Many of us will have used long term storage at some point in our lives, for the usual things like furniture and unused belongings, but over the years some people have hired storage units for some unusual items. The lists of strange items found in storage includes valuable cars, famous people’s possessions and rubber ducks.
What have people put in long term storage?
Although cars aren’t specifically on the list of prohibited items, you generally wouldn’t expect to find one in storage for a long period of time. People tend to rely on their cars and don’t want to be parted from them for too long.
Back in 2009, a 1937 Bugatti 57S was discovered in a storage facility in England. The owner had bought the car during the 1950s and put it in storage just a few years later. His nephew only found out about the vehicle two years after his uncle’s death. It’s not known why the owner, Dr. Harold Carr, no longer wanted to drive the car. There were only 17 of its kind produced, so it had an estimated value of $4.35 million.
Another car that spent time in storage is one which Knight Rider fans will know as KITT. Although more than one was made and used for the show, this particular version was used as a disposable stunt car before being sent to storage. It was saved from what would have been its final destination, the junkyard, by some enthusiasts.
Michael Jackson’s songs
You might not expect to find over 250 unreleased songs from Michael Jackson in a storage facility, but that’s what happened in 2010 when the new owner of a storage unit discovered them. He had no idea when he bought the unit that it had previously belonged to Michael’s father. Some of the songs also featured Tina Turner.
Copyright issues have prevented any of the songs from been released, but they are estimated to be worth a total of $50 million.
Aretha Franklin’s clothes
Some of us might take our unwanted clothes to a charity shop, but Aretha Franklin left hers in storage, where they were only discovered years later by a group of collectors in a repossessed storage unit.
They were believed to have been left there after a house fire and possibly forgotten about. Aretha stated she didn’t want the clothing returned after hearing about a forthcoming auction. This included several outfits she had performed in.
Charlotte Lee, the owner of the largest rubber duck collection, 5,239 to be precise, had to put her collection into storage while her husband built enough shelves to contain them all. She was later reunited with the ducks and became a Guinness World Record holder for having the largest rubber duck collection.
Burt Reynold’s memorabilia
When the Dukes of Hazards star missed some payments, many of his valued belongings which had been held in storage were sold off.
Amongst the items Burt had to part ways with were a custom-built carriage given to him by Dolly Parton, a chair made out of hockey sticks (from his film Alaska) and a framed letter from Doctor Lynn Fort, dated 1955, about emergency surgery on Burt’s Spleen.
The successful bidders created a museum with the items, but it later closed and the building became a shopping mall.
Harry Truman’s Cane
The successful bidder of two storage units said to be worth over $100,000, paid just $27,000 in 2011 and discovered a cane thought to have belonged to Harry Truman, along with other American memorabilia and supporting documents.
While live animals and insects aren’t allowed in storage, beekeeper equipment appears to be fair game to keep in a storage unit. That’s what Dave Hester discovered in another auction for a storage unit, failing to be as lucky as the bidder above.
He didn’t look around the facility before the auction and as a result, won the bid and became the not so proud owner of beekeeping equipment, complete with the outfit.
A dog treadwheel
Similarly to the above bidder, one woman blindly bid on a storage unit to find herself the owner of a dog treadwheel. It’s not clear whether the lady in question even owns a dog, but the wheel can only be described as a large hamster wheel.
For the pricey sum of $775, she also discovered a walking cane and a dog crate. Perhaps the former owner had difficulty walking far, which would explain the need for the dog treadwheel.
A wooden head
Some would describe a wooden head in a storage unit as sinister or creepy, or maybe as the opening scene of a horror movie. However, for Barry Weiss, the head with glass eyes and a small windowpane at the back turned out to be a piece of art created by Mike Medow and was valued at $6,000.
What can’t I put in long term storage?
So if this is what people have stored in long term storage then are there any limits?
Yes! According to the British Association of Movers (BAR) and their standard terms of liability the following things cannot be put in long term storage:
- Potentially dangerous, damaging or explosive items, including gas bottles, aerosols, paints, firearms and ammunition.
- Jewellery, watches, trinkets, precious stones or metals, money, deeds, securities, mobile telephones, portable media and computing devices, stamps, coins, or goods or collections of any similar kind.
- Goods likely to encourage vermin or other pests or to cause infestation or contamination.
- Goods, which in Our opinion are hazardous to health, dirty or unhygienic or likely to attract vermin or pests. We may refuse such goods without liability to You.
- Perishable items and/or those requiring a controlled environment.
- Any animals, birds fish reptiles or plants.
- Goods which require special licence or government permission for export or import.
- Under no circumstances will prohibited or stolen goods, drugs or pornographic material
be moved or stored.
So if you’re looking for long term storage – whatever you want to store! – then get in touch today.