Since we spent so long at the auction, and it was my first real experience participating in one, I had a lot of time to observe the other patrons and reflect on the whole situation. This was an estate auction meaning a lovely lady passed away, obviously leaving behind all of her belongings. Her family had to sift through every item and had to watch all the things she loved get carted off by distant family members or perfect strangers. My own mother, as an only child, had to go through this exact situation all alone back in 2002 when my grandmother passed away. She felt so torn during the whole process because she could only keep so much of her mother's belongings. The rest had to go and all kinds of memories went right out the door with it.
It really got me thinking... When I grow old and pass away, how much am I going to leave for my children and loved ones to sift through? Will it pain them to sell/giveaway/trash my beloved belongings? I think for me, there are a couple of solutions to this problem:
1) Simplify. The less stuff you have, the easier it will be on everyone (including yourself before you "go"). "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris
2) Maintain an attitude of "It's just stuff." If your family and loved ones see you living this way, it will not pain them so to let go of it all once you are gone. Cherish a couple of items, enjoy the rest, but try not to make "stuff" your life. Use that antique tea set! If your child breaks your favorite mug reassure them that it was only a mug and mugs can be replaced. People are the true treasures in our lives.
I went to the auction with a budget of $50 and only spent $42. Go me for staying under budget! I got us two gates for the farm ($10 - a STEAL!), a box of antique mason jars for food preservation/pantry storage ($15), a beautiful white glass vase ($8), a wooden coat tree ($5) and the rest was tax.
My mom saw me eying a few items and got them for me after I dropped out of the bidding. I told her not to but she did it anyway. I suppose, as a mother myself, I can understand wanting to spoil your child once and a while. She got me this beautiful table and chair, a pink Bybee pitcher and a milk glass cake stand.
It was crazy seeing how easily people can get caught up in "the good deal" or the competition aspect of bidding and before anyone knows it a simple chair has sold for $90. If you are heading to an auction, have a good idea of what you are look for or what you *need* and try your best to keep your head wrapped around the big picture. We were able to go to the auctioneers website the night before to see pictures of some of the items. I went armed with a strict budget and a "wish list" and made it out without buyer's remorse. You do have to sacrifice time to save money but it is a fun and interesting process. I think going to one or two a year could be fun for any DIYing endeavors one may have.
Do you enjoy garage sales and auctions? What was the best treasure you've found?
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