Quality & Craftsmanship – Wood Furniture Trash Finds

A frequent trash finding topic of discussion is quality trash, specifically furniture. I often find beautiful, solid wood, well-made in the USA, pieces of furniture in the trash, and it can only be assumed the trasher replaced it with some new, particleboard, made in China item. I don’t like to assume things, but, I lean toward the mindset that if someone is throwing out a solid maple end table, or beautiful oak dining set, they don’t care aesthetically all that much (I say this, as often, these items are accompanied in the trash by boxes from the ‘new’ item). Sure, we all have different things we like or find attractive, but regardless of what it looks like, I don’t understand why someone would choose poorly made ‘new’, over good quality & craftsmanship.

Adding to the subject of quality & taste, Continue reading

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Trash Picking & I Am My Father’s Daughter

One of my mom’s favorite sayings (or at least one of MY favorite sayings of hers), when referring to my dad was,” Your father would bring home piss in a jar if it was free”.  I of course, being so very much my father’s daughter, would say – or think if I could tell it just wasn’t the time to respond – ‘Well……what’s the jar look like?’.  That of course, would send my mom into a not-so-serious fit as she found it funny, Continue reading

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A Few Trash Finds This Week

My favorite find today was a nice painting of a white house; today’s ok finds were a tall planter/umbrella holder & a somewhat hallucinogenic black velvet painting.  Also picked up a shop-vac & a garden decor wood-wagon thing & two mirrors.  Wasn’t planning on picking today, but I had a few minutes before work.  These were all within half a mile of my house..

….and this gnome is from yesterday… 

So, what have you found trash picking or dumpster diving lately?

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Ten Items That Can Always Be Trash Picked

EVERY day I pass by at least one of these items in the trash – often undamaged & minor if that; at least ALL of them within a week/two weeks (and that’s just in the suburban developments in the four/five mile route I drive). If you just can’t live without matching colors or designs, a little paint, fabric & creativity can go a long way.  I like Favecrafts as a good idea starter.  http://www.favecrafts.com/

MIRRORS – All sizes & shapes. Be careful of breakage (get out your trash picking utility gloves for safety!) You can even take mirrors that have had a clean line/even break & repurpose if you feel up to it; They are easily remade with a frame (that you’ll also find on this list) & some creativity.

PICTURE FRAMES – all sizes, shapes, materials.

PLANT POTS/CONTAINERS – Seriously – are you still buying these? Next…

PLASTIC CART STORAGE – Or pretty much any bin; most common reason I see trashed if ‘damaged’? Small crack on a drawer or a wheel on bottom broke off plastic – take off all the wheels & keep it stationary or use a little tape…

LAMPSHADES – Again, all shapes & sizes. While rare do I see a shade trashed because it’s torn, a little creativity & you can fix it & make it your own.

CHAIRS – All shapes, sizes, materials of chairs available – don’t like the color or fabric? See blog post (bugs & critters  – http://wp.me/pM4Gz-43) regarding upholstered chairs.

END TABLE/SIDE TABLE/ANY TABLE – all sizes, shapes, colors, materials. I can’t say enough about being creative. And how many of these I find.

PARTICLE BOARD SHELVING – Always trashed because they are crap. Don’t even bother with these – unless you take it to use as a canvas.

LAWN HOSE CONTAINERS – What a waste of money & space these things are. Always seen, always broken, always passed by.

RESIN OUTDOOR FURNITURE – If you must, pick them up, but if it’s not bent or broken, it’s only a matter of time before it will be. I dislike these almost as much as I do lawns – see lawn care rant  (http://wp.me/pM4Gz-4E)

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Lawn Care – A Waste Of Resources Rant

[Not exactly about trash picking, but anti-waste]. I hate lawns. I despise them. I think they are a ridiculous waste of energy, resources & time. They waste water, money & land that would be better served by planting food, creating natural habitats, and well, encouraging things to live. Continue reading

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I’ll periodically scan through stores sale circulars, so I can get an idea of what new items actually cost. Of course, it’s accompanied by me exclaiming to my boyfriend, who often shops in a real store for work-related purposes, “I can’t believe someone would PAY that much – do you know how many of those I come across in a week!?!.” Yeah, I’m pretty backwards when it comes to an actual new retail price for something. What I find amusing, Continue reading

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I’m a big trash picker & re-user, and yes, while this is a HUGE part of who I am, I do have good friends who wouldn’t even consider it.  It’s not that it’s beneath them, these are just things they’ve had no exposure to (prior to meeting me of course).  In fact, it wasn’t until I had my first yard sale that I found out one of my dearest friends was still struggling to wrap her mind around the fact that, “so…. there are people that really dig this thing of buying other people’s stuff from them in their yard?”.   She’s a bit of a smart-ass, & had I met her through this kind of statement, I’d be beside myself with just too-many-thoughts-not-being-able-to-leave-my-mouth-fast-enough, Continue reading
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Trash Picking & Dumpster Diving – Waste Not Want Not

Everything you see these days is ‘Green’ this, or ‘Eco’ that.  While I’m thrilled the concept is reaching all across America, I’d like to think the practice is also – but I’m still not seeing it based on the amount of ‘trash’ I’m still passing or finding on a daily/weekly basis.  One trend I am seeing though, is people putting an item out in their yard they would have previously thrown out & sticking a reasonable price on it.  Continue reading

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I enjoy the great outdoors and rarely get freaked out by critters or bugs.  The only bugs I can kill are pretty much ticks, fleas & mosquitoes – or any insect that’s going to suck blood.  I’m happy to co-exist with whatever else I encounter & if the cats don’t get to them first, will gingerly carry the intruder outside if it’s in the house.  However, cockroaches freak me out.  More so in relation to bringing found items into the house.  I won’t trash pick something that can’t be cleaned or washed well – like upholstered items.  Some furniture items I’ll keep outside (protected, in a ventilated area) until I’m confident there isn’t a critter factor (these are usually items that need some minor repair & I can imagine a bug finding a home in the cracks, or under the veneer).  I haven’t had any critter/bug issues yet in my lifetime of trash picking, and am very thankful for that.  BUT, yesterday,…..I had a scare.

We found a great 40s/50s dresser that needs some minor work & Continue reading

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While I am extremely passionate about finding cool, usable stuff in the trash and this blog is about many things related to trash picking, who’s to say how this blog will develop.  One absolute I do know though, is that I want to know about artists, crafters, other bloggers who reuse, re-purpose, up-cycle, recycle & use found materials to create.  If you fit into this category, or know of someone or a site that does, let me know!

I know what my vision is & where I want it to go, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what will be best for trashfinds.com, which is developing as a website.  Add us to your blogroll, links, or sign-up for updates & you’ll also get to see how trashfinds unfolds!

Leave a comment, or drop Amy an email at: trashfinds@gmail.com

Now, go find some good trash & send a few pics!

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