August 5, 2008
Confessions of a Roadside Scavenger
Over the weekend, I scored a new cabinet for the bath towels. We live in an old house and apparently back in the late 1800's, they didn't use closets as much as we do now. So in order to hold all of our bathroom stuff (towels, lotion, toilet paper, etc.) I've gotten cabinets, shelves to hold everything. It's actually a microwave cart, but it's got a lot of space for towels, shelves on top and matches the bathroom cabinets. Funny thing is, I didn't go to the store to get it. I noticed the neighbor across the street carrying it out to the curb. So my FIL walked across the street, chatted with the neighbor and then my neighbor and FIL carried across the street and into my house. Yep, I'm a dumpster diver. And proud of it. I mean, come on, some people put out some great stuff. I wasn't always into being a curbside scavenger. When I first moved here right after college, my roommate and I didn't have much in the way of furniture, nor the funds to buy a living room set. So, we took a walk and 2 blocks away was a couch. It was hideous with an orange, yellow and brown 70's flower motif. But, we carried that puppy home, cleaned it up and covered it with a sheet. A few weeks later, we found another couch, farther away, so husband/then boyfriend helped us get it on top of my poor T-bird and we drove it home. We upgraded, you could say, 4 times until we had a nice off-white couch and a green couch with a pull out bed. I also found a good-as-new chair a coffee table and a computer desk. I rubbed of on my roommate, and since she's been married, she and her husband have a cedar chest and a bunk bed frame they picked up off the curb. Even after I got married and bought new things, I couldn't stop myself. We no longer use most of those deals, but a couple have served us well. The lazyboy recliner has rocked all 3 of my kids to sleep (now covered with a slip cover) and the nice decorative table looks great with the woodwork in my dining room. And a couple of the kids outside plastic toys and plastic picnic table were curbside deals. People sometimes just have things they want to get rid of that are in good condition, so they set them out, knowing someone will pick it up. Now I do have my limits. If it's actually in the dumpster or covered with trash, no way. And my standards are much higher than they were 8 years ago. I thought I was alone in my odd obsession but after talking with a couple nurses a few years ago, I discovered they did the same thing. They'd found some antiques set out and they took them home, cleaned them up and refinished them and they were good as new. So I'm thrilled with my good-as-new towel cabinet .