Friday mornings are made for estate sales. I don't know how I missed this valuable information all those years I had summers off as a teacher, but I am still rather torn up about it. When James was a baby, I ventured out to a few, but just never got into a groove.
Again, a sad loss.
I didn't even try with 2.
But then I had 3, and I have found that with more kids comes more courage, or insanity--you decide-- and so now, I hit the estate sales with 3 little ones in tow and people look at me like I have lost my mind.
It isn't easy. I started about 6-7 months ago. And even though I was completely exhausted after my first sale, I was also hooked. Oh the finds! So I went back for more. And I got wiser to the whole scene.
Here is what I have learned.
You can't use a stroller.
So be ready with a big, sturdy bag to hang over one arm and to carry your toddler in the other.
No one is going to be happy to see you taking up so much room in the halls of a small house with 3 kids + yourself.
So just be ready with a smile and a little bit of sass to push your way through.
The kitchen is a great place for small, light, affordable and often vintage items.
So go there first.
The garage is often a treasure trove of dusty, overlooked beauties.
Don't overlook it.
Don't look at everything just for yourself--think gifts, dress up box, that kitchen tool you don't want to buy new from William's Sonoma.
I have been in need of a citrus reamer--got one for a quarter. A vintage Fisher Price puzzle will make a great birthday gift--50 cents. Save money and get creative at the same time.
Keep your kids next to you.
Estate sales are often run by the same people and they won't mind you coming back if you keep an eye on your kids.
Stop for donuts on the way.
I just discovered this trick last week. We got donuts on the way, and once there, I sat them in the back yard, out of the way, gave them their donuts and dashed in and out of the house looking at things and checking on the kids continuously. I know that contradicts the previous advice. But this was a trial run and it worked marvelously.
*To clarify this point (due to some complaints regarding this advice) my kids were never out of my sight. I was in the living room, a few steps from them, not in some back room pawing through boxes of old sweaters. I would never leave my kids in some place full of strangers where I could not see them, or get to them right away. And I am certainly not advocating that you do so.*
So with those in mind, if you have a spare minute tomorrow, find and estate sale and just look at what you might find!
Vintage green and white cups. 4 for a $1.
Perfect for tea parties on the back porch.
Vintage salad spinner. I love the orange inside. The top is brown. So 70s.
And so much cheaper than buying a new one--which I have been in need of. $3
Favorite find from the garage--vintage afghan.
It is just perfect for a little girl who is now sleeping in her very own big girl bed.
This afghan is a match made in heaven for her rickrack pillowcase and her crochet bunny.
And again, much cheaper than buying a new comforter from Target, or IKEA and much, much cheaper than Boodalee. (although I admit I would love some of their bedding)
And really, isn't it fun to know you found something totally unique and even handmade for a song? Now she's sleeping in a flower garden!
I hope you get to hit an estate sale, garage sale or tag sale this weekend. If you can't make it on a Friday, go Saturday. You're still sure to find a treasure.
PS. Any friends who use Blogger out there? I could use your help. I switched my post editor to be able to easily make my pictures larger, but now it cuts off the horizontal pictures. Grrr. And, when I tried to switch them back down to a smaller size, the will only be left justified. Double Grrrr. Anyone with great techie skills have advice for me? I need it! Thanks.