Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Perfectly Practical #65 - Garage/Estate Sales


I make no secret that I love going to garage and especially estate sales.  They are truly a case of one man's trash is another man's treasure.  But that wasn't always the situation...

Why I never thought of furnishing our first apartment with garage sale finds I just don't know.  That's not true.  I do know.  It was because I thought that was what only poor people did.  Uh... hel-loooo...we were poor.  Plus, the items were usedYuck!  Good grief.  I wish I could shake some sense into my 21 year old self sometimes.  I digress...

Instead of being the frugal minded that we have (sort of) grown up to be, we were spendthrifts like almost every other newlywed couple I know.  We spent way too much on household items from dishes to furniture and continued on that trend for a large portion of our married life until it smacked us on our bums.  If only we...you know

Now let's take a moment and reflect on this nonsensical scenario, we've always liked antiques. 
Antique store finds + Used = Lovely  vs. Garage sale finds + Used = Icky 
Why was that again?  Oh yeah, the poor people thing.  Deary me...

Let's fast forward to, say, now and almost any given Saturday in the summer you will find me out (probably with my friend Wastutesy) trolling the sales like a pro.  

What changed my mind?  The market and dump (recycling center) in England were big game changers for me.  Add that to the ever increasing lack of money and the general pull-your-head-out wake up call that you get as you age.  Plus, I realized that there was A LOT of nice stuff out there that people are willing to get rid of on the cheap.

What do I find that's so good you ask?  How about all manner of household goods, cast iron, clothes (brand new with tags on), silverware, vintage just about anything, hats, books (even signed first editions!) and sometimes something you didn't know you were looking for until you saw it.  

Like that plate at the top of this post.  I saw it at the estate sale of one of my Grandmother's best friends, Mrs. M.  I knew this sweet lady and she was always very encouraging to me as I grew up. 

The plate caught my eye because I had bought a espresso set in this same pattern in an European market.  Mrs. M's daughter-in-law said that I could just have the plate as a reminder of my Grandmother's dear friend.  Now I have a complete set with a story and memories attached to all of the dishes that sit on my kitchen windowsill. 


Summer is a great time to go garage sale-ing and if you have never been, give it a try.  It is rather fun especially when you take a buddy with you (right Stutesy-Tutesy?!) 

I would love to hear about any major scores that you have had at garage or estate sales.

This is part of We Are That Family's Works for Me Wednesday

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