Saturday, April 5, 2008

I'm a garbage collector

I don't go to a lot of garage sales. I usually only go to the ones in my neighborhood. What I really like to do, though, is take home the good stuff that other people are throwing away. I usually find my "treasures" while on my walks.

I picked up this really nice basket just last Sunday. We were coming home from my mom's house and I told my husband to pull over. He didn't want to, but I wouldn't take no for an answer. I told my son to go see if it looked all right. Meanwhile, hubby was practically hiding under the seat from embarrassment. Who couldn't use a basket like this? Why just let this get thrown into the landfill?

This is a makeup table I got from another neighbor's house. I didn't even know this neighbor, but I saw her putting it out and met her. It was her table from when she was little. It has a glass top which was in perfect condition. I painted it white, and now my daughter uses it every day.

I picked up this desk from another neighbor. It's actually a student desk, but I painted it white, and put it next to our bookcases in our bedroom. My husband uses it all the time to do work on his laptop.

The weirdest thing I ever picked up:
Yes, I really did. I was, once again, on my Sunday evening walk, when I noticed a bag of cat litter at the end of my neighbor's driveway. It had a sign on it :FREE CAT LITTER

I thought, what kind of joke is this? Then I saw in smaller print, "We changed the kind of litter we used." Oh, it's UNUSED litter. Well, I have a cat. He doesn't care what kind of litter is in his box. I may as well bring it home. Also, I knew this neighbor. She and her husband are both teachers at the local college. They're normal people. When I got home and walked in the door I said, "Hey, dear, you'll never believe what I brought home tonight!"

"I don't believe it!", he said.


Tammy said...


I'd want every one of those treasures you picked up too.

Even the cat litter. :) My cats aren't picky.

Great post!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

We got a "new" grill once, that way.

Becky said...

Loved this post! I loved all your 'finds'...especially the vanity table! (Your house is beautiful inside, too.)

This would be a great meme...for participants to showcase some of their best free or garage sale and thrift store 'finds' ever.

Just goes to show that one persons trash is another persons treasure. And how it usually doesn't take much to transform these 'finds' into functional pieces in our homes. Sometimes nothing needs to be done, sometimes it might just require a little elbow grease. And best of all, it's saving something perfectly usable from filling a landfill somewhere.

I know they have things like Freecycle and even Ebay where you can get rid of bigger unwanted items, but it seems to me that all cities should mandate a once-a-month deal where you can put your usable 'junk' out at the curb for the day, and people can drive around and take what they want. It would be a highlight of my month, let me tell you!

Fun post, Maria!

Debbie Yost said...

I've heard of people like you and even seen them. I'm not opposed to this idea, but the only thing I ever see in other people's trash is trash. In fact, it amazes me what some people will put in their garage sale and try to sell it for gold! I wish I had your luck.

I had a garage sale one time and under the table I had stuff that I wanted to take to the hazardous waste dump: paint, heat (for car gas) etc. This guy pulls it out and wants to know how much. I told him it was trash but he was welcome to whatever he wanted. He took half of it!

kimmy said...

My sister loves to stop at garage sales. I usually just drive past husband will not allow me to stop. I know that I am missing out on some great deals though!


GrandmaK said...

I'm married to a recycler...we have been doing this for 40 years. Ron is the first to go to the "day old" and discontinued food baskets in the grocery...

Oh! And you've been tagged..just give a visit...Cathy

Kellan said...

I'm all for retrieving good things out of other people's trash - it's crazy to let nice things go to waste. You found some nice things.

Have a good Sunday - see ya - Kellan

Leah said...

Hey, whatever works!! Awesome finds, by the way!

Kitty said...

Oh well done on your treasures - I love what we call 'Car Boot Sales' which I think are like your garage sales. I just enjoy rummaging through other people's junk I think.


Irene said...

That is so funny...especially the cat litter.

Eric is so funny about that stuff too, when we come up to visit on Sunday (when the weather is warm), he gets so excited when he remembers it is garbage night and he can search for treasures!!!

Did you see that news segment (don't remember the show) where there are people who do this regularly called "fregans". They not only take stuff out of garbage, they go to stores, restaurants, bakeries and take FOOD! Sounds really gross, but after watching, it wasn't nearly as bad. Those stores throw a lot of packaged foods out that are still fine. They can be SO wasteful!

Jen said...

Awesome! I love free stuff, as long as its useful!

Shellie said...

Amazing. The things you can do without a bunch of little kids hanging on your ankles, what finds!

Amy said...

Those are great finds. I'm sure you put a lot of work into making them look pretty (except the kitty litter, or course).

Michie said...

The cat litter story is hysterical! Too funny! Your husband must get nervous when you say you are going for a walk!