Natasha Pace just convinced me to take a long pause the next time I’m about to click “Proceed to checkout.”
“People become slaves to their stuff—I do it, too,” she says. “In my house, I had bins of things I was waiting to use, and one day I just said, ‘This is ridiculous.’”
Pace, the founder and owner of Silver Lining Estate Sales, explains how she repurposed unused string for makeshift hangers before telling me about her newest clients: a couple who is downsizing and selling off a massive collection of maritime antiques, including anchors, masts and wooden ship models that the husband has hoarded for years.
She’s calling it the “Maritime Madness” sale.
“[The couple] is moving to the next chapter, and they don’t need it,” Pace says. “The wife is very funny. She tells me, ‘I never liked it.’”
Since breaking into the estate sales business in 2013, Pace has gotten to know a few people with unusual collecting habits. One woman even left behind “bins and bins of false eyelashes,” she says.
But she didn’t get into this line of workjust to go through people’s closets. A New York native who relocated to Las Vegas in 2003, Pace was working in fashion when her estranged father died suddenly, leaving behind homes in Montreal, New York and Boston, three storage units full of church furnishings and antique pinball games … and no will.
“I was left to clean out every one of the estates,” she recalls. “I was just so overwhelmed.”
Relief—and inspiration—came via assistance from a professional liquidator. Pace then decided to combine her entrepreneurial instincts, organizing skills and passion for sustainable living into a one-woman venture.
Clients find comfort, she says, in knowing that the person handling their loved one’s belongings—their memories, essentially—has been through a similar situation.
“Usually no one calls me when they’re happy,” Pace says. “So I want to do the right thing for them and take everything I can off their plate, so they can focus on their family member.”
Estate sales are big business in Las Vegas, and that’s not as morbid as it sounds. Many of Pace’s clients are downsizing for a move or just looking to shrink their footprint. Sales typically take about a month, and homes with unique collections—art, antiques, mid-century modern furniture—can draw buyers from outside of Nevada.
Seeing once-cherished items in the hands of new owners who will continue to treasure them can bring closure during difficult times. Just as importantly, Pace says, it leads to greener living.
“You’re not creating any more waste in the world,” she says. “It’s kind of a nice way to think about it.”