Jan 2, 2012

Dumpster Diving

Living in an apartment complex right across from the mailboxes and the dumpster has been "interesting," informative, and good for my wallet. I didn't have a lot of furniture when I moved in, but by watching the dumpster towards the end of each month has helped me save a ton of money. Why the end of the month? Because that is typically when people are moving out and decide to get rid of all the things they don't want to take with them.

Because of my diligence, I've been able to rescue a working old-fashioned wooden radio, a kitchen table (pub style), an old-fashioned wooden rocking chair, a couple of lamps, a computer desk, an office chair, a 2 drawer file cabinet, a shelving system for the garage, an end table, a mirror for my dresser, a shelving system for the bathroom (that straddles the toilet & holds my towels), an antique steel cooler, various hand tools, a wall mirror for near the front door, a coffee table, and a CD bookcase. EVERYTHING I rescued is in mint condition, people just didn't want to pack them up and take with them when they moved out. Lucky me!!!

Don't get me wrong, there are a LOT of things that are disposed of that aren't worth rescuing or saving, but I've been lucky enough to find enough things to comfortably furnish my apartment without spending a lot of money. How is it that I've seen all of the things I've acquired? I have a dog that needs to go out several times per day, so I have a lot of opportunity to keep my eye on what people drop off.

I mention the CD bookcase because it is my suggestion to anyone that lives in an apartment and doesn't have a lot of room. If you are lucky enough to find or get one that has adjustable shelves, consider using it as a BOOK case (look at the image to the right). I had been thinking about getting an actual bookcase when I spotted this near the dumpster and thought "I might be able to make it work by adjusting the shelves," and I did. It holds a good selection of books and doesn't take up that much room. And the best part? Didn't cost me a dime.

A close friend of mine (thank you Elektra Q-Tion) suggested that I mention that I don't recommend that you rescue soft items (like blankets, sheets, towels, clothing, etc.). You NEVER know what they might contain and it isn't easy to "cleanse" them completely.

I've also been able to re-purpose a lot of moving pallets as firewood for my fire bowl on the back patio. So overall, just by keeping your eyes and mind open, you can acquire most things in life that you want...

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