What a Waste

Our community has bulk pick-up every week.  I know I’m lucky, as many communities have no bulk pick-up at all.  Heck, my Dad’s tony city has none so residents have to schlep it somewhere, which can be a real PITA.

This morning I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful wood bed at the end of someone’s driveway.  It looked to be in very good condition, and even if it wasn’t I’d have schlepped it home if I had the room to store it.

It’s truly amazing to me what people put by the curb.  Perfectly usable items, and occasionally they find their way off the curb and into my car.  Some I sell, and some I keep, but either way they aren’t taking up unnecessary space in a landfill.

Just because you don’t want to take the time or spend the money to repair something doesn’t mean it’s  trash.  Unless your dog peed on it or it’s smashed into a hundred pieces someone else can probably use it, and be thrilled to have it.

I understand wanting to get rid of unwanted items, I really do.  But  how much effort does it take to donate something?  A phone call will see the veterans, Salvation Army or one of a thousand church organiations come to your house and pick it up.  You can even get a tax deduction!

There’s also Craigslist, where you can sell your item and make a few dollars.  And Freecycle, where someone who thinks your trash is treasure will come and take it off your hands.  Both of these options take minimum effort, as it takes about two minutes to post a listing.  Yes there can be pitfalls to using these services, but even though I’ve been burned I still think they are very much worth utilizing…

And you can make someone’s life better or easier or prettier.

And you don’t have to schlep it to the curb.

And there will be more space in the landfills.

And my garage.

To Answer the Question of the Urinal…

A few weeks ago I pondered whether or not to allow Son to dress as a urinal for Halloween. Many have asked what we decided.

Turns out I didn’t  have to decide.

Not a urinal.  Usually.

Not a urinal. Usually.

We’d read a Curious George book that saw George going to a costume party. One of the party guests was a garbage can and Son could not stop laughing. The urinal was out. The trash can was in…

It was lots of fun making this costume, and we were happy with how it came out. I spent $1.49 on spray paint, and the rest was, well, garbage.

When we walked into his classroom this morning we were blown away by the reaction of the kids and the teachers. There was a huge “Whoaaaaaaaaaaaa!” and the kids rushed over to him. He was a little overwhelmed!

I can’ t tell you how good it felt to see Son’s idea come together so well. I’m so happy I went to the trouble of making his costume. It’s so rewarding to me. These are the types of things I’d look forward to when I dreamed about what motherhood would be like, and the reality is even better than the anticipation.

And it only cost $1.49.

We’re off to dazzle the family and friends. Enjoy your Halloween!

That Ain’t No Singer

Every Wednesday is bulk pickup day in my neighborhood. In the past I’ve been known to profit from my neighbors’ garbage. People throw away some seriously good stuff.

Lately, though, I’ve not even been looking. We are trying to downsize and declutter as we get ready to sell the house. We’re already overstuffed because of the items I’ve brought home that were from my Dad’s old house, things that he couldn’t bear to see leave the family. And Husband tends to get a little crazed when His Domain (aka the garage) gets cluttered.

All my good intentions flew South as I walked out of my house two mornings ago. There by the curb my next door neighbor had placed several items too good to resist. Items that should not be taking up space in a landfill. Items that should be used, or sold on Craigslist.

There was a perfectly good girl’s bike. There was a perfectly good dog crate.

And there was this:

Do you know what that is? Yes, it’s a sewing machine. But it’s not an ordinary sewing machine. It’s a HUSQVARNA VIKING Sewing machine. Selling for $800 and up.

And she was tossing it. A lovely, lovely woman who is obviously slightly insane.

My current Singer sewing machine has…issues. This one needs a new needle plate, but according to my neighbor it is in otherwise good condition.

I’m thinking Mama has a new sewing machine. But the other part of me is screaming, “SELL IT!”

The bike and the crate will definitely be sold. It makes Husband feel funny. He wonders if perhaps I should give the money to the neighbors; I don’t think that’s necessary – they were tossing it. Besides, a “Surprise! Here’s $30. I sold your garbage for you,” might not be received so nicely…

On the other hand, someone very close to me was once selling brand new $50 wood blinds from Home Depot, in an unopened box, at a garage sale for $5. They didn’t sell, so I fibbed and told her I’d take them, that a friend might buy them. I then hightailed it over to HD and returned them. She seemed pretty happy when I handed her the gift card, and I was very happy to do it…

I know what I’m going to do.  What would you do?

Speaking of Dumpster Diving…

A neighbor of mine moved and left lots of perfectly good items by the curb.

I just made $40 selling some of her garbage on Craigslist.

Nothing edible, of course.

Good to Know In Case Your Disposal Ever Develops a Vile Smell

There was a smell coming from our garbage disposal. That happens, occasionally, when someone (Husband) doesn’t run the disposal after stuffing food down there. A little bit of baking soda and a good water flushing usually takes care of the problem.

Not this time.

This was The Smell That Wouldn’t Go Away. It was vile. It smelled like something went in there and died, like our poor garage visitor a few months ago (But at least that smell went away after we found and got rid of him). Actually, it smelled like something died, then took a bath in poop, and then died again.

Nothing I’d ever tried before worked to get rid of the smell. It was so bad Husband was ready to take out the disposal and put in a new one. Or move.

Cooler heads prevailed, though. I did a quick internet search and saw that adding a little vinegar to the baking soda until it stopped bubbling would do the trick.

Voila!

It was kinda cool, too. I felt like I was doing a 5th grade science experiment.  My son thought it was hilarious.

Good to know…

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