Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Rebirth of Confusion and Clutter 2/7/09

This morning I set out with Cindy for the first full morning of yard sale activity this year. Cindy normally does not like to go because she says she always buys things she does not need nor can afford.





Harold Ave. – Lake Claire “Yard Sale”


This sale was just a block away but was a disappointing way to begin the morning. There was not much in this yard, two CRT monitors, a box of old computer cables, a pile of clothing, two used bottles of shampoo, a cocktail shaker, a non descript lamp, a empty album for holding commemorative quarters and two small electronic keyboards.
We bought nothing.









Greenwood Ave. – Virginia Highlands “Garage Sale”


The site for this sale was an older apartment building in Virginia Highlands. At the entrance I ran into a former Peak Sister (Shelbra) who was also in search of the sale. The front door to the building was locked so we went around to the side where I found the door to the laundry room open. In a basement room past the washers and dryers was what appeared to just large unkempt piles of old plumbing and electrical hardware. I asked a man there if this was the sale. He told me he had not organized the stuff down here but it really looked like the stuff had simply been tossed into this dark room years ago. I perused the plumbing stuff and found a showerhead I could use for an upcoming installation I’m doing. Meanwhile Cindy and Shelbra Peak had come upon what really might be the sale in an adjacent garage. Here the clutter was sparser and slightly more organized. Among the stuff scattered about was a large stack of small pieces of tongue and groove flooring, a shop vac with a plastic pumpkin sitting on top of it, a large kitchen sink and a framed photograph of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly.
I bought the showerhead.




Yard sale or just accumulated debris?

















Rosewood Ave. Morningside “Yard Sale”


This was a larger event both in scope and disorganization. Here far too much stuff was spread across a much too small yard of a brick Tudor bungalow. The majority of it appeared to be kids toys and holiday decor but it was so scrambled that it was hard to tell what was a toy and what was not. Adding to the confusion was a large herd of shoppers perusing and further confusing the collection, not to mention the covey of neighborhood children frolicking in the debris in the harsh morning light.

Among the clutter I found a chainsaw (swiftly grabbed by a female buyer), a box of cheap ceramic angels, an oversized plush Easter Bunny, an old low end drum machine, a box with containers of spray paint, grout and fabric softener and a large plastic bin filled with dirty work gloves. Among the confusion I also found an assortment of still in the box useless appliances, such as a Smores Maker and a Children’s Pizza Oven. While we wandered about the sellers attempted to control the confusion but seemed to be losing the battle. At one point they erected a clothing rack in the driveway only to have it collapse leaving an even more chaotic pile of clothes.
We bought nothing but enjoyed the experience.

Disorder on display.
















Somehow when stuff gets confused baskets always appear.





















Seasonal figure among the clutter.


















Mason Woods Dr. - Emory “Estate Sale”

I had not been to a true full blown inside the home estate sale in some time so I was delighted to stop here. I was even more delighted to seen that the estate owners had hardly even thrown anything away and were living in a fire marshal’s nightmare. The home was well kept but the extent of the clutter was beyond the scope of reason. To some people having a basement means that you can keep everything that ever comes into your life and this was evident in this large ranch style home. The upper rooms of the house maintained a certain level of order with the estate sellers having arrayed silver, jewelry and more seemingly valuable stuff within sight of where they had set up the cashier’s station. But the further one got from this point the more confusing and cluttered the house became.










The epicenter of this crowded confusion was of course the basement. On the lower level dwelt the remains of the lives of children, the celebration of over decorated holidays and the graveyard of unfinished projects. The vintage children’s things were interesting for their age as well as their quantity. Among the things I uncovered in the dim light were countless boxes of games, partially completed plastic aircraft models, wooden blocks, Pez dispensers, broken roller skates, an endless variety of dolls, paper dolls children’s books with quaint covers, toy swords, jigsaw puzzles, boxes of magic tricks and doll house furnishings of all varieties of size. One back room was a children’s bedroom or playroom with a large hand drawn poster that paid tribute to a fantasy GTO.





Another room downstairs was packed from floor to ceiling with rolls and bolts of fabric. A nearby bathroom was overflowing with dreadful Xmas décor. The holiday items covered the toilet and flowed into the bathtub. Remnants of personal memorabilia were peppered all about the confusion, a high school diploma, trophies, framed family photographs, awards and boxes of mail and holiday cards lay about to be tossed around by rude treasure seekers. Added to this mix was sheet music, college textbooks, large and small tools, pieces of a model train set, old copies of airline magazines and strange small cookbooks.

The other rooms upstairs things were somewhat more ordered but equally crowded. Among the outstanding find here were old prom dresses, Russian travel ephemera, boxes of pot holders, unopened packages of linens and toiletries, cases of old cassette tapes, and cheap hand tools. One of the more remarkable finds was the “Half Pint” a portable urinal for young boys still in it’s original box. It appeared unused.
The clutter even ran outside the house where piles of garden tools lay in a jumble next to cypress knees, postcards, knives and more Holiday décor.
Cindy bought an antique floor lamp for $45.












Excess Xmas decor covering commode.

















Retro kiddy lit or cookbook?





















More children's reading matter.

























One of the many dolls found in the basement.


















Unused bathroom carpet.