CBS NEWS November 1, 2013, 4:40 PM
Inside Oprah Winfrey's personal auction
(CBS News) Oprah Winfrey is cleaning house big time. On Saturday, she's auctioning off everything from gilded frames to chandeliers to electric bikes.
"Entertainment Tonight" host Nancy O'Dell went to see Oprah near her California home on Thursday. O'Dell said on "CBS This Morning" there's lots of excitement surrounding the auction, with online bids pouring in from as far away as India and Australia.
Oprah is in the midst of a big remodel on her California estate, which is what prompted her to re-evaluate what stays and what goes.
Three tents loaded with Oprah's personal belongings are on display at the polo grounds in Santa Barbara.
Winfrey said of the auction, "It is my idea of a yard sale, and just like everybody, you start accumulating stuff. I've been accumulating things since 1985. It's just too much stuff, and I write about it a lot in the magazine, we talk about de-cluttering and I realize I need to de-clutter my own life."
She said it's very freeing. "I am downsizing," Winfrey said.
Winfrey has pulled personal treasures from her homes in Hawaii, Indiana and Montecito, Calif., and there's a story behind every item. A 19th century doll is expected to sell between $5,000 and $8,000.
Winfrey's extensive doll collection includes hundreds of dolls. She said, "I'm getting rid of some of the dolls because when people come to stay with me, they say that they get scared with all of the dolls, so you wake up and there's like 12 dolls looking at you. It's like (and) Alfred Hitchcock thing."
Winfrey said she's trying hard to not be attached to things. She said, "I'm trying to live the life that I talk about, like not letting things define you, but it's hard."
One of the hardest things to let go is a 19th century set of library stairs. Winfrey said, "You know I love books, and I love library, and I have a library, so I saw this, I was out, I was in, I think I was in London and bought (these stairs). And then it's one of those things you buy in a moment of impulse, and then it doesn't fit the room so it never fit."
Just the fact that these were some of Winfrey's favorite things adds value to the price. A steamer trunk, which immigrants used when coming to America, is now bidding at close to $1,000, simply because Oprah stored her sweaters inside.
Winfrey loves boxes. She's collected them from all over the world. One from London dates back to the 1840s, and converts into a ship captain's desk. It was housed at her Montecito estate.
Some items are expected to fetch up to $50,000, including a Louis XVI desk -- behind which her long time boyfriend Stedman Graham used to write.
Auctioneer Frank Kaminski told O'Dell a Louis XVI chest of drawers will be the auction's most expensive sale. Kaminski said he had to "twist (Winfrey's) arm to get her to part with it."
The chest of drawers, Kaminski noted, is made of king wood and various other inlays. He added, "It has the original marble top. But it's signed Boudan."
He expects the drawers to sell for $30,000 to $50,000.
Also up for sale is a five-feet-tall autographed Oprah Vogue cover.
Winfrey wants everyone to know they can bid on her items online. The proceeds from the auction benefit her Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, which she founded in 2007. To participate, pre-registration is available online atKaminskiAuctions.com.
Winfrey said, "As you grow into yourself, you just want what's comfortable for you, so when you come to see me in a year from now, I'm gonna have a house that feels like pajamas."
O'Dell remarked, "I like that, I'm waiting for my dinner invitation over at that house now."
Winfrey said, "You will get it, but you have to wear your pajamas."
O'Dell replied, "I will gladly wear my pajamas. Glad to do it."
To participate in the auction, pre-registration is available at KaminskiAuctions.com.
Watch O'Dell's full report above.
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