Sifting through the lives of strangers, Jamie Climo almost always gets more than he bargains for.
He's had incredible artworks and expensive antiques fall into his hands. He's had two twenty-foot containers filled with expensive unopened Lego sets become his, all for a few bucks. Then there are the secrets. He's had plenty of those.
Mr Climo once stumbled into the love letters of a European man and an Australian woman who had died of cancer. The letters revealed the woman had been living an incredible double life.
"That was an extraordinary one," Mr Climo said.
"She had a family in [Europe] and she had a family in [Sydney]. Her husband and children here never knew."
Mr Climo is a so-called auction hunter - someone who bids on unclaimed self storage units in the hope of finding hidden treasure inside.
After six years amassing valuables and selling them online, he will open his first shopfront on Wentworth Street at Port Kembla on Thursday, September 7.
The Little Shop of Things will stock goods that have most often come into Mr Climo's hands as a result of misfortune and tragedy - deceased estates, suicide, divorce, dementia or crime.
He says he is humbled by the personal stories he's become a custodian of.
But the practice of finding and selling has also lit a spark in the Coalcliff dad, who's had "lots of different jobs" but is - at his core - a hunter.
"It's like opening up a Christmas box," he said. "Every day."
"For me it's about trying to bring a good vibrance to things that were once lost.
"I like seeing people smile when they find them."
Unlike the heated scenes shown in US shows like Storage Wars, in Australia most unit auctions happen online at ibidonstorage.com.au
Mr Climo estimates he's bought 56 units in the past six years, amassing so many things he's content not to bid any more. He says auctions were far cheaper when he began bidding, when fewer people knew about them.
Self storage companies will deem a unit abandoned when the owner fails to keep up payments after a certain time.
Mr Climo had recently lost his job cleaning carpets when he saw an ad for ibidonstorage.com.au about six years ago.
He feared it was a scam at first, but after bidding little more than spare change, laid claim to his first storage unit.
Inside was a treasure trove of antiques and designer handbags.
Another early bid of his secured a container load of works by the prolific occult artist, Barry William Hale.
Through the process of returning some personal items to the artist, the pair forged a relationship, and now are preparing to open an art gallery featuring Hale's work, and that of other artists, in a disused ballroom at the back of the Wentworth Street shop.
The Little Shop of Things opens on Thursday at 125 Wentworth Street, Port Kembla.