This post isn’t actually about Star Trek at all. But what better title to use for an estate sale I went to recently? Any Scottish Terrier enthusiasts out there would have loved this sale. I bought a few things, and I consistently say (and heartily believe) you can find the oddest and most amazing things at an estate sale.
I don’t consider myself a “candle person,” but whenever I visit estate sales I’ll pick one up if it looks old and unique. Here are a few, old and new. The last one is an old surgeons lamp which I no longer have.
So I opened an Etsy store a few weeks ago. If you’re as interested as I am pumped, just click here. Or you can click here. Or you can go back and click the word Etsy in the first sentence. Lots of choices but they all bring you to the same place… which is here. I like that having an Etsy store (you can click here to check it out) combines the excitement of owning a business (without actually owning a business) with the adventure of treasure hunting! Most of my treasure hunts are actually called estate sales, but wow, the wide range of items you can find is as imaginative as you can think! You have to forget that your shopping through stuff a dead person/people left behind and just know this is what they would have wanted. I say that somewhat jokingly because every time I hear “that’s what they would’ve wanted,” I think, “I think they would’ve wanted to keep on living… I think. Or at least for you to cry more!” But seriously, I do think they would have wanted to pass along these historic items to future generations. Here’s a recount of one of my estate escapades. And a recurring thought I have is that they just don’t make things like they used to. Yeah, I’m old. I tried getting on the Facebook the other day and was lost. A short break on an old wing back wrapped in an afghan brought my heart rate safely down. I’ve gotten off the point. The point is, I have an Etsy site. And I’m excited. Oh, and if you’re wondering, you can check it out here.
I went for a jog today around lunch time. After I ran past this one lady, I thought, “She smells like an estate sale.” Not sure if I’m asking if I’m normal, or she is, but either way, I love estate sales. Especially the ones with old records, low prices, and extremely odd items, for instance, see picture below.
My friend Megan and I are self-proclaimed geeks. We’re part of Generation X which we fit into for the most part. But I was born two decades late because I love music and furniture from the 1960s and 1970s. Megan prefers the 1950s and 1980s. We both agree, though, the less expensive, the better so this morning we ventured out to a few estate sales. Follow along in the form of a “how-to” guide as our adventures brought us all over the city looking for the best Nashville has to offer. If you’re on time, you’re late. If the estate sale begins at 9:00am, it’s completely fine to get there in the 8 O’Clock hour, unless they specifically say not to. A lot of times the good stuff could get picked over before you even get there, so whether it helps to take an early-morning shower or support your local coffee shop with a cup to kick off the day, start early.
What exactly are you planning here, sir? To make best use of time and gas, plan out a route before you leave the house. A lot of time will be spent in the car which is fine, but it’ll pay off if you’re not backtracking from sale to sale. Most estate sales list addresses so make your GPS unit earn it’s keep. Also, be prepared to pay via cash. Some sales don’t accept any other form of payment.
I am a rock, I am an island. As a loner myself, I typically don’t seek out company, but there are a few convincing reasons to bring someone along when you go estate saling. Most importantly, your companion can tell you if what you like is actually hideous. Trust me, that’s invaluable. They can also spot you some cash if you run out and there’s a wood carving of an owl that you just can’t live without. Sure the lyrics “I am a rock, I am an island” are cool, but come one, call up your buddy and bring ’em along.
Keep your eyes on the prize. If you’re looking for something specific at estate sales, it’s important to keep that in mind. Without a doubt, you’re going to see some cool things. You’re going to see some things you never thought you’d see. Many times you’ll see something and think to yourself, “Oh yes, I’ve always needed one of these,” when in reality you don’t. A good philosophy here is to ask yourself, “Will this look like junk in my house?” If the answer is yes, maybe, or probably, don’t buy it. One truth that fits here is that if you don’t love it in the store, you won’t love it at home so try to stick to what you know you want to buy but at the same time, be open to buying stuff that’s just downright cool. For instance, I like collecting bottles so at the second estate sale I found a great bottle from Korea. It had a root inside it. My friend Megan found books she likes and a few great records. Beware of the fanny pack. If you see people wearing fanny packs, be offensive in your shopping. Whatever you’re interested in, hold on to it until you’ve made up your mind. If you set it down, chances are a fanny pack will come snatch it up like a hungry wolf.
Respect your surroundings. Old dinner plates. Old silverware. Old homes. Old people. If you’re looking for the latest IKEA home furnishings, estate sales are not for you. Just think to yourself, why is this sale happening? More often than not, the person living there died of old age. You don’t know who of the family is there, so be mature, don’t criticize the things you see, and spend some cash! Whether you buy a little or fill up a U-Haul, “vintage” is the new “used” so this weekend check out a few estate sales. You may find what you’re looking for, but you’ll definitely find what you were never looking for.