things had been stored since 1996, so I'm pretty sure she must have either passed away or been placed into a nursing home.   The daughter showed no interest in retrieving the belongings, so here we were... 

Just to put it into perspective, date-wise and situation-wise, we purchased this unit on the exact same day that we purchased our Whore-der unit and our E=MC locker units.   We had been at a caravan auction at about six different facilities, and this was our last facility of the day.  It was hot, everyone was tired, and this unit was just haphazardly thrown in there.  It was dusty, and dirty, and things were scattered all over the floor.  It was also PITCH BLACK in there. Here are some pictures of what it looked like:

I wasn't too thrilled about this unit, honestly, because I didn't get one of my "feelings" -- but Brian liked it, and I'm always up for a challenge.  Units like this are always a lot of hard work, and because it can get to sauna like temperatures up there (2nd floor, non-climate controlled,  steel/tin walls/roof - it can get to be over 100 degrees in there)--  it's always a really good workout!    So I agreed, and everyone else backed away, and I don't remember what we paid for it, but I remember it was way less than $100... probably in the $45-$90 range.

I started pulling out the first few boxes, and it was mostly costume jewelry, purses, shoes, church-going types of hats,  things you would expect a respectable old lady to have.   We weren't super interested in any larger items, and really didn't think we had any furniture, just a ton of boxes.  I pulled out about 4 or 5 boxes into the hallway because the unit was again, PITCH BLACK, and saw something in the corner.  I went over to further inspect, and discovered that it was another old style sewing machine (I say another because we had already found and sold another 3 at that point and were kind of getting sick of them).  Still really awesome, and they are easily sold in the $100-$150 range.   Once I found this piece, I sighed with relief and had fun on the rest of the dig knowing we would have no troubles finding our money in the unit.  Here's a picture of the sewing machine:

Another one:  a little dirty, but it still works!

The sewing machine's table-- beautiful in itself!

I think at one point I screamed too because a life-sized large fuzzy stuffed animal fell on me when I moved the sewing machine.  It scared the CRAP out of me because I didn't see it coming because of the dark!

A box of costume jewelry.  There were a few real pearl and real gold pieces but it wasn't a ton.  Mainly it was fake/costume.    No worries, $1 bills add up!

There was a LOT of paperwork.  Of course, knowing me, I went through EVERYTHING!

Some of the paperwork was really neat to go through-- since all of the items were from the 80s-90s, there was a LOT of New Orleans memorabilia in there--- some things brought me back to my childhood, like this money order from New Orleans aint-dere-no-more drug store, K&B.    For those of you not from New Orleans, know that this store was SO popular, that the particular shade of eggplant purple they used for their logo is forever referred to down here as "K&B Purple" -- if you say that to describe a color, there is no question what you mean.

Another box of ... stuff.  Including a really nice old brass lamp (still in the box), and other miscellaneous items.

8 Tracks!  Yes indeed!

They all appeared to be Richard Pryor...

I don't know what the significance of the "baby in the bathroom"  poster was-- I guess she thought it was cute.  I had to take a picture of it because it reminded me of the poster that has made 2 appearances in episodes of The Office-- On the show, it's a poster of little babies playing musical instruments, and everyone hates it but Angela.

Inside some trash bags we found a few vintage leather bags and a real fur coat!  Still trying to get an appraisal on that one.  If anyone knows someone in New Orleans area who can appraise / type fur please let me know!

An old light-up vanity mirror... remember these?

That radio is OLD SCHOOL!

An old Deluxe Scrabble game.  Of course I had to dump out all of the tiles to see if they were all there...

And while they were out, I had to have a little fun with them.

Okay, I was having WAY too much fun.  Here was a message I left for Brian!  To quote our hero, Fred Sanford,  "You big dummy!"

We featured this in "Bits & Pieces"-- but we'll talk about it again because this is the unit it came from.  Who DOES this to a baby shower invite? Especially a harmless old lady....  Only thing I can think of is that maybe she was the host and had a bunch of extra invitations left over?

Another bin of random assorted things:

Box O' Buttons!

Diabetes testing equipment.  Sadly, we have found FAR too many of these!

The box it came from, with some other random miscellaneous things:

I got really excited when I found this book because Brian's a geologist, so I wanted to show it to him.  Turns out, he already owns it!  Figures.   He has seen everything.
We ended up selling it to a lady at one of our garage sales, along with the box of rocks from the Whore-der unit (and another box of rocks from the unit with all of the art in notebooks)...  for her grandchildren to learn about geology.

I'm not sure if she kept this Bible because it was of very sentimental value to her, or if she thought it was worth something because of it's age.   It is OLD-- and crumbling... you can't even get a page out of this envelope without it crumbling into hundreds of pieces.   We'll need to research it, if we can get to it!

More shoes, books, random miscellaneous items:     (These things were NOT packed well... I almost think one of her children or relatives may have done it for her.   Another reason I believe that is because some of these boxes of shoes and books exceeded 100 pounds.  Brian is super strong, but this facility did not have an elevator, so it made it very difficult-- it took both of us to lug them down the stairs).

WHY do people save PHONE BOOKS?  I have not ever been able to figure this out.  It's not something you should hoard.  You get it for free, get a new one every year, and it has absolutely no value.  Additionally-- over time, it's actually INACCURATE.  So, why?  That's my rant for the day.  I digress, I know.  Just someone tell me if you know why people save phone books!

More old vintage purses and shoes-- at least they are leather!  Not my size though :(

HAHAHAHA... this made me totally laugh out loud!  If anyone wants to learn how to "Get Fresh with Poultry"   here's your book...

It's time to play "What's in the Bag?"  -- at this point, every purse I would find would have different items in it.  Like, night and day different items.  I made a game out of it and I'll share it with you here briefly.  Let's play... here's Purse #1:

Ready for the contents of Purse #1??  Here they are:

A rosary (Sterling silver, thank you very much)

A Blockbuster Music membership card (Blockbuster MUSIC- how's THAT for old school.  Remember when you could buy or rent CDs at Blockbuster?!)

A video poker nail kit.  This must have been before Treasure Chest or Boomtown even!

A deck of playing cards rounds out Purse #1, which to recap, had both religious AND gambling items.  Only in Louisiana!

On to some more old books, including "The World Treasury of Children's Literature"

Copyright 1984

With an inscription in it, To: Amanda, from MawMaw:  August 1988.    Amanda would have been 2 then, so she's just a few years younger than me now.

It's time for "What's in the Bag?"  again!  Ready!  Purse #2 looks kind of festive, like for an evening or special event.  Ready to guess what's inside?

That's right!  A wedding invitation, and some bubbles.

Closeup of the invitation:    I shall point out that it's from 1996.

I have, in this year in the storage industry, seen more candles, flower arrangements, vases, and photo frames, than I ever care to see again.  In fact, I don't think I will ever visit a Hallmark store again for as long as I shall live.  BUT, I do have to admit, that this vase is pretty interesting!  It has the top flattened out to resemble a leaf pattern.  And of course, it was in the box, wrapped up, and never used.

Talk about an old cable box!

Closeup of the cable box.

Another box of old books yielded this Bible- of COURSE we thumb through the pages of any book, but PARTICULARLY through pages of the Bible.

Turns out there was something inside:

A certificate of warranty for a silver ring.  Never found the ring, and even if I did, the lifetime warranty would be worthless, because this company does not EXIST anymore.  Convenient.  Check out the date of purchase-- 3/1/89!

Ooh, quick, somebody find Reggie Bush.  I think he needs this book!

"How to Star in Football"  - of course!

It gives very useful tips on how to play football so well, you'll be a pro in no time!

Too funny!  I tried not to let my dirty mind get away from me with the "quarterback putting pressure on the crotch" comments...   but seriously, who DOESN'T think of Drew Brees like that?  I know some straight guys who even would gladly sleep with him.

Another book had instructions not to remove it from Ochsner Hospital.  Whoops!  One of these days when I'm not so busy I may return it to them!

Another reason this blog was perfect for the New Year was because of this LIFE magazine we found.  February 1989's issue, entitled THE FUTURE AND YOU, was all about what life would be like in the 2000s.  I wonder how close they got to what the year 2000 was actually like?  Does anyone even remember the year 2000?  THAT seems like so long ago!

One of these days we'll have to post the rest of this article for you to read.   I'm sure people in 2020 will be making fun of us later, so it's only fair that we get to make fun of people from the 1970s and 80s now.  Right?

Well, that's it for this one.   To recap... for less than $100 we got:
* Two boxes of old books
* Some vintage shoes and purses
* Some $1 clothes, shoes, and purses
* The sewing machine & table
* A fur coat
* The cool vase
* Tips for starring in Football
* A Blast from the Past

Not too shabby!

Storage Heroes Tip #88:  (Jeremy Shockey TOTALLY got his butt handed to him in the Superdome last week, and it didn't help that he had to watch our new Tight End win all kinds of awards and break records.  So, I'll make this tip for him to show no hard feelings):       If you're unsure of how long things have been in a unit, and are curious, check the newspaper that the items were wrapped in.  It's a surefire way to get an accurate date.  

This unit was sad, but it was another reminder that things are just things and what's important to one person (this lady) may not necessarily be important to other people (her descendants).  There's no reason why she should have had to spend her hard-earned money paying for a storage unit for over 15 years.  To each his own...  but I'm DEFINITELY "Spring Cleaning" my house right away!  It's a new year, out with the old, and in with the new!  Especially phone books.

Until next time...

Storage Heroes


  1. FYI - People used to save old telephone books for geneology purposes....don't know why they do it now because you can go online and find most anything you want to know.

  2. Good to know! Maybe I'll call some genealogists and ask them if they want hundreds of phone books!

  3. Maybe teachers or artists could use the phone books for papier mache projects. Whenever you sell all the teacher stuff, offer them the phone books as well.

  4. OMG, the cable box totally brings some memories back. I remember my parents having one of those when I was a kid. And also, Becca, for the "football" and "crotch" comments....tehehe....not surprised. ;p

  5. Storage lockers are preferrred in enterprise establishments with a lot paper works and filing. Others prefer metal lockers since it i s lengthy-lasting and can't be opened easily. Having a softcopy of your documents is also perfect but of course preserving the hardcopy is still advisable in case your laptop breaks down.

  6. Love the K and B money order! Vintage! Also, I used to have that Rocks and Gems book when I was little. I loved looking at it. Hahhaah. Now I hate science. Kinda.



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