The secret is simple but it does take some willpower!
The secret is ... stay away from the main floor! Go immediately to the basement, attic or the garage! You will find great junk there!
But you must be brave. At some estates, I've found primitive, painted washstands covered in years of dust and major spider webs. Pottery, garden tools, antique salvage all covered in dust! I've found old tackle and toolboxes filled with grimy, rusty tools and things. The sellers will help empty all that stuff just to sell you those coveted wood crates and wire baskets! Score!
Here is one of my recent estate sale finds in the garage of a Branson, Mo. estate. When I found it, the stand was missing some of the cubbies, but we found a few more in the garage and I ended up buying it full price on the first day (prices lower each day the sale is held). You snooze, you lose, right? (You'll see the price at the end of the post!)
Well I made plans to pick it up later and soon I received a call from one of the estate owners. The other missing cubbies had been found inside the house, sure enough holding other small stuff! The owner had taken the time to gather them all up, even taking one from a customer who kept what was inside it. He was so excited, he called me to let me know. I was pumped! This was going to be an awesome storage piece.
The junk hubster helped me haul it home and the whitewashing on the exterior began that afternoon.
Then the thread spool hunt began. Why? The small boxes had no handles! I had little stashes of them everywhere in my house but I needed 33! I had about 25, so I ran to my fav flea market and found the rest.
The hubster cut them in half and helped me add them to the cubbies. They really do finish off the entire piece. Whew! Thirty-three cubbies!
I promised more estate sale shopping TIPS. So besides avoiding those shiny glass cabinets, try exploring the CLOSETS! I'm an avid vintage clothing buyer and seller but I've found wonderful wool blankets, feather pillows and vintage linens in those neglected closets as well and you will too! This Mohair cardigan in the coveted aqua color was a rare find! (My cost at the end of this post!)
Next tip - you'll also find some good junk in those cardboard boxes under the tables so don't be afraid to DIG! Another great place is the YARD. It's where you'll find old gates, wheelbarrows, planters and garden stuff! I love old concrete pieces so I've found old birdbaths with no tag on them, with the water still in them.
Here's where the next tip comes in - don't be SHY - ask for prices on unmarked things! Usually the sellers are trying to liquidate the entire estate so even if it's not marked it's probably for sale and because it's not marked the price oftentimes is reasonable!
And, of course, as always - the EARLY BIRD gets the worm!
Please comment and add your estate sale tips and finds!!
Cubby Storage = $40
Aqua Cardigan = $2