Monday, October 12, 2015

Sometimes It Pays to Eavesdrop

Those tricky Episcopalians! They start their rummage sales on Thursdays instead of the usual Friday or Saturday. So it was only by chance that I ran across their Craigslist ad on Thursday morning and quickly texted my posse. KK didn’t find the text until later, but Judy and I were there not long after they opened.

They display furniture and outdoor items on a covered patio by the door. So Judy scored two items before we even got inside – a couple of vintage ottomans. Somehow we both missed seeing the very large rotating composter which she’s been looking for, and someone else snagged it. Oh well. But the instant we got inside she grabbed a pair of Ralph Lauren boots sitting by the “extra good stuff” table. Good thing her feet are a size smaller than mine, or I’d have been getting jealous.

I picked up a cute Christmas ornament that I think has a Scandinavian vibe.

Happy Santa

One of the reasons I think it’s a quality piece is that the hanger is a nice cotton tape, hand knotted, and not a piece of gold tinselly string. It’s those little details that count!

Happy hanger

Besides Santa, I went for a copper pin

Hand pin

and some earrings. Stuff I usually never look at, but KK is a dedicated dangly-earring wearer and has us all going that direction.

Episcopalian earrings

I especially like these vintage hoops

Vintage hoops

that looked much better after some clean up.

Half clean

Judy couldn’t go out on Friday, so this time I had KK with me (yes, wearing dangly earrings!). There were only a handful of sales to check out so we anticipated being done early. And then we reached the Hoarder’s Sale.

We actually heard about this sale last week; the same company that did the sale on my street handled this one. I noticed an ad on Tuesday saying if you were a dealer you could make an appointment and shop this sale early. Kind of annoyed me – doesn’t that seem like cheating to you? I’ve done a fair amount of reselling, and I figure you have to take the same chance as anyone else to find stock. If there had been more sales to go to we probably would have skipped this one, but what the heck. The day was young and we had only two more addresses to check out.

We were quite surprised that there was still a short line waiting to enter when we arrived. They were letting only a few people at a time into the house “because it’s so crowded with stuff.” So we waited, chatting with the lady behind us in line. In about 15 minutes it was our turn and in we went – and our jaws dropped. Every single person who stepped in that house (including us!) stopped in the foyer, looked around, and said Oh. My. God.

Stuff. Stuff everywhere. All kinds of stuff. Dolls and china and office supplies and holiday decorations and stuff and stuff and stuff. And soon we discovered the up side to their “only a few people in the house at a time” policy. There was no crowd, no sense of hurry, you could look as long as you liked without being jostled or having something plucked from under your nose. Not that my nose was seeing much it wanted. (Hmmm, can my nose see??)

I had to pick up this piece though.

dog hooked rug

A small hooked rug (the kind where you pull wool strips into a canvas backing). I’m trying to decide where to hang her so I can see her all the time.

dog detail

After a bit we entered the Room of the Clothing, and if there was any doubt earlier that this was a hoarder situation, it was now gone. Hundreds, probably thousands, of pieces of clothing, many with price tags still on, most appearing to have never been worn, dating back to the Eighties. A sign said they were $2 each, so I started looking through. Now, I’m fully aware that two bucks for a quality piece of clothing is a good deal. But for me to pay two bucks for a piece, I need to see it can be worn as-is or know what I will do with it.

As I was looking, I heard two of the worker ladies out in the hall talking. “No one’s looking at the clothes,” one of them said. “Maybe we should lower the price to a dollar,” the other one replied. My ears stood straight up, and I waited for them to come in and change the price. And waited. And finally could wait no more. I ventured out into the hall and admitted I had been eavesdropping, and wanted to encourage them to go with the dollar idea, assuring them that many more pieces would be sold. So she went and asked whoever was in charge…and then came back and marked out the $2 and put in $1. Woo hoo!

I didn’t go hog wild, but I did bring home some pieces to remodel that I would not otherwise have bought. Plus I’m hoping this vintage Laura Ashley sweater might resell (no tags, but looks like new).

Laura Ashley vintage sweater

Thanks to the miracle of an elastic waistband and broomstick-pleated fabric, this pricey vintage skirt fits me just fine, and in fact was worn to a concert on Friday night.

Vintage Lucia Lukken skirt patchwork border

I paired it with a purple silk shirt that toned with one of the border pieces

works with silk shirt

and when the weather is cooler it will be great with this Italian mixed fabric piece I got at an estate sale a few months ago.

    works with Italian jacket        

KK scored as well, and the velveteen jacket she chose looks like it was designed to go with the Carole Little skirt I gave her.

vintage Carole Little skirtWe didn’t make a very big dent in the hoarder’s stuff, and I wonder how much was left at the end of the sale. But do you want to know the most amazing thing I heard while we were waiting to go in? The large house where the sale was held wasn’t even her home – it was a second house she bought just to keep stuff in!


Let’s all go declutter something!


  1. Whoa. You have indeed inspired me to go de-clutter! Love reading your adventures and seeing your finds.

    1. I cleaned out some desk drawers this week and boy, did that feel good! Didn't stop me from going out garaging again though.

  2. WOW! I would have like to have gone to that sale. We went to one here. The man was a geologist. They made a ton of money selling to the Museum of Natural History. It was an interesting sale.

    1. I don't remember if they had any Fiesta Ware, but if not it had to be the only thing that wasn't there!

  3. Love hoarder sales! Always enjoy reading your blog

    1. It's always interesting to see what hoarders gravitate to. At least this sale was clean - some of them definitely are not!

  4. The hooked rug is especially great! It looks like it would be fun to do. Probably much harder than it looks! You find the most amazing stuff!

    1. I'm still trying to figure out where to hang her up. And no - NOT at your house! ;o)

  5. That hooked rug is adorable! It must have been a super fun sale!

    1. It was fun. Don't care if I buy, just love to poke through other people's stuff!!


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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