We’ve all had a moment when we’re driving down the street on trash day and see the perfect thing for our house.
“Wow”, you think, “If only that thing weren’t in the trash. It would look fantastic with my great aunt Effie’s giraffe lamp on it.”
If you’re like most people, you keep driving. If you’re like me, you pull over, yank it out of the garbage, evaluate it to make sure it’s not missing a crucial element, and load it into your car.
Over the years, I’ve accumulated several rules for doing this successfully.
- Make sure you go “shopping” on trash day. People put great stuff out on the curb on trash day.
- Don’t worry about being seen. If the owner of the thing still wanted it, they shouldn’t have put it on the curb.
- If you are seen, just wave and say, “Hello! Beautiful day!”, then carry on with your trash excavation. This will flabbergast the previous owner long enough for you to get your treasure.
- If it’s physically in the garbage can, give it a miss.
- If you see something that’s in good shape but that you don’t like, take it home and sell it on Craigslist.
I’ve made good money by pulling things out of the trash. I’ve also provided my son with toys and clothes this way. To date, I’ve rescued:
- Two baby bouncers
- A baby bathtub
- Enough toys to keep my son happy up to now, with extras to sell
- A tummy time mat
- Four strollers, including three double strollers
- Three tables
- Ten dining chairs
- A bunk bed
- A tri-fold mirror
- A hose
This is not the full list. Dumpster diving may not be totally fashionable, but it sure is profitable.