Last year, Duane Pfeifer decided to downsize — his storage unit. After about three years paying to store items he no longer wanted to keep, he learned about a unique event put on by Stor-a-Way Self Storage, the place he paid monthly to store his items in Otis Orchards.
Called the “George Sale,” Stor-a-Way’s annual event helps customers and members of the public set up a massive sale right on site.
“My sisters and I all got together and had a big sale,” Pfeifer said. “I got rid of everything I wanted to get rid of, so I just closed down the place over there.”
Yes, Stor-a-Way manager Kimberlee Soule confirmed, that’s exactly what they do: Help paying customers downsize or vacate units they no longer want, freeing up space for others who need it.
“I realized many storage customers had units full of collectibles and were overwhelmed,” she said. “So I said we have the space a for a mini flea market, and why not bring the community too, table space is free.”
The idea has caught on and is expanding in 2019; the George Sale will be held every third Friday and Saturday of the month, May through September.
Soule, who manages Stor-a-Way with her husband, Bob, said the idea was inspired by the sudden loss of a former manager named George, who had four large units at Stor-a-Way housing years of collectibles. His family held an estate sale at Stor-a-Way, and more than 700 people came through the gates for that first event. The event has grown since, with its best turnout yet in 2018 and plans to expand in 2019.
“It’s in his remembrance, and for all those families who have to go through cleaning out the junk when a loved one passes,” she said.
And for people like Pfeifer, who are looking for options to get rid of valuables they no longer want to keep.
“The people (at Stor-a-Way) are just terrific to work with,” he said. “You walk in there and they call you by name. When we had the sale, they checked on us and asked how everything was going.”
NOTE: A version of this article first appeared in the 2019 Liberty Lake Yearbook.