All for $2.
We hit up a few estate sales today. Though we purchased very little, I snapped some interested pictures. The more I go to estate sales the more I want to photograph them and not purchase anything. Estate sales sure do tell a story. They tell the story of the elderly people who no longer live there, the story of their adult children who are caring for their elderly parents and of course the estate sale company themselves. Only one of the three companies today took the time to price the items clearly and fairly, and organize the home for the buyers. While I realize that is to benefit them to make good money, to me it is out of respect to the people who lived there. Leftover items strewn about on beds, in the living room and in closets leaves the feeling of a rushed departure and an unhappy ending. Estate sales are not for the faint of heart. I recall my first one was disheartening.
Today I thought about the stories of these people – avid music lovers and novice photographers. Perhaps a pipe-smoking man sits in his easy chair at the end of the day, admiring the feminine touches of his wife’s interior decorations?
This post is long overdue, but during the winter days, I have more time to blog about my summer adventures….
I’ve always loved yard sales. When I was little, my elderly neighbors would have a yard sale every summer. To this day, my mother still tells the story of how I came home with a pitcher from that yard sale. It had a small chip and the neighbors didn’t charge me for it. I bragged about my good deal and I think she laughed for days.
Now that I don’t work weekends anymore, I scope out estate sales. I tend to go the estate sales in the more affluential towns around since the items for sale are higher quality. I mostly look for books and records. But sometimes, if they don’t have what I am looking for, I enjoy looking around. And yes sometimes it can be sad because it is usually the home of elderly folks, but don’t let that bother you.
I have seen all sorts of goodies at estate sales. From vintage clothes to fine china, rare furniture and all sorts of knick-knacks. I would love to have it all but we just don’t have room in our home right now!
If you are moving out on your own for the very first time, and have nothing, an estate sale is a great way to start. You could get all your flatware, cooking bowls, and dishes. Not to mention bookshelves and other furniture. Sometimes you can find office supplies like notebooks, index cards and storage bins. You may even find a quality wood bed frame. Sure it is all used but give it a good dusting and it is new to you! You may find unopened items at estate sales. If the house belongs to someone with the depression era mentality you can find many items new still in the package.
Here’s what no one tells you though:
- Look online for photos of the items before you go.
- Get there early or everything will be picked over.
- Sometimes the photos are used to lure you in but the good stuff may already be taken.
- The house may be packed with people so you may have to wait your turn.
- Shoppers at estate sales might be weird. Some are very nice though.
- Always smell stuff and examine it closely.
- Don’t be afraid to go through the closets and drawers. If it isn’t taped closed or labeled – it is yours!
I always mean to photograph the items I see at estate sales but it is hard with all the people around. Below are some items which have caught my eye. I will have to blog about it again if I take more photos.