Wednesday, June 23, 2010

One Man's Trash

About this time every year, around here, something cool happens.
Ok, well it's cool to me anyways.
It's something we affectionately call 'junk days'.

Junk days is when people do their spring cleaning and get to throw out everything from their backyards, attics and garages that the town or regular garbage crew won't normally pick up.
Lots of people love junk days, not just those that get to get rid of "all that useless stuff and clutter".

Mostly it ends up being remodeling debris, like replaced sinks and toilets, or broken tvs, stereos, and furniture, but occasionally there are good things.
The majority of 'junkers' or 'pickers' are people that grab the metals and take them to the recyclers for cash, but some of us that 'go junkin' are after the good stuff.

Though most of them are embarrassed to admit they wander up and down the streets looking through people's throw-aways, some will wear it like a badge of honor (me!). It's simply 'dumpster diving' on a huge scale. We often get the look down the nose or the wrinkled nostrils when we admit that we do it. What is so wrong with recycling what someone else is sending to the dump? This is all stuff that could have a second use with someone who couldn't afford to buy it new.
And - you wouldn't believe what people throw away! Yup, finding that little gem is an exciting feeling, just like finding real treasure. Honestly, this is the only time of year I ever wish I owned a truck!

Here are just a few examples of what treasures I've gotten over the last couple of weeks from "goin' on a junkin' run" that I never could have afforded to have otherwise:

How cute is this?

Brand new.

Not even a crack in this one.

Or this one. Twins!

I love terracotta pots and think plants do so much better in them, but they're expensive, so I don't have many. Now I do! These, and many more, got added to the collection this week (yes, I 'junk picked' the huge white pot for my elephant ears a few years ago)

I got this a few years ago too. I love this pedestal! (ignore the dirt on the siding - we had a downpour)

These two pots looked so lonely in that pile by the road, so they came home with me! And so did that cute little candle plate.

My sister-in-law decided she didn't need a large patio set for just her and the hubs, so she bought a smaller one and gave us this one. By that time, the cushions were pretty well done for and we've been cushion-less for two years because I could never afford to buy new ones. They're ridiculously expensive! My daughter's boyfriend described sitting in them without cushions as "When you sit, it's like you're getting shanked in the back!" lol. Hey, you have to make-do with what you have, or in this case, don't have.

But, I found six on a junk run that only had small rips in them and sewed new covers. Unfortunately, the only fabric I had enough of that would last outside in the elements was this swimsuit fabric I'd bought for the girls years ago but never found swimsuit elastic for. Needless to say, the suits never got sewn for them, but the fabric got a new purpose.
They are way, way too bright, but I kind of like them! And everyone says they're comfy, so it's all good :)

We also found this table umbrella (that we needed) and I had just enough fabric left to edge it with so it would at least sorta match the chairs.

I also got four small shepherd's hooks, some small baskets to plant in, some very cool flower vases and some stick-in-the-ground swirly wire candle holders that fit the cute citronella candles (that I got three for 25 cents at the end of summer clearance last year) perfectly.

So, that's just a few things I've found goin' junkin'.
You know the old saying - "One man's trash is another man's treasure". Well, I'm not a man, but it's still treasure to me! :)

Happy (junkin') Growing!


Laura said...

Oh I love junk day! I wear it like a badge too. It's amazing what people will throw away. For years on that week we would hook up the trailer and check out our neighboring town (ours didn't participate in junk day) unfortunately last year was their last year. So now I am sad. On a cheerier note the wood hanging baskets I scored late into summer from that last junk run are hanging proudly out front stuffed with plants, looking all expensive. We are big re users/re purposers and recyclers!

You got your self some nice junk there :)

Honeybee said...

LOVE the cushion covers you made!!!

Tina said...

Our town doesn't do it either - what a rip-off! Nice, on the wood hanging baskets - score! :)
Maybe they do it in a town close enough that you could still peruse once a year?

Thanks! They've already faded. I knew they would. But, now they're nestled nicely in a huge screen room the hubs found. They chucked it because it had a few holes here and there in the screen part. Another score! :)