Behind every yard sale find is a really good story.

You know.

The one where you walk 2.5 miles backward through the snow to an abandoned farmhouse barn full of vintage finds where the owner inherited the barn from his great uncle and just wants to get rid of everything and prices it all for a quarter.

And you gleefully run out of the barn with your arms full of finds and take them home and dust them off and swipe away the cobwebs and repurpose and reimagine them into treasures that look like the pilgrims personally carried them to your house straight off the Mayflower.

The dust might be done.

The cobwebs might be banished.

But the story remains.

This is my yard sale find.

I picked it up last week.

A friend of mine called me and told me that a friend of her friend had just started working on a house in a small town about 45 minutes away from here.  He was completely remodeling it from top to bottom and it was full of bric a brac and knick-knacks and vintage finds and the occasional piece of furniture and he was selling everything.  He wanted it all gone.

Did I want to go see it with her?

Was I interested?


Please, girl.

You had me bric a brac.

We drove through the winding country roads.

Over hill.

Over dale.

Until at last we arrived at our destination.

The house was a little rough around the edges.  As in almost falling over.  As in the porch was almost gone.  As in I walked across a single beam over pieces of plywood and loose gaps and open porch just to make it in the front door.

And oh the sight that awaited my eyes.



It was the house that time forgot.

There were stacks of frames and boxes and old cabinets and mirrors and the most amazing butcher block kitchen island with industrial attachments.

And then?

I rounded the corner to see this.

I know, right?

Did you sigh a little when you scrolled down?

Oh, good.  Me, too.

The dresser didn’t look like this when I found her.  She was covered with Precious Moments.  And old vases.  And dried flowers.  And boxes of ribbon and pieces of long ago flyers and newspapers.

Could I take the dresser home?

Should I take the dresser home?

Tentatively I approached it and swiped away the cobwebs.

And reached out my hand.

And grabbed the door handle.

And slowly, carefully, with a little bit of tugging, I opened the door.




And backed away so far and so fast I almost brought the entire collection of Precious Moments down with me.

I don’t know what it was.

I don’t really care.

All I know is that there was a nest in the drawer of tiny pieces of paper and napkins and paper towels and something had rented space in the dresser drawer.

I never saw my friend from the dresser drawer again.

We swiped out the nest and took the dresser and loaded it into the truck and drove it home and this weekend we cleaned every nook and cranny and sanded it slightly and restored the finish with a stain and wiped it all down and buffed it all up.

Just in case you were wondering?  I bleached the drawer and sanded it down and I’ve removed any traces of its previous furry owners.

And now?

The dresser is closed for business.

It’s not renting drawers anymore.

PS  Here’s one of my favorite yard sale finds of all time.

And look what I found in a yard sale drawer here.

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  1. Image for Debby Daniels Debby Daniels

    Love this story. I once found an old quilt. It was carefully folded and I was in a hurry. I didn’t shake it out. I placed it lovingly on the quilt rack in my living room and prepared for a baby shower that I was hosting the following day. Wait for know what will happen next. Someone at the shower picked up the quilt to inspect it more closely (who picks up quilts at other people’s homes without asking???). Out hopped a mouse that scampered throughout the living room. Multiple morals of the story.....always shake out old textiles before purchase, don’t place old textiles lovingly on quilt racks without careful inspection, NEVER let guests pick up old quilts for additional inspection, and finally.....don’t host baby showers when mice might be present (unless it is a shower for the mouse, and in that case, show it the old textile on the quilt rack).

    1. Image for susan 0sborne susan 0sborne

      Oh, so funny and all too familiar, lol. Thanks for sharing, I do know that evil little bedbugs can hide for over 2 years, just nicely tucked in the corner of a wooden dresser, or behind the workings of an antique clock. Or a lovely upholstered piece.

  2. Image for Kris Kris

    I remember Precious Moments figurines! It's funny how you can know what era you are looking at by the bric-a-brac available. Your new-to-you dresser is absolutely gorgeous--worth looking under the dust (and scaring away critters!).

  3. Image for Carrie Carrie

    meant to be! Nest and all. Beautiful and so glad she's home with you to love and cherish. Now you can fill her with all your own 'precious moments' !

  4. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    Oh wow......such a beautiful piece!!! You know we are all curious how much the owner let you have it for.....??? And if he gave you a discount because of the “furry friend”!?! Such a great find.......thanks for sharing!

  5. Image for KATHY Brangwynne KATHY Brangwynne

    What an old beauty!!..Great Find!!..We have wonderful estate sales sales here in Massachusetts, where I have found some treasures!!..Just bought an Ethan Allen couch last month and had it delivered to my home for under $200 !!!!..Last day of sales are the discounts!!

  6. Image for alda ellis alda ellis

    this is a treasured find....PLEASE don't paint it! I see you as ahead of the trend in everything being white and neutral..."this too shall pass"....this bow front dresser is just gorgeous, and perfect for your home...hugs!

  7. Image for karen karen

    That is awesome piece of furniture and don't you just love when a new treasure has a story to go along with it!! Happy week to you...

  8. Image for Jenifer Jenifer

    KariAnne, that is beautiful! Congrats on a fab find!! I have a serious question - how do you determine whether a great find at an estate sale or vintage market needs to go home with you?? I seem to not be able to discern ‘need v want’! Any wisdom for me?

  9. Image for Stacey @ Poofing the Pillows Stacey @ Poofing the Pillows

    That was a winner of a find! Now that little mouse is running around wondering where her condo went! :)

  10. Image for Jayne McLeod Jayne McLeod

    oh how i simple love your stories (and your finds of course) ... may i please come garage sale shopping with you some Sat. morning , it would be such great fun !!! (seeing you jump and hearing you scream would have be pretty funny too !!!!!!!!!!!) Have yourself a wonderful day and thank you once again for the laugh. Jayne

  11. Image for Linda Miller Linda Miller

    Years ago I inherited a pie safe from our family that was in rough shape and needed to be refinished. In the back was a hole where a mouse had chewed through the wood, and someone had covered it with a piece of tin from the top of a tin can. They asked me if I wanted the hole repaired, and I left the tin in place...part of the history of the piece. (But I'm glad you didn't keep the mouse nest! lol) Great story and laugh for this rainy Monday! Beautiful piece!

  12. Image for Laura Harrie Laura Harrie

    KariAnne, I love your yard sale stories. We went this past Saturday and tried to find this one street, which they placed the sign in the wrong spot for direction you should be going. What were they thinking, at least we got to see some lovely homes. By the time we found the actual location, a good mile plus away, there as this tiny table and I knew I had found the perfect plant table! After my husband repaired a leg I began the cleaning and sanding process. This had gum, candle wax and stickers on it. I applied Linen chalk paint and waxed it and now lovely plant rests on top!

  13. Image for Ann C Ann C

    Ok just re-read the post about your favorite garage sale find, and wondering what you did, said, or offered to get them to sell something they hadn’t intended to sell? Let alone the fact is was full of stuff! I love garage sales but am trying to downsize as I get older. And furniture is my weakness. Good to have a good sized car. I have one similar I may try using in a different place. Always thought it had to be in a bedroom.

  14. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I sucked in my breath involuntarily and my eyes got a wee bit wider the moment I scrolled down to the first picture. Just beautiful! My thought is that everyone and everything wants to feel needed. And then, when there is a purpose, even if its a re-purpose, there is beauty -- from the very, very newest to the oldest of old. You found the perfect new setting for this lovely piece.

  15. Image for RW RW

    Thank you for not painting that beautiful, gorgeous wood grain. Superb job spiffing it up so it glows! I had an unexpected frog jump out at me once; screaming ensued, not saying whose.

  16. Image for kathy kathy

    I love, love, love that piece! I also love your yard sale find stories. Was that the only thing you bought or did you find other treasures? It seems like I will find absolutely nothing or fifty-eleven things and have to make choices.

  17. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    haha, it's perfect! Glad you evicted the previous occupant and brought it home. What a beauty! What a great friend. I never seem to stumble over anything like that here. What else did you get?

  18. Image for Nita Nita

    Beautiful beautiful chest. I love the detail on it and it fits perfectly in that spot. Now, I went to a previous post about another chest and you found the plat. It's going to be gorgeous framed and on your wall. The picture you painted and had stretched on canvas? It's beautiful as well. I must have missed that post since I'm a newbie here on your site.

  19. Image for PJ PJ

    I'm so jealous. I never see things like that at the yard sales I go to. I honestly think where you live has a lot to do with what kind of stuff people are getting rid of. Now, don't tell me you got it for $25. I'll feel even worse. Enjoy. It's a beauty. (thanks for the info on the tile)

  20. Image for Rebecca Ransick Rebecca Ransick

    What a beauty! Is it in your master bedroom? Lovely curtains in that nook, can you tell me about them, and the rod, curved? The room looks beautiful!


    KariAnne, so glad that it was worth the trip -- and even the mouse! What a gorgeous old piece. It looks beautiful! Enjoy!

  22. Image for Sandi O Sandi O

    You and I are soul sistahs girlfriend! I just swooned when I saw this! Definately a great find and I'm so jealous!

  23. Image for Cathy Cathy

    Beautiful dresser! But what about the other "stuff"? Did you leave or take some home? What about the amazing butcher block? Take photos next time so we can see the process; please. Great Story!

  24. Image for Laura Laura

    My tiny apartment keeps my away from yard sales, most of the time! But looking around my tiny apartment I see a lot of pre loved items!

  25. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    Actually, I didn't sigh when I saw the dresser.... I actually gasped a little, and the angels started singing! *in vibrato* "AHHHHHHHH"... you know what I mean, don't ya?

  26. Image for Pamela Griner Pamela Griner

    This story touches my heart. Last week I had to empty my mother's beautiful mountain home. She has advanced Alzheimer's and now lives with us. As I hauled things to a resale shop, the garbage dump, and to the cars of family members I refused to get emotional or try to hold on to things. But...tucked under her staircase sat a similar dresser. It is now safely in my dining room. That dresser...and a good bit of white milk glass. My cousins longed for that glass. But I kept thinking about your lovely display and could not, would not, part with one piece. I thank you for that!!

  27. Image for Kippi Kippi

    I love that you keep in the same condition (not painting it) as you found it.! Warm and wonderful finish. Great find for your beautiful space.

  28. Image for Kathy A Kathy A

    I guess I shouldn't complain when my 2 housecats leave a dead offering for us to find in the morning, huh? Your dresser is beautiful and your stories are awesome!

  29. Image for Amy Amy

    Oh my goodness, this had me LOL. Those are the absolute best finds, and this piece is gorgeous! Lucky you! Thanks for sharing at Sweet Inspiration!

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