estate sales

Estate Sale Survival Kit

by Jamie Sanford on April 22, 2015

It’s been at least 2 years since I started going to estate sales here in New Jersey. I don’t know what it was that led me to, but I fell into the vortex and was quickly hooked. Last year, after my BFF David moved back here from California, we started a weekend ritual of trolling all of the local estate sales for treasures. Will joined in soon enough, and we have had 2 guest sailors who have come to visit and requested to come along with us.

My preferred term is “estate sailing.”

So, in the midst of going to more than 100 estate sales in the course of a year, you start to dial in on the things you need to have with you when you go. And so, I now give you the official Estate Sailing Survival Kit.

1. Hand Sanitizer

You are going into houses that have sometimes not been lived in for some time, and you will inevitably touch a lot of stuff. The first thing we do upon getting in the car is to all use a generous amount of hand sanitizer before we move on. You may just want to go ahead and carry around a travel bottle, because we have had a few circumstances that made us want more immediate access to hand sanitation, such as when there was dank water under the cap of a camera lens.

2. Mini Flashlight

I specify the mini for ease in putting it in your pocket when you don’t need it, but we have run into more than a few homes where we forgot the flashlight and regretted it.

3. Measuring Tape

This is for both measuring items at estate sales, and also for measuring the spot at home that will be the new home of whatever item you are purchasing. You definitely do not want to go through the process of buying and transporting something, only to find out that it does not work in your intended space.

4. Mobile Device or Smartphone

Take your phone! First of all, estate sales make for WONDERFUL Instagram photos, and second, you never know when you will need to research the artist on a painting you are checking out. Before he was coming with us, I would also text Will pictures of things and ask him to research them for me. The phone-a-friend is a good solution, particularly if you aren’t having the best time surfing for information on your phone.

5. Bottled Water and Portable Snacks

We recently went to 7 estate sales in one day, all without stopping for lunch until after we were done. Sometimes we span something like 50 miles in a day, and when sales start at 9 and end at 3, and you have all of that driving to do, it is important to stay hydrated and not be starving. For the summer months, you may want to use a small cooler as well, to avoid drinking hot water and melty snack bars.

There you have it – my Estate Sale Survival Kit. My post on the weekly process of planning your estate sailing is coming up soon!

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Instagram Roundup #119

by Jamie Sanford on February 4, 2015

Here are all of the other Instagram Roundups!

I’m going to try out making Instagram Roundups monthly in 2015. Let’s go!

The selfie stick was worth it if only for this shot from NYE.

Art and architecture from Madison Square Park.

Throwback drag show photos of Kiki Kinx. I love the drama.

We returned to estate sailing with possibly the best house we have been to. I think that collectively, we purchased the most things we ever had at one of these. Such an amazing home.

Dolls are wonderful subjects for portraits—I generally like the snarky-looking ones—but this one was just waiting for me in a room in an estate sale house. More fabulous drama.

After an exhausting day of estate sailing, I decided to make tomato sauce. It turned out pretty well! This is the recipe.

The best part about all of this snow is the opportunity for making photos like this one. I love it.

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Jamie on Estate Sales

by Jamie Sanford on October 20, 2014

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Instagram Roundup #106

by Jamie Sanford on October 1, 2014

Here are all of the other Instagram Roundups!

Amazing windows at one of the estate sales.

I can’t wait for the day I get a proper vanity to store my makeup, because it’s all in a rolling set of drawers right now. I managed to organize it a bit more this week.

Awesome estate sale clock.

Awesome estate sale bathroom! Seriously I can’t get enough of these old houses.

I had a chance to spend a few minutes with my cousin Frankie. He’s darling.

Mom and Dad were here for a short few days and so we went to some NJ vineyards on Saturday. There is a LOT of good wine being made here.

Mom left me flowers, along with scented things, a fuzzy pumpkin, and a tablecloth. I’m ready for fall now.

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Instagram Roundup #105

by Jamie Sanford on September 24, 2014

Here are all of the other Instagram Roundups!

Long one this week, full of estate sale finds.

Estate sale in a dentist’s house, where the bottom floor is the dentist’s office. Oh yes.

William bought some dental tools for craft projects. Apparently they are really good for many other things.

I’m now pissed that I didn’t just buy this and try and sell it on eBay.

Second house had multiple cars!

I love these two.

Hindsight sucks, because I really wish I had bought these.

This looks like a Donald Duck horror movie poster, doesn’t it?

This dress form was adjustable and made of cardboard. It was really lovely but brittle, and they wanted too much money for it. I wish I understood the way things are priced at estate sales.

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