Saturday, May 23, 2015

An Estate Sale Horror Story

No, nothing really bad happened at this estate sale. It all happened in my head.

It all started at book club when one of my pals mentioned another member was busy working on an estate sale that would take place a few days later. "They have lots of antiques and ton of crafty stuff," Sarah said. "It's going to be a good one."

I refrained going on Friday. I do not need one single thing. Ever. But the thought of a second day's discount (and the fact that it was rainy and cold and Rick was doing an out-of-town 100-mile ride that day) led me to googlemaps and then to the house. Cars were lined up on both sides of the road. I viewed this as a good sign. I would be fed up with the crowds and leave quickly, dollars saved, no need to add anything to the pile.

The first thing I saw was the chintzware. I have a few pieces of my mom's and I thought, "This is so pretty. My colors. Spring. Wouldn't it be nice to have dessert on these little plates or serve home made macarons on this lovely larger plate."

I passed up the very nice stacked tables, thinking they'd be good TV tables or even art overflow tables. One was kind of wonky and wobbly and yes, I know me -- I'd knock it over in a heartbeat. But the buttons were nice!

A couple of cute Christmas items which I am convinced I will give away. Maybe. So, not pictured!

And then... the basement. This is where my freakout began.

The room was long and narrow. Imagine, if you can, several folding tables, two deep and several long, filled with plastic shoebox-sized storage boxes with everything under the sun. Ribbon. Stickers. Papers. Printed out collage sheets. Old cards. Stamps. Flowers. Tags. Embellishments. Books. Glue. Scissors. Napkins. Tools. More buttons. Work the woman had done herself.

There had to be 40 or 50 boxes. All well-categorized (probably the work of the estate sale people). Then there were Xyron cartridges, paper cutters, big stuff.

And another table with a huge box of Valentine-related and another of mixed holiday and more of her cards and on...and on... and on.

Fill a bag for $5. (Amazing what you can fit into an oversized lunch bag). Some things marked as bulk. As you can see, I was restrained but not good.

So, you might ask, where is the horror story in this? Apart from the fact that day two was only 35% off (not the expected 50%), the sale was fine. What wasn't fine was my head.

I came home and looked at my stuff -- not the new, but all the old stuff I already have. Now, mind you, this is stuff I am using. Not daily but regularly. I am not willing to part with it yet. But I couldn't help thinking "This is what my house will look like someday." Wall to wall tables with boxes of ribbon and cutouts, stickers and tape, books and mediums, buttons and papers, stamps and pens, feathers and glue guns, tapes and tags. Not to mention a few new old Golden Books. Or what will be left of them after my scissors go at it!

I'm still shaking.

Now granted, I hope I won't be here to have to deal with that. It'll be Rick's problem (or someone's!). He'll call the estate people and they'll put them in neat categories and say "fill a bag for $5" and that'll be that.

But I have seen the future. And it scared the heck out of me.


minwks said...

Good morning,
Very funny post, perhaps I recognized myself in your reluctant acquisition mode.
Perhaps you could assist Rick by going out and buying neat storage containers and pre sort things for him?
Regards Janine

I need orange said...

I know what you mean.

It's a wake-up call.

The only problem is -- staying awake, when confronted with the need to start clearing things out..............

:-) :-)

Margs Primitive Quilts said...

Oh, I hear you loud and clear! I'm exactly that way too! Nobody will LoVe my stuff the way I do. I try to downsize but alas...I just can't seem to part with it. I do a " little " decluttering from time to time, but nothing like I should be. Maybe one day..............
Hugs Marg.

Retired English Teacher said...

I get it. I have a crawl space full of stuff that my kids will have to crawl into, drag out the stuff, and then get rid of it. They will need to remember that I got rid of boxes, and boxes, and loads and loads of stuff when we moved two and a half years ago. They should remember to thank me. It is not as bad as it might have been. ;0

Marilyn Miller said...

Your post just made me smile. We brought 5 boxes of stuff from my mother-in-laws apartment and I am thinking I don't want my apartment someday to look like that. I must clean!!! Please come and take those 5 boxes away, I don't want them.

But then I saw all those wonderful things you can use in your art, oh lucky you!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

We live in all tenses, don't we? Past, present and future. Sometimes the present is the most difficult to control, and YOU WENT WILD! But look at this loot? I can feel the shakes with ya....It's happened to me!

Victoria Zigler said...

Look on the bright side:

1. You get to enjoy the goodies in the meantime, and make all sorts of fun craft projects with them.

2. One day your leftover craft supplies will make someone as happy as your goodies made you before you thought of the future.

3. All those things will be things people can sell to get money, so you'll be having fun while here, and providing more money to those you leave behind afterwards; everyone wins!

shoreacres said...

I'm just grinning, as you can imagine. The only thing I have left to sort through and downsize is clothing, but that's not going to be done until I downsize myself, and decide what to keep and what not. I've a whole new wardrobe waiting for a whole new me, if only I can being to develop just a little more discipline. ;-)

psychelyn said...

I can imagine. I was sorting out my stuff today and I keep telling myself some things gotta go. I collect stationeries and notebooks designed for journal writing, etc. No matter how many times I tell myself, I always end up putting them back to where they are kept.

I think it's not a bad thing having lots of your arts & crafts. They're your little treasures which you enjoy every now and then. I guess everybody who's creative got lots of stuff to keep and dispose.

Maggie said...

You certainly found some treasures on day 2, and if they make you happy (& why wouldn't they?) then don't worry about what will happen in the future.
Enjoy now!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Ha, this post makes me smile. :) I am glad you can sort of see the humor in how this estate sale probably parallels what may happen VERY FAR DOWN THE ROAD for you. I am sure those 'this could be me' thoughts are scary but hopefully it's also comforting to know that someone is going to see what you leave behind someday as treasures.

For now, though, enjoy all the fun things you picked up! The fact that you are using them in your projects and such makes me think that this was money well spent. :)

Gwen said...

Look up Marie Kondo. Her book is excellent, and you won't have to give up anything that doesn't bring you joy. :)

Jennifer Richardson said...

You're like a magnet
attracting all that goodness
to you,
even uninvited:)
The universe knows what lights
you up:)
I'm guessing your organizational
muscles are gonna get some

Mae Travels said...

EVERY. ITEM. IN. MY. HOUSE. brings me joy.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

All those things are relatively easy to sort...they are all art supplies and I'm guessing you keep your things stashed in a particular place. Enjoy it all! My house is full of so many different kinds of stuff, some of which will be of value IF anyone has the patience to sort, research, and sell it. I'm hoping I will get started on that in three weeks, when the grandkids are no longer coming here at 7 every morning.

Kitty said...

Hi Jeanne, I second a lot of the sentiments above. If your "stuff" makes you happy and stirs your creativity making you even happier, relax, and enjoy the day. The future will take care of itself. It always does.

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

I hear what you are saying. I have been trying to get rid of a lot of stuff. Because when I am gone my son will just get a big trash bin and start dumping. He is a no clutter type of guy. If you stand to long in one place your moved LOL.
I just don't know if I want strangers going thru my stuff. So I don't go anymore to sales.

littleRamstudio said...

Oh Jeanie, I have had such thoughts of late.
Having had to single handedly clear my Mum's home, (along with Gary helping heave the heavy stuff), it set those same thoughts rattling around my head.
Still have boxes upon boxes of Mum's stuff, (rubbish really), filling our dining room and still have no inclination to finally go through them and sort out what to chuck, what to send to charity and what I wish to keep. But then if I keep it then it will become the problem of whoever has to come and tidy up after me! The desire to downsize on life's flotsam and jetsom is growing a pace.
Heather :)

Laura said...

Let's just remain in denial!!!!!

Barb said...

Jeanie, I'm smiling here in CO! But I think you still find uses for so much of your stuff. We intended to simplify and downsize about a year ago - and we did. I still have a small storage area in the garage to go through. I have some old things of my mother's which I can't part with - costume jewelry, old books, and photos. My kids will have to sort through that when I'm gone. Nothing valuable, just good memories. Actually, you were very, very restrained at this sale. I loved the chintz dishes!

Patti Brundle said...

I've ever only been to one estate sale and bought wonderful stuff. I'm sure I still have some of it. I would have loved to see the buttons. At the moment, I'm very "into" them. Several years ago when I was very ill, I sold and gave away tons and tons of beads. Oh how I wish I had some of those back that I can't replace. Be careful when you're cleaning out. Pause and think before you let it go forever.

Joanne Huffman said...

If it gets to the point where someone has to organize my things, let them do what they want (I already told the girls that when I die they are to go through the house and take whatever they want; call my friends and have them come over and take what they want; then have someone come in and clear it all out; then sell the house).

Arti said...

Jeanie, I hear you loud and clear. I'm living this horror story, mind you, not so neatly organized and categorized, but oh, I don't want to think about it. But you're so nuanced in writing this up... what, irony or realism intermingled. Brilliant post!

The Artful Diva said...

I get the hee-bee-jeebies when I think what my children will do with my artwork once I'm gone!

Cheryl said...

lol... I've had that very same scarey thought.... sigh. What bugs me the most is that I'll be dead and I would be so mad seeing my "treasure" being sold cheap. LOL Currently, I am going through my "stuff" and giving it away. Some to my grand kids to use at Boy & Girl scouts... so at least I get to see it being used lol... it is some comfort.
big hugs,

bj said...

I have kept every painting my mother did... some to our children and the rest will go to grands. I gave they can feel free to do as they wish with them.
Very nice post. xoxo

Sandy K. said...

I laughed out loud from beginning to end - you weave a true horror story, Jeanie. It is one I run in my head quite a bit, as I wonder what will greet whoever is tasked with weaving their way through the "stuff" we have accumulated. The happy ending for you, however, is you now have enough supplies to split between home and cottage! Double the fun! :)

The French Hutch said...

Dear Jeanie, behing in my comments with a new project I have going (more on that later) so please understand. I had to LOL when I read this post, sooo funny and boy did it hit home. I'm working on this problem of "stuff" as we speak. I have a fear of someone thinking I'm a hoarder with all my "pretty things" and I see some of them in your photos. I have a huge paper doll collection and I think I'm learning to let go. I would have had a problem with all those pretty project goodies and I may have filled several bags. i think you did great!
Enjoy your day........

~*~Patty S said...

Well so many of us can relate and didn't you just have fun with all of that temptation and loot.
I swear I can get sentimental over strangers things rescuing bits of this and that to take home.
I have been pretty good at staying away from temptation lately but it is not easy.
Because Jim and I are orphans we have assimilated quite abit of "stuff" from both sets of parents and we are both interested in so many things.
Enjoy * Enjoy while you can I say.

Carolyn Marnon said...

It appears we are all hounded by the same thoughts of our stuff. I already know when I die, my husband will rent a dumpster and just toss it all in. No sorting or selling for him. And I am okay with that since he has to live with it while I am alive. LOL!

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