Small Home, Big Savings




Today’s a beautiful spring day in Chicagoland- 50 with light clouds. Perfect day for a 45 minute drive to Lake Bluff for a sale- what’s 45 minutes when you have 7 episodes of S-Town to catch up on anyway?

Admittedly, getting to the Northshore of Chicagoland is not easy. But once you live here, you’re lucky enough to be within so many of the highlights of Chicago. Great beach access, you can still live within walking distance to boutiques and coffee shops, and my personal favorite- EVERYONE owns dogs. Then there are also the highlights that are rare while living in the city, including the beautiful estates. Forty five minutes often seems as though no time has passed when you travel through this oversized dollhouse museum. No two homes look alike; every home, park, garden is so well kept and each structure has clearly held the test of time. This population not only has the money to hire impeccable gardeners, but its clear they take pride in the beauty of their homes.

Despite driving through multimillion dollar estates, golf courses, and the incredible spring bloom, I was still hesitant to justify an hour and a half round trip for one sale. Thankfully, the trip would not prove disappointing.

Despite the open streets, I had to park a block away to get to this home. Keep in mind, I had had a late start to the day, and the sale had opened three hours prior to my arrival. So many people were still trailing into this 3 bedroom, one level home! Today was the first day of their sale; I wonder what the line had been like upon its opening.

This was the first time I had been to a sale put on by Sheridan Estates and I was enchanted. Despite the long line of cars I didn’t need a ticket to enter, and upon going inside everything was thoroughly organized, priced, and my finds for the day were better than I could have imagined.

Sometimes, when you go into a sale, organization is admittedly poor. Some items aren’t priced. Some items you pick up may not be for sale at all. Some items are thrown into a bin to look through, which I personally think is the worst. Who has time for that? And who would want to hand pick through someone else’s things? To me that has a recipe for scabies written all over it.

To my delight, Sheridan Estates doesn’t do any of these no-nos, and this sale was no different. Everything was either ticketed or there were large laminated signs designating price ranges. Since today was day two of the sale, most items were marked 50% off, which was well displayed before you even walked in the front door.

Initially walking through the foyer and into the living room, many of the items for sale were big ticket items- leather couches, Ethan Allen woodwork, a grandfather clock, and so on. As an apartment dweller, I salivate over these findings but am also logical- I just don’t have the space for them now, and am generally shopping for smaller items on these trips.

As I walking into the reading room, I almost couldn’t believe she was still there! I had seen her picture on, but was certain she’d be long gone by day two of the sale. Hanging behind a white button up blouse, a size 4 plaid Burberry skirt called to me. A little long for my taste, with some obvious wrinkling set in, but after four years of Catholic high school, you know those are minor flaws to fix. The attendant showed me to the bathroom to try her on. The skirt was actually quite complicated- a belt loop laid on each of my hips, and the fabric crossed over itself like a men’s bath towel before the belt loops could fasten. I looked up into the mirror- I had found my glass slipper.

skirt BB

The skirt was initially priced at $95, but it would be half off today with the 50% discount. I spoke with the attendant, who agreed that the skirt needed a good hem, cleaning, and two minor flaws fixed that I hadn’t noticed before trying it on. She offered it to me for $20 to take it today. SOLD.

The attendant started a box at the front door me as I perused the rest of the house. The house itself is actually my dream home- 3 bedrooms, one level, a garage, and a large kitchen with a 6 foot long island, lit with plenty of natural light. The kitchen was full of appliances, dish ware, china sets, and a gold plated silverware set I wish I had picked up for décor purposes alone. Pots, pans, and decorations picked up from an obvious love for Hawaiian travel. From the kitchen alone I picked up a small steel manatee figurine, a heavy metal mixing bowel I’d been looking for, a measuring spoon set (don’t you always end up feeling like you could use an extra set during batch days?), a funny birthday card, and a beautiful wooden bowl shaped like a pineapple. Perfect for the next time I entertain!

So many people were in line I had to wait a few minutes to check out. I noticed something special about the company at this point. There were multiple payment options, which is not common for other estate sales I’ve previously seen. I had already hit the ATM earlier, but I could have chosen to pay by credit card or even venmo. I can understand why credit card may be a pain, but venmo seems relatively easy and I imagine more companies will pick this sensible trend up in the future.

I stepped up to pay, and the saleswoman carefully added up my total:

Handmade manatee- $1

Pineapple bowl- $2

Teaspoon set- $1

Birthday card – $0.25

Burberry skirt- $20

Mixing bowl- $1

Grand total- $25.25

For comparison purposes, let’s estimate what I would have paid had I paid full price for all of this:

Steel Manatee figurine- $10

Pineapple bowl- $20 (not including shipping from Hawaii)

Teaspoon set- $5

Card- $4

Burberry skirt- $375 (although when looking at the current Burberry site, this signature plaid skirt isn’t even currently available anymore)

Mixing bowl- $12

Grand total- $426

I saved a minimum of $400.75 from ONE sale today.

I love when people try to argue shopping second hand on days like today. The amount spent, plus the originality of the pieces I bought today cannot be duplicated. I cannot wait to show you the before and afters of the Burberry skirt from today’s purchases. Until next time…


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