Most self- storage renters are not planning to have their belongings auctioned; they rent with the intention of keeping what is theirs. They do this by paying their rent. However, from day one of signing their rental agreement, some seem to have plans to rid themselves of their possessions.  They do this by not paying their rent. If you are a latter-minded individual, and if you do not want to retain possession of your property, we want to highlight some of the quickest and easiest ways to make sure your washer, dryer, dresser, and boxes of knick-knacks end up on the storage auction block.

Fall off the face of the earth.

Make yourself disappear. Pay the first month’s rent and go away, either literally or figuratively. Forget what you have stored. Forget where you have stored what you forgot you have stored. The simplest way to maintain the semblance of this fall is:

  • Never update your contact information
  • Change phone numbers frequently
  • Change addresses frequently
  • Never check your email or, change your email or just delete the account
  • Change your Facebook status to inactive
  • Change your friends that you listed as alternate contacts
  • Change your appearance (on the off-chance you run in to the storage facility manager at Walmart)

If you have not changed your phone number or address, be sure to never answer calls from the storage facility or return their messages. Do not open any of their letters or emails. This method produces quick results and guarantees that you will come back a few months later (once you’ve re-climb the earth’s face and recall where you stored your property), and find everything gone. But what if your timing is off and you get in touch with them and  they haven’t yet sold everything? You can remedy this with the next steps.

Never “have” money.

When it comes to paying your storage, never "have" enough to pay. Under no condition should you pay before your due date. Especially if you will be going away or be out of touch when your rent comes due. One trick that storage operators buy is that you are coming in to some money very soon and will pay them as soon as the check arrives. Try making the storage employee feel guilty about taking your last dime. Tell them that you can pay some today but then your family will not have money for groceries or you will have no gas money to get to work. Invent a crisis that prohibits you from making your promised payment, such as, car repairs, medical emergency, or an unscheduled family vacation to Disney World. Also, keep putting off when you can or will pay.  Always be sure to wait until the last possible minute, then, fail to show up or call, which leads us to our next point. 

Break your commitments. 

Whether it is a promise to come in to the office or call back on a certain day, do not do so. If you do accidentally return their call, then commit to showing up, but never come in. Calling after hours assures that you won’t have to speak to a real person and gives the appearance that you tried. Be sure you have thought through some cataclysmic event that prevented you from getting to their office or calling back. The best excuses are the simplest: car trouble, busy day, a car accident caused traffic delays or a sick child. Sharp managers may not buy the more elaborate excuses, like a zombie apocalypse or Thor and Loki fighting on the road, so make it believable.  Techniques may vary, but make sure you never follow through with an obligation.

Attitude insights.

Someone once stated that attitude is everything. Keep this in mind if you plan to use any of the above proven ‘lose your property’ techniques. Be sure you hold the correct attitude whenever you deal with the self-storage staff. Whether it’s the ‘poor me’, the ‘not my fault’, the ‘it’s this “danged sequetrian” thing’, the, ‘I talked to so-n-so’ approach or the aggressive 'how-dare-you-treat-me-like-this', storage employees are pretty gullible and will most likely buy in to your story, and most likely, you are the very first person they have ever had use these excuses or techniques.  

Remember, budgeting, monitoring expenses and saving money is for people, like, parents, or other responsible adults. If you insist on being responsible, you may want to check out budget for some help.

So, whether you fall off the face of the earth, never have any money or simply break your commitments, be sure to blend these practices with the right attitude. Using one, all, or a combination of the above tactics guarantees that you will soon see your personal belongings for sale at a local auction. The truth is self-storage businesses will not fight you too hard in your endeavor to lose it all.