Estate Sales are Easy, however……

I grew up in a peaceful organized household, thus setting up an estate sale with all the organizing that’s needed, comes easily for me.

However, when I handle hoarders sales, it’s a bit tricky.  In that, each hoarder has their own way of hoarding.  Some just add piles and piles all over the home of things they like or purchase items because it’s on sale.  Others seek out special toys, coins etc that may be of value in their later years.  It’s extremely relative to whomever is hoarding.

Last year I handled a huge sale in the city.  The owners, now in their eighties, needing medical assistance finally moved into an assisted living establishment.  My sale took place over one weekend, as usual.  On Sunday’s sale date, the owner called me sixteen-times to inform me of what they didn’t want sold!  Mind you, we set aside many items throughout our setup for family to pick up and take to them.  Each call the owner very politely said Victoria this is….honey, please don’t sell the planters out back.  Please don’t sell the metal chairs out back. Please don’t sell the tea cups, the broken chair out back – we just love it!  (Note each item called about was broken, rusted or just no use to anyone any longer nor were they able to repair it at this juncture in their life).  I don’t recall each request, however the requests were always for something that no longer could serve them or anyone else.

Another sale housed tons and tons of salable items, however the owner needed to sell the home and told me to give it away and that she didn’t care what it brought.  However, I had to pay my help and make an income. The fact that she told me to give it away helped me considerably!  This comment allowed me to set up the thousands upon thousands of items without taking hours and hours to price it after set up, which she agreed to.  This enabled me to purge all items via verbal pricing each sale day.


Before setup of the family room

Customers love these types of sales, as do I.  Thus, this sale became a bag and pile-it-up sale.  Goodness, the customers flowed in, happy to rummage through the now organized lot.  Each one carried up an armload of items from the basement, which pleased me and the homeowner.  Meaning she wouldn’t have to hire workers to do what these paying customers were doing, ridding her very full home of all she and her partner bought and carried in over the years.


After set up-floors are visible!

She was very pleased.  Of course, these type of sales don’t always bring in big bucks, however handling sales like these, are a blessing to each client that needs all items out to sell their home swiftly and move to a smaller place.

Another hoarders estate housed so many items in it’s over 5000 square foot home that it certainly was overwhelming!  When I’m commissioned to handle these types of sales, I pause, take it in, then begin silently figuring out how to set it up.  How many sales will it take?  This one housed many many toys in original packaging.  From experience, I knew I’d have to take two weeks to set it up, research and sell only the toys on one or two weekends, then sell the remainder contents, one of the following weekends.  They wholeheartedly agreed as they were perplexed as to how to get rid of everything.  This turned out to be the best sale I had that year!

I make Estate Sales Easy for those that scale down and for those that have lost a loved one.

estate-sales-made-easy-new-cover-hay-house-nailed-it-1-4-2017My book, Estate Sales Made Easy, is now on Amazon for pre-purchasing at: Estate Sales Made Easy

The hard copy comes out late summer 2017!  I’m so excited!  It’s published by the same publisher that publishes Chicken Soup for the SoulHay House publishing.  With an eBook coming out first!  Some time in the mix a live Webinar and a Radio show coming, dates/times to be announced.

Check it out!  Not only is this a how-to begin a business guide like mine, but it includes stories of energies I see, feel and often times hear within each estate.  Note the sparkle within the letter A denoting something more…..

Watch for more books on this subject, which also includes the stories each house offers up….

Victoria Gray



Kindness….pays it’s way!

Last weekend at an enormous tool/estate sale a kind lady named Betty came up to the checkout table loaded with goods to purchase.

Betty, back in March of this year thanked me for my kind words within the estate sale notices.  I asked her which words she liked.  She said you always add take care or be safe and no other estate sale company ever seems to care about their customers like you do!

I pondered her words, stood up, walked around my table and hugged her for the kindness of her compliment.

I do wish everyone a safe day or be safe till we meet at the sale.  It’s just my way.  I truly love my customers.  If not for them, my sales would not enable my livelihood, nor would I know the kindnesses they gift me in return.

Some, as mentioned in a previous post, state you’re the smiling estate sale lady.…and I love it!

You see, kindness goes a long way and yes it pays it’s own way via smiles, hugs and yes even with compensation.

When a business owner gets that one special feat, the business will soar!

My father’s barber business ran the same way.  So many walked into his shop happy even though it was standing room only, till he closed it at age 81.  Often he told me, honey I have the best job ever!  We laugh and cut up all day long and I get paid for haircuts and tips.  I just love my business. Because of his wonderful thriving business, he and mom took us on 2-week road trips every year I can remember in the late 50’s till I married in 1972.  Trips included the Smokey Mountains (at least a dozen times-this was where dad and mom honeymooned), to The Wisconsin Dells, to the Rocky Mountains, to Yankee Stadium 1957, to The Royal Gorge, to Niagara Falls and so many states in between.  All from the tips he saved each year!  I didn’t know then, but it was as if we were rich!

I have four children and have paid for numerous trips as well from estate sales and previously auctions to acknowledge what a grand gift our father gave us each year and the cost it entailed.

Last weekend, Betty with her hands full of goodies, asked how much?  I told her 30-dollars, however she handed me $40.  I said here’s your change.  She promptly said oh no, you get that as a tip.  You deserve it!  I just love you and how kind you are to everyone!  No, that’s yours!

I was taken back because tips are rarely given in this business until last Sunday.  Generally, it’s a thank you at the end of the sale by the homeowners or the real estate person who referred me.  But money, is usually spent on goods.

I’m pleased, that kindness pay’s it’s way!

Please show kindness to one and all.

Victoria name for blog posts 11-1-2015



Because I can

Blog large 300 dpi Victoria in Alaska-Estate Sales Made Easy-Cheryl Richardson and Victoria 8-2015

Since the beginning of time, women have been suppressed.  No doubt about that.

We plan out our strategies.  What will we do next to make our lives happier, safer and more peaceful?

The attitude, because I can, is something I’ve said often and live by.  Freeing and changing any suppression I may have previously had.

Monday, March 7th, I journaled this memory….

When I built my first house in 1997 and before we moved, my daughter Rachel, had a final party at my very nice 1950’s brick ranch.  Within that party a woman from a former church my family used to attend asked this puzzling question.  This house is so beautiful.  Why would you want to move?

My answer, because I can! 

When I calmly and matter-of-factly blurted that out, I felt exuberant.  Thinking, of course I can!  Why not?

Freeing this no-longer-suppressed-woman to accomplish whatever I desired!

Everyone can, if first we dream!  Then move forward building on that dream!

A dream of mine came true just this past Tuesday, March 8th!

I’ve been journaling for 20-years tenaciously every morning, creating 66 journals to date.  Within these pages spawned several books.  One of which is titled Estate Sales Made Easy, which is based on a 27-year business I own and run.

I attended five seminars for aspiring authors, from the Hay House publishing Alaskan cruise contest, August, 2015.  What an fabulous cruise aboard the Holland America, Noordam.  Then after submitting all the required information and a video for Estate Sales Made Easy to Hay House, I learned Tuesday, that I’m the one they chose to publish!  They added – “We’d like to publish your ebook, and have you do a radio show and live web event. “

Wow!  How’s that for thinking and writing, because I can!


Author Florence Scovel Shinn wrote a book titled The Game of Life, December 1925.  What an excellent read!  Full of her wisdom!  Here’s a few excerpts I live by.

“I now dig my ditches deep with faith and understanding and my heart’s desire comes to pass in a surprising way.”

“You attract the things you give a great deal of thought to.”

“I have seen the law work in the most astonishing manner. For example: A student stated that it was necessary for her to have a hundred dollars by the following day. It was a debt of vital importance which had to be met. I “spoke the word,” declaring, Spirit was “never too late,” and that the supply was at hand.  That evening she phoned me of the miracle. She said that the thought came to her to go to her safe-deposit box at the bank to examine some papers. She looked over the papers, and at the bottom of the box, was a new one hundred dollar bill. She was astounded, and said she knew she had never put it there, for she had gone through the papers many times. It may have been a materialization, as Jesus Christ materialized the loaves and fishes. Man will reach the stage where his “word is made flesh,” or materialized, instantly. “The fields, ripe with the harvest,” will manifest immediately, as in all of the miracles of Jesus Christ.”

“Getting into the spiritual swing of things is no easy matter for the average person. The adverse thoughts of doubt and fear surge from the subconscious. They are the “army of the aliens” which must be put to flight. This explains why it is so often, “darkest before the dawn.”

“When a student is able to let go of his problem (cast his burden) he will have instantaneous manifestation.”


I spoke and wrote the word of authoring my books with a huge publishing company of which many sloughed it off as if silently saying, yah sure.  But that old fire inside kept saying….because I can!  And so it is!

Follow your dreams….because YOU can!

Victoria name for blog posts 11-1-2015

WWII – Memories & Orbs

Last weekend I handled another wonderful estate sale.  Approximately 300 customers attended each of the two sale days.  The rooms filled with smiles, oohs and aahs as persons picked up this or that to purchase.  By 1 p.m. a kind gentle man of 88-years, who visits my sales often sat in a chair across from my checkout table.  His smile reminded me of my precious father, Victor, now gone.  Mr. Bob exudes the same vim, vigor and kindness my father had, which makes me feel my fathers presence.

Soon Bob began telling me stories of his time in the Navy during 1947-1948 in the Marshall Islands.  I jotted notes as his stories unfolded.  He spoke of  Kawajlein, Bikini Atoll, Likjep and other islands where nuclear weapon tests took place and how when one private in the same area spoke way too much and was escorted back to the US.  Bob sat silent, later learning the man who listened was there specifically to learn which men divulged info and who didn’t. He mentioned too, that many mornings his shoes were under water when the tide was up.  It was extremely interesting and caused me to reread part of The Ankle Express, a book I wrote about my father’s equally interesting Navy life.ANKLE EXPRESS BOOK COVER

My father’s Navy years from 1942-1944 as an armed guard aboard Merchant Marine carriers are shared in the book. His stories in the Solomon Islands, the European and Pacific theater’s, Australia and other ports of call are amazing! One of which included the Blitz while in Hull, England.  (Check out my Books page.)

Switching gears…..It’s amazing how life on the other side comes through.

When my father is with me, I see a gnat swirling around my face.  I know dad is there.  (Others, I’m told, see familiar signs specific to them and know a family member is with them too.) This day I saw the gnat only while Bob spoke of the Navy.  It made me mist up and wonder if others appreciate Bob’s stories as much as I do.  Bob was even amazed and thanked me for listening.  It was my pleasure without a doubt! I wonder too, how many diligently listened to my father’s stories perhaps as he cut their hair at his barber shop.  At any rate, his stories will never be forgotten, since I wrote his life history covering 385 pages.  He was so pleased one of his children took the time to interview him and completed the book before his last month on earth.  I salute you my precious father and Bob.  Keep those stories coming!

Also at this home….in a few pictures were many orbs!  In a conversation with the widower I told him of the photos and asked if his wife worked at that table, knowing she sewed.  One photo was of the large oval dining room table, which housed at least twenty orbs.   When this photo was taken I had no lights on nor were the window curtains open.  He paused looking at the table and somberly said, we had so many wonderful family dinners there with the kids and grand-kids.  Later LOTS OF ORBS ON TABLE he asked if I’d send he and his son the pictures via email.  Well, of course I said yes.

Later as I toured the slew of pictures I took for the sale, I saw orbs also over the twin beds in the basement.  A place where TWIN BEDS WITH ORBS!!!!!family often stayed when visiting, I was told.

I sent both pictures over.  The orbs are very visible and abound in both photos.

The son tells his father often, he sees things too, at his own home and will enjoy the pictures, stating how interesting it is to know his late wife and mother of his children was there.

So pay attention and tell your stories.  People really do want to hear or read them.

Who knows maybe one of your pictures shows a relatives orbs.

Check it out!

Victoria name for blog posts 11-1-2015

Are they Orbs or merely reflective circles?

I entered a plain 2-story red-brick building dubbed a church by it’s pastor of forty years and felt the calm that ensued inside.  While he showed me each floor including the basement I felt a calm feeling knowing that many stories were held within these walls.  Especially upon viewing the small 6′ X 8′ cement baptismal pool that stepped perhaps four feet underground.  It was painted a sea blue.

I envisioned many walking down the few steps into the pool of water, nervous perhaps but happy that they decided it was time for their baptism representing their closeness to their god.

I’d been invited to handle an estate sale of the pews, clergy chairs, bibles, baby grand piano, drums, mics etc.  As I walked about the first floor, I envisioned the choir  that rocked the walls with their spiritual songs, clapping, stomping their feet and vast smiles abounding.  The photo below shows orbs where these hallowed walls once rocked with songs of praise.

After viewing my photos, I decided to ask the pastor if some in the choir had since passed.  ‘Oh, yes, we’ve had many come and go.’  I didn’t ask names since I wasn’t there for an interviOLIVE STREET ORBS ABOVE THE CHOIR AND PIANOew.  I just nodded in sync with my thoughts and feelings.

I wanted to know what others thought about Orbs online and did a bit of research.  Thus I’ve added information from two of the many sites that interested me.

Wikepedia states many claim an orb in a photo is merely a flash from a near-camera reflection.

Then on a site entitled Loveto know.ghost/colors they state this about – White or Silver Orbs: Spiritually, white or silver is associated with spirituality and connection with a higher source. Some investigators believe orbs that are either white or silver in appearance are an indication that a spirit is trapped on this plane. It may also be a sign that the spirit is there to offer protection to the people in the area. White energy is typically perceived as highly positive in nature.

Blue Orbs: Blue is spiritually associated with psychic energy and truth. It is a very calming color, and many people associate it with spiritual guidance. Some people feel blue orbs are are sign of a calming presence or energy, while others feel they indicate the presence of a spirit guide in that location.

As you can see, my pictures have white and blue orbs.  I for one have come to believe that there is some sort of spiritual energy when my camera picks up an orb.  This photo TONS OF ORBS IN SECOND FLOOR WHERE TRANSIENTS STAYEDwas taken without a flash midday.  There were no shinny objects nearby for my camera to reflect off of, especially with no flash used.

The photo below was taken just a few minutes after.  MANY ORBS ON SECOND FLOOR ABOVE WORKERSThere was no glare from the window plus there were wood items causing no reflection as well.  Many orbs abounded in both of these photos.

November, 2015 my crew and I were on the second floor of a St. Louis city church.  A church started by a kind gentle man, now near eighty, who forty years prior had a dream to help others.  Thus he began this church.  In the late 1990’s, for five years he opened this second floor for homeless men.  He gathered fourteen twin sized beds of which twelve were always full.  Here he housed, fed and encouraged all to obtain jobs and attend meetings that could and would help some to full recovery.

When I saw these orbs, I asked him too, if any that he sheltered died during those years.  Sadly, he said “yes, I couldn’t help them all.”

I knew from these pictures that these orbs, to me, symbolized those that passed and held a connection to this once safe haven.  I also felt that they watched over all that entered this special meeting place on the floor below where many church pews, bibles  used to reside and a host of members that attended the services.  I felt these entities might possibly wonder where they should go next since the church is now closed.  I wanted to take time to tell them to go into the light or at least to release their connection to this place as it would be torn down next year.  But in my haste to handle the estate sale, I failed to take time to help them move on.

So instead of feeling poorly about not helping them move on, I decided to take with me the feeling that all is well.  To me they are a spiritual light and carry with them the kindness’s that this kind gentle man bestowed upon them while there.

I love estate sales for many reasons, but the best of the best is when I see a presence and in this case the orbs in the photos that encouraged me to ask more questions of what took place in this humble church.

I think and feel I have a duty to pay attention to my feelings and in this case the orbed photos.  By so doing, I may help some move into the transition of letting go of the physical gaining stories along the way.  Just like I do via estate sales, for those left behind when a relative or friend passes from their physical existence.

Victoria name for blog posts 11-1-2015


`Fall-back day’….

Every year, one day each year, we greet this special day, fall-back day.

Leaves are graciously changing color and drifting back down to earth to refresh till next spring.

I wonder….IF I could fall back, what would I do differently?  Ever wonder about that?  I’m sure you do.  Today, when I woke, I felt refreshed and renewed.  Yesterday gone, but did I do anything to prompt a better today, a better year?  Yes!

During these fall-back days I ponder.  Did I help this child too much or not enough?  What about my other babies, did I do too much or too little?  I’ll never really know, but I feel I’ve helped one and all my four babies, now grown adults, but always my babies to my fullest extent each day, each year!

At present I’m living with my youngest daughter Ashley and her fiance Doug.  Yesterday, I unpacked only some of my items as this change of pace is the beginning of another new page in my life’s journey, soon to relocate and soar further!  A new beginning that is changing the way I view items.  A refreshing cleanse that is similar to the estate sales I handle.  Yes, indeed it’s very similar.

Estate sales are a cleansing of a loved ones items.  A letting go.  Remembering of course, all the sweet and perhaps not-so-sweet memories of the one that left this life.  This I do on a regular basis while wondering why do I need this or that?  I must cleanse more.

This recent move encouraged me to gift items away and or throw out items that no longer suited my needs.  Less is always more.

What a cleansing this has been for me!  I’m now devoted to Self to keep it simple and move through these seasoned years with less baggage and more freedom of movement.

Within this free movement, the pact with Self is growing stronger.  I’ve done my due diligence, working, raising my babies mostly alone.  A course I’ve chosen without any remorse.

Now, all the books that have flown from this mind, out these fingertips and into my sixty-six journals to date, are bursting to bring forth their fruits.

Recently, I traveled the high seas seeking knowledge via an Alaskan authors cruise.  There I learned a host of new knowledge and an invite to submit my Estate Sales Made Easy book for publication.  This thrill, along with my recent cleansing of things has encouraged me to go as far as I can within the quest of writing.

Fall back, is just a note on the calendar along with all those what-if’s.

Cleanse my estate!

Raise higher and move forward!

Yes….another much more powerful note on the calendar.


Victoria name for blog posts 11-1-2015

The Arena & a St Louis Avenue estate

One hot summer day in 1991 I rode with my auctioneer in an old red beat up pickup truck to a home also in the same condition.  We’d won a bid via probate court to clean out any and all items that were salable and many were.  Since I knew in advance that the house had roaches, I opted to wear knee hi boots, a long sleeve blouse, jeans tucked into the boots and rubber gloves.  Heaven forbid, a baby roach would touch me!  Thankfully, I escaped undefiled!

The small white bacon grease smelling, disheveled, shingled 1930’s style house clearly stated, no almost screamed of a sadness that roamed about.  I recall feeling and envisioning a story-like sadness, where perhaps the mother cleaned nearby office buildings or took in laundry too tired to clean her home properly, when finally home from a hard days work.  Her hair possibly washed once per week, piled upon her head in a bun while wearing a dingy white rag like scarf dirty from each weeks work.  The father perhaps walked to and worked down the way at the carriage factory, on the other side of the hi-way, just making it by week after week.  Late in life the mother gave birth to a baby girl, the only child they had.  Sadly the baby girl, I was told, was a slow sort mentally, but ever so kind as were the parents.


The Arena – Post Dispatch archives

This daughter, when in her teens begged friends and her parents to chauffeur her via the local bus to the Arena (built in 1929-closed in 1994) when boxing stars and or country western siJack Dempsey memorbilia 1991 001nger’s came into town.  There, I was told she’d lean up against the stage, beg for signatures, like many, to be placed on the free pictures given to all as they entered the Arena.  She apparently went often gathering quite a mound of signed pictures, of which I kept.  Here’s a signed postcard by Jack Dempsey 1957 and a pair of advertising size boxing gloves he signed…..pretty cool!

The auctioneer had no problem digging in the mounds of smelly householdShirley Temple creamer from the St Louis AVe house 1991 items.  One of the finds were many cobalt blue small pitchers advertising Shirley Temple, the sweet singer/tap dancer that I and the masses fell in love with.  And watched on the silver screen and or TV during my years.

As the auctioneer pulled items out, I’d wash them at the large white porcelain sink, making darn sure I never touched the sink with my body.  No, no roaches bothered the sink, but many scurried away as we walked about and he searched.  Each time I washed an item, I carried it to the truck to pack it for our future sale.

You might wonder why I’d take on such a horrific job.  Well, I had and have four children and by golly I’d do whatever it took to take care of my babies even if once in a while the estate was a falling down, smelly old place filled with valuable vintage items.  Yep, I’d do it and did, proudly so!

I never know what treasures and stories await me when commissioned with each estate sale.  Two weeks from now I’m handling a St. Louis city 2-story red bricked church.  What will I unfold then?

Victoria Signature 9-17-15

Cardboard barrels….

This estate was interesting because here I felt a calmness of energy.

MR and MRS at Green Slope pic 2007 OVAL FRAMEAnd I learned from the lawyer handling this estate that the Mr. & Mrs. were without children and loved to travel. The fact that they traveled often was instantly confirmed when I found a host of luggage from various time periods.luggage at Green Slope ES 2007

Also, in the basement I found these cardboard barrels, which held various blankets and clothing, which brought back a childhood memory. Green Slope cardboard barrels 2007 OVAL PIC

The neighbor lady down our lane every single spring held her four children captive for a few hours instructing them to change out their winter clothing for the previously stored spring/summer items and house them in like barrels, which I found odd. Why, because my mother always hung up our clothing into the tiny closets and or our chest of drawers in our 2-bedroom bungalow home in St. Louis County.

During these 26+years of estate sales, I figured out the reason for the barrel storage in many homes. Homes in the early nineteen hundreds barely had one closet as opposed to the mass amount of closets we now have in our homes. Also, from the research for my fashion shows over the years, taught me that ladies rarely had an endless supply of clothing like today, thus little need for large closets.  And the fact that no one even knew what a charge card was back then to purchase numerous clothing like today.

Barrels indeed, made a great deal of sense!