TIP #3: MAP YOUR ROUTE
Depending on what type of items you’re looking for, you may be able to narrow down your search to certain areas of town. The suburbs and family oriented neighborhoods will obviously yield kid stuff, whereas the city may be littered with college and young adult finds. Likewise, an older more established neighborhood or section of town may have more vintage finds. Also, a good thing to note, large, multi-family or church yard sales mean more variety because there are several families contributing to the sale, not just one household’s contents.
Now the fun part! Once you have a general idea about where you want to begin, take some time to check Craigslist.org (your city > for sale > garage sale section), EstateSales.net and your local newspaper for weekend sales. Just an FYI – the closer you get to the weekend, especially within a couple of days, the more pictures and listed items you’ll find for each sale on the sites mentioned above. This especially comes in handy when you’re looking for something more specific.
Select one or two sales that make your absolute MUST VISIT list. Once you have your MUST VISIT list, you can create a sublist of sales around those areas. Let’s be honest, you don’t want to spend majority of your day or weekend driving. Instead, you would rather be productive shopping. Sometimes you get lucky and find several estate sales within the same area. However, majority of the time, I find an estate sale that makes my MUST VISIT list. Then I find yard sales around it to check out as well. Many times I find a rare or much needed item at the yard sales, that I may not have visited had I not gone to the estate sale first. Hence, the reason why I think it’s important to note here.
TRASH TO TREASURE:
Lately, I have seen a lot of old glass milk bottles, especially at estate sales but sometimes even at yard sales. With all the shabby chic and cottage look and feel craze, what a great find these are. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities.
estate sale find - vintage glass milk jar
Because these treasures have a nostalgic quality all their own, they don’t need a lot of repurposing to become that vintage show piece in your home.
Of course they can be used for storing milk as intended, or they could be used as kitchen decor, like these vintage style jars from Farmehousewares.
How about if you’re hosting a party? You could use them as pitchers to serve your beverages. This is a great way to add a nice punch of color to your table or serving area. I actually did this for my vintage beach wedding.
They are also perfect flower vases like this idea from Country Living. Again, this is another great idea for a vintage themed or casual outdoor wedding.
Because they’re so beautiful and simple, they also make great storage containers for display. How about these new bath salt storage milk bottles by Julia Rothman.
The best part is, you can repurpose them throughout the year, depending on the seasons. By adding salt, an ornament topper and a few snowflakes, Aunt Ruthie was able to use her milk bottles as Christmas decor.
Sometimes, you might just get lucky and not only find the milk bottles themselves, but maybe the wire crates and carriers they come in. These are also great for storage and display as well.
This one is from Rockett St. George and is used to store magazines. You could also hang a series of them in your kitchen to display spices or jars of rice and pasta, or in your bathroom to display soaps and towels.
Or, how about using a milk carrier to house your wine or spices like this idea from Vintage Weave?
And finally, you may even happen upon the bottle caps in your search. These are especially fun because they are so bright and colorful, lending themselves to be a true work of art, like this idea from Rambling Renovators.
Enjoy until next time,