A recent experience has proven to me once again that many auction buyers are overlooking the most obvious when peeking into storage units they are contemplating bidding on. DUST.

When a storage unit is opened and contains a lot of boxes and even a few furniture items, and if the contents are heavily coated in dust, this is a major clue that you may have found something worth considering.

Many times, a unit covered in a large amount of dust has contents that were stored a very long time ago and has not been touched since placed into storage. This can happen when a family member is placed into a nursing home or passes away unexpectedly. It happens frequently with the elderly. Children from out of town (and sometimes out of state) come in to take care of the elderly person’s affairs, quickly place all of their belongings into storage with the plan to return at a later date to sort it all out and dispose of or split it up among family members. Then life gets hectic and the items are forgotten. Storage fees are paid and eventually, the fees are either forgotten or the family member that placed into storage decides that it just isn’t worth the expense of paying for storage any longer, or possibly the family member that placed it there had a tragedy occur and nobody else knows where everything is stored.

We purchased a unit two weeks ago for 75.00. It was covered in about 1/4 inch of dust and comments from the crowd of auction buyers were things like, “what a mess,” and “good luck with that old junk.”

This unit contained over 7000.00 worth of heirloom and estate jewelry neatly packed in original jewelers boxes and much of it tucked away neatly inside a very large wooden with glass doors jewelry case. We’re talking 18K gold rings with diamonds ranging from 1/4 to 2 carats in size. Pearl strings so old that the pearls were yellowed and the strings were brittle.

Three exquisite pieces of antique furniture hidden behind and under all of the boxes and dust with a retail value in excess of 2500.00.

So, what’s really under that dust?

One never knows, but in my experience, dust means age, and age means valuable.

Now don’t get me wrong, we are talking about dust covered boxes that are stacked, taped, and obviously intended to store away personal belongings.

Good hunting and stay Crazy!

Crazy J