The Best Rummage Money Can Buy

I’ve been Rummage Crazy. I cleaned out my entire basement and now it seems I’m eager to fill it back up with more stuff. Here’s a review of the rounds I’ve made recently:

Incarnation Church, 38th and Pleasant in Minneapolis – I anticipate church rummage sales like Christmas morning. My theory is this – people hold on to their “best” rummage for the church sale because they want to do a good deed. Their stuff will bring in money for the church, thus dealing with any of their Catholic guilt over not putting as much in the collection basket as they could have during the year. This sale was part of the church’s annual Oktoberfest Celebration. When I went to the sale, they were readying a pork dinner for the evening. Nothing says rummage like the smell of pork in a church basement.

In my opinion, this sale was a B-. It was kind of small. Plus they did the thing that churches love to do and had a Boutique Room with a sign that said “All Our Best Stuff.” Ha. This implies label clothing and antiques. I think the only “label” in there was Talbots or something. That room was a huge let-down, as rooms like that often seem to be. I saw some true label clothing out in the general room and thought that if they are going to have one of those rooms, they should have someone sorting who knows what is a label.

Plus, the sale had no scarves to speak of, which is a great disappointment to me.

The big negatives were actually the other shoppers. It felt like that wedding dress sale they have every year at Filene’s on the East Coast. Or WalMart on the day after Thanksgiving when they have DVD players for $25. People were rushing about with their boxes and I wanted to say, “Hey, there’s enough rummage to go around!” Remember, this is rummage we’re fighting over! Women had their cardboard boxes filled and overflowing and instead of picking them up, they were kicking them along as they dropped more stuff in. One strange creature took over the book room to go through her booty, thus making it impossible to look at books and DVDs while she camped out in front of them.

What I bought: two storage boxes for magazines, a wall sconce and wall shelf for my collection of Buddhas, some albums I don’t need, a bunch of sweaters I don’t need (one of which is covered in maroon and black diamonds and might make me look like a Jack in a deck of cards.) Oh, and a ton of old sewing patterns which were only ten cents apiece!

Vintage Clothing Sale on Wentworth, Minneapolis – My big mistake here was arriving at 9:15 when it started at 9:00. The Hipster Vultures had already descended, snapping up grocery bags of stuff to sell in their vintage stores. I only saw glimpses of the best stuff as it disappeared into their bags and was carted away. I guess all is fair in love and rummage and they have to make a living. If I had a store, I’d be out there scrounging hard. But I can’t say I’m not a little bitter.

What I bought: a dress that is the absolute perfect School Teacher dress without being ugly at all, two wool plaid skirts, a short-sleeved men’s button down, three items of little girl clothes (OK, I have no kids but I couldn’t resist! So cute! One shorts jumper needs heavy repairing but the printed fabric was so darn adorable that I’m going to fix it. The other things are a blouse and a tiny corduroy jacket with embroidery on it).

Estate Sale on Bryant Ave. in Minneapolis – Estate sales always put me into two minds. One – something needs to clean out all the stuff and the family wants the money so why not just open the doors and see what sells. Two – how sad that everyone is rummaging through someone’s personal stuff and throwing it around.

The resident was an older lady who, in her day, must have been a tall and robust person. I kept imagining her as looking like Julia Child for some reason. All of the clothing was for a very tall, thick-boned person. I suspect her name was Flossie because when we were digging around in the attic there was a box of cards there and I picked one up and the message inside was addressed to Flossie, telling her that she was in the sender’s thoughts and prayers since her heart attack. Eep.

I think, really, that if there are any relatives on hand when an estate sale is imminent, they might want to clear out greeting cards, photos and the Depends Undergarments. If and when this happens to me (and, hey, my estate sale will be HUGE and will have a lot of GREAT stuff!), I just hope that someone clears out my old medications, journals and photo albums before strangers descend. I  want all my stuff to go to people who would enjoy it and love it. I just don’t want people reading my college journals and thinking that I was an over-dramatic sap. Which I was.

What I bought: a maroon shirt that is too big for me and will have to be made smaller if I ever want to wear it, some kick-ass belts (one is embroidered and the other has this huge gold buckle) and an emerald green woolen dress with a GiGi Young New York label (good dress-maker; desirable vintage). The dress is probably from the 1950s. It needs to have all of its interfacing replaced, in my opinion, but I’m not sure I should mess with it. It needs to be cleaned – it was at the bottom of a trunk in the attic. I didn’t even try it on, so after it’s cleaned it may go to anyone I know who fits into it. It was $3!

YMCA Rummage Sale, MN State Fairgrounds in St. Paul – it’s very, very rare when I go to a sale and buy nothing but it happened. Nothing. Terrible sale, in my opinion. The clothes were icky. It’s no one’s fault but… yuck.

One thought on “The Best Rummage Money Can Buy

  1. Zoe is a 5T – you know, if you are shopping for little girls’ stuff.

    I need to get back into rummaging.

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