9 Reasons Why Storage Wars Has America By The Balls

What’s so exciting about storage, you might ask? Everything!

The thrill! The rush! The competition! It’s the the hopes and dreams of hard-working Americans at the cusp of a jackpot. All in one beautiful formulaic half-hour slot.

Storage Wars is aired on A&E and can now be seen in 13 countries. For those who are virgins to this reality TV darling, it follows professional buyers who bid on unpaid storage lockers on the hopes that what’s inside is worth more than what they paid for it. By law, if you miss the rent on your storage unit for more than three months, the company is allowed to sell off your contents at a cash-only auction.

But how has this simple show received more than millions of viewers and syndication in13 countries? How did storage become such riveting TV drama?

1. We All Want To Win The Lottery

Dave Hester from Storage Wars puts it succinctly: “Everyone wants to hit the lottery.” There’s a small part in all of us that loves the idea of chance, luck, and money. And watching other people go through that same emotional high can be good enough.

2. Anyone Can Do it

Anyone can bid on a storage locker. It’s not just for TV reality stars. You could literally walk out tomorrow and head over to an auction and bid on a locker.

3. It’s A Modern Day Treasure Hunt

Bidders only get a 5-minute gander from the outside of a storage locker to assess whether or not they want to bid on it. So they have to look for clues. Like a treasure hunt, they’re looking for signs that could point to something bigger. In the trailer above, one of the bidders sees guitar picks. So he’s betting on a hunch that there might be some expensive guitars hidden inside that locker.

4. It’s Really Emotional

Because each auction is a gamble and there’s so much build up before the reveal, each win and loss is a huge emotional pay off to the viewer. We ache when they lose and we cheer when they win.

5. The Characters

More than the actual auctions themselves, it’s just down right entertaining to watch the dynamics between the main characters. Watching Dave Hester and Darrell Sheets and the other characters come head to head makes for great TV. We live for the fights as much as we live for the wins.

6. Awesome Editing and Music

Let’s be honest. Editing and music are magic. The right cuts, the right reaction shots, and the right music followed by a cliffhanger before a commercial break create the suspense reality TV  needs. It’s known in the reality TV world that when in doubt, cut to someone’s resting face as a reaction shot because most people have RBFS (Resting Bitch Face Syndrome).

7. Anticipation

Because of the nature of the auction, the bidding process itself automatically builds anticipation and excitement. Watching the characters bid back and forth and give each other the eye all while mentally calculating the estimated worth of a storage locker they’ve only seen from the outside is like watching professionals gamble.

8. For What It’s Worth

Similar to Antiques Roadshow, each major item found in a storage unit is then taken to an expert to be appraised. Whether they’re an art dealer or a guitar expert, it’s fun to see whether the item they’ve bid on is actually worth anything or not. Sometimes they score big and sometimes it’s better off used as kindling.

9. Our Economy Sucks

Storage Wars is a branch of entertainment called recessionary TV, a type of TV programming that comes whenever there’s an economic recession. TV shows like Auction Hunters, Natural Born Dealers, or Pawn Stars all feature downsizing. This hits home with a lot of people at the moment.

Are You Nuts? 10 Things You Absolutely Cannot Keep In Storage

childinbox
Sure, the idea is tempting. Why not buy out a huge storage space and live in there? It’s cheaper than rent and it’s climate controlled. We hate to break it to you but there are some very hard Dos and Don’ts when it comes to the world of storage. So for all you creative cats out there who think you can get away with storing your cryogenically frozen grandmother or kilos of high-grade, uncut, Colombian cocaine, you might want to give this list a quick look.
1. People
This probably seems obvious but you cannot keep people in your storage, either alive or dead. If you’ve gotten yourself into some serious mafia business and need to dispose of a dead body give Dexter a call instead.
2. Illegal Drugs
Just don’t. Unless you want to get turned in for possession with intent to sell, just don’t.
3. WMDs And Other Explosives
It’s dangerous and illegal. And you’ll probably have the CIA, FBI, and NSA all over your ass within weeks.
4. Stolen Goods
If you get caught for storing stolen goods not only will you get in trouble but so will the self storage company for knowing about it.
5. Firearms And Other Weapons
There is a bit of wiggle room here, but to be on the safe side check with the self-storage manager and get the rules in writing. You might be required to carry extra insurance and there will definitely be rules about how you store your firearms.
6. Live Animals And Plants
This is cruel and inhumane and if you’re caught doing this we hope you get in some serious trouble! And also, vermin, pests, and poop everywhere!
7. Perishable Items (Food)
Unless it’s canned food, do not ever store anything that could rot, decay, or go bad. Again: pests, vermin, bacteria, and plus it’s disgusting.
8. Noxious Materials
Please keep all noxious materials out of self-storage. Not only is it harmful to your property but it can be potentially life threatening to anyone who comes in contact with the material.
9. Hazardous Materials
Similar to No. 8, hazardous materials are a huge risk to property and health. Even if you’ve got them in air-tight containers, there’s always the risk of a spill or contamination.
10. Flammable Materials
Sorry, but you’re gonna have to find another place to store your fireworks. Keeping flammable products and materials in self-storage is just plain dangerous and an absolute risk to life and property.
Sources:

The Top 10 Things People Actually Put In Storage

sexy-storage
We all have our skeletons in the closet, right? Embarrassing childhood photos, teddy bears that have long outgrown their use, or maybe even a haunted heirloom. Whatever it is, there’s a reason self-storage exists! Sometimes our closets just aren’t big enough.
But before you try out for Storage Wars, you might want to check this out first: the top ten things people actually keep in storage.
1. Furniture
Yes, boring, big, old, and clunky furniture. Maybe you’re moving to a smaller place, moving out of an office, or just can’t part with your old college pull-out sofa bed. Furniture is one of the biggest space hogs of storage.
If you’re in this boat, then there are a few things you’ll want to do ahead of time. First, protect your furniture. Wax that wood, keep metal polished to prevent oxidation, and grab a few furniture pads to prevent bumps and scratches from ruining your beloved. If your sofa or armchair is upholstered with fabric, make sure you clean it well before hand so that mildew and mold don’t take hold.
2. Electronics
Despite the fact that there’ll probably be something WAY more technologically advanced in the next year, it can be hard to part with a perfectly good pair of speakers, a computer, or a video game console that might become an antique one day. Because most people buy electronics well before their original ones wear out, electronics usually end up in storage.
Make sure you place your electronics in their original boxes! If you can’t find the original packaging, then grab some styrofoam. Label everything, especially wires. Those things are a bitch to differentiate even a couple of years down the line.
3. Appliances
Maybe you thought you’d become the next Martha Stewart and bought a juicer, blender, food processor, and mixer. But it turns out cooking isn’t your thing. Appliances make up for a huge percentage of storage and like electronics are often replaced before their useful life is up.
If you’re storing big appliances like fridges or dryers, make sure they’re clean before going into storage. Pests and rodents can sniff out even the tiniest particle of food!
4. Paper Files & Documents
Most of us come from a paper-heavy generation, which is why paper documents and files have made it onto this list. And if you run a business, it may be your legal duty to hold onto all of your documents, filings, receipts, and invoices.
Before archiving your documents into storage, make sure everythign is properly labeled and organized. You might wake up one day and realize you need that one invoice from a project over 5 years ago. And as with most other things, climate control! Paper is prone to mold and mildew.
5. Valuable Art, Antiques, And Collector’s Items
This is how storage bidders make their living: on the off chance that an abandoned storage unit is filled with a missing Van Gogh or Jackson Pollock.
In cases like these, humidity and temperature control are incredibly important! Make sure you talk to the manager or owner of the storage space beforehand. Wrap all art in breathable storage tissue and use the appropriate padding for sculptures or antiques. When in doubt, ask a professional art archivist for help.
6. Vehicle Or Car Storage
For some people cars are like an extension of themselves and selling your first car or vehicle is akin to getting rid of a part of your soul. For others, they’ve decided to move or go on a long vacation and have no need for their car for a few months or a year.
Vehicles make up a huge fraction of storage and if you’re storing it for a long period of time, make sure you clean your car thoroughly! Doing so will avoid rust, mildew, corrosion, and pests. Leaving gas in the tank will also help prevent internal rust. But as always, if in doubt, talk to your mechanic. They’ll be able to help you out.
7. Seasonal Decorations
Halloween, Christmas, Hannukah, and Easter. While seasonal decorations are adorable at best, they’re downright annoying when off-season. Most storage units will contain a box or two of seasonal items, and if you’re like me, probably a huge box of tangled Christmas lights.
Before you drop your favorite Christmas ornaments or Halloween decorations into storage, keep everything well organized, padded, and in the right boxes! This’ll save you a lot of headache come next (fill in your culturally relevant holiday here).
8. Photographs & Prints
If only sentimental value translated into monetary value. Photographs and prints are an absolute staple of storage units. From baby photos to old family albums to large format prints, photographs are the epitome of nostalgia and connection to the past.
Remember, light is the nemesis of photos. Ensure that all your photos and prints are kept in boxes and cases that prevent any light from coming in. This goes for books and newspapers as well.
9. Books
Even though you may never want to pick up that Biology 101 textbook again, you’ll still have a hard time parting from it forever. For most graduates, professors, and anyone with a love of reading, books make up a huge bulk of what ends up in storage.
So if you’re planning on putting away your first edition Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, make sure you look for a dry and clean place free of water and high humidity.
10. Digital Media
Out with the old, in with the new. Storage is sort of the happy hunting ground for DVDs, records, CDs, laser discs, and VHS tapes. Make sure you keep these guys in their original containers and for long term storage, make sure you find an air-tight container for them to prevent moisture damage.
Sources:

Six Hoarder Hacks to Help Declutter Your Life

roost-hoarding

Everyone knows a hoarder or is or has been a hoarder at some point in their lifetime. What does this mean? Wikipedia describes it as a pattern or behavior that is characterized by the excessive acquisition of and inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that covers the living area of the home and cause significant distress or impairment.

While this description might seem a bit extreme, “hoarding” is actually categorized as part of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) family and is diagnosed as a mental disease – “hoarding disorder.” A hoarder is:

  1. A person collects and keeps a lot of items, even things that appear useless or of little value to most people, and
  2. These items clutter the living spaces and keep the person from using their rooms as they were intended, and
  3. These items cause distress or problems in day-to-day activities.

While it’s totally normal behavior to keep things around that spark special memories or capture certain sentiments, people should think about how they will organize and store these items so that the feng shui spaces of our lives don’t get cluttered both literally and figuratively. Clutter has the capacity to overwhelm people with the volume of possessions that have taken over the house or workspace.

The OCD Foundation suggests the following treatments for people to overcome the challenges of hoarding:

  • Challenging the hoarder’s thoughts and beliefs about the need to keep items and about collecting new things
  • Going out without buying or picking up new items
  • Getting rid of and recycling clutter. First, by practicing the removal of clutter with the help of a clinician or coach and then independently removing clutter
  • Finding and joining a support group or teaming up with a coach to sort and reduce clutter
  • Understanding that relapses can occur
  • Developing a plan to prevent future clutter

Shameless plug: Roost can assist you in organizing the precious things that you’d love to save but can’t store in your 2×2 San Francisco apartment. With reasonably-priced storage units available as close as your neighbor’s house, you can keep your things nearby while cleaning up and organizing your life a bit. Studies show that decluttering your life can help with decreasing stress, illnesses, mental health issues and fire and vermin hazards.

 

Sources:

Wikipedia

OCD Foundation

WebMD

ChooseHelp

Startup Culture And Why Roost is Rad

iheartstartups

People are attracted to startups for one main reason – the culture that it offers its employees. Whether it’s an open-desk, collaborative environment or free food, beer, t-shirts or never-ending ping pong, beer pong, foosball games – “startup culture” is consistently used as a competitive recruitment tool for many companies in the tech space around the world, and one major reason that continues to draw people to the tech mecca, otherwise known as Silicon Valley.

When deciding to join a startup, there are three things that I look for to ensure that it will be the ideal culture fit for me – People, Product, Environment.

People

The first hires at a startup are the most important hires your company will ever make. Not only do these employees have to be very smart, they also have to be willing to wear many different hats, excel at problem solving on the fly, work really hard – at times pull all-nighters, embrace resourcefulness and each employee needs to have a personality that meshes with the rest of the group. This is definitely easier said than done but it is actually very important since working at a startup is like having a baby with three or four other people. The more you nurture the baby and each other,  the better the outcome. You are building a partnership for the ultimate goal of raising a successful company!

Product

The product should be innovative and in a space with clear market demand. Employees should be excited about either using the product or observing the positive impact that it could have on other people’s lives. It also has to be something that can potentially scale or catch on fast – the user acquisition pace can define the momentum within a company and encourage employees to work harder to grow faster.

Environment

The startup environment has to be conducive to generating creativity in a fun and collaborative work space. Being able to let your creative juices flow in the place where you are spending the great majority of your life is extremely important. It will inspire critical thinking exercises, brainstorms and scrums that are crucial to product development. For example, having whiteboards around to sketch out ideas, educational lectures and training courses, open-desk pod seating for easy communication flow, fun activities such as a gym, ping pong or pool table, and snacks, lots of them. Other activities such as offsites, retreats, after work outings, conferences (the fun ones), cool benefits, free stuff add to building a bonded environment.

Startups give people the opportunity to move the needle and make an impact based on the “ask for forgiveness, not permission” type of mentality. Employees own more responsibility, have more opportunities to shine, wear many different hats and can learn from one another based on the innovative minds that startups attract. Most importantly, startups instill the values of hard work, accountability and self-sustainability. What you put into it, you will get out of it.

Before joining a startup, I recommend asking yourself a couple of questions:

  • Are you a risk taker or risk-averse?
  • Do you like structure or prefer fewer rules?
  • What kind of benefits are you looking for?
  • How much visibility do you want within the company?
  • Do you want to be home by 5 p.m., or are you up for the occasional all-nighter?
  • Do you want to specialize or generalize?

 

Sources:

Career Builder

Fast Company