Things we've learned about life from from auctions

Things we've learned about life from from auctions

It's probably best to start this blog post with what this article is NOT about.  It's not about how to bid, or how to find out if a piece of artwork is worth thousands of dollars, or even if your mom's cherished figurines are worth anything.

Nope, this is about what we can learn about life by exploring estate auctions.  Auctions give us a glimpse into a life well-lived, including the things that have been given a place of honour in the china cabinet, what's been relegated into dusty basement shelves, and what remains after the tough, downsizing decisions have been made. 

So here goes....

1.  Don't save things "for good".  One of the saddest things I've seen in auctions is something obviously precious to the person who owned it, still in mint condition in its box, carefully tucked away for a day special enough to warrant breaking it out.  Why wait?  We know it's a pandemic, but you can wear that awesome bracelet around the house.  You can unbox the sheet set.  Set the table with sterling.  Drink out of the good teacups.  Take the plastic off the lampshades.

2. An item has the value YOU give it.  Love something but know it's only worth ten bucks?  Great - you do you!  Love something that's considerably more expensive?  If you can afford it, enjoy it.  But please don't buy something because you think it's an investment.  Tastes change, and what's hot today might not hold its value (we're looking at you Beanie Babies, Blue Mountain Pottery, and Precious Moments figurines).

 3. The things you've collected (or been given) in the past don't define what you collect in the future.  If you truly don't like Nana's doily collection, or great aunt Ellie's needlepoint chair, sell or donate it, so that someone else can love and cherish it.  You don't need it in your life to keep those cherished memories alive.  Reuse, reduce, and recycle without guilt.

4.  If you wait long enough, it'll come back into fashion.  A friend once commented on my china set - hey, that's a great vintage-looking pattern. It was really vintage - all 60 pieces of it.  Then I moved into an apartment with a much smaller kitchen and it was time to say goodbye.  I still think of it fondly and hope the person who bought it at the not-for-profit organization's garage sale loved it as much as I did.

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