Monday, March 31, 2014

Estate Sale Leftovers: The Ridiculous

Hello! With the buyer closing on my parents' house tomorrow, the estate sale of their belongings occurred this past Friday and Saturday. Yesterday family members could go to the house to gather up for free anything that had been left unsold. 

I wasn't really expecting much of interest to be left, but I made the 320 mile round-trip anyway mainly to see the house one last time. It'd been in my family 49 years, so it's a bit sad to see it go. 
I was pleasantly surprised to see some of my mom's vintage goods still there; I think this was due to some erratic pricing the estate sale firm had done - as in pricing some items too high. So the buyers likely did what I do in a similar situation: they walked on by. 

Not surprisingly, though, the ridiculous nature of some of the items likely led to them being passed over. I'm a fan of quirky stuff, so I brought them back with me, though not necessarily to keep. 

Here's a prime example of a ridiculous item that's going to the thrift store:

A handmade toiletry tote, made from a placement, elastic and ribbon ties. 

Not a bad idea, but what makes this ridiculous is the toiletries:

Close-up view of some of the toiletries, from top to bottom - disposable razor, Meijer brand toothpaste, small packet of laundry detergent from Best Western, shoe shine cloth from Ramada, Q-tips and small bar of Dial soap. You can tell from the packaging that these items were made decades ago. 

You think I'm exaggerating? Not shown above is the purse-size package of Kleenex. The date on the back: 1978. 

Was this toiletry tote made and and stocked that long ago? I have no way of knowing, but I still couldn't help but wonder why those toiletries weren't discarded before this. It seemed a little creepy to think of what the contents of that toothpaste tube would look like now. I didn't want to find out - it went straight to the trash (as did the rest of the toiletries).

I didn't want to take the tote back with me, but one of my brothers tossed it into the bag of stuff I was taking, so I just brought it along.

Another ridiculous item, as in another "why wasn't this ever used before?"

Full box of staples, dating from somewhere between WWII and the early 1960's (the presence of a two-digit postal code dates it as such). Sure, it takes forever to use a box of staples, but there was plenty of time to do so. 

But since I like vintage stuff, I like the idea of using vintage staples. Tried them in my much more modern stapler, and they worked fine. 

My stapler doesn't look like this, however:

"Aceliner -  World's most beautiful stapler" the advertising insert tucked inside the box of staples proclaimed. That may have been true, but the lame line drawing of the stapler doesn't exactly show off its beauty, does it? 

Perhaps more goofy than ridiculous:

Oddball wooden nut bucket. The upper stave is missing, so the top portion of the bucket is a little loose. I thought it might be cute for holding craft supplies in my studio. Not sure how old it is, and truthfully, I don't remember my folks ever using this. They did have a very nice silver-plated nut bowl that was always on display in the dining room's built-in cabinet. One nice feature of the design was the "branch" near part of the rim, with a squirrel figure perched on top of the branch. There's no way the bucket shown above could ever compete with that! No wonder my folks kept it hidden.

Last ridiculous item of the estate sale, but it's one I do remember being in plain sight:

This plaque used to hang out in my folks' kitchen. Don't know how  old it is, but it just seemed like it was always there. And while I don't know where it came from, either, the sentiment seemed to fit my parents' relationship. My mom was far more energetic than my dad, and would nag a lot to try to get him to do more around the house. But for the record, she was very devoted to him as well. 

I brought this plaque home for amusement value and for a bit of nostalgia. I may not keep it around, but for now, I like its ridiculousness.

Coming up soon: my "sublime" finds from the estate sale!




  1. Perhaps the "husband" sign would be nice to hang up in the cleaning closet. You would see it and smile when taking out that mop and bucket. Just an idea so that you don't have to get rid of it. You always see those funny signs in souvenir shops. I think my grandparents had one in their house that was similar.

  2. Good idea about placing it near the mop bucket! Several of these are currently listed on eBay, so they must have been fairly common back in the day. Goofy though! Not really my mom's taste, so either someone gave it to them or or else it came to them after a relative died.