Trash night is the best night: vintage dining room set.
Finding things is cyclical. Sometimes you find ALL of the things… And that is what is happening right now.
Or, alternately, I am entering a manic hoarding phase.
Either way, there are things I NEED TO GET.
But there is a problem: these things require money. And I have agreed to a deeply restrictive and misguided budget where overages are required to be submitted for approval, prior to release of funds.
There is another problem: it is March and I am almost into June’s budget.
Paul has not said anything about it yet. Either he has forgotten… Or he wasn’t serious… Or he understands that these things MUST BE HAD… Or he is running the vig and will be sending someone to shatter my kneecaps.
Not that it really matters. Because just like any other degenerate gambler running from the mob, I am not interested in getting my act together, joining a 12 step program, or finding inner peace… I just want to go to
Vegas Craigslist one more time.
So when I drove home on trash night, I did not see an old dining room set… what I saw was $300– just sitting at the curb waiting to be traded for MY THINGS.
Sort of like a cosmic-junk-exchange, organized by the gods of crap… (After my death, I hope to be canonized as their patron saint.)
I called Paul… I said – are you home yet? I am down the street! I need you to come and help me! I will stay here and stand guard!
As we were strapping chairs to the roof rack, Paul said– do you know a TV show called The Beverly Hillbillies?
I grew up without a TV, so I do not have all of the expected cultural references… But in this case, I will assume that The Beverly Hillbillies were a group of people who loved Craigslist, would go to any lengths to acquire their item, and were probably geniuses whose husbands loved them more than anything and would never stand between them and their THING or make unreasonable proclamations over small matters of budget-for-hoarding vs. budget-for-kitchen.
We put the dining set together and laid it out in the garage. It was nice! It wasn’t particularly interesting or fancy… But it was in great condition, incredibly sturdy, and a lot of furniture for $300.
It had a two-piece hutch, a buffet, six chairs, a table with two leaves… AND the felt table pads.
Trash night is Wednesday, by the weekend it was sold.
After the people picked it up, I said to Paul– this is like FREE Craigslist money!
Paul raised his eyebrows like he hadn’t seen that coming.
Then he added an unforeseen twist: any money acquired by the household must go into the kitchen fund.
And I was like – eh? Umm what?
But Paul just shrugged and claimed that there is no way to add money to the Craigslist fund… that it is locked and finite.
He said this casually. Sadly, even… as though it had nothing to do with him and some other random person had made the rules.
I stood there gathering my wrath and contemplating why Paul would bring it upon himself… Then I leaned down and grabbed a handful of moldy radishes for emphasis and shook my fist at the garage ceiling, because– as God is my witness, if I pull something out of the trash, it goes into the Craigslist discretionary fund. THE END.
last time I shopped trash night
March 18, 2015 @ 10:14 am
Oh my. I completely understand. Last week, I sold my vintage Hardoy butterfly chair with cowhide cover for $150. on Craigslist and bought a tapestry covered Bernhardt chair for $100.
All within an hour!!!!!! I felt like I had just won the jackpot in Vegas….my sweet husband just smiled and watched as I pulled out my phone to spend the other $50.
March 18, 2015 @ 10:16 am
Who disposes of an entire perfectly lovely dining room set in this manner? I love the hutch, and the table legs have nice lines. You are one lucky trash finder!
Karen @ Dogs Don't Eat Pizza
March 18, 2015 @ 10:16 am
Holy buffets! What a find! You need to find the intro to the Beverly Hillbillies to watch. They were junkin’ before it was cool.
March 18, 2015 @ 10:20 am
Aint no shame in curb side shopping. And to turn it into a profit is the best of up-cycling. I am in awe.
March 18, 2015 @ 10:25 am
Hmmmm. I think he’s bluffing.
But on the off-chance he’s not, there ARE worse things than growing the budget for the DREAM KITCHEN OF WONDERS.
I had to institute a rule for myself of no new projects until existing projects are finished…which sounds good in theory, but one of my existing projects is sewing all of the floor-length drapes for the living room…with lining…
April 7, 2015 @ 3:53 pm
Bleubook… I just instituted the SAME rule for myself! 🙁 It’s the only way I’ll actually complete items on my list. The pull of new projects is just so intense! Good luck to you. 🙂
March 18, 2015 @ 10:27 am
Love your find! But I do have to take issue with this: “Sort of like a cosmic-junk-exchange, organized by the gods of crap… (After my death, I hope to be canonized as their patron saint.)” I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I have The Gods of Crap Patron Saint title reserved, being held for me by my dear mama in heaven! 😉
March 18, 2015 @ 10:27 am
Good dining sets like that can always be sold. They practically appreciate in value. Especially right before the holidays. (I worked at a consignment store years ago).
Also, I call foul on Paul. The money made from this find CLEARLY goes in the Craigslist fund. And it doesn’t go to pay back the advances you took. It’s free money.
The blog has spoken.
Laurie@ Vin'yet Etc.
March 18, 2015 @ 10:30 am
That was in the trash? Wow, that’s so crazy, I would get so excited if I just found one of those chairs. Lady, you are brilliant… craigslist fund hunting!!!? By jove, I think you’ve got it! Now, to get Paul on board. 😉 Those darn pesky budgets, so annoying… I look at them as suggestions really, like the speed limit! 😉
March 18, 2015 @ 10:30 am
So THAT is what my French provincial dining room suit, handed down by my aunt, is worth! Only difference is the table I have is more oval than square. Am going to paint it black and add new hardware… TODAY! Have you ever looked at something so long that you no longer see it? That is me and this dining room suit. Gtg… busy day. Much love and keep up the good work.
March 18, 2015 @ 10:34 am
I’ve seen some cute stuff sitting on the curb with a “free” sign on it. Well, cute after I cleaned it up and painted it. One Ikea bench thing is now standing on end (with wheels on it ), peg board on one side holding tools and the inside holding little cubbies for little metally bits you find in workshops/garages … no painting required. A darling child’s rocker (actually a gift, not a find) got sanded and painted and instantly adored by three year old granddaughter. A hideous wall hung shelf painted by demented punk rockers got repainted and now holds toys for same three year old. There’s good stuff out there.
I’m worried I might be part raccoon.
March 18, 2015 @ 10:36 am
Well obviously you couldn’t drive by and leave that gorgeous set behind!!! I would have picked it up- probably trying to do it solo and not only looking like an idiot but also throwing my back out (thank God for Paul). And although I have a lot of sympathy for budget minded people (half of me is that person), he is wrong in this case. If you rescue something awesome and sell it for $300, you obviously get to put it into the craigslist fund. Duh. But maybe, just maybe, you should give him a small cut for his part in the rescue. Maybe give him $25 to spend on whatever he wants. Pretend you’re being indulgent with him.
March 18, 2015 @ 10:42 am
Way to go!!! Great score. Now maybe you could start selling some of your previous “what was I thinking” finds, in order to buy other stuff that you simply cannot live without – or get yourself a truck and start scouring neighborhoods for other treasures you could sell – you could even start your own business and call it “Trash to Treasures”. Then you could buy to your heart’s content in the middle of the night on Craigslist when Paul is innocently sleeping.
Love your blog! Keep shopping!!!
March 18, 2015 @ 8:37 pm
And if you have a legit business then everything you spend is a potential tax write-off!
March 18, 2015 @ 10:58 am
I feel woozy just thinking about that furniture going into the garbage truck! WHAT IF, JUST WHAT IF, you had not been of the right mind to stop and rescue it? What would have happened to the folks who purchased the set? Without the table and chairs, could that family have gathered round for a home cooked family meal? or had dinner table conversations that bound them lovingly together? or had children (while eating at the table) say, “mom, dad, I have a personal struggle, and I want you to help me see things clearer.” AHHHHHH, I simply can’t bare the thought of what might have happened IF!
Thank you for being you; willing to rescue curb side castaways so families around the world can live happy and healthy.
With love and respect,
March 18, 2015 @ 11:02 am
We were moving for a work transfer and towards the end process I became a little desperate as to how to get three small boys, furniture, personal posessions,TOYS! et al ,out the door to another state while keeping a huge old house immaculate for the real estate showings(house sold one year later when we were living in an apartment in PA.) I put some odds and ends at the end of the driveway including an antique wing chair minus a leg that the Great Dane(forgot to mention her-0h-and also the cat-Miss Purr) had chewed completely off. I’m in the kitchen trying to wrest Sanity from the jaws of Chaos when Mrs. GotRocks shows up at the open back door and in her best shocked upper-class accent informs me with a look of part pity part contempt that said chair is missing A Leg! And if I could find it she would be willing to have the chair picked up by her -Gardener. Because” Dear” we don’t put furniture at the curb in our neighborhood. I had black paint on my bare legs, more on my hands from trying to paint the back door, and was on the verge of a major breakdown.
When she saw the look on my face she actually took off down the driveway running as I yelled-yes yelled- If I had the Damn leg do you think I’d be throwing away the damn chair? Do Ya Huh? Do Ya? 50 years later the memory is still vivid in my mind. And still embarrassing and I still wish I had kept the chair.
March 18, 2015 @ 11:19 am
Don’t be embarrassed; GotRocks deserved it–she was trying to score a chair and became a nuisance in the midst of your nervous breakdown. Asking your permission to use “wrest Sanity from the jaws of Chaos” and “Mrs. GotRocks” because I know I’ll need them in the future.
April 6, 2015 @ 8:39 pm
Love that story!! Good for you…don’t be embarrassed. If I were your neighbor, standing by you, I would have yelled at her too!
March 18, 2015 @ 11:07 am
Genius repurposing. Paul may need a time out or a nap; obviously he is wrong as two left shoes about this. You found this, repurposed it, and made money on it. Since you sold it, the money should go to whatever you want. What is screamingly funny and priceless is the Patron Saint of the God of All Crap. Carry on…
March 18, 2015 @ 11:13 am
Victoria, as God as my witness, I beg you…please email me when you flip furniture. PLEASE. This is pretty much exactly what I’m looking for (OK, not really, but if I’d seen a picture of it, I’d have said, “Oh My Gooooood…I must have this set!!” and then you could enable my hoarding as well). It could be a quid pro quo thing, which I *think* might just work out for both of us. Just throwin’ that out there.
And don’t even get me started on trash night. Just don’t. It’s a funny story (our ritual, not a solitary experience, mind you) that I should probably write about one of these days.
We could tag-team the Philly Craigslist. I’m there all the time, too. What if you miss something? I could be the fail-safe. 🙂
March 18, 2015 @ 11:33 am
Oh, Paul is your best find! I live vicariously through you! While I love my husband dearly, he would never drive over with the truck, load it up and reassemble it!
I love your blog! Thank you so much for making me laugh and dream about all of the fun things you do!
March 18, 2015 @ 11:34 am
What a beautiful set! I’d love to find a set like that even for $300. What a bargain. I envision a paint job that elevates it to an entirely new level. Getting it free was obviously a sign from the Craigslist deity to spend more on Craigslist. I’m with you 100% on this one. Well maybe 85%. I can see Paul’s point of view also.
March 18, 2015 @ 11:34 am
What kind of people are these that leave hundreds of dollars of furniture for the trash?!?! You should definitely make friends with them because they obviously like to throw money around, and maybe they will throw some more into your Craigslist fund.
Rita C at Panoply
March 18, 2015 @ 12:12 pm
Now that’s my kind of buffet line!
It just blows my mind when people leave this stuff on the curb. It must be part of the instant gratification of having it gone, not wanting to wait for someone to gladly come pick it up. Good for you to be the one to be that one to reap the reward of taking it. My husband acts like he doesn’t know me when I ‘preview ‘ trash day.