I will probably never have a completely contemporary, modern home even though that is what really appeals to my asthetic sensibilities. The twist is, that vintage items and antiques are fascinating to me, too. My mind will be eclectic the rest of my life.
Part of the love for old stuff probably came about because dad liked to go “antiquing” at estate auctions on weekends. He frequently held impromptu show and tell sessions when friends came to the house for visits. I didn’t always appreciate those times he “hijacked” my friends. Yet, a few of his goodies appealed to me, too.
When dad’s stash of auction finds threatened to become a horde, he acquired a sales tax permit and started a part-time business as an antiques dealer. I don’t think dad made very much money selling stuff. Whenever he set up booths at antiques shows, he ended up buying more things from other vendors.
Dad ended up having an antiques auction when he moved from town to his acreage. The downsizing enabled the move yet did not dampen his love of estate sales. In fact the acreage provided a larger house, two out buildings and a barn to use for storage. When he had a manufactured home brought onto the property, he had it placed over a new, large basement.
Over the next few decades dad managed to fill all of the indoor storage areas. So, by the time he moved into a nursing home, the acreage was overflowing with antiques and old junk. Even then, dad could not let go of his things because he held out the faint hope of returning home to live out his days. Unfortunately, he spent his last days in an assisted living suite.
I was left to somehow liquidate dad’s massive collection of old stuff. After being mired in the mess, I finally expedited the downsizing by hiring an auction company. Decades of acquisitions were disposed of in the span of an afternoon. Piece by piece the items were added to the collections of the few hundred people who bought stuff.
I now advise people, “Don’t do this to your survivors. Get rid of your stuff before you die so they can get on with their own lives.” Otherwise they may resent your habit. Keep just a few of the best items, then specify, in your will, who will get each item. It’s easier to cherish one item than an entire collection.
I listened to my own advice. The basement in my little house was half-filled with plastic storage totes. I couldn’t remember what was in most of them. When the auction company was hired for dad’s stuff, I added my stash onto the sales bill.
There are still some of dad’s leftovers the auction company did not accept for sale. So, I’m still stuck with sorting and disposing of stuff. The bigger items will go to a salvage company and the smaller stuff is destined for a thrift store.
My own vintage stuff is mostly gone. The few leftovers can be easily liquidated at a consignment store and by giving them away. I still like vintage items because they’re fun to repair and actually use. I’ve already given away or sold my own old leftovers. I decided to only keep a few bona fide antiques (100 years old or older). I have no desire to acquire any more than those few pieces. Those few are quite enough.