Hidden Treasures and Other Surprises

Sometimes a client will discover some bizarre and amazing things buried under their clutter. I was working with an artist in his garage. The garage was jam packed with musty old boxes, stacks of papers, and big wooden crates.

As I opened some of the boxes I discovered rats inside them. They had made them into their homes. Sometimes they would leap out and scatter. Other times they would not move and would stare at me from inside the box. I'd have to tip the box over and dump out the contents to get them to vacate. Most of the stuff in these boxes had to be tossed because they were a health hazard.

Often I get intuitive insights when I'm working with my clients. Before we started I jokingly said, "Do you have any Picassos in your garage?" He didn't think it was funny and said no. I opened one of the crates and discovered a painting. It was signed by Picasso. I'd never seen one that close. I took it out and showed it to him. I said, "Is this an original?" He was startled to see the painting. He said yes. He'd forgotten he'd purchased it many years ago. I found two more Picasso's in crates.

Amidst the papers I found an original Andy Warhol drawing of the design of his famous Campbell Soup paintings. My client used to be friends with Warhol. He'd forgotten about those too. He excitedly got on the phone to Christie's Auction House and they said, "bring it on over".

Another time I was working in a different client's garage that was similarly over packed with clutter. Most of it went into the dumpster. But as we were combing through the papers in boxes my client found $20,000 in savings bonds. It's common for my clients to find some amount of money and other valuables buried under clutter.