The influx of storage auction attendees in the past couple of years is a reflection of the current status of the American Dream. We all want to get rich- and quick! While many storage units are auctioned off daily, only a few hold objects of true monetary value… and even fewer act as tombs for the invaluable. Such a storage unit was auctioned off recently in Connecticut, inside the unit were documents that were pivotal to American history. Malcolm “Shorty” Jarvis, a musician who was a close confidant of Malcolm X, followed his friend’s career closely and scrap booked his achievements, leaving these treasures to collect dust in a storage unit after his passing. Just over one-thousand documents were purchased by a collector of African American historical artifacts, who then sold the assorted papers and scrap books to the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation in Omaha in co-operation with the Black History 101 Mobile Museum in Detroit.
“Once (the buyer) found out that it was of a significant historical nature, he decided then he didn’t want to break the collection up. He wanted to make sure it went to the right home,” said Khalid el-Hakim the man who created the Black History 101 Museum, and whom still curates the museum today. The contents of the storage unit passed hands repeatedly before finally settling in the belonging of the two museums, and will offer a unique glimpse into the life of not only Malcolm X but also Malcolm Jarvis, a close friend of X’s. While the documents contain evidence of Malcolm X and Malcolm Jarvis’s involvement in a 1945 home theft, there is also a scrapbook documenting Malcolm X’s life; a testament to the reverence and respect these friends felt for one another. Such a compendium of information regarding one of the Civil Rights Movements most prominent leaders is an invaluable contribution to museums such as the Black History 101 Mobile Museum as well as the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation. Keep attending auctions in your area and follow your instincts if you have a hunch about a particular unit, you never know what relic is lying buried within.
Don’t just throw your items into storage. By organizing your storage unit, you will be able to access your items more easily, and you wont have to waste your time searching throughout the whole unit. Not to mention you have less of a chance of causing damage to any of your belongings.
1. Use boxes that are relatively the same size. They are much easier to pack and stack. You can find boxes of all sizes at SMS Moving Boxes. (highly recommended)
2. Leave a small walkway in between your boxes so you can get to all your items without having to move everything around.
3. Fill your boxes as much as possible. When they are not filled, they are more likely to collapse.
4. Store your most valuable items in the back of your unit, so they are harder to access in case of theft.
5. Never leave anything flammable or combustible in your storage unity.
6. If you are storing freezers or refrigerators, make sure to defrost and completely drain them. Wipe them out and leave the doors open to prevent mold or mildew from growing.
7. Protect your furniture from dust by laying linens or plastic over your furniture.
Correctly and efficiently organizing and packing your unit will save you time and money. Think about it, If your unit was nice and tidy you could probably go down a unit size and save yourself the extra rent fee’s.
Aat Uncle Bob’s Self Storage in Pensacola, Florida, an auction winner made a grisly discovery. Inside the pungent smelling storage locker were hundreds of human organs, sitting, some for over a decade, in formaldehyde-filled containers. The organs included lungs, hearts, and brains as well as some tissue samples. Disgracefully, many of these organs were stored in disposable fountain drink cups, and were pilfered from private autopsies at local funeral homes. The mad man behind the whole wicked collection, Dr. Michael Berkland, had previously been sacked from his job due to a dispute regarding autopsy records. One has to wonder whether this was an extreme case of hoarding, or if the bad doctor had something more sinister in mind for the hundreds of organs and tissue samples he had gathered for ten years. The collection seems obsessive and methodical, but not as if Berkland cherished his enormous organ collection… he let it go to auction after all. Charges against Berkland have not yet been filed but he may go down for breaking several statutes which outline how one is to dispose of biomedical waste as well as human remains. Buyer beware at the next storage auction you visit! And maybe try not to bid on the units that smell like rotting brains!