Junk set out time always makes me contemplate this junking life I'm leading. I usually intend to share them on the blog, but never seem to get around to it. Consider this post to be a random look at some of the things rolling around in my head. Very random. Like that surprises anyone.
My long-suffering husband is fond of saying to me: "Just because it's free, that doesn't mean you have to take it." My typical response to that is: "What? I left some stuff didn't I?"
Right before I got out of the van to grab that metal box from last week's sneak peek, I told him: "You might as well go ahead and give me that eye roll. I know it's coming when you see this thing."
I wish I could find money, like the guy at Things I Find in the Garbage. I mean, I do find money, since I sell what I find, but just finding actual cash once and a while would be cool, even if it's only a buck.
I learn a helluva lot from other blogs that guides me in picking stuff. Sometimes, I pick something up and think: "So and so would make a project out of this." Or "I saw this used this way in a blog." Or the ever famous: "I know that such-and-so would really love this one." I match my finds up to people all the time. I even play a guessing game about what will catch particular people's eyes enough for them to mention it in a comment. I'm right a lot of the time.
On the nicer side of the neighborhood, where people have alleys and garages and off street parking and trash pick up, they tend to toss their junk out at any time. It doesn't get picked up, but it's out of sight, out of mind until the next pick up comes around. I've started taking Sunday evening "junk constitutionals" to see what's new.
People complain about the mess that gets left behind when people go through the junk piles. Scrappers are notorious for rooting through stuff and making a huge mess. I've learned over the years, however, that there are a fair number of piles that start out as a mess from the moment the stuff is put out. An awful lot of residents just randomly toss things out into huge, unorganized piles that cascade all over the place, at gravity's accord.
I'm not saying that to excuse junkers and pickers, but it is time to bring a little perspective to the issue.
Making a mess is something that I will go out of my way to avoid. Items I pull out of boxes go right back in the boxes or into other boxes. One time, I accidentally dropped some glass stuff and stayed until I had picked up every shard and carefully disposed of them. I'll even tell home-owners I see that I won't leave a mess.
One of the biggest contributors to the mess situation is clothing. People put out bags of clothing that get torn open and scattered, then it all gets rained on. I very rarely open bags, especially if I can tell they're full of clothes. We are not that far from a Goodwill, and there are several churches in the area that have clothing closets and do give-aways. We also have three or four of those for-profit thrift drop boxes for clothes scattered throughout the neighborhood. There are even several charities that pick up donations. Tossing useable clothing is something I just don't understand.
Seeing boxes of books at the curb always makes me sad, even when I know it's stuff that no one is going to want.
Queen of Fifty Cents coined the term "Taker's Remorse" the other day in a post. This is the feeling you get from picking up freebies that you really don't want or that really aren't what you need/want. Our junk set out periods easily resolve this dilemma. Typically for me, there's a flaw that I didn't see when I grabbed something. I work kind of fast and quickly shove things in to my bag. When I look at something later and realize that it's not going to work for me, I either leave it on someone else's pile or toss it on my own when I get home. Problem solved!
If something makes it to the booth and turns out to be a dud, it will eventually get a markdown or two, then head to a sidewalk sale, if necessary. After all, it was free.