bubbleblower: cropped head shot of me with nebula background (Default)
[personal profile] bubbleblower
I need to make a decision on something.

When I moved from Los Angeles to the Bay Area back in 1997 I left a bunch of miscellaneous stuff in storage. Some of it was valuable, some may have had sentimental value, and some of it was probably just junk.

Over the years I've made several trips down there for unrelated reasons and on returning from each trip brought a carload of stuff up. Thus the proportion of stuff that is likely to be valuable has gone down, meaning that much of what's left is probably junk. Also, my thoughts on sentimental value have changed, putting even more of what's left into the "probably junk" category.

Now I'm wondering what to do about the remaining stuff. I don't have any trips planned in the foreseeable future, so if I were to go there again it would probably be a special trip for this. I've gotten older, and don't really feel up to driving 400 miles each way to fetch another load, not to mention the cost of gas, a motel room, and so on. And don't forget the physical labor of loading the stuff into my car and unloading it at this end.

I've thought of hiring movers to bring it up here, but that would mean paying money for the movers as well as renting Bay Area storage space. And because of recent developments there may be hassles getting the storage people to let the movers take the stuff.

A couple of months ago I got a message from the storage people. On a routine inspection they noticed that the lock was missing from my unit. Had I taken it? No, I hadn't been there and hadn't sent anyone and knew nothing about who took the lock off and how and why they did it.

The agent had put a temporary lock on it, and would like me to come in and inspect it to see if anything was missing. (It occurred to me afterward that stuff could have also been added, but that possibility was never mentioned at the time.)

The person I talked to kept insisting that I come in in person to look at my stuff. I kept telling them how inconvenient that would be, but to little avail: "Please come in at your earliest convenience." Mention of where I live (San Francisco Bay Area) being kind of far away from Los Angeles didn't seem to sink in. "Please come in at your earliest convenience."

I get the feeling that any further attempts to discuss this situation will turn into a big can of worms unless I agree to go to Los Angeles to inspect my stuff.

I did notice something on their web site to the effect that I can add other people to my account, giving them access to the unit. Even if they don't know exactly what's supposed to be there (I didn't make any lists of stuff I put there or later took out and brought up north) maybe they could take pictures or something.

One category of stuff that may not be junk: Several hundred LP records and a comparable number of 45's. If they're still playable after sitting in a non-air-conditioned building for eighteen years they may be worth something.

There's also miscellaneous household stuff. Maybe some art or a few fanzines and such, but I may have already taken most of those out.

There are a few random objects with sentimental value, but those are minor and losing them at this late date won't be a big personal tragedy.

So what should I do about this?

I'm thinking of just saying to heck with it all. Stop paying the rent and let the storage people auction everything. That sounds like a simple solution. But won't that get reported to the credit-rating people? What will it do to my score? And can the storage people make other kinds of trouble if I do that?

Any advice?

Advice? Huh, advice.

Date: 2015-06-15 01:38 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Being in a somewhat comparable sitch, I find, somewhat to my own surprise, that I have some coherent and internally consistent opinions on the subject.

IMO:

THE STUFF
• Salvage the records.
• Dump the rest.[1]

THE PROCESS
• Empower someone down there who you know and trust.
• Be prepared to pay some costs, even if just disposal. Certainly any costs incurred by your agent, and possibly payment for their time, depending on your relationship with them.
• [1] Give your agent full permission to take anything they want from the "junk". Ça va sans le dire, mais cela va mieux en le disant.
• You may want to have your agent sell the records down there, trading off the cost of that (time, commission?) against the cost and risk of packing and shipping them to you and the time and trouble of selling them yourself.

Bonne chance!
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