Storage TV Shows Can Provide Valuable Lessons

The storage auction business is booming, thanks in part to the slew of new storage-based reality shows. With camera in hand, TV storage shows take us deep into the most astounding, disgusting and valuable storage units in the country. The premise is simple: when it comes to storage units, you never know what you’re going to find. Average storage owners and storage auctions hawks can learn a thing or two from these clutter-ridden shows. From how to organize your storage unit to how to spot a hidden gem, “Storage Wars,” “Auction Hunters” and “Storage Hunters” provide a crash course on all things storage.

Organize or Die

When potential buyers gather around a storage unit on “Storage Wars,” first impression is everything. When auctioneers lift the gate to reveal piles of junk stacked in no particular order, buyers cringe. Not only were these storage owners careless with their stuff, they also created a pointless amount of work for whoever is willing to sift through it. Whether you want to sell the contents of your storage unit or use it for conventional purposes, organization will always make your life easier. Log what you keep in your storage unit and where to find it. “Storage Wars” and the other storage shows (available at will provide tips on how to organize your storage unit.

Mint Condition is Key

What’s the difference between a box of Yo-Yos and a box of Yo-Yos in their original packaging? For Jarrod and Brandi on a recent episode of “Storage Wars,” the difference was hundreds of dollars. While it might maintain its utility, an item in beat-up shape doesn’t retain value. This is especially important to keep in mind when transporting items to a storage unit. It’s easy to be careless when you’re hauling a truck full of stuff, but the wrong move could cost you a fortune. A Minnesota resident recently found an original 1938 Superman comic while he was renovating his house. The antique was worth millions, but amid the excitement, the man ripped the cover. It’s not all bad news. He still fetched $127,000 for the comic, according to, but the lesson is clear: Be careful, because you could be handling a hidden treasure.

Hone Your Hunting Skills

According the guys from “Auction Hunters,” 10,000 storage units are auctioned off on any given day. You don’t need a camera crew to start your side job as an auction hunter, but you could use a few pointers.

  • Keep Your Emotions in Check: The thrill of a storage auction can cloud your judgement. The “Auction Hunters” guys have seen plenty buyers get caught in an emotional bidding war. You might feel good when they accept the winning offer, but unless the storage unit has value, you won’t feel good for long. Keep your emotions in check during an auction. It’s about dollars and cents, not the rush of bidding war.
  • Look For Big-Ticket Items: When Allen and Ton browse a storage unit on “Auction Hunters,” they see past the junk to spot big ticket items. A unit may have lots of stuff, but without a few items that are sure to sell, you’ll usually lose more than you paid.

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