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Prolific Photographer’s Life’s Work Discovered in Storage Unit

Vivian Maire

When one thinks of New York City as captured in classic Black & White, images come to mind from Andy Warhol, Weegee, and Diane Arbus. But one such creator of monochromatic metropolitan imagery almost went unnoticed and unrecognized forever. Deep within the recesses of a storage unit in Chicago, Illinois, a man named John Maloof discovered over 100,000 film negatives, newspaper clippings, letters, and more from one Ms. Vivian Maier. Maier a French-American, grew up in both New York City and France before becoming a nanny in her adulthood, raising the children of newsmakers such as Phil Donahue. Maier’s unique worldview wasn’t limited to her photography (she utilized square compositions, harsh contrast, and close-ups), children she raised remember her as being a “a feminist, a socialist, and an excellent, caring nanny who shepherded them on trips into the city to see art films and into the countryside to explore and forage for strawberries.” While the discovery of Vivian Maier’s images is not the first major find of its kind in the world of photo history, it certainly is a landmark for images procured from a storage auction. Had the system for auctioning off storage units not been in place in Chicago, a photographic virtuoso would have gone uncelebrated for  good. Maloof and another Maier collector by the name of Jeff Goldstein, own the majority of the photographers assorted works. Maier not only recorded her life in photographs, but also film and voice recordings, amassing some 200 boxes to her name before her entrance into a retirement home. How many numerous photographers never “struck it big” and await their inevitable acknowledgement and entry into the history books of the art world. The hunt is on to locate the next undiscovered Photo master, and you could be the discoverer with constant vigilance and a discerning eye at your next storage auction.


5 Tips to Consider When Looking for Self Storage Services


You’ve finally decided that it’s time to make some room. Where do you start? Do you need to downsize your living space, re-organize your household, or simply just need a safe place to store your things while you move?

Mini self-storage facilities can be useful and are available in almost all cities. How does one go about choosing who is right for you? Of course you want to find the best option for your precious belongings. Before moving in, it would be wise to consider the following 5 factors when selecting storage facility.


Your items are important enough to keep for obvious reason, so security should be at the top of your list requirements. Secure storage of your belongings as well as security for you went you are moving your items in and out of the facility are of paramount importance. Does the facility have an alarm system? If so, it is installed for the facility as a whole as well as individual units? Key coded access cards ensure that only other customers and employees of the facility are able to access the location of the storage units. Cameras located within visible range of all units, as well as all entrances and exits to the facility are also important. Are there on site guards who will monitor the cameras round the clock and also to personally patrol the facility? Finally, are all units outfitted with working smoke detectors?


Often climate control is not thought of when it comes to using storage facilities. Renting a unit that offers climate control storage is one way to ensure that your belongings come out of storage in the same condition that they went in. This option might be a bit pricier than the alternative, it is definitely worth it as it will ensure you that your precious belongings are kept at an even, moderate temperature at all times and are not subjected to the potential damage of either freezing cold or scorching heat.


Take the time to meet with the facility manger in person. While the benefit of using a self storage unit is that it is cheaper than units that are ran by moving companies, that does not mean that you have to sacrifice on the type of customer service you should receive. Customer service can make a great mini storage experience even greater. Experienced customer service reps can help you in choosing the best size storage unit for your needs, assist you with setting up your account and payment options, and provide you a person to call in the event any problems do arise.


Consider accessibility of the items you are placing in storage. How often Will you need to visit your unit? It is often difficult to anticipate all the scenarios in which you might need access to a particular item. You don’t want to wait until a weekend or holiday to realize that you need some paperwork you have put into your self storage unit only to discover that the facility is closed. For this reason, a facility which offers 24/7 access can be extremely convenient and helpful in avoiding any unnecessary hassles.


This is a “perk” most self storage facilties offer, that sometimes gets forgotten. Getting your belongings to and from storage can be difficult to arrange. If you don’t have access to a truck, this lack of transportation can add unneccary costs to your moving expenses, so be sure to ask your selected facility if they offer free use of their moving truck / van.

When in doubt, always do your research before selecting any self storage facility. Hopefully these 5 tips will help you in your selection process.

What Items -NOT- to Put in your Storage Unit


Whether you’re renting a storage unit in San Francisco California, or somewhere in Orlando Florida…there are items that you should never place in a storage unit. If these items were to get into the wrong hands, you could possibly be opening to door to some unwelcome (and unpleasant) opportunities. It may never cross your mind that there is a possibility of losing ownership of your possessions when obtaining the services of a storage facility. Don’t always go with that assumption. It does happen. Always protect yourself from allowing an opportunity of crime for others, and take note of the items listed below BEFORE placing your treasured belongings into a storage unit. Store them elsewhere for safer keeping.

Degrees  / Resumes

Titles to Autos / Boats / Motorcycles / RV’s etc.

Social Security Cards / Birth Certificates / Passports

Live Credit Cards / Pay Stubs

Tax Records / Business Tax Records

Immigration Papers


Mortgage Files / Bank Statements

Professional Credentials ( ID badges, parking access cards,security badges)

Hospital Badges – Court Badges

Active Drivers License / ID Card

Homemade movies (porn) YES…think about this one!

Cell Phones with ALL of your personal info in them!

Computers loaded with all of your sensitive information

Court papers / Prison Records / Traffic tickets

Family / Friends / Animal Ashes

Uniforms ie..Police, UPS USPS, FEDEX etc…

Firearms / Weapons / Drugs /Alcohol