Today I Went to an Estate Sale

hummingbird picsI’ll go estate sales that are a) nearby, and b) have a good chance of having quality stuff. Much of the art hanging in our house is from estate sales or consignment stores. And we have some really nice stuff.

Anyway, I went to one on Saturday. Everything was marked down half price. I really liked a pair of hummingbird pictures. We’re really enjoying our hummingbirds and we have lots of bare wall space, so these were particularly appealing. They were plates from a book, large, and nicely framed.

The original price was $215/each. No wonder they were still there!

Even at $107.50 each, I wasn’t buying. I asked one of the employees running the sale whether I could buy them for less. She wasn’t particularly nice, saying they were already marked down 50% and that if they didn’t sell, the family wanted to keep them.

I highly doubted that. If the family wanted them, they probably wouldn’t be selling them. But, I wasn’t about to argue. When she left the room, I asked another employee for some paper and a pen. I wrote a note saying I’d be interested in buying the hummingbird pictures for $50 each if they didn’t sell. And I left my number.

We’ll see if they call. (They haven’t so far.)

When I got home I reminded myself to critically assess our possessions as we got older. I don’t want to leave a household full of practically worthless items, like I often see at these sales. You know, those 10-15 clear glass vases that came with flower arrangements over the decades or dozens of Norman Rockwell plates. Shoot, I’ve seen used pencils for sale. It’s so depressing. Over the years we need to:

– give stuff to the kids as they move out
– donate stuff to Goodwill and claim a tax deduction
– sell collectibles to a company like or via Craigslist or eBay
– throw stuff out

Ultimately, when we’re ready to be buried or shipped off to the nursing home, I’m hoping to only have stuff that a) the kids would be happy to have, or b) stuff that will fly out the door at an estate sale.

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