Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rule #1: Always Open the Suitcases


Garage saling/thrifting/vintage hunting is a job that one learns on the go. I've found that it's taken many trips and many years to learn the ins and outs of garage sales. It's a tricky business and, believe it or not, every sale lends a new life lesson.

Kind of like a weird 'Grimm's Fairy Tales' except probably grimmer.

Like, I've learned to always have a hand free because the last thing you want is to be trapped behind someone while carrying an armload of heavy coats, watching as they take out beautiful dress after beautiful dress from a closet that you so could have gotten to were it not for these 100 pound coats.

It eats at your soul. 

I've also learned one of the most important rules to remember when garage-saling.

Always open the suitcases.

How did I learn this?

Around two months ago we ventured to an estate sale that a young man was having. He had just bought this house and when he finally opened it up he was surprised to see the contents still inside. So, he was having a sale.

We were the only people there interested in clothing, but there wasn't really much in the closets. So, I relaxed a bit and just started casually looking around.

My mother came across some vintage suitcases. I had already seen these, but passed by them without a second thought because we already have too many of them.

Being the wise Yoda she is, my mother opened them.

Duh. Why didn't I think of that?

Out popped a swarm of vintage bathing suits, folded up neatly, and unworn.

The guy said he was planning on throwing the suitcases away along with the rest of the contents if nobody bought them at this sale.


Now, this rule could apply to many situations, and they don't neccesarily have to be concerning vintage suitcases.

I found cashmere sweaters stuffed in those thick plastic bag things new duvet covers come in, sitting idly on a closet shelf behind some bedspreads.
Gorgeous sweater sets were unearthed under piles of fabric scraps crammed into a box with towels and linens.
A beautiful antique brass and topaz necklace (that still makes me weep and will be buried with me) was found in a little plastic box inside a dresser's drawer.
Just this past weekend I found a vintage sweater stacked underneath some modern pajamas. I have no idea what it was doing there- but there it was!

So, if anyone finds themselves at a fabulous vintage estate/garage/yard sale always remember to dig in unexpected places because sometimes that's where the treasures are waiting! You could be rescuing things others may just absent-mindedly toss away! 

Most of the time suitcases are empty, but sometimes (as I've recently found) they are not.

Look in those darn hat boxes too! 

I've learned that lesson one too many times.


1 comment:

  1. Loved this post! As a fellow vintage shop owner, I can definitely relate to the need to look in unexpected places at sales and thrift stores! I think we need to see this pile of vintage swimsuits too ;)
    xo Hannah