As of today, I am officially the owner of my very own storage unit.  The boxes we ordered from the storage company arrive tomorrow, and the moving guys are coming on Friday morning.  The plan is to move two or three of our bookcases and thirty boxes of STUFF, composed primarily of books, VHS tapes, and DVDs.  If there’s any room left over in the unit afterwards (there should be some, I think), we can bring over more stuff a little at a time.  You know, lightweight stuff like vacuum-packed bags of off-season clothes, for example.

I’d filled out some of the preliminary paperwork online, but oh man, there was a lot more to do when I got to the storage facility this afternoon.  I can’t remember the last time that I had to fill out so many forms, but I’m thinking that it was either the first day of my job or the day that I got my apartment.  There was the automatic payment authorization, the “low-cost protection plan” insurance that would cover the estimated value of my stuff JUST IN CASE SOMETHING HAPPENS, the many signings/initialings on the occupancy agreement and the addendum to the occupancy agreement, plus a bunch of other stuff that I don’t really remember any more.  I think I might have signed over one of my kidneys.

Anyway, the most entertaining stuff is in the occupancy agreement.  In it I agree to many different things, including:

  • I will not store any animals, food, inflammable/combustible/explosive items, items which have an objectionable odor.
  • I will not use the storage space for residential purposes.

I got a big kick out of the sentence, “The lessor is not a bailor or warehouseman in the business of storing goods.”  I actually read that sentence out loud to the nice man from the storage company, and mentioned that “lessor”, “bailor”, and “warehouseman” were such cool and archaic words that you didn’t hear too often.  Then there was this awkward pause, which gave me time to realize my error.  I quickly added, “I mean … they’re words that *I* don’t hear too often.  I’m sure that YOU hear them all the time!”

Anyway, I got to check out my new space, learned how to use the lock that they supplied and added the padlock that my boyfriend bought, and did my best not to get lost getting to and from my unit.  I’m going to take my boyfriend there tomorrow or Thursday so he can get the hang of the place and learn how to navigate the security system before he goes there with the moving guys on Friday morning.

Oh, and since the only thing you know about storage facilities might correspond with the only thing that I know about storage facilities, I should be honest and say that yes, I brought up the TV show Storage Wars with the nice man from the storage company.  To be fair, that was not my original intention.  I mean, I wasn’t planning to say, “Hey, do you watch that reality show about your job?” because that’s a) kind of annoying and b) not any of my business.  And plus c) he probably hears that question a lot and is probably sick of hearing it.  But as I was signing yet another document, one in which I was promising to be a law-abiding citizen and not use the storage facility to store stolen or illegally trafficked goods, I wondered aloud if that was a standard agreement for anyone renting a storage unit.  The moment I said it, I thought, “Oh, crap.  Now he thinks I’m a drug-smuggling criminal.”  So to save my (imaginary) reputation, I quickly added, “I’m just wondering because I saw something on Storage Wars one time … have you ever seen that show?”

He said he hadn’t seen the show, but that everyone kept telling him that he should.  He said that when he got home from work, he wasn’t really in the mood to watch a TV show ABOUT work.  I said that I totally understood, and that when I got home from work I wouldn’t want to watch a reality show about libraries.  Oh, and I should add that by this time I’d told him that I was a public librarian, because in a discussion about making storage unit owners promise not to live in their storage units he had said, “You’d be surprised by the kinds of stuff we see here” and I had replied, “Actually, I’m a public librarian, so I don’t think I’d be surprised at all.”  Anyway, I recommended that he watch Storage Wars at least once, because he might be able to appreciate it from an insider’s perspective.  I also told him NOT to watch a bunch of episodes in a row, because while it is a compelling show it’s also depressing.  It must be especially sad for the people who couldn’t keep up with the storage unit payments, and then sat at home watching a reality show in which a bunch of vultures bid on their abandoned unit and then went through its contents, throwing stuff on the ground as they searched for items that they could sell for a profit.

The nice man from the storage company told me that many people only made the first month’s payment and then never made another payment after that, so they lost the rights to all of their stuff.  That’s the depressing part of the job.  The entertaining part of the job is that the guy who has the overnight shift always has funny stories to tell about the kinds of people who show up to visit their storage units in the middle of the night.  The more I learn about this industry, the more I think that storage unit staff and public librarians have quite a lot in common.

Anyway, once we get all of this stuff into the storage unit, we’ll be one step closer to rescheduling the exterminator visit.  And (please God) one step closer to living a bedbug-free life.

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