Once we had our things moved out (we hired movers for our furniture and most of the boxes), we made what seemed like a dozen little trips with Rubbermaid tubs to pick up small things that hadn't been packed yet, or things that we had just uncovered. The estate company came in the next day and started staging...they had finished by the afternoon and had started pricing.
We drove back to the house to see what it would look like to find our own things up for grabs; I can only imagine this is how some of the residents of the sales we went to felt when they transitioned to a smaller place and gave up most of what they own. I wasn't sure if I was ready to go inside and see it all on display.
It turned out to be a whirlwind of emotions, but mostly happiness and surprise. Even after we had moved what felt like a whole lot, there was still a houseful left. Amazing what you can collect over a two-year period, and what you forget about in the mean time.
Tables were set up, our furniture arranged as if we were coming home to a clean house (which I wondered if we wanted to), and collections out on display; vintage linens were folded neatly and books and magazines made the eyes travel to the mid-century furniture pieces they rested on.
Each of the pieces in our home and in our collection were hand-picked, one by one, at dozens upon dozens of estate sales. There are stories behind every one of them, some more exciting than others. We remember houses, people, smells, neighborhoods, of where we ventured to find them. We remember hidden treasures we uncovered that even the sales team and family had not, and we wondered how they had missed them.
Now I know.
You see, in all the whirlwind of packing up what you plan to take, and leaving the little things that make you want to torch the place and run (thank you, Peggy, for that reference), you do forget things.
Like your muffin pan, your cutting board, and some various other baking utensils. And you figure that out a few days later, when you want to make some muffins for breakfast, and you can't, unless you go buy a new muffin pan. Dang it.
(All of these photos are from my perspective the day we walked through.)