Things to Do

Estate Sales, Shopping Your Way Through The Hill Country

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Spring has sprung and the Hill Country is gearing up for some awesome Estate Sales. Catherine Kelly, the founder of Texas Treasure Estate Sales, says, “I’ve been conducting estate sales for many years, and the amazing finds in towns throughout the Hill Country never cease to surprise and amaze me. The hunting adventure and the thrill of the find are what attracts teens through seniors year after year.”

Planning a day trip or a weekend excursion is just a click away at EstateSales.Net. There you will find a list with pictures of current and upcoming sales, easily found by zip code or town. Be sure to hit an ATM machine, not all sales take credit cards, check your list, and start out early. The ‘good stuff’ goes on day one, but the “best deals” happen on day three.

Here are a few things to keep an eye out for – along with what to shy away from.

Furniture

Estate Sale Furniture - Ford Bench

Photo: Karen Fields Musters

Texas furniture – tables of all kinds, bedroom sets, and outdoor living furniture are excellent buys.

Vintage furniture – cabinets, wardrobes, and sideboards go for half the price of antique stores.

Shy away from upholstered furniture – bed bugs or fleas? Just saying. And appliances, well they’re like that box of chocolates…you never know what you’re going to get. Remember, there is no such thing as a “money back guarantee” when estate shopping, so make your own decision.

Dishes, Silverware, and Linens

Estate Sale - Silverware

Photo: Karen Fields Musters

Tableware – dishes, glassware, and china, whether you’re looking to replace a broken piece or add a few place settings, exist in abundance and are generally a steal.

Silverware – sterling silver or flatware, ornate or plain, by the piece or in sets, can be bought for a fraction of the price in retail stores.

Linens – tablecloths to napkins, placemats to potholders are plentiful. Martha Stewart…eat your heart out.

Collectibles, Tools, and Jewelry

Estate Sale - Collectibles

Photo: Karen Fields Musters

Knick-knacks and objects d’art – curiosities, gimmicks, and whatnots surround you in every room, at every turn, at every house. Artwork from far and near can be purchased for mere pennies on the dollar in comparison to galleries.

Men – head to the garage for tools, tools, and more tools. Need I say more?

Ladies – head to the jewelry table for gold and silver, diamonds and pearls, and oodles of costume jewelry.

The Whole Experience

Estate Sale - Oma's Secret Garden in New Braunfels

Photo: Karen Fields Musters, Oma’s Secret Garden in New Braunfels

Midway through your day, take a short lunch break. Cruise into the local drive-thru or, better yet, bring a picnic lunch then head back out because the shopping doesn’t shut down until 4 p.m.

And the fun doesn’t stop then, oh no, far from it. Make your way to the nearest town square for “Happy Hour,” Hill Country style. Imagine sitting back on an outdoor patio with a wine cooler or sweet iced tea in one hand and the one-of-a-kind treasure you’ve been looking for forever in the other.

You and several others strike up a conversation and, before you know it, you’re in the middle of an estate sale junkie pow-wow. Everyone exchanging the scoop and the skinny of their day, all the while, planning and plotting the next day’s junket. Debt, death, divorce and downsizing may fuel estate sales but a good way to look at it is repurposing once needed and loved relics that might otherwise have become dumpster food. Happy Hunting!