From old musty smells, to mildew, smoke, cigar, pet odors, and urine. Household smells can be ugly and difficult to get rid of The methods of eliminating the bad odors will obviously vary depending on the type and severity of the smell. Some methods are extremely involved and will require time, my goal is to give you quick and helpful tips that will make the challenge easier.
Below are a few tips I find most useful.
Common Household Items That Can Help Eliminate Odors
SSome useful and commonly found household items can eliminate odors very effectively me useful and commonly found household items can eliminate odors very effectively
1. Baking Soda
A common item found at any market, baking soda cuts through bad smells by neutralizing the pH levels. It’s safe and effective to sprinkle throughout the house or spread open boxes throughout the house
Probably the safest and most effective method because it neutralizes the bad odors and works as good if not better than baking soda. Whether it’s left in a bowl or sprayed around the house, it works wonders.
You may shy away from using it because as you spray undiluted vinegar, it has a strong scent, but it quickly disappears along with the bad odors you’re wanting to get rid of.
3. Coffee Beans
Both whole beans and ground beans work wonders in absorbing bad odors, but it’s much easier to use whole beans unless you’re willing to clean up a possible mess with coffee grounds. All you need is a container with 6 to 7 ounces of coffee beans placed throughout the house, this will help eliminate bad smells.
Thats right, oats can absorb bad smells. Pour it in multiple bowls and leave it throughout the house, it’s not only a healthy grain for the body but it absorbs bad smells very well.
Here are a few very popular odor eliminating recipes.
First, make sure you’re wearing gloves to protect your hands, get a bucket and a rag ready. Fill the bucket with the following ingredients:
Humid environments may have the old musty smell. Unfortunately, that smell gets into fabric and lingers, you’ll never be able to get rid of it completely but here are a few steps you can take to make it better.
First, try to isolate the smell, once you find the source, if it’s a single area, treat it individually by by drying it out. If the entire home has a musty odor, here are some steps you can take
Stick to a fragrance-free air freshener like Lysol disinfectant spray or even Zeolite, a natural mineral that absorbs odor without a masking scent.
Dealing with Smoke or Cigar Smells
Here are some steps you can take to eliminate bad odors
I don’t think there’s anything worse! You know exactly what I’m talking about. A urine scent in the home is an automatic turn off.
Bad odors due to urine are usually isolated to a certain area, or at least you hope they are unless it’s pet urine throughout the house. Urine odor is much easier to get rid of when it’s fresh. Here are some things you can do to deal with this bad odor efficiently and without sacrificing too much on labor. Besides pulling up the carpet and getting rid of the padding underneath, there’s no way to get rid of the scent completely, but there are a few options that will help. The best you can do is go throughout house or the affected area and neutralize the urine which is an alkaline base with an acid-base product like vinegar. Once you’ve done this, you can spray a heavy duty disinfectant to treat the odor. This is a great way to temporarily eliminate or minimize the urine related bad odors from the carpet, but you can still follow other methods mentioned above to treat the overall environment.
If the furniture has an unpleasant smell, try moving it to the outdoors to air out if possible. If it’s a strong odor or when the situation doesn’t allow you to move the furniture, try these methods.
Sprinkle baking soda on the furniture the first day and vacuum it up the next day, this may be time consuming and will not cover the entire furniture like the back side but will work well on fabric covered benches or chairs with fabric in the seating area only. A couch sprinkled with baking soda. It will be vacuumed up the following day.Spray the furniture with two parts water, one part vinegar on the first day and the next day wipe it down with dryer sheets or use Fe-breeze.
Another product that’s affordable and works well on furniture is OdoBan. One gallon can make 32 gallons of usable product. Using a spray bottle, fill it 3 parts water, one-part OdoBan. Once you spray the furniture, make sure the surface is nice and wet. Allow the furniture to dry indoor or outdoor. This product doesn’t mask the smell but gets rid of it completely.
Thanx for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed your visit!!
Do you have a favorite recipe or Go To Cookbook, I bet you do. Maybe it’s the latest put out by a famous Food Network chef, or perhaps it’s one handed down to you from your mother or grandmother.
Food and relationship are closely intertwined, aren’t they? The family table is a special place, filled with “family” foods, where we break bread together and share the day’s events. We prepare some of those dishes using recipes hand-written by dear friends and family, others are typed up in special “cookbooks” published by groups we may have belonged to, and still others can be found in our private cookbook collection. Wherever the recipes come from, they are reminders of special times spent with special people.
Through the centuries, instructions for food preparation would have typically been passed down by word of mouth, within communities over shared hearths & from mother to daughter.
I’ve read that the oldest “recipe” can be found written on the tomb of Senet, an Egyptian woman, who apparently had a passion for flat bread. Through the centuries, however, the instructions for food preparation would have typically been passed down by word of mouth within communities over shared hearths and from mother to daughter. With the advent of paper and more leisure time, some cooks began to write down their instructions. Some medieval books, chronicles of home-keeping methods, also included information about food preparation, but merely as one aspect of managing one’s household. But the average person would not have had access to such a book.
Typically, a woman would have a manuscript cookbook, handed down to her by her mother, filled with written instructions for various meals, as well as many other aspects of housekeeping, like recipes for herbal remedies, cleaning methods, or sewing notations. Above is just such a manuscript that I discovered at an estate sale. Missing its cover, it was clearly well-loved by the women who used it. It journals the food, medical, and spiritual history of the family and, to a certain extent, gives us a glimpse into their way of life. We learn that back in 1889, someone had a concern about constipation. They lived in Newburgh (NY) and were open to the idea of home remedies.
The Receipt for Drunkeness appears as well, curiously, with the “long s” written like an “f” without the cross (in the word “Drunkeness”), as it would have been in the 1700’s. But apparently some old fashioned writers hung on to this style well into the 1800’s.
People began to use the term recipe and it’s cousin receipt (derived from the Latin recipere, which means to receive) with respect to food in the early 1700’s. Prior to that, both terms referred to written instructions for medicines. Until about the 1960’s, cooks continued to use both terms interchangeably, but receipt is now considered quite old fashioned, and most people would not even know what it means in relation to food. Did you?
Later in the journal, we see some prayers and also a signature, “Lottie,” (bottom right on first page) a staunch Christian believer and the author of this manuscript/journal.
Mixed in with the prayers and remedies, we at last find some recipes: Jenny Lind Cake, Plain Cake, Apple Omelet (hmm), and Chocolate Filling for Cake.
Also in the manuscript, the popular “Birth-days” poem that starts, “Monday’s child is fair of face…” The sepia-tone, old-fashioned handwriting is something, isn’t it?
I have in my possession another “receipt” book, although, you can see from the letters in the lower right, it was intended as an address book. In very rough condition, it contains only recipes for food, and, like the previous manuscript, it has been clearly well-loved over the years.
It’s browned with age and filled with grease and batter spots (just like some of my recipe cards, as you’ll see shortly). This recipe for Crullers is written in wonderful old-fashioned hand. Notice how “tea spoonful” is written and how the author adds changes in parenthesis. And, as was often the case, the measurement for the last ingredient, flour, is “enough to make dough to roll out.”
About the turn of the last century, ladies began to enjoy women’s magazines, which quite often contained recipes to be clipped and stored away for future use. When I buy cookbooks, I often find these magazine (and newspaper) clippings inserted in the pages as way of safeguarding them and making them easily accessible.
Eventually the 4″ x 6″ index card and box became the popular way to organize one’s recipes.
Though I get many of my recipes off the internet these days, I still have many favorites stored away, like these I’ve clipped from newspapers over the years.
I Hope You Enjoyed Your Visit & Thanx so much for stopping by–
Several readers have asked how to clean wood cutting boards. I have learned that a good scrubbing with lemon juice and salt can take care of a lot of the dirt and grime that build up on old cutting boards. You can see some discoloration and dirt on this board that I discovered in the garage at an estate sale. Typically, I don’t buy garage sale cutting boards for personal use. I have a couple of boards that I bought new years ago that continue to serve me well. I buy them to sell or decorate with, so I can’t guarantee that lemon juice and salt will eliminate every last germ, but I think they do a pretty good job.
Sometimes old boards are so deeply knife-scarred, even mangled in spots, that only a light sanding offers hope for restoration.
After cleaning and/or sanding your boards, you will want to season them. These means applying mineral oil to the surface and allowing it to soak into the board. Seasoning prevents your board from becoming dry and brittle. When that happens, you increase the chances of your board cracking or even splitting. You can tell if a board needs oiling by sprinkling a few drops of water on its surface. If the board absorbs it, it’s dry and in need of seasoning. If it pools on the surface (repels the water), you’re in good shape.
You can pick up mineral oil at any drug or grocery store, and it is food safe–perfect for use on kitchen wares.
Pour a small puddle of oil onto your board and spread it evenly from corner to corner and down along the sides. Leave it for an hour or two (or overnight). If in that time, the oil has been entirely absorbed, apply another layer. Continue this process until the board no longer absorbs the oil. Wipe off any excess and then flip it over and treat the other side. The typical cutting board may require seasoning 2 or 3 times per year.
May all of your cutting boards be clean, smooth, and well-seasoned!
Thanks so much for stopping by–
If you have been considering purchasing a home, you may be curious to know if this is the right time in the market to make your move. The market is fast changing, with new laws coming into play, interest rates are constantly rising, and a whole slew of things buyers have to face when it comes time to picking the right house. What does that mean for you? Well, that there isn't a better time to buy than now. Let's break down the benefits of purchasing a home now, instead of waiting.
1. INTEREST RATES ARE SOARINGIf you haven't been keeping up with the real estate market, you might be missing out on the data around interest rates. They are going up, and they are going up fast. 5% may not seem like a lot, but can be the difference between hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on what you are paying out towards your loan on a monthly basis. Would you want to pay an extra $200 towards interest for your loan each month, or would you prefer to pocket that $200? Well we know the answer to that.
Buying a home now while interest rates are at a low is going to be an advantage, both now, and long term. Take advantage of today's rates and purchase a home that doesn't cost you extra just because of interests.
2. HOME PRICES ARE INCREASINGHave you been hearing about folks complaining in your market about the price of homes going up? Well those prices are going to continue climbing. A home that is $200,000 now, could go up to $400,000 in 10 years because of market conditions. We also are aware that wages are not increasing as steadily as the cost of living. Purchasing a home in today's market can get you a bigger and better deal on a house than if you were to wait a few years. Especially in hot city markets, where prices are virtually guaranteed to sky rocket, making a move now can save you hundreds of thousands.
3. COMPETITION IS GETTING BIGGERPopulation growth is a real thing, and with more people, comes more competition for homes. Homes are selling faster, which means a high demand increases home prices. Buying your home now, while the competition isn't as strong as it could be 5 years from now, helps you get a better deal on the home you want now then if you were to wait it out.
So, in conclusion, the ball is in your court in today's market. There isn't ever a better time to purchase then now. Avoid the competition and the increase in fees and prices, and take advantage of a market that is still in the buyer's favor.
A few months ago I took a survey of my blog & Estate Sale Shoppers, asking them what they consider to be their number one best-seller, in other words, what’s selling in vintage and antiques in their neck of the woods.
I asked them to also tell my why they think the item they chose is so popular. I have those survey results for you, and I think you’ll find them very interesting.
Check out my Blog for all the fun & Interesting insight
Vintage Pyrex -Dottie, a reader from Upstate New York, reveals that Pyrex is her best seller, and she thinks that’s the case because it’s both useful and nostalgic. Anne agrees with Dottie’s choice of Pyrex because of its great designs and the fact that many people are choosing glass containers over plastic these days. She sells vintage and antiques at an antique booth.Three’s a charm with Pyrex, since Vera, a Florida reader, concurs with the pick.
Collection of vintage cutting boards on display Linnie, an antique booth and Ebay seller, chose cutting boards as her #1 seller and reports that their popularity is because of their ability to provide instant vintage country decor.
Vintage Linens Display - Rita, a West Virginian who shares an antique booth with two sisters, declares that hankies are a big seller for her. She feels this is because the sisters offer a huge variety–all clean, pressed, and well priced.
Lynn, who also has an antique booth, says that vintage linens, which she sells fresh, laundered, and neatly arranged, are a big seller for her. She believes pricing them well and selecting good quality items contributes to their popularity. Lynn adds that cottage style linens sell particularly well, as do value-priced doilies.
Vintage Holiday Linens
Joan identifies seasonal linens (especially holiday linens), handkerchiefs, and aprons as doing especially well for her. People buy printed table cloths they remember seeing on their mother’s and grandmother’s tables. Non-seasonal linens in unique colors or with unusual lacework are eye-catching and often result in impulse buys.
Vintage Metal Picture Frames
Ann Marie, Vintage Junkie, indicates that vintage metal frames are an excellent seller for her, but she’s not quite sure why because they do seem to be plentiful!
vintage side table makeover Sharon, an antique booth seller, says that side tables sell repeatedly for her, she thinks because they are so easy to upcycle with paint.
Cyndi agrees 100%, attributing this to the fact that they are solid wood, not fake, pressed board, and because there are many ways to refurbish them.
Christy indicated on her survey that pitchers with decals sell well for her, explaining that this is because they are pretty, useful, and remind people of their past. Serving as a retro “pop” for the kitchen that you can also use.
Vintage Canada Dry Crate Dawn explains that due to their functionality, versatility, and current farmhouse trendiness.
Pat,believes fishing lures sell well for her because some men are passionate about collecting nice, old lures, but women also buy them for decorating purposes.
Cross Stitch Samplers
Through her experience as an antique booth dealer, Joyce, has found cross stitch samplers are excellent sellers. Due, she feels, to the fact that people enjoy the history behind them.
Canning jars are Cindie’s pick for #1 seller; she blames their popularity on their great farmhouse look and the fact that they can also be used for food storage.
Cindy has found that vintage curtains sell extremely well for her, she thinks because customers love their look and variety of colors.
Melissa, identifies farmhouse tables as her best seller, she feels this is because of their simplicity and the fact that they compliment just about any style of decor.
Hillary, declares that vintage buttons are a huge seller for her. She markets them in many forms, including wired onto vintage child’s game cards and fashioned into flowers, sold by the stem or grouped together to form a bouquet.She shares that she thinks their popularity is because they are a comfort item. Just the sight of them triggers memories of loving grandmothers and mothers sewing clothing and items for their homes. Buttons in jars are terrific for crafters needing bulk supplies, while button flowers or cards are charming and inexpensive “thinking of you” gifts that make the giver and receiver smile.
Tracy finds that vintage fans in working condition sell extremely well for her, she believes because they are built well and last.
Three survey takers–Anita, Sunny, and Susan–all agree that glassware, elegant glass because of its beauty and scarcity; Sunny, reports that it’s very popular down south filled with pretties and that its functionality makes it popular.
Wooden Tool Boxes
Bonnie identified wooden tool boxes as the single items that sells best for her. She believes this is the case because you can use them in so many ways, for example to hide or store things, to use as a base for a vignette, and to display other vintage items when opened up.She took apart a large wooden carpenter’s box and used one half to hide her TV cable box. It just happened to have a cool round cut out that allows her to change channels, lower volume, etc.
MJ informed me that vintage jewelry sells very well for her. She thinks that’s because some of her customers may remember a piece that their parent or grandparent had, and they’d like to purchase something similar since it brings back good memories.
Vintage Ornate Vanity Mirrors
Florence, reports that because vintage glam sells, dresser mirrors do very well for her. They exude femininity and girly vibes, and if you make girls feel glamorous with what you sell, you’ve got a winner. Dana agrees with Florence’s choice and explains that they sell well for her because they are super pretty and useful.
Sandi says that silverware is a great seller for her. She conducts a lot of research and presents each item very specifically, including imperfections. Buyers know what they are looking for in this category and that helps.
Vintage Tea Ball
Due to the current popularity of tea rooms, Terri says that tea balls sell well for her. She feels that women enjoy recreating the experience at home, and though she doesn’t sell them for much, she can’t seem to keep them in stock longer than a couple of weeks.
Liz selected vintage Pendelton shirts as her top seller and feels they sell successfully because they are a quality item with timeless appeal.
Colleen says that vintage Bakelite dominoes sell very well for her, probably because there are lots of Bakelite collectors out there, and they are cool additions to a variety of DIY projects.
I hope you enjoyed your visit & Thanx for Stopping By
I'll hold off buying a home until next year." If you've thought of purchasing a home, but don't want to deal with the process now, you've probably had this thought cross your mind a time or two. A pretty common tendency to hold off things on our to-do list, especially the ones that seem like a lot of work. But would you hold off the task if I told you that waiting could make a difference of tens of thousands of dollars? Meaning it could cost you a $10,000-$50,000 (or more) difference to get the home you want today, in 2019's market. It's anticipated, by the national historical trend report, that homes are on the rise by over 5% each year. That house you've been eyeing online, listed for $225,000, could be listed next year for $236,250. That is over $10,000 more just for waiting till 2019. This isn't even bringing into question the rising APR rates for mortgages, that can increase your monthly payment amount on a home pretty significantly, as well.
I get it, the home buying process can seem pretty intimidating. But with an experienced agent on your side, it can actually go pretty smoothly. Let's get in touch. It won't hurt to connect you with a preferred lender and run the numbers through to see what you qualify for. The right time is always right now, I want to help you save the money you deserve to keep, by avoiding the wait.
Coffee table books provide a great decorating accessory–lay one on a coffee table or stack them underneath an end table, both look terrific. They provide a literary, well-read sort of feeling to a room, and depending on the subject matter, can make a real statement, too.
Categories to look for include: movie stars, birds, cities, baseball, art, and your local area.
Quite plentiful at all kinds of sales, coffee table books can usually be had for a dollar or two. Resale value can vary from $8-$25 and up.
A weekly shopper at my Estate Sales sold a Marilyn coffee table book on Etsy for $24.99. Published in 1973, the book’s author, Norman Mailer (the famous playwright and divorced husband to Monroe), adored her. The book contains page after page of sumptuous black and white photos.
Old Houses (above) sold for $9.99 at a friends antique shop, Michelangelo sold for $19.99, and the Eric Sloan sold for $9.99.
Many sales have box after box (or shelf after shelf) of books for sale; it can feel extremely overwhelming. Rather than look through all of the books, focus just on the over-sized, coffee table books.
An estate sale might be the best solution for you or your family, but how do you prepare the house for your estate sale walk through? Before we meet with you for our walk through, we ask that you follow these 5 steps to make the most of our appointment
1. Decide on a deadline.
Would you like to put the home on the market by a certain date, or do you otherwise have a deadline for the completion of your estate sale?
2. Decide what will NOT be included in the estate sale.
If the home is full of items the family is planning to keep (but unable to remove before our appointment), then we prefer they are placed in a designated area or tagged with a sticky note.
3. Don’t get rid of anything!
You may be tempted to start donating or tossing things before we come out. Let us handle the sorting! The more inventory, the more likely it is that your sale will be viable for us. Don’t even toss linen, cleaning supplies, clothing, or anything unless you know it is absolute trash. Remember, we can always donate leftover items after the sale. Plus, why take on extra work that comes with our service?
4. Leave the work for the estate sale company.
We are trained to "see past" the clutter to great estate sale potential! Don't box, sort, or organize anything. As we prepare your sale, we empty cupboards, drawers and closets. All of our organization and staging is part of what you get when you hire a pro, and any work you do will probably be undone. Pull the things you don't want sold, and leave the rest to us!
5. Determine the services you will need after the sale.
After the sale is complete, there may be 10%-25% of items remaining. If you have goals beyond liquidating the estate, we will need to know the post-sale services you require.Most of our clients want the home completely emptied.
Have you ever set out to do some vintage shopping and ended up feeling like all the good stuff sold before you arrived? Next time you feel that way at an Estate Sale, thrift store, Garage Sale, or Auction, pull out the following list of ten items.
I can almost guarantee you will find one of these items (probably many more than that!), because they are the sorts of things that other people invariably pass over. Bringing home one or more of these overlooked and undervalued vintage pieces, means you’ve had a successful bit of shopping and you’ll have new pieces to decorate with or to sell from your antique booth, Etsy shop, or eBay.
Are you ready to find out what those ten categories are? Let’s get started.
I’ve found that pretty much anything found in a basement or garage tends to be overlooked by most people. Of course, that’s where you’re likely to find tools, and many people don’t maintain their tools very well, so they are often dirty and/or rusty.
Most shoppers don’t stop to look at dirty or rusty, but you should. With a bit of elbow grease, the dirtiest, rustiest tool can often be transformed into an attractive piece of decor. Tools with a bit of paint, especially red and green, but also yellow, white, or black, provide some of the best decorating opportunities.
To give you an idea of their actual market value, the items pictured above have each sold on Etsy shop. The clippers sold for $12.99, the brass hose attachment for $7.99, and the level for $19.99. A lovely woman actually purchased two red levels from me, and she named them both: Fred (the short one) and his cousin, Carmine (the long one). We had a good laugh back and forth with all that silliness.
A final note: Men love tools. So if you take the time to learn a bit about them, you will either a) be able to buy great gifts for the tool-loving man in your life or b) be positioned to sell to men, who aren’t afraid to spend some money on the things they love.
The tools I’ve talked about here are primarily decorative or functional. Men want old Stanley tools, antique hand-made tools–early and unusual stuff that takes some time to learn about.
Frames are both functional and decorative, and they tend to be quite plentiful at Estate Sales. Old frames have many uses now-a-days: as Chalk boards,Bulletin boards, Shadow boxes, Mirrors, and more.
In the photo above, you can see I’ve used them to frame vintage flags, buttons, and a county fair poster. The flag sold for $18.00, the buttons for $10.00, and the poster for $25.00. Well worth the effort of matching up the old frames with desirable items in need of a frame.
In the past, I’ve purchased ornate, gold-gilt frames, beautifully aged mahogany frames, and even wedding gift frames (still-in-the-box) that I’ve been able to re-gift. In fact, because of my “frame sickness” (along with several others that shall be revealed as you get to know me better), I probably own a couple hundred frames, stored in various places throughout my home. (No, I am not a hoarder!)
Sellers tend to price frames quite reasonably because they lack the knowledge to identify and appreciate older frames. A few things to look for: real wood (rather than plastic), aged paper backing, or dark (oxidized) wood, if not covered by paper. Look also for chips, small dents, and scratches since anything really old is going to have some imperfections.
Many modern frames are made to look “aged,” but they are constructed of molded plastic and are glued together. Others have ridged metal fasteners on the back corners that hold the pieces together.
Most people have their own opinion of what constitutes “art.” Someone may think their Aunt Edna’s oil paintings are ugly as sin, and when it comes time to sell her estate, they may price each piece for a couple of dollars. If you stumble across sales like this and fall in love with “Aunt Edna’s” artwork. In such cases, you might be more than happy to liberate the family from the burden of a few of pieces.
A question to ask yourself is the piece created with any evident skill? Most of the art at Estate Sales falls into the “naive” category, basically art created by someone with little or no training (this also puts it into the “folk art” category). However, that doesn’t mean the artist had no skill. Good naive art will demonstrate the basic artistic qualities of balance, unity, and a pleasing color scheme.
Sometimes sterling silver pieces are left behind by others because they were unattractive. Sometimes unattractive means old and sometimes it just means plain ugly!
But in that case I can sell the sterling for scrap or use it for parts, for example, an ugly pendant on a perfectly fine chain. I can match the chain with a pretty pendant I have in stock and sell it as a set.
Sterling may be marked “Sterling” or “925,” and is almost always marked, as is gold, which is marked by karat, 14K for example.
I must note that a fair number of people are always on the look-out for jewelry. But those jewelry buyers can’t attend every single sale so you could get lucky
Some items to look for include Christmas tree pins, other figural pins (e.g., animals, insects, and fruit), Bakelite anything, signed pieces (e.g., Corot, Haskell, Weisenburg, etc.), and ornate rhinestone pieces.
Coffee Table Books
Coffee table books provide a great decorating accessory–lay one on a coffee table or stack them underneath an end table, both look terrific. They provide a literary, well-read sort of feeling to a room, and depending on the subject matter, can make a real statement, too.
Categories to look for include: movie stars, birds, cities, baseball, art, and your local area. A classic on folk art by Jean Lipman, has a stunning cover filled with folk art images.
Quite plentiful at all kinds of sales, coffee table books can usually be had for a dollar or two. Resale value can vary from $8-$25 and up.
A Marilyn coffee table book sold on Etsy for $24.99. Published in 1973, the book’s author, Norman Mailer (the famous playwright and divorced husband to Monroe), adored her. The book contains page after page of sumptuous black and white photos.
Many sales have box after box (or shelf after shelf) of books for sale; it can feel extremely overwhelming. Rather than look through all of the books, focus just on the over-sized, coffee table books. They stand out and usually, less of them have been offered for sale.
Most people will not touch, let alone buy, anything with rust on it, but if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that a little bit of rust never stops me! Of course, rust is “in” with some decorative items.
Some items to look for: vintage rusty tools, grates, gates, lanterns, trivets, cast iron pots, plant holders, and scissors. I had two rusty lanterns not too long ago that no amount of rust removal tricks could affect. I sold them as is (completely rusted) at a good profit.
Above you can see the before and after of a metal folding ruler. I took care of the rust and brightened up the brass fittings, and then it sold quickly for $12.00. (Note: You can fold folding rulers into the shape of stars and they make great farmhouse decorations.)
If you find a rusty piece of “junk” and think it’s interesting, chances are, others will too. Does it have an appealing shape? Is it colorful? Can it be grouped with other items? Can you hang it on the wall? Will it look good in the sun room, the den, or the family room? These are some good questions to ask yourself when you come across a piece of old rusty metal.
Folk Arty Pieces
Folk art is a unique kind of art, typically produced by untrained artists in a naive style. Often proportion and realism take a back seat to charm. It will, however, usually hit the nail on the head with one or more elements, like shape or balance or color, and it typically possesses a warmth and/or vibrancy that one feels irresistibly drawn to.
Crafts like basketry, rug hooking, and weaving are also considered forms of folk art by many. I think you kind of “know it when you see it.”
Folk art has a special place in my heart; I find myself very attracted to all of its many forms. In the first photo above you see a hand crafted wooden mold of some sort; I love is pumpkin shape, and it remains in my “private” collection. I hope someday to discover it’s true purpose.
The watercolor in the middle reminds me so much of Grandma Moses–perhaps the most famous folk artist of all time. You can see that proportion is off, as is the depth, and yet, I reframed it and sold it recently for $45.00.
Keep in mind that certain kinds of art that you might find at a Estate Sales, pieces like framed children’s art or poorly executed art student renderings, more often than not fail to rise to the level of folk art.
Weathered Wooden Stuff
Another category that people often overlook at Estate Sales includes any sort of old weathered wooden thing, like those you see above. For some reason, it’s easy for the eye to overlook them–they look like something you might throw away (or burn) and because you have to imagine a new purpose for them, buyers will often overlook them.
The scrap wood in the first photo could easily be used to create a decorative tray or to make signs. The cylinder in the second photo would make a unique “sculpture,” perhaps set on a coffee table or hung on the wall. And the ladder could function in several ways, as a quick scan of Pinterest would prove.
Other old weathered pieces to look for include bird houses, pieces of fencing, plant boxes, outdoor decorations, and whirly gigs. It’s hard to go wrong with purchasing any reasonably well made wooden piece that’s priced low. I can safely promise that you will either find a way to use it “as is” or come up with DIY project that’s perfect for it.
More weathered wooden objects to search for at Estate sales? How about shutters, doors, and crates, all of which offer fantastic decorating possibilities. Shutters and doors can be hung on a wall, rested in a corner, or placed on a mantel. Small crates make great centerpieces and larger ones can be stacked to create end-tables or small shelving units.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to old wooden finds.
It seems like almost every Estate sale has a pile of vintage games for sale. Most can be had for around a dollar, and I’ve found that the game pieces can be worth more than the games themselves. Crazy right?
Game pieces appeal to scrapbookers, steampunk-ers and altered art creators, so there’s a nice market for these sorts of things. They have a sculptural quality about them that is very appealing. I would someday love to fill a printer’s tray with a variety of pieces from games I enjoyed as a child, like Clue, Life, and Monopoly.
Fill a small bowl or clear glass jar with your favorite game pieces, Scrabble tiles in particular, and you have a great conversation starter. Wouldn’t guests find such a bowl impossible to resist? They would be spelling words before you know it.
Crafters love scrabble pieces for all kinds of projects; Just recently, I used Scrabble tiles to create a unique Christmas ornament that ended up being extremely popular at the Christmas craft fair I sell at every year.
The vintage, wooden Parcheesi pieces you see above recently sold for $5.99, and the letter cards (64 of them) sold for $6.99. Monopoly pieces, bingo numbers, and dice (particularly Bakelite ones) are also very popular. I’ve used Bingo cards to create attractive Christmas decorations for a few years now. You can also see one in an altered art project of mine here.
The possibilities seem nearly endless for these very diminutive vintage objects.
Steam Punk or Altered Art Supplies
The term “steampunk” refers to a period in the 1800’s when the world was fascinated with science, exploration, and invention–all things industrial, scientific, and time-related.
This is a somewhat narrow category, but it is growing in popularity among young people. Many like to wear steampunk inspired jewelry and still others use the same types of supplies for a variety of unique and interesting art projects.
Other items to look for include hinges, knobs, clock faces, clock parts, gears, and similar “junk.” Like game pieces, these kinds of collectibles look great tossed in a bowl or jar, and will definitely get people talking!
So that’s my list; I hope you found it informative and helpful to you in your vintage shopping. I hope you make some wonderful new and exciting purchases. Happy hunting!
So you want to sell vintage? Reselling vintage has always been popular, whether to pay bills or as a side hustle. And just like everything that gets resold has a story behind it, every person who gets into flipping gets there by a different path. Some sellers are just really into “stuff.” Others started as collectors. Some dealers just wanted a career change, while others were forced to find a different job. Vintage clothing buyers and pros who sell vintage often shop estate sales to source inventory. A few decades ago, these buyers usually had brick and mortar shops to sell their finds. These days however, since everything’s digital, it’s easy to set up virtual shop anywhere. But can you really make a living when you sell vintage?
1. Dive in
It can be scary to jump into any job, let alone trying to sell vintage. Some people vintage shop for years before taking the plunge, while others are forced to make a living sooner than they had planned. Whether you’re starting this new career from scratch or turning your part-time hobby into a full-time job, the only way to make money is by just doing it.
2. Repurpose or DIY Sourcing
To sell vintage is a great gig for creatives. Creative people usually have an eye for what’s interesting and enjoy DIY projects. The beauty of this business is you can make it your own. Repurposing second-hand finds and making them your own is another way to expand your inventory, especially if you’re an artist or maker.
3. Shop estate sales
Resellers know that in order to find the coolest vintage to sell, they need to go straight to the source. Thrift stores and flea markets often source their finds from estate sales. Unlike garage sales and yard sales, which are full of cast-offs, estates are often downsized due to natural or unexpected circumstances. In other words, the items for sale aren’t things people no longer wanted — they’re things they could no longer keep. This makes a big difference in quality.
Estate sales offer a peek into someone else’s passions and lifestyle. I have found myself attracted to things that I may not have typically gravitated towards until being shown in a space where someone had displayed them with much love for those particular items. It is interesting and nostalgic to be able to step back into time and see antiques and furniture from the past. I like to see some of the things that spark memories of my childhood or my grandmother.
4. Shop estate sales often
If you really want to sell vintage, you need to get serious about shopping. Successful vintage resellers are always on the lookout for fresh inventory for their buyers. Since estate sales are always happening (and always different), you can find anything – in all styles – all year.
5. Know which sales to hit.
Not all estate sales are treasure troves. While there are no hard and fast rules, most pros have a game plan if they intend to eventually sell vintage. Since time is limited, and estate sales often only take place on weekends, it’s more efficient if you know which neighborhoods to focus on and which to avoid. Perennial flowers and established gardens outside a house shows someone cared enough to make the outside beautiful so they probably filled the inside with pretty things too. Gardens take lots of time and work so estate sale could be on behalf of someone who didn’t have to move often. Moving often can mean paring down. Sometimes a well-loved garden is filled with a lifetime of collections. Sometimes the best neighborhoods for estate sales are the older ones, especially for antiques and all things old. Some of the more rural homes can have some of the most interesting and oldest things (some old farms that have been in families for generations).
6. Know your “stuff”
If you want to sell vintage, you should learn as much about “stuff” as possible. The more you know about things, their history, what they’re made of, and what they’re worth, the better buying decisions you can make. This is also how you build credibility and a following, which will make or break you.
7. Make a plan
Your goal is to make money, so your inventory will largely depend on your buyers. As you build a following, you’ll have a better idea of what they want and are willing to spend. Once you figure this out, make a plan and stick to it! Go in with a budget and be open to taking a few risks, like a bulk bag of random goodies. You’ll never know, and you might score something rare. Also, have fun!
Know going in what you’re looking for. Most companies have preview pictures posted ahead of time on their websites. You can get a feel for what’s going to be available. Also, don’t just visit once! By the second or third day prices are generally marked down big time.
8. Practice discernment
Likewise, after you sell vintage for a while, you’ll know what to steer clear of and what’s difficult to package, deliver or ship. Shoes. Old shoes tend to fall apart, making for unhappy customers. Since items weighing over 10 pounds cost a lot to ship and sometime people don’t want to pay cost of shipping learn to look out for unique vintage pieces weighing under a pound. That way the item can ship anywhere around the world at an affordable price.
9. Be resourceful
When going out in the wild to wrangle vintage finds to sell, be prepared. Besides mapping out your route, sticking to your budget, and knowing what to look for, here are more tips you might not have thought of.
A. Bring plenty of folding reusable bags for your purchases
B. keep a pack of wet wipes & a bottle of water in the car to refresh yourself and clean your hands after digging through decades of lovely dust!
C. See if the estate sale company has discount days and never be afraid to ask if they’d accept a lower price!
D. Be respectful while perusing and shopping! You don’t know if there are family members around or the owner themselves!
E. Take a small flashlight. Old houses, garages and barns are poorly lit.
10. Notice Everything
Being a successful at selling vintage means spotting things first, whether it’s the current trends or valuable finds. When sourcing, look in the unexpected places. This means taking the time to look on the backs of old postcards or (carefully) flipping through old books. For one, you’ll have an advantage over those who leave stones unturned. Stay alert to get the good stuff. Look behind and under furniture, drawers and shelves. You never know what else you will find. One set of filing cabinets had several magnet key holders stuck under it with old coins in them.
Breeze through the whole sale quickly, scan everything and then go back and look more closely. You don’t want to be looking over a room, meanwhile your dream item is being snatched up in the next room. You took too long!!
11. Buy brand names
People love brands, even thrifters. (This is why even the most non-materialistic thrifter lights up when they come across designer goods at a garage sale). In order to successfully sell vintage, your eye should be trained to zero in on the good stuff. And it doesn’t have to be high-end, like Chanel or Prada. Reliable brands like J. Crew, GAP, NIKE and of course, Pyrex, can fetch as much money and are reliable resells.
12. Develop your Eye
There’s a certain talent to being a trend spotter. When you sell vintage, you’re not only aware of what’s cool now, you know what was cool decades ago. Part of this is innate, but this knack can be developed, too, with time and experience. Cultivate your eye and your interests. Visit antique stores and linger in the booths you like. Do your research. Buy what you like and what piques your interest but also look into what other people are into. Instagram is also a stellar avenue for this. Follow some [Instagram] feeds you’re attracted to and pay attention to what they post. I’ve not only cut the learning curve off a lot that way, but I’ve also discovered so many cool antiques that I didn’t know about.
Go with your gut. You either have to study up on antiques and really get into what things are worth or just go with your gut feeling about the item. If the price seems like a bargain to you and you would pay more for it than they are asking, go for it. Do a search and see what people are asking for similar things. You have to have an eye for quality as well as a feeling for market demand. You also have to have a place to store everything!
13. Get Online
Take advantage of the digital age in order to sell vintage. The Internet is an incredible resource for resellers to buy, sell, comparison shop, and of course, research. Once your business gets rolling, you’ll want to build your online presence in order to market your goods and let buyers know what you have available. Many vintage resellers have success on social media sites, especially Instagram. Instagram makes it easy to showcase your latest items and allows you to link to your shop in the bio. And don’t forget platforms that let you browse and shop online, like Etsy and eBay.
Remember - The Early Bird Gets the Worm!!