Weird and Wonderful Things Found In Self Storage Auctions

Across the UK and especially across America there are thousands of storage units that tenants have either abandoned, written off or just simply forgotten about.

What would you expect to find in them though? A few empty boxes? Some dusty, dilapidated furniture? Or maybe something life-changing.

You may have seen shows on TV like ‘Storage Hunters’ where old abandoned storage units are auctioned off blind, with the buyer having no idea what they’ve bought until post-sale when they can crank open the door and have a look. Sometimes, there’s real treasure inside.

For a bit of fun, we have put together some info on some of the most amazing, valuable and bizarre items that have been found in self storage facilities over the years…

The Weirdest Things Found In Self Storage Units


In an incredible story from America, a Floridian family was found to have kept their dearest Grandmother’s corpse in storage for 17 years after her death. Yes, really – we aren’t making this up!

This bizarre storage was only uncovered when eventually the owner contacted the family to inform them that due to unpaid rent, he would be selling off the items in their unit to pay their backdated fees.

Needless to say he struggled to find a buyer for Granny.


You’ve heard of snakes on a plane, now get ready for snakes in a storage unit! Famously even Indiana Jones is terrified of snakes so imagine one storage unit owner’s surprise when he found 32 pythons coiled up in one of his containers!

It appears the reptile enthusiast who had been renting the space had been attempting to breed them in the unit but unfortunately when the owner found them they were all no longer with us. The tenant was of course charged under the animal cruelties act.

Burt Reynolds

Well not Burt Reynolds himself obviously (no doubt that would have made the news) but the man himself did have a penchant for holding onto memorabilia from his films.

A storage unit that he owned in Florida was found to contain a chair made from hockey sticks from the movie ‘Mystery, Alaska’, a horse carriage built by country music goddess Dolly Parton and the actual canoe used in ‘Deliverance.’

Unfortunately, it seems that Burt hadn’t been keeping up with his monthly payments so all of his beloved keep-sakes were auctioned off. The buyers decided there was so much stuff that they opened a museum in their home town of Jupiter.


When a Michigan man won an auction on an abandoned storage unit he was blown away (apologies for the terrible pun) to discover that amongst the assorted detritus was an active hand grenade!

He took the grenade to the local fire station where the bomb squad was called to diffuse the device, which is a bit of an anti-climax really.

The Most Valuable Things Found In Self Storage Units

Pirate Treasure

We’ve all seen the Goonies right? Where an intrepid team of young teenagers and their mentally disabled friend ‘Sloth’ overcome the deadly traps of ‘One-Eyed Willie’ and the brutal ‘Fratelli’ family to claim a horde of Pirate treasure and save their town from demolition.

Of course, if they’d have been rotting around some storage units in California they needn’t have bothered with all that death-defying hassle. In 2011 a San Jose native literally struck gold when he bought a storage unit in a blind auction that contained around half a million dollars worth of ancient Pirate treasure with piles of gold and silver almost spilling out of the doors. That would’ve been quite an episode of Storage Hunters!

Original Michael Jackson Songs

A storage unit owned by Michael’s famously domineering father Joe Jackson was reportedly found to house a staggering 250 unreleased songs that ‘the king of pop’ recorded between record company contracts.

This means that they didn’t technically belong to Jackson’s family or any record label and the songs were worth potentially millions. As yet, these songs have not been made public but one day they could bring incredible fortune to some music moguls.

Original Art

Back in 2012 on Storage Wars, one of the regulars, Darrell Sheets, took a risk on a $3,500 storage unit in a storage unit auction and ended up laughing all the way to the bank when he saw the artwork that was hidden inside.

Various original works by the famous artist Frank Gutierrez were uncovered, estimated to be worth at least $300,000, which caused quite a stir on the programme.

Nicholas Cage’s Comic Book

Did you know that a comic book could be worth over a million dollars? Us neither. But back in 2011, a storage unit was auctioned off that contained a near mint condition Action Comics #1.

To add a further layer of intrigue (and value) to the comic, it was revealed that the comic book had been stolen from Nicholas Cage in the year 2000, leading to a comic collector spending over $2million to add it to his collection!

And there’s more to be found…

We’ve only just scratched the surface of the treasures that can be found in containers sold off at storage locker auctions. In fact, it’s estimated that there are over 50,000 abandoned units in the US alone which could contain an estimate of over 1 billion dollars worth of items.

So the next time you see an abandoned storage unit up for auction, think twice before you pass over what could very well be a life changing opportunity!

Browse our selection of self storage units here and start your own treasure trove!