A few little hard earned tips to share 🙂
Adopt a really mean black cat who vomits all over your house and always seeks out your newest home decor addition to sit on and ruin with his black hair.
Prior to a furniture delivery, ask a woman if she has any stairs and when the answer is “no” show up with a dresser that is heavier than a baby grand and proceed to take it up 3 flights of turning stairs anyway because you are too shy to confront her. Oh, and end up injuring your back in the process.
Have a customer from California order a large piece and then say they won’t pay more than $200 in shipping. It will disappear for a few days along the way as your cheap shipper is not going to be the most reliable and likely stopped to get his kicks on Route 66.
While in your living room, decide to drill new holes into drawer fronts for new pulls and proceed to drill holes all the way through the drawers into your hardwood floors.
Crouch down to check out the bottom of an old desk while a thrift store worker holds the desk top up over your head. It hurts when he lets go and it crashes down on your skull.
Take all of the screws and pulls out of an old dresser, go to make dinner, and return. No matter how careful you are, how you have meticulously remembered exactly where you put them, ONE screw will be missing.
Purchase a piece of furniture off Craigslist from a bad part of town. Upon arrival, smell a strange odor from the doorway of the apartment which is opened by a hoodie wearing woman with bad teeth and acne. Immediately suspect that Jesse from Breaking Bad is around the corner in the bedroom. Probably not safe.
Leave a gorgeous piece behind because you don’t know how to get it home. Where there is a will, there is a way. Always remember that.
Pay over $150 for a piece. Lately everyone (including thrift stores and estate sales) in possession of anything over 10 years old now believe they are the proud owners of expensive antiques that Leigh and Leslie would covet. Remember your bottom line.
Decide to write a blog because you will make tons and tons of money from it 😉
Adopt a lovely little schnauzer and protect him from the long talons of the mean black cat.
Make connections with local furniture delivery men and call them for deliveries of super heavy loads. If the customer won’t pay, have them make arrangements for pickup.
For long distance deliveries, make it clear that it actually does cost more than $50 to ship a ginormous sideboard from Maryland to Idaho. If the customer won’t pay, return their money and re-list it.
Create a workspace in your home that has easy access to the garage or wherever you store your furniture. Try to keep it organized and put a box in there that you can quickly throw your business receipts into so you are not scrambling at tax time to find them inevitably all scrunched up in your purse or car.
Have a friend (in my case my mother) who will tell you honestly if a piece is worth the money or not and to sound ideas off on. It is great to have a second opinion sometimes.
Don’t overthink a piece. Go with your first instinct and it likely will be the right one. It is easy to sit and ponder all of the colors of the rainbow but your first instinct is typically the best. You will end up repainting and repainting until you are back to the beginning anyway.
Trust your gut on Craigslist. If you get a funny feeling, skedaddle. Or, bring a big, scary friend along for pickup.
Purchase a large crockpot so at the end of the day your family are not asking you, “What’s for dinner?” while you are covered in paint and exhausted.
Start a blog to share your ideas and make new friends. There is nothing better than to share your work and receive positive feedback from others who actually take time out of their busy day to comment. The Best.
ha ha! i love this! and my rule is not to pay more than 60. 🙂
Great advice and your poor head!
I am wiping away the tears from laughing….I am sooo guilty of many of these “dont’s” (except for the cat) I learned THAT a long long time ago. I am definitely a “dog only” person. Taking a break from my own furniture painting projects for my flea market and so happy that I took the time to read today’s blog. !!! Funny and sooo true. There is so awfully good advice here :). Being a furniture flipper too, my limit to spend has always been $100. But NOW…I want one of those large china cabinets…the frenchy, curvy legged ones with glass doors. Here in Missouri, most items sell cheap, even after painting. That is great for buying, but not for selling. The exception seems to be those china cabinets. I have watched craigslist for months, and they are always high…ranging from $350 to $900 !!!! Yikes !!! What is up with that ?? anyone else seeing the same thing in your area ? When you set your $$ limit (Suzanne’s is $150…Cassie’s is $60…) do ya’ll make an exceptions for certain pieces like a china cabinet ?
Hi Karen, I actually set the limit at $150 for the large pieces like a china cabinet. I won’t pay that for a dresser. I just cannot get over how high the prices have become on old furniture. I also love the french, curvy cabinets but they are hard to find and especially at a decent price! By the time you buy it for $300 and put labor and paint into it, you will be out of profit. Whatever happened to good old thrift stores, anyway?! Good luck on your search and keep checking Craigslist every morning, afternoon and night till you find it! It’s out there 🙂
Yes, I will keep looking for sure. I am like an ole hound lookin for a bone !!! And also….thanks for almost makin me pee my pants while reading today’s post. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. We all need to do that more often. Thanks !
Seriously one of my favorite post of all time! I love this and your honesty SO much. You made my entire day!
Thanks for the tips….very helpful…..Oh….I have a very mean black cat….It came to live with me when Mom went into a nursing home…..otherwise, black cat would have found a new home by now…..that’s been since 2007….
Oh, Charlotte – nooooo! I am so tired of our cat but can’t do anything about it. I can’t give him up as it is cruel. He is so mean my kids cross the hallway to walk around him. He hides under the ottoman in the family room and attacks anyone’s poor feet that unfortunately come too close! He really should be in a barn somewhere happily killing mice and vermin. Oh, well. What can one do?!
Three words…..clever, smart and witty! This post kills me! Doubled over laughing. If I ever attempt to pick-up furniture from “Jesse’s” hood …. slap me. That pretty nuke that needs a little something cute isn’t worth it. Hahaha!!!
Very funny post. I can relate to everything you said right down to the evil cat. I inherited my daughters cat when her husband refused to take him to their new home. There must be a rescue center somewhere for deranged animals. You are so talented. I look forward to your posts the info you share with us is awsome.
Great post. I’m still laughing about it. Love how you keep it real.
You hit the nail on the head on all points! I can relate to all of them, even the cat, except mine is a tabby and likes to pee in the laundry room at night for some reason. It doesn’t ruin the furniture, but it takes up precious painting time to clean it. On the furniture prices-why does Goodwill think that a ratty, broken down dresser is worth $200? Who prices these things? And estate sales…..they want the price that you would charge for a fully restored, painted piece. Really? Yardsales have been my best bet. Thanks for making me laugh today.
My grammar is not up to par early in the morning, so please forgive my faux pas.
This genuinely made me LOL! Can relate to all of it! I even have the mean cat! Here in Australia it is practically impossible to find quality furniture to makeover, and then when you do spend hours working on it, people want it for next to nothing!! That’s my rant at the moment!
love your blog and your work..inspiring!
What a GREAT post Suzanne. I can totally relate to many of these Do’ and Don’t and because I ‘so-get-it’… it gave me a good few laughs. Have a fabulous weekend. <3
I love it! What a fantastic post 🙂 I totally agree that everyone and their brother is now trying to charge an arm and a leg for old furniture, no matter how ugly and terrible it is. I’m sharing a link to a funny article I read online a week or so ago about this very topic. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brie-dyas/open-letter-to-craigslist_b_2994760.html
Hi Melanie – great link! I got a real kick out of it!
Great read and it mirrored my life in so many ways. My rule is: if I can double the amount spend, go for it!
And that you keep your beautiful smile through it all! Very nice writing. Thank you for the smile I’m starting my day with!
First time reading your blog. Found it perusing MMS Friday Furniture Feature. After reading I thought I like this woman. Boy, can I relate! Except for the mean black cat story. I am allergic! Very funny and insightful! Now I have a new blog to read!
This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. You’re “murphy’s law” applies to the clothing alterations trade, too. Never say yes to someone who wants you to hem a “simple” dress for a wedding the day after tomorrow because she will show up at your door with 3 of her friends and the “simple hem” turns out to be, “oh, by the way, this dress is a size 16 and I wear a 6, can you do anything about that?”
Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.
What a fun post Suzanne! I guess we learn a lot of lessons along the way! I just say no to long distance shipping. And I’m very selective about really large china cabinets. I’ve done a bunch and as much as I love painting them, they are so difficult to move (or maybe I’m just getting old). And oh yes, EVERYTHING is old and valuable and the seller is always giving you a great deal – not!
Great&funny post, I would like to have a cup of coffee/tea with you and talk some more 🙂
Loved your post! I hope Sophie is feeling better soon. What a pretty little girl!
Thank you so much Rosemary!
Great post. Suzanne is my daughter and I am very proud of her.
It is very strange that china cabinets are so expensive these days because young women don’t have “good” china anymore and so many houses being built don’t even have separate dining rooms to keep them in. And people think twice anyway, even if they need one and find it, because they are so big and heavy to move. You would think they would practically give them away to get rid of them Very odd.
Most excellent and funny post, Suzanne, even to my totally sleep-deprived brain. I am sorry to hear about your daughter, I hope that she is feeling better now; hope you both get some rest. Cheers, Ardith
You are comical. That photo of your daughter is stunning. Hope you have it blown up and framed in a prominent place in your home. Isn’t it funny how the most casual photos turn out the best. My husband took one of our five year old picking dandelions and snapped as she was looking up. It’s one of my favourites.
Super post! And so true….I had so carefully removed the screws and hardware from a true antique armoire and when ready to put it all back together could not find one tiny nail. It was a crucial piece. Next day I found it stuck to the bottom of my slipper on a piece of scotch tape. LOL
You were so lucky to find it! I cannot count the number of times I have lost a piece of hardware. So annoying and yet happens all the time. You know the saying – if my head wasn’t screwed on, I would lose it too lol!
Love your post and really entertaining,which if everybody lives where it is cold and dreary we can use some entertainment.
Call the Cat Whisperer guy on The Animal Planet! He’ll get your mean cat whipped into shape! Actually, I think he gets the owners whipped into shape to accommodate the cat! 🙂 Great post, btw! You always have wonderful tips and great advice!
We are all very whipped into shape by the cat. He rules the house – no joke. We all – including the dog – tread very gingerly around his royal highness for fear of being clawed or bitten. He really is not nice. However, he fits somehow and the kids will always remember their childhood cat – the mean Baxter 🙂
Thank you so much for this! I am learning, but I’m one of those people who likes to learn from OTHER’s mistakes. No need at all to make them myself! No, no, no! All very valuable information. Thanks Suzanne. 🙂 PS STILL haven’t chosen a name! Aaaagh!
Yes, read along and you will learn a LOT lol! Don’t think so hard about the name. Go with your gut 🙂
I love this post! Hope your baby feels better. I am afraid you might need to get rid of that old cat. I agree that prices are getting insane. I go to estate sales a lot, and in the last year or so, it has gotten ridiculous. They were asking 900 for a scuffed up buffet two weeks ago, because although it was a high end piece, it definitely showed a good bit of wear and tear. Another high end dresser for 450 was still sitting there at the end of the sale, and the markdown was not even half. The whole thing is getting weird.
It is totally getting weird. I think I am going to write a post about it all. $900 is just plain crazy.
I don’t know whether to laugh with you or cry for you at the “Don’ts”. I can totally relate! Love this post.
Spot on and hysterical!! My one and ONLY CL purchase I brought my hubs along. He stayed by the car as the man brought me around to the side of his house, through a gate to the backyard and then opened a LOCKED shed!!!!!!!!!!! If my husband hadn’t been close I would have hauled it out of there!!! 🙂
I would have taken off too (unless I spotted a gorgeous old sideboard in the shed. I may risk my life for one of those lol)! Our husbands think we are nuts 🙂
chris aka monkey
hope sophie feels better soon and i chuckled my rear off xx
Great advice. Your daughter is beautiful, hope she feels better very soon.
Thank you Debbie! Glad you enjoyed the post!
Love your blog! you are so funny, and I look forward to seeing you in my mail box! I love to paint furniture, and have my LLC Miss Elsa Mae . I am a vendor in a great shop in Hudson, Wi. The shop called Farmhouse Inspired, and I am having so much fun, doing what I love to do! I feel blessed! Thanks for making me laugh out loud, and bringing happy smiles, when I am reading what you have posted!
Thank you SO much Barbara and the best of luck to you and your shop. I love the name! My eldest daughter is Ella and my youngest’s middle name is May. Very similar!
Poor Sophie! That’s a beautiful pic, hope she’s smiling soon. And I’m with everyone else. I laughed all through the dont’s and great tips too. The prices at our local thrift shop are all over the place too, but 100% of the profit goes to a battered women’s organazation and its all volunteer work. ❤️☀️
Yes, that is true. At least I can feel good that I am donating some money to a good cause. I don’t mind paying if the piece is a good one but they are asking ridiculous prices for total junk and that is maddening. Thanks so much about Sophie – she is better today and home in the warm!
That reminds me of the time I went to pick up a dresser in a bad part of town, the man that answered the door looked like Freddy Krueger, there was a stuffed owl hanging from the ceiling, and of course the dresser was in his basement. I was stupid enough to go ahead and follow him downstairs, but made sure he was under it as we carried it up (in case anything went wrong I could let go!) I made it out ok, but when I got home realized the inside back of the dresser was full of black mold!
Funny story! We do stupid things sometimes, don’t we? I am really careful now about Craigslist. Keep hearing awful stories in the news. Good thinking to make him carry the bottom lol! Sorry about the mold – did you bleach it? I bleach and then use a super strong primer to kill it. I had a very old cabinet once that had mold on it and that did the trick.
I hope your granddaughter is feeling better soon.
Thank you so much. She is my daughter and I do sincerely appreciate your kindness 🙂