Sunday, September 15, 2013

Whirlwind Weekend!

We went north to Lewiston this weekend to help my in-laws get ready for their move to Florida. They've accepted an offer on their house, and have a closing date of October 30, or sooner. They have lived in that house since 1985 when they got married and he has owned the house since 1970. It started out as a very small place with two tiny bedrooms and had many transformations/additions over the years.

One thing I knew about my in-laws is they are savers. Especially my father-in-law. He doesn't waste a thing. He even saves old boxes-just in case they have a need for a box...or 9,000 zip ties...or 12 hammers...or 8 of the same chisels...or 15 giant name it, he probably has it-in multiple quantities!

It's almost like being a hoarder, but every single thing was put away super neatly, and in a super organized manner. Nothing is ever left just lying about. Everything has its place, and everything is ALWAYS in its place-usually labeled and most of the time in the original box with the original manual!

We got there around noon-ish on Thursday, and started setting up tables in the garage, and hauling stuff out of every nook, cupboard, shelf and cranny. They have an over-sized garage, that probably could hold 4 cars-with an upstairs storage area. The garage was so clean when we got there, I felt bad about messing it all up by setting up for the sale!

At one point, my FIL wanted to get out his shop vac to vacuum the garage floor, because it was bugging him to have dirt, and leaves, and what-not all over it.  I could tell he was so very overwhelmed with the whole process. The whole first day, he kind of shuffled around in the garage, trying to decide which tools to take to Florida, which ones to sell and which ones to give away. He only got about 4 or 5 things put in his box that day.

When we first started, we made the mistake of starting on the tool side. We weren't making much progress, and we were stressing out my FIL, so we switched to the other side of the garage and started setting up all household stuff and organizing it and pricing it. He didn't have an emotional attachment to those things so he was fine with us working on them.

By Friday afternoon, we realized every table we had was full, and we still had a ton of stuff to put out for the sale. So, we decided to throw out some signs and see if anyone would stop and buy some stuff-freeing up some room for us to bring out more stuff.

We sold a few things, but had to close up early to make it to the Lewiston Lodge for the Friday night fish fry. It's a pretty popular place on Fridays, and you have to get there by 4:00 if you want to sit out in the other room and have a lake-view while you eat.

Since we were so early, we were able to get the lunch portions (seniors know all the tricks for getting the good deals!), and since we worked so hard we were ready for dinner-even if it was only 4:00. If you ever find yourself in Lewiston, Michigan-stop by the Lodge-the food was good and plentiful, the service was good, and the atmosphere is great!

My SIL and her husband came up Friday night after work so Saturday, we threw out even more signs, pulled more stuff out, (they brought more tables), and we had a really steady flow of shoppers all day long. We sold a LOT of stuff!! For not advertising, it was pretty amazing what they made. We left around 9am this morning, but my SIL and her husband were staying until around 4 or 5 to help run the sale today, as well as pulling stuff from the house to sell/packing stuff to take to Florida.

I thought a lot about how hard this must be for them to be leaving their home, and not really wanting to leave it. I remember how devastating it was to us when the township wanted our home, and we almost had to leave ours. I know the circumstances were different, but I think it is just as overwhelming to them and as devastating to them as it was to us.

So, now the plan is for Kevin and his sister to go back next weekend to run the sale on Friday and Saturday-then Sunday everything left will be half off-then whatever is left from that will be packed up for a charity donation.

We got a few really fun things while we were setting up the sale, it was fun opening boxes, cupboards, bags, etc. just to see what treasures were hidden inside! Fun, but exhausting at the same time! Kevin found a really old wooden rolling pin. His mom said it was her grandma's. Since his mom is old could the rolling pin be? I would love to sit and listen to the stories that rolling pin could tell-if it could talk!!!

Kevin got a ton of guy things. Screws, nuts, bolts, zip ties, steel tractor or some type of machine wheels, and stuff I never saw what it was. I just know our car was filled up, and he has spent the last 3 hours that we've been home out in his barn sorting through stuff and putting it away. I don't think we will ever need to buy another screw, nut or bolt for as long as we live, or our kids or grandkids lives!!!

I got a galvanized watering can-I can't wait to make some flea market garden art out of it next spring!! I also picked out some old vintage ornaments to add to my collection and some vintage made in Japan Christmas gift tags.

One thing I felt bad about was a cedar blanket chest that was upstairs in the garage. My FIL forgot it was up there, tucked away in the rafters, buried under stuff. A woman saw it and asked how much, and he (thinking it was a different cabinet/chest) said $20. She said "SOLD" and her husband and Kevin went up and brought it down.

My FIL was sick when he saw it. It was his mom's! He was beside himself, he was so upset. He totally forgot about it being up there, and didn't want to sell it for so little. She finally offered him another twenty, and he accepted it. He wasn't happy about letting it go so low, but he was happy that she gave him a little more. It was beautiful. I never saw it up there, otherwise I would have offered to buy it.

Here are some pictures of before and during...and some of the things we brought home with us. Next weekend, when Kevin comes home, he will be bringing his mom's grandfather clock to our house to live. I'm hoping the antique pink oil lamp doesn't sell next weekend-I'd love to have it on my china cabinet!



 Gas line wood stakes...saved...just in case someone had a gas line installed...

 This chest is FULL of folded tarps and moving blankets.

 Extra insulation...just in case.

 Any size rope you might need-more was found in cupboards. 

 Any type of garden/weed/feed chemicals you might ever need. 

 Another "Before" shot.

 Scrap boards-all secured and in its place hanging from the ceiling. 

 Garage/rag towels-collected over the years while working at a local golf course. Left behind by golfers, collected by my FIL. There were over 50 towels all folded and put away in cabinets.

 Starting to put things out on tables. 

All of these shots were before we started emptying out a second shed, and before we put up more tables from the neighbor.

 I picked these ornaments out of a box of them to add to my ornament collection. Every time I see them, I'll remember my MIL.

 I think this is a vintage tie box. I saved this from being tossed out. I LOVE the graphics on it!

Vintage Christmas tags and decorations-made in Japan!

 Some sandwich glass plates. I didn't want them at first, then I thought they'd look great in my tiered plate rack at Christmas filled with Christmas cookies.

 A vintage toaster. I thought I was just liking this from afar. I didn't realize Kevin put it in our car. 

 Galvanized watering can!!!

Super giant flag Kevin picked up.

The big wheel is the one I picked up last weekend at a local sale. the two little ones and the old pitchfork were from the in-laws. Kevin's pretty thrilled with how it all looks outside his barn!

He got tons of screws, nuts, bolts, zip ties and guy stuff and a vintage/antique dinner bell. I bet there was a lot of hand tools that made it into our car too! 

I am so glad to be home, and I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight! We worked hard (my back is still complaining, along with my hip), and we didn't sleep well-so I bet we crash early tonight!

The next step in this whole process is one more weekend of sales, then boxing stuff up to donate, then boxing stuff up and hauling it to Florida. Hopefully by Halloween, everything will be done and they will be happily settled in their house in Florida. 


  1. You really worked -- that was a HUGE sale! I'm sure it helped them out immensely. I can't imagine leaving almost everything behind in a move, but then, it's just stuff. It's nice that you all got to have some family time, which matters MUCH more.

  2. I do not think I can ever move or sell my things :( I can not imagine. At least you have a chance to get some of your MIL things. When my inlaws moved my MIL was so surprised by some of the things I took.