Architectural Salvage & Trash Finds At Work

Underneath the layers of paint, are a great mantel & door! My boyfriend got these from a job he was doing on a home built in the 20’s/30’s – the owner was going to throw them out! He also brought home lots of cool hardware & molding. Being a carpenter presents my boyfriend with lots of great opportunities to salvage & reuse, but EVERY job has it’s item discards.

How about you? Do you currently or have you had a job that allowed you to claim items headed to the dumpster? What kind of stuff did you get?

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Trash Finds, Flea Markets, & Customer Service


(Normal flea market stuff – just a small sample of what we had. I really have to remember to take pictures BEFORE things get going)

We participated in our first flea market as a ‘vendor’.  Despite the soaring 100° heat, it was fun, exhausting, a lot of work, but kind of rewarding.  I like flea markets as a consumer, especially as a trash picking consumer (see previous posts about trash picking the flea market here: http://wp.me/pZyJ6-3z http://wp.me/pZyJ6-dc). We were told there is usually three times the amount of people that were there, but due to the heat, the crowd was a little smaller than usual.  There was still a pretty good turnout, we found a few cool items for ourselves, unloaded a bunch of stuff (had three truckloads when we arrived; one when we left), and took home a little cash – I’d say that’s a score all around!  We even did better than the vendors around us who have sold at this flea market for the past few years.  After seeing their customer service skills (or lack of), I can see why… Continue reading

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Trash Picked Grandma’s Rocking Chair!


I trashpicked a friend/coworker’s grandmother’s chair. He had put it out to the curb about six months ago, and I picked it a few weeks ago at a house about five miles away from his. My co-worker works in a different building, otherwise, he would have known to immediately call me before putting it to the curb in the first place. Now, he’s all the wiser. I found out today when he had to stop by our building & we started talking collecting & I showed him a few pics of some recent finds. There you have it. He really didn’t want to put this out to the curb, but, things happen. Like I stated when I first found this incredible rocking chair,( http://wp.me/pZyJ6-85) this one’s a keeper, BUT, if his young children grown up & decide they want great-grandma’s rocking chair back, they’ll know who to call.

How about you? Have you ever inadvertently trash picked something from someone you knew?

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Taking Care Of Your Mechanics With Trash Finds

Yes – my mechanics know of my insane trash picking skills – as does pretty much anyone who I have a conversation with longer than five minutes. I found a weed wacker for my mechanic today. He put in the request about a week ago – I came across a couple of others but they were pretty much just good for scrap. I’m still keeping an eye out for a leaf blower for him though.

My mechanics are AWESOME – a father & two sons that are just good, honest, hard working people. A while ago, I needed some part replaced (for some reason, I can’t remember what…), and they called to tell me if I could get to the parts store & pick it up myself, it would save me close to $200 – which for some reason their parts delivery supplier was tacking on! Even though I’m pretty inquisitive, how would I have known that if they hadn’t told me? What I also like about them is that, whether you like it or not, they’re going to explain what’s wrong with your car & if possible, show you how they are going to fix it or what they did to fix it – they like to teach! While I know it’s not much, I try to thank them when I can by stopping by with some coffee, doughnuts, beer……..and of course, trash finds as requested.

How about you? Do you have any service professionals in your life that you’ve been able to give items to from your trash picking or dumpster diving excursions?

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Trash Picking For Immediate Use Or Eventual Rehoming

I was talking with a coworker about how I’m limiting the finds I pick up to those I can immediately use, sell, or giveaway. She agreed it’s a good idea, but knows as much as I do it won’t last. It usually happens the week after a yard sale, lasts maybe through five picking days, and then I’m back to loading up items that I’ll find I can sell, use, or giveaway in the not-so-immediate future. My porch, yard & basement can handle it right now. However, we are looking to relocate within a couple of years, so scaling down is in my head and legitimate moves toward that are being made. In fact, when I’m looking around the house, pulling items to put in the antique store (sometimes stuff is taken from boxes in the basement, sometimes right off the wall or from being in use) I ask myself, “Is this something I really want to haul hundreds of miles away with us?”. It’s a fabulous way to weed out!

Despite needing to scale down in preparation for moving, I still can’t pass up a trash find that I know I’ll find a home for, even if it means hanging onto it for a bit. Continue reading

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Shared Trash Picking – Bringing Out The Best In People

Yesterday, we had a pretty good hunting & gathering day.  We hit an indoor flea market that we haven’t been able to go to in months, & found a few cool things – some for us, some for the antique store.  There’s also a dealer there we like to visit, so it was nice seeing him.  Like most dealers, he’s also a collector, but he also is very good about sharing info & tips – places to hit, best times, etc, which many dealers in our area aren’t so open about.   He also always has boxes of random stuff from house clean-outs I get to lose my mind going through!
We had to keep our eye on the clock at the indoor flea market so we could make it to the outdoor flea market to trash pick – it’s all about balance & priorities.   We made it, & while there were a few other pickers out, the heat kept some away & I didn’t encounter as many as I normally do.  Toward the middle of the most outer aisle of the flea market, someone had dumped a big box of shoes.  As I was making my way down toward another aisle, a man was motioning, walking toward me & waving me over.   He wanted to make sure I didn’t miss the box of shoes!  I had already passed through that way – which was fortunate for him, because he was speaking spanish & since I was in pick mode, where I block many things out & was already on a communication delay, he didn’t have to repeat himself too many times!   It may not seem like a big deal, but those gestures are really touching to me – the man could have just continued on his way with his wife & daughter, but he took the time to walk down a little ways in the aisle (these aisles are easily the length of a football field) to make sure I knew.  Just another heart-warming story of shared trash-picking.

How about you?  Has there been a time in your trash picking or dumpster diving when another picker helped you?

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Trash Picking Rain Delay

It rained last night into this morning which somehow limits trash picking. I’ll pick in the light rain, (naturally, if I pass a REALLY good score, weather is not an issue. Ever.) but I think a lot of people are reluctant to put the better trash out when it’s raining. Really. I’ve thought about this & this morning while driving, in my head, I had an imaginary conversation between a couple:

B – (walking to curb with table)

A – “What are you doing?”

B – “Uh, putting this out for the trash. Didn’t you tell me to ditch this after we got the new one this weekend?”

A – “Yes, but honey, it looks like rain. Let’s wait to put out that table. We wouldn’t want it to get ruined…”

B – “uh…dear…it is for the TRASH you know”.

A – “I know, but when it’s not raining, at least there’s a better chance it will get trash picked”.

B – (grumbling, shuffling, walking back into the garage with table….)

I understand when it’s raining most people just don’t want to deal with hauling too much into the trash & that’s why the pickings are less, but in MY world, most people consider their local trash pickers…..

How about you? Have you ever placed something at the curb specifically hoping it’ll get trash picked?

(To add to previous post about the church down the street adding chainlink fence, someone didn’t get the right memo. I went by today, the chain link was removed, and a vintage-look type of new fence was in it’s place! It hadn’t even been 24 hours! Aside from knowing the labor & work involved, I did find it pretty damn funny (but I found myself saying ‘ouch’ for the contractor) – and very cool that the church is sticking with the tried & true – not only keeping their awesome gothic-like fence, but trying to keep with the same look.)

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Trash Picking The Flea Market

Trashfinds has been spending time learning the fine art of website development. Actually, it’s more like entering a room with the lights off, knowing the switch is on the other side – you just have to stumble through in the dark until you get to it. In the meantime, there may be some intermittent availability with the Trashfinds.com website.

On a fun collecting note, if the weather is good, this Sunday we should be able to trash pick the flea market that always yields a lot of stuff & a boatload of fun – see previous post about the good times to be had: http://wp.me/pM4Gz-3z

Check out this Iron Cross bottle-cap table trash find: We sold it at our yard sale this weekend, but somehow it is still on the porch. Continue reading

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Trash Picking & Technological Advancements

I finally get a grasp on the basics of how the whole blog & WordPress thing works & decide to move it to, I guess the term is ‘self-hosted'(?). Lovely. Now I have to reteach myself & learn how this all adds up to making Trashfinds look & develop the way I want it to. This flirts dangerously close to personal growth & advancement.

As Trashfinds.com grows in fits & spurts, how has trash picking & dumpster diving been for you lately?

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What We Found After Our Yard Sale

Opportunities to find useful things are everywhere! On the way to take down our yard sale signs yesterday, we found this great wooden box planter:

…And on the way to the thrift store to donate what we didn’t sell, found a bungee cord. Sure, not the most exciting finds, but very useful!

How were your finds over the weekend?

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