Friday, February 22, 2013

Hoarder Estate Sale.

There was an Estate Sale ad on Craigslist that offered furniture for shabby-chic-style painting. I don't really consider myself a shabby chic'er but furniture is furniture and I set off to look at the sale. 

It was some 76 miles round-trip on country roads. Took forever. And when I got there, I saw stuff strewn everywhere. And all that stuff had more stuff piled on top. There was one unfortunate woman trying to organize the piles. She worked for the bank, she said. And she went on to explain about the 30 cats and the deceased being a hoarder and please don't mind the smell.

Wait. What? Don't mind the smell?

There were 4 buildings plus the yard piled with ... stuff. Most of it used be be quite valuable but ended up tossed outdoors, I assume to make more room for cats. 

There were so many unusual and exotic pieces of furniture just left in ruin. Most of it was in two barns covered in dirt, so I didn't bother taking pictures, but in hindsight .... There were HUGE pieces of mission furniture like I'd never seen before. Covered in dirt. Even if I'd just taken pictures of the hardware! sigh. But I had no gloves and well, EWWWWW ....  'Nuff said. I had no gloves.

There were two houses that smelt of cat urine so badly I could only glance around, zooming from one room to another holding my breath. One house had a room of lamps, a room of light fixtures and a room of ruined art. Fabulous art that had been used first as a litter box then as a feast for mice. It was heartbreaking.

In the second house, again, there were ruined treasures everywhere. In the kitchen were hundreds of signed Japanese pottery pieces that had been found outside buried in mud.

I would have taken so many more pictures, but the smell! I'd never been anywhere near a true hoarder's house before. Between the cat urine smell and the rat and mouse droppings I had a severe case of the heebie jeebies.

I actually was tempted by this mirror.

I've never seen anything like it.

It appeared to be made of sugar and frosting.

But the BEST - the STAR of the show - was ...

Eight feet of ... of ... desk? It filled the room. No, it ATE the room. If I had anywhere to put it I would have made it mine. It was only $150! Eight feet of odd goodness and I just couldn't think of what I would do with it. Not to even mention getting it home.

The pictures don't show the scale of this thing. We were trying to figure out what it was. The former owners were producers in Hollywood so we thought it might be a prop.

Oh look. Mouse poop.

I wish I had opened the drawers and cabinet, but these pictures were taken in 4 or 5 dashes into the house after gulping fresh air. I couldn't hold my breath long enough to snoop.

I couldn't believe they still had the key to this thing. The magazines feature the owners. Recognize them? Me either.

This awesome patina isn't paint. It seemed to be a paper covering of some kind. I'm not sure what it was.

Hindsight being all they say it is, I really wish I would have figured out a way to get that desk home. It was actually in pretty good shape, considering. I think the only thing that saved it from being shoved outside to make room for more cats was its sheer size.

That and the mirror ...... kick, kick, kick. Should'a done it. Just should'a.


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  1. Well, I have crawled under houses falling in, cruised through a drug neighborhood street shopping, and scaled the rafters of an old barn. You win - I have never been in a true hoarder house. I would have to have bought that mirror -cat pee or not! I thoroughly enjoyed your post!

  2. I do the same thing, always sad when I leave something behind that I know that I should have cause it would have had a great story to go along with it, I love that part...

  3. They would have had to drag me out by my hair screaming my head off before I ever would have left that desk there - that is the most magnificent desk I've ever seen - WOW - stink can be removed - deals like this????
    What an amazing piece of furniture!

  4. O I would have gone for both of the those two...the price was way too good...and yes smell can be knocked out,I think I would paid and then gone and to the fastest convience store for some cleaner....sad to see such treasures left to decay,hard to understand

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  6. Awesome post....horror and heaven all at the same time! I too have gone to garage sales such as this, really awesome stuff but a little hard to look past the ruin state.

  7. Oh, my word, you truly wonder about people, don't you? How disgusting and what a waste.

    That is a lovely interesting piece but looked so huge, not everyone has space for one of those.

    Lovely unusual.

  8. you need to invest in a gas mask. :) It really would have helped in a situation like this.

    1. Had I known I could have taken one of those platypus masks I got from OSHU!

  9. Interesting post!! Some gloves and a hazmat suit probably would have been in order. That desk looks very cool - Someone will have the patience to breath new life into it. I guess the lucky person who get figure out how to get such a large piece home without getting overcome by stinky fumes!! Thanks for sharing your story.

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