Adventures in Garbage Picking

Hi there! Hope you had a nice weekend. Did you manage to squeeze in any vintage shopping? Garage or estate sales? Flea markets? Thrift stores? Garbage Picking?

Two weekends ago, my sweet husband and I ventured over to the town of Glenville (NY) for a neighborhood garage sale. It was not as exciting as I’d hoped, but on the way we noticed larger than normal piles of junk lining the streets. Hmmm. Very interesting.

We later learned that it was “large object garbage day.” Since we had found the garage sales lacking, we began to focus on the junk piles. Before we knew it, we had filled the entire van! I thought you might enjoy seeing what we picked up.

Adventures in Garbage Picking

Here’s a video version, followed by the more traditional, written version 🙂 


Piles of Juicy Trash Seen While Garbage Picking

Garbage by the side of the roadWe must have stopped at almost 50 piles of trash, LOL. From this pile, I rescued the fabulous galvanized funnel.

Trash on the curbsideFrom this heap, we snatched the black plastic crates for my daughter who’s moving to Brooklyn after her college graduation.

Garbage picking!I picked up several pieces of scrap wood (for sign making) from this lovely heap o’trash.

Garbage pile on the side of the roadAt this pile we met the loveliest family and attempted to remove the blue concrete bird bath (more on that story below…).

Vintage & Antiques We Scored Garbage Picking

Collection of vintage and antiques found while garbage pickingI tastefully assembled the treasures we rescued for a photo op.

Yes, our van was literally stuffed to the gills, without room for one more item. We feared that opening any of the doors would result in spillage of our precious cargo.

For those of you hesitant to jump on the garbage picking band wagon, I wrote an article not too long ago about how to become a garbage picking pro. Check it out!

library style children's book display shelfThis piece required removal and rearranging of the entire van in order to fit it in. I listed it that evening on Facebook Marketplace (FBMP), and sold it the next day for $50. Score!

By the way, did you know that I have a course all about selling antiques on four different platforms? FBMP is one of them and the other three are: Etsy, eBay, and an antique booth. You can get more info and buy (or sign up on the waitlist) right HERE.

MCM pink vinyl footstoolI listed this MCM, pink vinyl stool the following evening and woke to sixteen interested parties. It sold to the very first person, who was beyond thrilled to get it for $15.

vintage black trunkMy daughter laid claim to the vintage trunk, in addition to the previously mentioned plastic crates (above).

We’ll be moving her down shortly after graduation. No, I’m not thrilled about her living in the BIG CITY. I grew up in a small town, so Albany–where I live now–is the “big city” to me. NYC is more like the BIGGEST CITY or maybe the GIGANTIC CITY. You get the idea.

But, we raised an intelligent young woman and we’ve had several talks about safety. She has a roommate and we’ve been told she’s in a “nice area.” We’ve known for years that she’d likely end up in NYC since, after all, she’s a theater major.

We are trusting her to use wisdom and the Lord to hold her close.

Onto the next find…

small vintage pine dressI hope to give this little guy a nice chalk paint makeover sometime soon. I LOVE chalk paint and have painted numerous pieces over the years: a vintage mirror, a French style chair, and jewelry box.

I even have a chalk paint recipe you can try out!

light blue bird bathWe loaded this top section of the concrete bird bath (seen above) into the van before realizing that there was no way in heck we could lift the base(!).

We had already rearranged things in the van so we could squeeze these two pieces in towards the center, so off we drove.

I’m thinking that the decorative piece in the center might be sturdy enough to hold the bowl? If not I’ll be busy looking for a spare base at garage sales this summer 🙂

Pair of antique framesThe painted frame on the left is quite old, but in really great shape–though very dust. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but it’s painted black, green, and burnt umber.

The frame on the right clearly once held a mirror that must have broken at some point. I may clean them lightly and either list them on FBMP or hang them on a wall in my booth and let them frame other pieces of smaller art.

We had also picked up a large, unframed mirror at a different pile that I hoped might fit in one of the frames, but it was a no-go.

If you’re like me, you have loads of empty frames hanging around. I regularly try to match artwork and mirrors with those frames. A while back I wrote an article about how to frame like a professional filled with tips on how to do just that.

Vintage galvanized funnel and chicken feederThe galvanized funnel is my second favorite find of the day, and I hope to sell it for around $30. The chicken feeder should sell for about $25.

farmhouse style white chippy stoolAs a lover of farmhouse style, this little stool is my favorite find of the day. One of the side braces has a split, but yeah, it was free.

Tell me, what have you picked out of the trash lately??

Thank so much for stopping by!

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Bye for now,

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Join me for adventures in garbage picking!

adventures in garbage picking!

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  1. Love all your picks,can’t wait to get out there. Been looking, but I guess nobody is cleaning out yet!

  2. OMG! I would have gotten the wicker! And so much more! Put some wood glue and a brace on that little wooden bench and it will be better than new! GREAT haul, Diana!

    I’ve given up on the curb shopping because I just bring too much home and need to get rid of what I have. I have been doing well, but still much more to sell !! Our city wide yard sale is coming up and since I’ve been vaccinated, I think I might try it.

    1. Yeah the wicker was great, but by then there was no room left in the van, LOL. Glad you enjoyed seeing the haul Patty! Good luck with your selling and your yard sale, if you decide to go ahead. Still praying for your hubby–

  3. Oh, my, your finds are fabulous! My son and I regularly drive around on Sundays to look for garage sale leftovers on curbs. That’s where I got my “new” pots and pans, and my son found his dresser! I also put things out, with “free” signs. I check the free items on Craigslist several times a day. I’m looking for a birdbath, and bricks.

    1. You sound like a woman after my own heart Lisa! When I was single and drove a truck, I collected furniture from the curb for a local organization that helped emancipated youth. I really enjoyed that 🙂 Good luck finding your birdbath and bricks!!

  4. What great treasures. Lora B made some great “cloches” out of that wire that should surround flower beds. Love the birdbath! I have a similar trunk that is waiting to be made into a 1/2 ” scale dollhouse–shallow rooms in the lid, deeper rooms in the trunk body–someday. They do make great coffee table, too!

    We don’t have a lot of stuff curbside–or I’m on the road at the wrong time. One of my old favorite finds (now cracked) was what I call a concrete cemetery urn–Gosh, it was heavy!

    1. I saw Lora’s wire cloches Kathy–so cool, right? Would love to see photos of your trunk-turned-dollhouse when it’s finished!!

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