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  • Writer's pictureMegan Armstrong

Storage Auctions: Why They Happen and How to Avoid Them

bidders bidding on a storage unit

No one likes storage auctions. No one puts junk in a unit. The problem happens when folks have fallen on hard times or they have become forgetful: all of your precious items in the unit can be sold at a public auction. Don't fret! We're going to explore what they are and how to avoid them.

Understanding Storage Auctions

Storage auctions happen when the renter does not pay their bill for a set amount of time. The facility will reach out several times before it comes to this point. Ultimately, the auction is a last resort to clear the unit out for a renter who is willing and able to pay for the space. This is costly for both the renter and the facility.

Tips to Avoid Storage Auctions

1. Set Up Auto Pay

Set it and forget it! This is the easiest route you can take. The bill is drafted automatically from your bank account on the first of the month. As long as you stay current, you will avoid extra fees that go hand in hand with delinquency. By setting up auto-pay, you can have peace of mind knowing that your bill will always be paid on time without any extra effort.

2. Pay Your Bill On Time

This should go without saying. It's critical to pay your bill on time. Mark your calendar with the due date or set up reminders on your phone. Paying your bill on time helps you avoid late fees and the potential risk of your account becoming delinquent.

3. Communicate with Your Storage Facility

Have you been sick or laid off? If trouble comes, it's critical that you communicate this. Many facilities are willing to work with customers who are proactive and honest about their situations. You might be able to arrange a payment plan or temporary deferment to help you through a tough period. The key is to stay in touch and not ignore the problem. Remember that auctions are costly for the facility, and 9 times out of 10, they prefer to work with you.

4. Monitor Your Account Regularly

There are two ways to do this: give the office a call or you can go to our website to check your balances. If you notice anything is amiss at all, reach out to the office.

5. Keep Your Contact Information Up-to-Date

This is addressed in the lease; however, if anything in your contact information changes at all, your facility will have no way of knowing. Most people renting a unit are in a transient situation. Make sure your phone number and address are up to date. Many times when a unit has gone to auction, it's not only because of deliquency, but also the facility is unable to reach the renter.

6. Plan Ahead for Vacations and Long Absences

If you know you're going to be on vacation or out of town, it's always a good idea to make sure your finances are in order. You can always pre-pay for the month ahead or turn on auto-pay while you're away. No one wants your storage facility calling while you're trying to relax on the beach.


Avoiding auctions requires a bit of diligence and management on your end, but it's worth it to ensure that your belongings always stay yours. By setting up auto-pay, making sure to pay your bill on time, communicating with your storage facility, monitoring your account, keeping your contact information updated, and planning ahead for any absences, you can greatly reduce the risk of your items being auctioned off. Take these steps to protect your valuables and avoid the stress and heartache of a storage auction.

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