Saturday morning I had just read Cathy Tubb’s comments on our blog last week. “Tell Nell to be careful," she wrote, "Bad things happen in threes!” My phone pinged. I looked down to see a text from Nell.
She told us she had been on her morning walk with her precious Pepper pup when she stumbled and fell, letting go of Pepper’s Flexi lead in the process. She wrote that poor Pepper had taken off like she’d been shot out of a cannon. Nell said she was sprawled in the middle of the sidewalk and after making sure nothing was seriously hurt, she was able to get herself up and hobble after Pepper. She now thinks that Pepper thought the leash was chasing her. She ran so hard that her toenails were bleeding. When Nell finally got back to her house, Pepper was sitting at the side door begging to come in. Thanks to neighbors Jason and Bonnie Crow who helped corral her and head her back home. Pepper and Nell were both exhausted and a little battered and bruised but as Nell said, it could have been so much worse. Thankful that Pepper got home safely, and that Nell didn’t break a hip or leg. Hopefully the DN&D ladies are done with the falls and fires!
Tools of the Trade
We have been busy all week prepping the house in Athens. Every sale that we do is, of course, different but we have developed a system over the years that works very well for us. As you would guess, there are many things we need when we begin a sale - like pens, pencils, markers, tape, scissors, price tags, price stickers and ribbon for pricing; glass cleaner, silver polish, scratch pens, gel stain for cleaning and enhancing the items we’re selling; if it’s a multi-person sale, we need different colored sticky dots to indicate which items belong to which person; then there are the odd tools. We almost always need a hammer and nails for hanging pictures. Often, we need screwdrivers, wrenches, and pliers for disconnecting appliances. Staple guns come in handy as do various size extension cords. Magnifying glasses are used to identify maker’s marks on china, silver and jewelry and magnets are used to determine whether something is truly silver or gold.
Bizzie's Busy Bag
Early on we realized we needed a way to organize all these items so that we would know exactly where to put our hands on them. Debbie’s grands call her Bizzie because, well you know, she is always busy. A year or so ago they gave her a wonderful bag with lots of pockets and pouches and had it monogrammed "Bizzie’s Busy Bag." We adopted that term and created our own DN&D Busy Bag that has many of the tools we need to prepare for an estate sale. It's basically a hanging shoe bag. Not as cute as Debbie's bag but it keeps us organized (most of the time)!
So finding a place for the Busy Bag to reside is the first thing we do for each sale. Then we take "Before" pictures of each room of the house. I say we, but Debbie is really our "official" photographer. She also takes the photos that are posted to EstateSales.net. Before and After photos allow us to show potential clients how we set up our homes for an estate sale. I think Before photos also give clients permission to leave us a mess. We explain that we do not want or need them to organize items. That is our job. That is what we get paid to do. We have certain ways of setting up each room. Often we bring tables in to display items that are pulled out of cabinets and closets. Often the furniture has to be rearranged to accommodate the tables or the way we think traffic will flow through the home. We are very particular about how our rooms look and how our sale items are arranged, displayed and organized. Some might even say we are OCD! LOL!! (and they might be right:)
Traffic Flow is Important
The third thing we normally do is discuss traffic flow. We prefer for our sales to have one way in and one way out, and optimally the way out leads to our check-out table. After figuring out the best way to get people in and out, we decide the location of the check-out table. We check the weather conditions during the dates of the sale. We typically locate check-out outside because it allows better circulation inside the house. If the forecast is terrible, then we will try to squeeze check-out inside the house. These days we are also discussing masking requirements and number of people allowed in the home at a time. We are hoping and praying that the sale we are currently prepping will be able to be an in-person sale but things are changing so fast every day, we just don't know for sure.
Getting Down to Work
After we've decided the location of the Busy Bag, taken Before pictures and figured out the traffic flow, we get to work. Debbie, Nell and I all have different strengths and weaknesses. It's one of the reasons we work so well together. Next week I'll be talking a little bit about that as well as posting a photo of an item we have in this sale that we don't have a clue what it is. Maybe you can help identify it! Until then, stay safe and be kind to each other. Happy weekend!