I decided to check out an estate sale this morning. When I walked in, I thought it was going to be a dud. The family was running the sale and they weren’t very organized. They were still sorting through stuff and some rooms weren’t “open” yet. Nothing was priced and there didn’t seem to be that much. The main item of interest on the main floor was a huge collection of vintage salt shakers and small animal knick-knacks. I was wishing I’d had my camera because the sheer quantity of it was kind of fascinating.
I went into the dining room and the woman there said that the stuff in that room wasn’t for sale except for the stuff in the china cabinet (mostly teacups), and that the ceramic cat figurines were “taken.” (As you can imagine, I wasn’t sad about that.) I asked if there was more outside and she said “just some tools and stuff.” Then almost as an afterthought she said, “There are some things upstairs, but …” I was confused. “Can I go up there?” I asked, not sure what the deal was. “Yes, it’s just that the stairs are really steep.” I assured her I would manage and headed up.
The upstairs was one huge room and it was chaotic, with boxes piled up and stuff everywhere. A couple of guys were digging through corners in trance-like states. I started to look around and realized hardly any shoppers had been in there yet. I got all excited digging through an untouched closet, pulling out box after box with high hopes, but it was all random stuff like bills, saved greeting cards, or a bag full of shopping bags. Every time I thought I was on to something good, it was a dud, or something that would have been cool if it wasn’t kinda destroyed.
I poked around the perimeter of the room for a while and was just thinking it was going to be a total bust when I opened a small dresser drawer. Barkcloth! I grabbed the piece and under it were some vintage aprons. OK, now we are getting somewhere. I took my time pulling everything out of each drawer and soon had to get a box to stash everything in. I probably pulled out at least a dozen fantastic aprons (none newer than the ’50s) as well as some other interesting linens and fabric. My hands were starting to feel kinda crusty, but I had too much of an estate-sale-high on to really care.
Re-inspired, I surveyed the room and began my search-and-acquire mission in earnest. I moved a large sad teddy bear and found he was sitting on a barkcloth curtain. I cleared a bunch of empty shoeboxes off of a large chest which turned out to contain some chenille throws and vintage baby clothes. I found some t-shirts from the ’60s (or older?), an odd little firetruck toy, an old framed cat picture, some vintage unused decals, some small quilts, vintage baby blankets, more fabric, more linens, and other random things I’ve already forgotten about. I was pretty selective because I wasn’t sure how much they would want – I figured it would be on the cheaper side since they were so disorganized, but you never know, and I was starting to amass quite a pile.
Finally I had two overflowing boxes and I had been there for over an hour and I decided I’d better call it quits. I lugged my boxes down the treacherous stairs. “Oh, do you want more blankets?” they asked. I told them I had seen the others upstairs, but they said there were more in one of the downstairs rooms (which had opened up by this time). I really sort of just wanted to be done, but I went in, finding a few more things (including a demented yet cute old stuffed animal, which sort of looks like the vintage precursor to Ugly Dolls).
I was a little afraid about how much it was all going to cost. In my mind I decided that if it was $100 or less I would just pay it, but if it was more then I’d have to look back through and maybe take some stuff out. The woman poked through the boxes for about five seconds and said, “$30? Is that OK?” I managed to keep my jaw from dropping, and told her that was fine.
This trunk photo didn’t come out very well because it’s such a bright and sunny day, and a ton of the best stuff is buried. Still, you can get an idea of how much stuff I got, and let me assure you that it’s all pretty good stuff.
This was the most exciting sale I have been to this year!