A house for a hoard

Posted by Jenny in Sale Tales | 10 Comments

We had plans on Friday to meet up at an estate sale that started at noon, but then at the last minute I couldn’t make it. Around 12:30 Meghan texted me that she and Karl were still waiting outside in the rain, so I didn’t feel that bad about missing out. Just when I was figuring I’d have a quiet afternoon at home instead, Meghan called. She said the estate sale had been pretty good and now they were going to another one up north, on a tip from a friend Karl had run into. Did I want them to swing by and pick me up? YES!

Ten minutes later we were on our way to the cross-streets Karl had been given. I checked craigslist for the actual address, but couldn’t find anything on that street. There didn’t seem to be any signs, either. We were just starting to consider the evil possibility that Karl’s friend was sending us on an April Fool’s wild goose chase, but then we found it. Karl had been warned it was kind of hoarderish, and was it ever — stuff was everywhere, although fairly neat and well-organized. Later we heard that the former owner didn’t even live there — this was a separate house just for all her stuff! That is really taking hoarding to a new level.

The first room I went into was a bathroom. Note how the bathtub is covered up so that things can be stored on top of it – it didn’t seem like something that had just been done for the sale.


There were lots of critters lying around.


Another room was filled with pottery and china of all sorts, spread out across various shelves and pieces of furniture. Here’s one small section (with an intriguing photo randomly nestled within).

Dishes and photo

I walked into the kitchen, and that’s when things really started to get interesting. Meghan was digging through a box of crazy decals. Sadly, my camera failed me here – my other picture where you could actually see the rest of that crazy stuffed pink baby animal decal didn’t come out at all.

Crappy photo of decals

We both agreed that a few years back, we each might have purchased a bunch of these and then they probably would have ended up at our next yard sale once we realized they served no actual purpose in our lives. But $2 apiece for the large sheets was high enough that we easily restrained ourselves (even though later we both sort of wished we’d picked up one or two of them, just for the heck of it).

The prices overall seemed too high. These ancient campaign stickers were cool, but $3 apiece?

Re-Elect Blackman

I guess they were trying to get as much as they could before having a half-price blowout at the very end. Still, with that much stuff, it seemed crazy not to start it at “make-it-go-away” prices.

The kitchen was loaded with books. They filled up both sides of this sink (and every available bit of counter space).

Cookbook storage

Most were cookbooks of various sorts. This microwave atrocity seemed familiar …

Let's Cook Microwave!

Meghan remembered that we’d taken a picture of it way back in the early days of our blog!

Then I found this beer cookbook. Kinda cool (but not five bucks’ worth of cool).

How To Cook With Beer

I opened it up to a random recipe — wait, scratch that. I don’t think “pour beer over melon balls” qualifies as an actual recipe.

Melon Balls - Beer Dressing

Along with the cookbooks, there were some … oddities.

About Cocoanuts and Constipation

Books of various sorts had pretty much taken over the next room too. Then we rounded a corner and found ourselves in Magazine Land.

More magazines

They were pretty well organized by title (or at least genre) and ranged from the fifties up to about 1993.

Magazine overload

The magazines were pretty musty, but otherwise seemed to be in pretty good shape. I started digging in and then Meghan came over, asking if I got the text she had just sent me from upstairs. I checked my phone and found this picture.

I'm Sorry Four Times

Okay. Even if you are a hoarder, how do you have four of these? Were four separate people sorry for something they did to you? Or were you stocking up in advance, figuring you might have a lot to apologize for at some point? I know, I am thinking about this way too much. In any case, I never even made it upstairs to see what else was up there (more figurines and a bunch of boring crap, according to Meghan). I got totally sucked into digging through the magazine boxes. There was so much to look at!

Life: Marijuana

Some of the old ads were pretty hilarious …

A word about sausage

And then there was the “adult” section: a huge stack of Playboys and multiple copies of a few issues of the very classy publication “Sex to Sexty.”

Sex to Sexty

Crusty as they were, we were sort of charmed by the crazy cover graphics. Then we opened one up to an absurdly smutty cartoon. All I’ll say is that the caption referred to one “Colonel Lingus.” (I am sure some of you will be sad to learn that none of us came home with that gem. )

Eventually we dragged ourselves away from what could have been an endless dig and paid for our items. I spent $8 for a 1950’s beauty book and three magazines (two ’50s/’70s issues of Seattle Magazine, and the 1971 National Lampoon “Women’s Lib” issue). Meghan and Karl each got a few things, but none of us really went crazy. Spending time in the midst of a hoarder’s stash does tend to have a negative effect on how much stuff you really want to bring into your own house!

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