Odd to Say: We Need to be Better Organized

A beautifully framed print of a painting I couldn’t identify.

Logistical stuff to share and avoid: We are in garage sale mode, or should be. Because we are now in the house, there is an impact of ‘wow look at this’ ‘oh, come look at this!’  Over and over, the flow is broken by the discovery of yet another unique, beautiful piece.

At the same time there are plenty of pieces that must go outside onto the tables. That has slowed down. For a variety of reasons: tired, overloaded, pain, fascination, ADD we get side tracked. Now that we have the ‘net every special little item is researched and that takes time. I sit down to do this and soon there are 5 items lined up waiting. An hour later, I come out of the ‘research this’ fog and have not really progressed on the primary goal…prep for the garage sale coming up in 3 weeks. Plenty of time? I hope so.

I don’t want to paint this as a crisis or bad thing. Just a momentum breaker. And this: I have researched some of these items before, like Roseville pieces. First and foremost the question is of value..’how much is it worth?’  A vague question or answer because it varies so much so only a general idea of what some have paid. I mean one piece can be on there for $19.99 and beside it $139.00. No description of the differences other than what people are willing to sell at or spend. The reality I know, but it is not getting me toward definitive assessments and times wasted other than learning generic history about pottery from Ohio. Did you know how big Ohio was to pottery?

So either a computer file or a paper file (requiring a printer purchase) is in order to attach to set aside items so we know their worth and if…if!…we decide to do an estate sale or two next spring or attempt to spend the winter selling pieces online then we have a record of the items and don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel. My memory is shot, so no point wasting time.

The process is enjoyable. It is less back breaking right now. Cleaner. Less filth. No dead animals. But, for me, the mind is perhaps multi dimensional now…more than it was outside for the past year…out there it was  keep, sell, donate, toss. Now, it is keep, keep, keep…no we can’t keep all this…sell (broken down into garage sale? estate sale? online sale? and are we making a mistake with this item? Or, does it matter that much? Yes, I am afraid it does.

Couple that decision making with some kind of emotional connection. With my Aunt and even my Mom. Last night I found old cards my Aunt had been trying to write to my Mom to thank her for helping her during the loss of her loved one. Heartfelt writing acknowledging her grief, her mental fatigue, her mental stability, her life on hold. I am not sure if she ever sent a similar letter to my Mom. Or, said the words. Doubtful on both. How sweet to read this letter from a woman who was not given to emotional displays. 

I guess what I am rambling about here is the process now is less rapid. It is encumbered by emotions, fascinations, beauty. It should be savored. But, we also need to stand up and sort through to the stuff that can be sold now and get it out the door so it can go down the driveway in short order.

Last night yielded a cache of gloves, maybe four dozen pairs of gloves. Purses, pristine purses, unique…maybe fifty purses from long ago, seemingly new or little used. Fur hats (should be a topic of conversation with someone in Portlandia!) not fake fur but real fur. All these in her drawers. Not in boxes or bags or buried in the stacks. The furniture is emerging. The trails into the rooms are widening. Suddenly nightstand drawers are accessible. Dresser drawers can be opened. Mirrors can be gazed into. Gaudy wallpaper and drapes are visible.

A little nicknack shelf with ceramic pieces. The stacks came down and revealed the items. What is still amazing to me are how all this stuff, stacked, leaning, spilling in to the outer walls and hidden nice stuff does not do more damage. It just seems to press against, hug, squish but rarely break.

Now I know this seems like a bit of a small time problem to have right now. Compared to the outside mess, compared to my Mom’s 18 month mess full of disgusting distress, but none the less this is part of the Hoarding mental maize…part of the journey. Just because it is slightly cleaner, ok way cleaner, than previous efforts it is burdensome in a new way that I am sorting out now and will share if it seems beneficial to share and help others sort, compute, solve.

On a different note, I put a dehumidifier in the basement. A big one. It is pulling out so much moisture per hour. Shocking how much moisture is in the house.  


8 thoughts on “Odd to Say: We Need to be Better Organized

  1. Tish

    I grew up in Ohio and the majority of the state has clay for soil. Back in the 1800s the options were either dig it up and bake it and trade for food or try to grow corn in it. If I’d lived in the 1800s I would have tried to be a potter too! 🙂

  2. Veronica in CA

    If you already know this stuff, just ignore. On ebay searches, sign in and be sure to check the box “Completed Items.” Otherwise, you don’t see the value that somebody actually paid at end of auction. (Just seeing an auction in progress with a few bids or zero bids gives you no useful info.)

    The wide range of prices for identical items usually is due to condition: cracks, chips, repairs.

    When you get to a completed auction that matches your item, save the top portion of that page (showing date, photo, and ending value) as a screen shot (Shift Command 3 on a Mac) and name the file appropriately so you can easily find it later. A good search of completed auctions in your category plus saving, naming and putting your file in a folder may take about 15 minutes, so it’s not a quick solution.

    For furniture, a local retro vintage shop will be your best bet. Here in California, the Ritts Tropitan furniture is very popular, a lot of people are restoring post-war houses and apartments, and everyone has good memories of that furniture from their childhood. I imagine there is a similar market in Portland.

      1. Veronica in CA

        The “Completed Items” checkbox is along the right-side column, scroll down to see it. Be sure to check that box, it is your friend. On especially desirable items, most of the bids come in during the last minute of the auction, this is why prices during an auction-in-progress are irrelevant.

        On the list of completed items, the prices in red mean that the item did not sell. So concentrate on the ones with prices in green. This is a final dollar value that someone actually paid for that item.

        Glad this info is useful to you!

  3. Casey

    The only other option I could possibly think of for you is to contact people who “dress sets” – like the show Mad Men, or that great movie ‘Bridges of Madison County’ (which was set in the 60’s and used so much great stuff) – I honestly have no idea how to find people that dress sets, lol – no practical guidance for you but SOMEONE in Hollywood must need your items!!

    1. Thanks for the reminder of something that had been raised before by a visitor to our sale. Leverage and Grimm were options of companies filming locally on an ongoing basis. I have never followed up.

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