My ultimate goal is to get to a point where I use things I would otherwise waste (like food wrappers, packaging, etc…) to make cool handicrafts & what-not (this would involve me, my boyfriend, and the middle of nowhere). Until then, I’ll just score finds at people’s curbs, which, like I’ve said before, as much as I love the find, it’s still disappointing to see. However, there is another aspect of trash that I can barely think about because of the absolute waste of it all & the negativity that I feel -and that’s just not a good use of my energy.
For years, I worked at a chain bookstore, and, for years, I would see boxes full of paperback books & magazines go into the dumpster weekly, if not daily. DUMPSTER – not even recycling Continue reading
While, yes, circumstances happen & you may be faced with having to actually buy some of these items, I’ve lost count of how many I’ve found/seen over the years….
Dry Erase Boards
Plastic Wheeled Storage Containers (varies in drawer amount; size)
Resin Chairs (for the love of god America – stop buying these!)
Chairs – dining, kitchen, office..whatever…
Lamps & Lampshades
This just represents my area of NJ. I’d love to know if the commonly found items vary by location. How about you? What do you find often?
Now that I’m singing the gospel of trashpicking to whomever wants to read this & not just to those that encounter me on a daily basis, all kinds of previous trash-related ventures are popping into my head. I remember a coworker calling me in desperation one day because he was moving out within the day & push came to shove. He had volumes of books that he didn’t have time to do anything with except get them to the dumpster. We carried crates of beautiful, collectible books – mostly art – to my car until we couldn’t fit any more. It was the first time I thought my tires would simply give under the weight. While all I wanted to do was scream because he neglected to call me sooner ( all I needed was a day – one day!), I know it was difficult for him to see so much go. I still think of all the books that ended up in his condo dumpster. And yes, while I helped salvage some, there were still so many just disposed – new, sealed, rare – you name it. Not an isolated case as past & future posts will show.
Whether you’re reading this now, or months from now, how about you? Has there been a particular time or instance of throwing out or trashing items that you wish you hadn’t? If not to keep, but to at least pass along?
Nothing bums me out more than when I’ve hit critical mass & just can’t go out & pick the way I want. We’re weeks away from having a yard sale, but something seems to come up every time I get a date in my head that would be a good one. In the meantime, that leaves targeted cruising for trash out. It kind of works out right now anyway since my truck has a break in the fuel line & am driving my DH’s back-up two door truck that the rear door doesn’t work, so loading finds is a challenge, but it is so difficult to come upon a really good pile of trash & not stop (of course, there is always room for an extremely good find!). I really can’t wait to get a good yard sale date set though, Continue reading
I’m so used to seeing what people throw out, it’s rare to be surprised or shocked. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still always thrilled for the find. When I have discussions with people, they are always amazed at how much & what I find. Usually, the conversation starts innocently enough:
Coworker: “How was your weekend?”.
Me: “It was great! We came across a few boxes of beautiful, leather-bound, gilt-edged books in the trash & ended up helping the homeowner get a bunch more stuff out of her garage to the curb (well our truck), including more boxes of books! She was so nice, and I’m really glad we were able to help cut her job in half.”
Coworker: “uh…like, really? Leather-bound books?”
Me: “Yep. In excellent condition. A got a couple of Continue reading
Picked for a few minutes today, two neighborhoods. Got a steamer trunk for my DB who has a thing for them (at least they store other things) – it’s in better shape than a few we’ve bought at yard sales & flea markets! Found an attic folding ladder that I took just in case & a pretty decent piece of plywood (DB’s a carpenter). Added a box of typical yard sale items that remained unsold from someone else’s yard sale over the weekend – clock radio; purses; cutesy lawn crafts; corkboard… As usual, I can see from the prices marked one reason why they didn’t sell. If I don’t give them away first, they’ll wind up at our next yard sale at 50% off whatever their marked (or less!). While getting a little extra cash is certainly a plus, my main goal when we have a yard sale is to unload finds so we can add more! Our motto to our ‘shoppers’ is, ‘the bigger the pile, the cheaper the price’.
So here’s a little about my trashpicking strategy. First & foremost, I know the trash days (and laws about) for all the towns in my ‘route’. I prefer picking during the day, for what are at least to me, obvious reasons – better light, more trash out, avoids the ‘suspicious’ car stopping after dark in front of people’s houses…. However, I totally understand those who are a little uncomfortable with being so out in the open with picking. I used to be like that….not that it would stop me, but I was certainly Continue reading
This past Sunday (uh, yesterday..), we scored THE find of the year (so far at least)… Keep in mind the scope of this since we’re pretty much finding something every day. We found a beautiful walnut china hutch from 1922 (inspection tag & company name on back!), with the original wavy-type glass. It is in excellent shape, nothing replaced, no major scratches or anything. Wood wheels, nice moulding details…. This hutch is the sort of thing we would see in an antique store & note it’s beauty but not actually look beyond that since it’s something we could never actually entertain buying – more due to price & practicality. DB says it’s as if god planted it there just for us to find. If we weren’t together, there is no way we could have gotten it – a two person job & we had to exchange trucks as it was due to the size. Fortunately, it was only about two miles away from my house. What a thrill!
Cruised for a little bit before work today (ok, yesterday, but just got around to posting this). Wasn’t really planning on it, but had a few extra minutes. Yeah, I plan trashpicking (started a post about strategy…will probably be ready to post in a few days). Got a few cool solid wood farm-style dining room chairs; a table top I really need for an oak, snake leg table base I have (also a trash find, but couldn’t get the actual table top for it in my truck – too wide!). A few other random things – fake wrought iron yard stakes; a padded top leopard print wire footstool with one leg missing (not sure how I’ll use this or re-purpose the parts just yet); a plant/potholder of some kind with one of the sides missing, but, if you turn it upside down, still serves the same purpose!
Also, my DB (dear boyfriend), was visiting his folks & when they were driving back from visiting his gramp in the hospital (he’s ok – 92, but still works a half day sawing, hauling & milling logs!), someone was throwing out a couch. His dad jokingly asked his mom if she wanted it – though she didn’t hear him ’cause she was in the backseat & can’t hear worth a damn at times… Anyhow, dad says, “that’s ok, A will probably want it anyway”. I’m touched…
I’ve been going back & forth with myself on how to go about doing this. I want to be consistent, which often, isn’t exactly one of my strengths, but I’m working on it. My boyfriend thinks having a blog about trashpicking isn’t a good idea…’if you want to shoot yourself in the foot’…. What he means by that is, every now & then, I’ll find good trash that I sell. I have a small space at an antique co-op & exhibit occasional spurts of energy with posting on Ebay. Hmm…. I’ve discussed this with a few people, including those with a more ‘refined’ collecting sense, Continue reading