I have a new reason to look forward to the weekends: going to estate sales. It has turned into something exciting that my husband and I both enjoy. We have very similar taste in furnishings and are drawn to the unusual and insanely beautiful. In a time when we should be decluttering and leaning towards a more minimalist lifestyle, we’re getting into treasure hunting. We aren’t buying with abandon and are being selective. We know enough from our days going to auctions what is worth coveting and what is pure junk. We also know what’s a decent price. I still second guess, wondering if I could’ve gotten the item for less. That’s just human nature. The less you pay for something, the more you love it. We’ve avoided buying furniture even though we have to replace most of ours sooner rather than later. Years ago we got a lovely octagonal wooden table with detailed cutouts on the legs for $15. We use that to this day. So there are deals to be had but you have to be picky. We’ve agreed that we’d never buy a sofa or upholstered chair from an estate sale due to even the slightest possibility of bringing home bedbugs.
I’m Not A Pirate…But I Like A Good Treasure Hunt
March 26, 2013 by almostakiss
Last weekend we didn’t make it to any estate sales until Sat. afternoon. Most run Thurs., Friday and Sat. or even just Friday and Sat. So we went when there was only an hour and a half left at some of them before they were closed. Surprisingly, there was still some wonderful finds left! I thought for sure the Royal Haeger vintage pottery piece would be gone. The pink and blue pattern is my favorite of everything they’ve produced. We saw it on display museum-style at their factory in East Dundee, IL. This color was popular in the 1950’s and they no longer make it. The ceramic display piece was marked $28 which I thought was steep considering the circumstances. I would’ve paid $20 for it and been kicking myself. I had hubby ask if they’d take $20 for it but felt like it was still not a great deal at that price. The woman said everything there was HALF OFF because it was the end of the last day. So I got it for $14 and was tickled pink! 🙂
When we started going to these a few weeks ago, we decided we’d ONLY go to the ones near home. Within 3-5 miles of here. So that means local sales and ones in the towns directly next to us and of course, Chicago which borders our town. We’ve seen some awesome sales advertised that were an hour away in the southern suburbs but is it worth it to drive that far and not be sure anything will be left? Or get up way early to wait in line? Not to us. This is stuff we don’t NEED, we just WANT. The next 2 sales we went to on Sat. were in Des Plaines, IL. One was pretty picked over except for a couple boxes of old photographs. The guy kept saying “Make an offer!” so I did. The boxes were marked $22 EACH and I offered him $5 for both. He wouldn’t take it but took $10 instead. I left feeling like I’d overpaid. Who wants somebody else’s photos? Me. I love looking at old pics. Seeing the clothing, hairstyles and cars that were in fashion decades ago. I also couldn’t bear to think that someone’s pictures would be thrown out. I’ll get hours of entertainment out of them and then maybe make some sort of project with them.
One of the most fun things about going to estate sales is just going through somebody else’s home! I love seeing how others live. Surprisingly, it usually makes me feel better about our house. Usually the homes are decorated horridly like something out of the tv show “Madmen”. I’m sure all of the decorations were the cat’s pajamas back in the day but now they just look they belong in a time capsule. It’s fun to see stuff that adorned the house of my childhood that I haven’t seen or thought of since the early 1970’s. Unfortunately, almost all of these houses have bathrooms bigger than ours. The last house we went to on Sat. was downright gaudy. In the living room there was RED carpeting. They had installed a double thick (or maybe triple?!) pad under the carpet so that every step you took, your feet would SINK into the rug. It was so “squishy” that it just gave the creepiest feeling I’ve ever felt. Hubby said he was afraid his knee would go out walking on it since it made your whole leg wobble to move across the floor. I felt my ankles rocking as I took one squishy step after another. I didn’t let this put us off and we perused the belongings which were lovely. As we were leaving, one of the women running it called our attention to a cardboard box filled to the top with dishes. They were all in cloth zippered fabric covers to protect them. You couldn’t even see what the pattern was. The box was marked $150 but she said she’d “give” them to us for $50. She kept saying there was a full set there. I’m sure the only reason they were left was because they were hidden in this box and you had to lift and unzip one of the pouches to see what was inside. The woman also said that the owner of the house had MANY sets of dishes and this was the last one left. I bet they were seldom or never used. We started looking at them and hubby knew it was a good deal so he jumped at it. We had fun carrying them out to the truck one pouch at a time. I didn’t want to risk carrying more and having them break.
On to the business of the dishes. They are Noritake Primastone Stoneware in the Love Bird pattern. Made in the 1970’s and so pretty! When we got home, I looked through them all and counted them. They are in mint condition, a full serving set for 16 people! Including: dinner plates, small plates, cereal bowls, soup bowls, cups and saucers, 2 creamers & sugars and 2 serving platters. SCORE! I feel like I got a killer deal. 🙂 Now we’re trying to decide if it’s more beneficial to go on the first or last day of the sale. I guess we’ll just play it by ear.
This coming weekend there aren’t many estate sales going on because of the Easter holiday. We may try to get to one on Friday. I kind of love that treasure hunting is giving me something new to blog about! Have you ever been to an estate sale? Down south they call them “tag sales”. What is your most prized treasure you found? Do tell! 🙂