One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure
Yup, that’s right, I did a little bit of “rescuing” some furniture from the trash this weekend. My husband and I were taking a walk Saturday night and I glanced down the alley as we passed and saw what looked like the leg of a coffee table sticking out of a pile of trash.
So of course — being the ADHD person that I am — I immediately detoured to take a closer look. After a quick lug to pull it out of the pile, I determined that the leg was indeed attached to a coffee table — and that the entire coffee table was intact and in great shape. (Except for a scratch across the top and a bunch of water ring stains left from glasses.)
I went back the next day during the daylight (this time in my son’s large truck) and lo and behold, it was still there. So I loaded it up and took it home. Here’s a very bad shot of part of it:
Finding something beautiful
The thing is, while the coffee table is not particularly my style, it IS a very nice piece of furniture. It appears to be solid wood, with dovetail joints, and I’d guess that it was probably made in the 60s. It’s going to be beautiful, with a little bit of elbow grease and a new finish.
I figure my son might want to use it when he eventually moves out, or I can always sell it when it’s done. Meanwhile, I’ve got the chance to take something could have ended up in the dump and give it a new life.
The benefits of repairing items
Many of us throw things away all the time that are perfectly good — or just a little bit messed up. I admit, I’ll sometimes put large items out into the alley myself that were still in great shape, but I set them to the side of the dumpster where they can be picked up easily by The Borrowers who regularly roam the alleys. (So the items never actually make it to the dump.)
There are many benefits to repairing items though: you save money and resources. It also just plain gives you a good feeling to know that you’ve repaired or improved something yourself. It’s easy to forget that we have the skills to make things better (or that we can usually find out how to do so with a bit of Googling.)
Of course, even if you don’t personally feel like fixing something that’s no longer in good shape — or if you’ve got something you’re itching to get rid of — remember that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. There’s probably someone out there who would love to have whatever you’re about to throw away. Craigslist, Goodwill, or even a sign with “Free” written on it are all great alternatives to the trash.