keeping & letting go

Marian ParsonsAntiques, buying & selling antiques, Running a Business, Shopping Tips

I was going to go shopping for more antique goodies today as well as some supplies for building pieces, but instead I stayed home to get some “stress-relieving stuff” done – computer work, e-mail, paperwork, cleaning & tidying up the house, etc.  It was all much needed.

Unfortunately, in all of my tidying up on my computer, I somehow managed to remove all but 400 photos from my Lightroom software.  I would call it a disaster, but it’s not really a disaster in the grand scheme of things.  It’s an epic inconvenience, though.  I still have all of the photos, but they are in their RAW, unedited state, so if I need the photos, I need to edit them again.  All 8,000+ of them.  So, that stinks.

I suppose it will force me to go through the pictures and weed out ones I won’t ever use again.  I am a bit of a photo hoarder.

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Anyway, I thought I would answer another reader question today.

In yesterday’s post about the old kitchen sink & cabinet I found, Kathleen asked,

“I think it’s really driving me crazy trying to figure out how you REALLY can part with some of these things! I mean, with simply EVERYONE out there now searching (you’ve been teaching us so well), don’t you EVER worry about the “well running dry?” I’m thinking about things like years ago–when I was a “regular” at Goodwill (before it was “in” and before Goodwill started saving all the good pieces and selling to dealers)–when you used to be able to get a “deal” on houses to fix up (now everyone’s doing it). I could go on, but eventually it would seem there would be very little to find. Do you ever feel anxious about that happening for you? It makes it all the more amazing that you share what you find and how you go about it!”

So, let’s talk about keeping things and letting things go.

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Before I bought and sold furniture and antiques, I felt the same way.  I could never, ever get rid of fill-in-the-blank.  I’ll never find it again or never for a price that low!  

I loved antique and bargain shopping, so I made my regular rounds and squeezed my latest find in wherever it would fit.  I wasn’t intentionally decorating my home.  I was collecting.

When I started selling painted furniture and antiques, it was because we really needed the money.  That was a good incentive to sell things that I knew were worth a lot more than what I paid for them.  Even things I really liked and thought I would never, ever sell.

The process of letting go was exactly that – a process.  It took time for me to get used to selling things I loved and to learn that I will always find more things I love.

And my home is better for all of the things I don’t keep as much as it’s better for the things I do keep.

I still feel a twinge when I sell certain things…

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…but my rule is that I have to have the perfect place for it and, if I don’t, I have to sell it.

I once asked Suzanne, the owner of the Lucketts Store, how she sells so many awesome things.  I loved her answer.  “This is a business.  If I don’t sell the things I buy, then it’s just shopping.”

I must admit that sometimes I still “shop”, but I *try* to be strategic about what I keep and make sure if something new comes in then at least something old goes out.  Usually I keep things for a while, love on them, take pictures of them, use them as props and then I’m ready to send them along to a good home.

And, I’ll pretty much sell anything if the price is right.

There are a few pieces I can’t see myself selling.  The antique shirt counter is one…

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…and my ironstone cake pedestal…

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Eulalie…

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…the primitive step-back hutch…

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…and the “crusty counter”.

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There are other things I’m not ready to sell, yet…

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…but they are not on the off-limits list!

So, Kathleen, there is the long answer.

The short answer is that it’s my business to buy and sell things that I love.  If I only bought things that were “meh”, then I wouldn’t be very good at what I do.

If I want to keep everything, and I usually do, that’s a good indicator that I’m doing something right.

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Speaking of amazing finds, I have decided to sell the baker’s rack I bought last year at Lucketts.  It’s such an awesome piece, but I’m really not using it to its full potential.  It deserves better than what I’m giving it!

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I have all of the shelves to it.  It is a big piece, so you definitely need a pick-up truck to get it.  I’m located near Gettysburg, PA, if you’re interested.

(Sorry, but the rack is sold.)

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keeping & letting go

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