Hunting in the rummage sale wilderness RAMifications 8-7-13

Posted August 7, 2013 at 10:45 am

I’m somewhat of a rummage sale junkie. I don’t care for auctions, because I seldom can understand where the bidding is, and I don’t want to discover I’ve bought something for $50 rather than five.
I got hooked on rummage sales years ago, when I discovered you can find great little kids’ clothes, toys and books for next to nothing. I rarely bought clothes for myself, but it was a wonderful savings on clothes the kids grew out of so quickly anyway.

By the time they’d reached the point they didn’t want “hand-me-downs,” I had graduated to finding wonderful bargains for the house. I didn’t often buy big items…although once in a while I’ve splurged and bought a piece of furniture (like my dresser, nightstand, wooden shelves, lamps and the like).


Ruth A. Moller

A few years ago I bought a heavy, wooden electric organ, because I’d given my piano to my daughter. It worked for a few years, but eventually became just a big hunk of furniture that became a catch-all. Thankfully, the City guys hauled it away during the citywide cleanup (thanks!). But it also reminded me to not buy something unnecessary that you don’t have room for and can’t move by yourself!

I primarily stick to small things I admire…copper teapots, jewelry, knick-knacks, books, etc. I have some newer items of furniture, of course, but much of my home is furnished with family heirlooms and rummage sale finds. My oak bed, for instance, was made by my grandfather and is about 130 years old. I don’t make a lot of changes once I have something I like.

When I visit the grandkids in Northfield, we’ve often gone rummaging if it’s rainy, and I’ve come home with some neat “Minnesota” finds. I’ve noticed rummage sales in Las Vegas, but curbed my instinct to say, “stop.” My suitcase was too full to bring anything extra back.

My daughter-in-law in Black Hawk is fond of second-hand stores, and is always proud of some of the treasures she’s found, and she has excellent taste. We get along well!

When I lived in Rapid, one of my favorite things to do was attend the big flea market held just south of town every summer weekend. I was crushed when they quit holding it.

But this year, I decided to refrain. I didn’t even go to Miller’s citywide rummage sale, because I insisted I “don’t need a thing.” I was quite proud of myself. And I’ve not gone out of my way to step on the brake when I see assorted stuff in someone’s garage, and a big “Rummage Sale” sign.

But after work the other day, I did break down and stop at a rummage sale. I found a new purse, a pretty never-worn top, a Siamese cat figurine, a decorative basket, two wrought-iron candleholders and six lovely never-lit candles …all for $11. My vow of abstinence was broken.

I seldom go to a rummage sale looking for anything in particular. So when I find something I like, it’s frosting on the cake. And of course, it’s the thrill of the hunt!

Hunting in the rummage sale wilderness