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This business takes a special kind of crazy.

The thing I hear the most when I tell people that I have an estate sale business is, “I think that would be so fun.”

I always want to reply, “Really? You think so? How would you like to throw a huge, messy party then, after it’s over, leave your house for a year (and forget to turn on the A/C. Bugs love that.) then come back to clean it up so you can sell it? Because that’s essentially what I do, only on steroids.” (And I’m not invited to the party.)

But that would be snarky. And, besides, it is sorta fun in an exhausting, continually overwhelmed, occasionally grossed out kind of way.

I got into this gig through a friend of mine, Fran. (Her name has been changed to protect myself from her when she realizes I’m writing about this. It’s called plausible deniability.) Fran, who has been doing estate sales for the better part of 15 years, needed some extra help for an extra big sale she was having. The job entailed sorting, organizing, and staging the house. She may as well have said it involved eating dark chocolate and sipping umbrella drinks poolside while marathoning Gray’s Anatomy on a big screen ensconced between two swaying palm trees. It sounded like amazing kinds of fun.

Now you need to know a little bit about me and why trolling through and organizing the items of strangers held such appeal.  I love to organize and stage rooms. When I was a teenager I rearranged my room countless times. Once I even put my bed in the closet. (It was genius, really. But Mom thought it was just plain weird so I had to haul it from the closet and comply with her more conventional tastes.)

And trolling sorting through other people’s stuff? Seriously, who doesn’t love that? Not to be irreverent (and truly, the estates I am entrusted with are handled with the utmost integrity and reverence), but it is darn interesting.

Anyway, it only took one nanosecond of sorting, organizing, and staging Fran’s estate house before I was hooked. With my homeschooling career quickly fading away (Happy dance! Jazz hands!), I was starting to wonder just how I was supposed to fill my time. Shopping gets expensive at some point and I am convinced daytime TV is the reason so many women are on anti-depressants (that and fake sugar. Seriously, I stand by this.) I consulted God more than a few times about the new season fast approaching me. Estate sale gig master was His answer.

I partnered up with Fran for a while and convinced her we could hit the big time. She’s nuts so she was game for giving it a shot. We got super busy and her family got super ragged out because we were gone super a lot. Her kids, because they are younger than mine, ended up cajoling her back into the land of motherhood (where I hear she is quite happy). First, Second, and Third, who really only want need me for the occasional meal and maid service, were encouraging me to go it alone and make the big bucks. (The big bucks part? That’s one of many estate sale myths I’ll tackle in another post.)

So I took the entrepreneurial leap and that is how The Great Estate was born.

I really do enjoy having my own business. There is something mildly intoxicating about being able to call all the shots. But there are also some extremely long, dusty, dirty hours. And because I’m a very compartmentalized person, it can be hard to have a sale hanging over my head when I’d rather do other things…

My neglected Swoon quilt.

My neglected Swoon quilt.

…like quilting my brains out…poolside with dark chocolate…and palm trees…swaying…