Jun 30, 2009

Estate Saleing is my new BFF. Sorry, Paris.

I'm an estate saleing fanatic (isn't that vintage Playskool puzzle clever?). Thursday may be my favorite weekday. However, sometimes I feel guilty when rifling through one's personal treasures. I feel odd and slightly unmerciful toward the crowds shuffling room to room forgetting to utter "excuse me"--at the collectors hoping to find a rare antique to resell. I want them to be a leettle respectful.

Pillage. That's the word.

That part? Not for me. I tenderly re-stack the kitchen plates and pans. Gently replace lids on Rubbermaid containers brimming with holiday decor. I do it out of respect for the person(s) who has left this life for, hopefully, an easier one.

I wonder what the things meant to her--the beauty she felt when wearing the flowy dress, the pride displayed in nurturing her family from not only the recesses of glossy cookware, but, from her heart.

And I'm very vividly presented with the fact that, once we leave this green, blue, glorious, smoggy earth,

we take nothing with us.

Perhaps that's why I go back. Amidst the Macy's-esque frenzy of aquisition, I am still. Still enough to receive the sounds and secrets gauzed in the empty walls.

If you're new to estate saleing, here are some hints:

~Wichita-area residents may click here for the Wichita Eagle newspaper's site (I don't receive the paper...). Go to Classifieds, then Find an Ad, then, Estate Sales. The addresses and details will be listed. For the rest of you, check out this website or your local paper.

~Some estate sales are run by companies that do all the work for the family. Typically prices will be higher at these sales, but, will go down by 25% on the second day, then 50% (or more) the third day.

~Most sales run Thursday through Saturday, but I've hit some on Wednesdays before.

~Many estate sale companies have their own websites which will display photos of the items. One gets a sense of the things for sale and can judge whether or not it's worth a trip.

~Privately organized sales tend to have lower prices but will only accept cash.

~Get there early! I know there's at least one other person with an eye on mid-century & ecclectic decor (Dixie with Mid-Century Originals downtown), so, that's my motivator. I've been a happy supporter of her booth for several years, and our living room holds much of her merchandise, but, now I know how cheaply I can obtain things if I'm willing to do some legwork!

~Don't judge a book by its cover. If you approach a house and wonder what could possibly be of value in it, go in anyway. There could be a wheelbarrow or ladder in the backyard for your hot stud at home.

~Make offers. I'm not an assertive person, but work on it every day. Saleing provides great opportunities for that, and I've heard "no" plenty of times.

~Be prepared for large crowds in tight quarters.

~Have fun. Warning: you may develop an addiction!

We've begun our no rhyme or reason wall collage. Many of the older hangings are sale finds, none of which I paid more than $5 for.And Wilder's busy little bee. A wooden toy costing $1. I've seen them for $20 in antique stores.


Weza said...

Crickey those piccys are real crackers. (All said with Aussie twang) You are doing well. Keep working on that accent and when you come visit (lol) you will fit right in.

Ashli said...

Love it, the hunt for treasures whilst still treasuring (and respecting) the stories of those whom have gone before and carefully guarded the memories contained in 'jars of clay'.
The wall of random pictures is marvelous/unique, intriguing.
I feel inspired on this looong Tuesday morning when Friday seems so far away.

Julie Dillingham said...

Hi Mindy! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog! Your pictures are wonderful and your ecclectic taste in antiques and vintage is fabulous!

Sarah said...

fun start on your wall collage!