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Thread: An interesting article about "stuff" at estate sales

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2011

    An interesting article about "stuff" at estate sales
    I also try to imagine the story behind all of the owner's belongings at estate sales.
    What do your possessions say about you?

  2. #2
    Senior Member kib's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Southeast Arizona
    I think they say I was a hoarder til 1992 and haven't bought anything since.

    I liked that article. For some reason it make me think of the opposite. I do belong to a declutter/minimalism facebook page, and some of the pictures posted just seem strange to me. Yes, it's stark. I don't really mind the bareness. but it's also All Brand New. Everything in the room matches, and that's because someone walked into Ikea and said "I'll take that room, is that throw pillow on the third floor, and do you have that painting in a slightly smaller size?" This to me is a completely alien thing, this complete depersonalization of one's stuff. Of one's life, you could say.

    I find I can still play the story game when I go thrifting, depending on whether it's a practical store or a knick knack brick-a-brack place. And I love to do that. It's pretty neat to find a piece of handmade clothing, and I'm a big fan of picking up hand painted canvasses for $8. I have an oil that could have been done by Escher's not particularly talented Italian cousin The angles are so fantastically off, the cat looks like cardboard, the bicyclist is apparently descending the street at a 75 degree angle. No one in the world has this picture, and I love it.

    So I guess I steal a bit of other people's history and my stuff shows that, but it's still ... personal. A reflection of my life, if not my work.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    Interesting article. My most valued items came from a friend, family, estate sale, thrift store or garage sale. I don’t like the matchy match decor.

  4. #4
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    What I have is a mix of older and newer, some refinished and it is all paid for. I like it and anyone can make a story about me once I no longer am using the stuff. There is little of value though.
    I liked the article as well.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  5. #5
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    I've been to estate sales for sure, and usually can't get past thoughts of "the poor kids." While I agree that houses are fascinating, and the stuff in them tells interesting stories, sometimes there's so much stuff it obscures the person, rather than defining him/her. To me, often estate sales are graveyards of abandoned desires. Yes, there are beautiful things that are "alive" and speak to the owners' personalities, but sometimes there's just SO MUCH STUFF that is more about pop culture by the decades than the people who lived there.

    My New Jersey house would have defined the graveyard type, but my VT house would tell a different story--a more accurate one of who I am with its eclecticism, whimsy, nature-themed decor--and my book titles would definitely tell people a little about my interests.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town

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