Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dumpster diving.

I am a deal seeker.

Stick it to Corporate America.  Get a good deal.  That's my motto.

But as good as sales are (and as morally superior as they make me feel), I've found something even better:

Dumpster Diving.

Now, don't get disgusted with me quite yet.  I'm not talking about hoisting myself up and over the grimy edges of the metal dumpster behind the Walmart.  I have (so far) too much dignity for that.

I mean dumpster diving in the sense of going through other peoples' trash.

I feel no remorse or self-disgust for that.  And my home is profiting from it.

It all started when we lived in Arlington.  There was always a pile of other peoples' junk outside of one of the blocks of apartments in our neighborhood.  And usually it was just junk.  But once in a while it was really good junk.  And one time in particular it was really great junk.  So we took action.

We saw an old turn-of-the-century steamer trunk that looked dilapidated but fixable.  So I stood guard while Blake ran home to get the car.  We then packed it into the trunk as much as it would fit and drove slowly home.  We got some looks, but we didn't care.  We knew we had a treasure. 

So we bought a 3 dollar package of sand paper, got out an exacto knife, and got to work.  The burlap we pulled off released puffs of black grime (kinda of gross to do inside our tiny apartment...oh and learn) and we spent the day sneezing.  But, after an hour or so of work, we had a beauty on our hands.  I did some research and it looks like our trunk was from 1910 and could be worth quite a bit of money. Score!

Fast forward 9 months.  (Gestational period for an exceptional dumpster find?)

My neighbors were getting rid of a funky mid-century office chair.  You know, the kind that is covered in bright vinyl and looks like it belongs in Mad Men?  I was in love.  And so I did what any other scavenger would do.  I waited until the cover of darkness, put on my quietest shoes, crept over and wheeled the sucker home.  Note: Our handicapped accessible entry way comes in especially handy in situations like these.

That chair is now at my sewing desk, which is temprorarily my brother's desk in his make-shift room in the basement.

Our next find was about 9 months later.  Blake and I snagged this console table from our neighbors down the street and lugged it home between the two of us.  Then last week I found a bunch of stackable plastic storage shelves that I'm now using for our basement storage. It's been a very fruitful summer.

At this point Blake is pretty used to my asking to "pull over!" at any given time...and trying not to be too embarassed as I look through our neighbors' trash in the glare of the headlights.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! I'm making plans to wonder the neighborhood with Sam's wagon on community clean up day when people throw their garbage out on the road once a year. Hope I can be as successful as you :)