Sparks of Magic

Shop Estate Sales like a Pro


Like that title? Haha. It's a pretty catchy way to say that I like shopping at Estate Sales and am a self-proclaimed "pro" (sometimes I feel like it!) but really just luck out on purchases. 

As some of you know, my "little" family recently moved into our own home! It's the first time we have officially been in our own space since starting our family. The kids were living in one bedroom prior to this and Jeff and I slept in a trailer on his parent's property as we began the transition to move to Los Angeles, while I working for Disney. Once I came back, it took a few months before we could get back on our feet and move out on our own! I must say it has been nice to have space!

With more space comes great responsibility... like buying furniture!

We have been very proud of our new place and since moving have gone to a few estate sales to see what treasures we could find! Low and behold, I found a dresser for $25. Previously I was using plastic bins (not fun), and now I feel like a grown up. It looks more grown up too, if you take away the Minnie Ears, but then that would not be fun. Jeff calls it my little Disney shrine since I've retired my Disney Baby badge, found a home to display my ears and favorite Jerod Maruyama print, from the Wonderground Gallery in DTD.  

I call it my happy wall! Eventually I'd like to sand the dresser, add cool knobs, and paint it white. But, in the meantime I'm just using it until I can find some extra time to be crafty! Eventually I will begin our home posts and share more of our finds and how we've decorated our new space! Now it's your turn!

Ready, set, go!

Here are a few tips that I can share when heading out into the world of antiques, estate sales and thrift stores.

1. Have an idea of what you're shopping for. Why not just go and browse? Well, in all reality, you will end up buying more and taking home things that you don't need. I am a terrible culprit of this, but working on that! Next thing you know, you'll be hosting your own sale for overflow!

2. Look in local newspapers for events & sign up for newsletters at local consignment stores that manage Estate Sales. Where we live, our local consignment store runs estate sales in town and in our neighboring city. If you're ever in Lodi, CA, definitely check out New & Again on School Street downtown. I get their weekly email blast and can plan my estate sale adventures up to a month in advance!

3. Bring measuring tape if you're shopping for furniture. Remember, this isn't IKEA, so you won't be showered with tape, pencils and a notepad. Be prepared because all sales are final and being an inch off can make or break you! 

4. Cash, cash, cash! I can guarantee there will not be an ATM on site and if you are not local, they most likely won't accept a check. And in our small town, mobile payment devices are not as popular yet, so having currency is the best way to ensure a smooth transaction!

5. Leave the kiddos at home! That is, unless you're shopping FOR them. And in that case, don't take younger ones like I tried. Many times the homes are full of people and after the experience of my youngest playing hide and seek in a clothing rack, chatting it up with everyone (stranger danger has no effect on him), I was so exhausted! I think it's best for all shoppers involved!

6. Have FUN! You can't win them all. I've had my share of shopping and going home feeling defeated and at a loss. Some days, you end up with some awesome finds which make up for all the times you went home empty handed!

xo {Spread Magic}

How about you? Do you enjoy antique shopping or perusing estate sales?