Monday, August 31, 2009

One Man's Trash

We're entitled to two council kerbside clean ups each year and I dunno, I guess spring is in the air and it was time for a tidy. The shed was largely full of old tax records, uni materials and fabrics that Clare thought might be worth keeping and some old toys and treasures in plastic bins (I even found a tub with my old cot quilt in it, still clean and dry and well preserved), a Triton work bench and jigsaw table that nobody knows how to use (Melanie I wish you were closer because you'd probably know just what to do with it), a 25 year old Suzuki 500 (my other brother's and I wish he'd take it home!), horse paraphernalia, some of my nieces treasures and then all the stuff that actually belongs in a shed such as tractors and landscaper's gear, tools and tarps, horse feed and fencing equipment, conduit and fluorescent light tubes and five dead and truly dessicated rats that only I had the courage to prize from their gluing sticky points of demise.

Sadly it had all collapsed into a
higgeldy piggeldy mess of pottage, the floor daubed with rat droppings and chaff spillage, oil and muck. Frankly it was disgusting, so much so, I couldn't bear to take a 'before' shot. We killed about 8 unusually large red back spiders living among my nieces Uni exercise books. Clare had a conniption every time she saw one and was relegated to assembling the industrial surface spray contraption and removing saddles for cleaning and future storage. Useless.

A lot of what was in there was rubbish but amongst the 'throw outs' we also had a perfectly good computer desk and bed, removed only 2 weeks ago since Clare installed her double bed and shelving unit. Even the Salvos wouldn't take them despite them being in excellent condition . . fussy these charities, they only want goods in a pristine 'as new' state. I wonder if their clients would mind that a little melamine strip had torn from the front of the keyboard section on what was my computer desk until a fortnight ago! Then there are two screen doors and a few things in the 'container'. If you haven't used it in six years do you really need it? My bro, also tried to give his modular lounge, complete with a double sofa bed to the Salvos but they wouldn't take it because it was a bit grubby on the arm rests. We were insulted frankly because we'd been using these pieces until . .well . . last weekend but apparently our furniture is not good enough for the homeless and down and out. Talk about making us feel grubby.

When my younger brother moved in next door six years ago, we all chipped in and bought an old shipping container . .as you do . . .

No actually the container was to house furniture that belonged to my parents that my other brother said he'd like to keep and a few other bits and pieces that we also thought worthy of hanging on to until we all move on. Most are judiciously wrapped in bubble wrap and sprayed with
Baygon to keep the bugs out. It's not seaworthy but it's pretty weather proof and hides surreptitiously behind the shed.

So on Saturday, it was a bit of a discovery tour as we opened the doors. We were expecting a rat ridden
cobwebfest but actually it wasn't too bad. A few Daddy Long Legs and a bit of mould on the leather suite but basically everything was dry and in good nick. I found a horse rug and some Christmas decorations that I didn't know I had! Mmm treasure!

The upshot of our cleanup was some pretty decent furniture that with a little TLC would revive quite well: A modular lounge suite, a Domino bed base and
Oregon timber bedhead and screws, a computer desk, an entertainment unit, actually another computer desk, a couple of old mattresses (fair enough, mattresses aren't the most hygienic of give-aways - funny, we don't mind putting our own kids in beds they've peed in but don't like giving them to someone else), two fly screen doors and a load of old rubbish that we won't put out until before pickup day because scavengers scatter garbage everywhere looking for something useful.

Within 1 hour, almost all had gone. We put them down at the end of the driveway and the scavengers came in their four wheel drives, sifted through the good and the bad and have taken everything except one two
seater sofa (I suspect because they couldn't fit it in their car and may be back for it tomorrow). It was amazing . . a charity who cares for the underdog, the homeless, the impoverished refused collection, yet some well dressed bloke in his Landcruiser and with a younger fellow for muscle, took just about the lot! I really lament that furniture we were using three days ago was rejected by a charity yet will be recovered, refurbished and resold through some 'vintage' outlet by an enterprising couple. Just goes to show that one man's trash really is another man's treasure.

Ohk! Nobody wanted the workbench . . sign of the times I guess, we don't 'make' anything any more. But if you're interested, it'll be on the kerb next weekend . . I wonder how for how long?

Yeh . . happiness is a clean shed! Well until tomorrow's hay gets delivered. Please note the lack of cobwebbiness. Thank you Adam. Oh, and the leather suite spruced up nicely . .last seen in Babybro's lounge with his wife languishing on one of the recliners!

And sorry about the quality of posts these days. Bloggers block has gripped me big time.

39 comments:

Brian Miller said...

hey there.hope you are having agreat morning,and after all the cleaningthe backs not too tight. cleaning is usually not my thing but do remember cleaning outmy grandparents house after the flood and finding the most amazing treasures that had been hidden in the shadows of the basement...

The Rambling Rural Rector said...

I could do with a day like that. I have to keep apologising to people about the mess when people come into my office!

K8 the Gr8 said...

Curbside cleanups are a great idea, well done on such an epic job! I feel inspired to.. urm... clean out the cutlery drawer now. Baby steps.

subtorp77 said...

The charaties are like that over here, as well. Picky, picky, picky! 'Tis why I give most of my things to people that actually need it, first...

Roy said...

Hmmm... Apparently our Salvation Army people aren't nearly as picky; I've seen plenty of furniture in our local one with scratches and such. I guess it depends on where you live.

In any case, the shed looks good now. Heh, heh! I'm trying to imagine what the "before" might have looked like.

Jill said...

Well, I should say that you were SO VERY productive in this cleaning attack!! AND, I am impressed by the sheer QUANTITY of items the shed contained! It is looking fantastic!

I admit that I have been ONE of the people that have driven by to grab an unwanted item from the curb and bring it home, spruce it up and enjoy it as MY treasure!!! ;)

Have a good Monday.

Baino said...

Brian there weren't many treasures apart from my niece's bits and pieces which she's already gone through and doesn't value but I didn't have the heart to toss. It was sweet to find a few of the kids old toys that I'm keeping for posterity.

Trust me Craig, took a lot of intestinal fortitude but frankly after all the April rain the place has become a ratty condominium not helped by the addition of grain feed for horses so something had to be done!

Yeh we get 2 a year but it's a mammoth task getting both families motivated to chuck stuff out. You mean that second drawer don't you . .the one with bits you're not quite sure what they do, like cherry pippers and spaghetti separators.

Subby, every day I have lunch next to a bench full of homeless men. They wouldn't have much use for a bed but they wouldn't knock back a mattress! I suspect they want the goods to sell in opp shops and then give the cash to the homeless. Funny, they won't take a mattress but they'll take your 'vintage' clothing even if someone's died in it.

Well Roy, you do live in Rhode Island, I imagine the kerbside pickin's are pretty good given the photos. Trust me, before was not pretty.

Jill, I'm thinking of it myself. I know others who have found little treasures. Rubbed things back, repainted and given them new life. I did get an amazing little desk from a school that was being demolished once. Gorgeous, ink wells and lift top lid.

nick said...

Well, your bits and pieces may not have gone to charity but at least they're being recycled, which is better than being chucked in landfill.

subtorp77 said...

Baino, ditto that. Strange, wot?

Thriftcriminal said...

[Experiencing jealousy] I need a good shed. Our one is too small and cluttered to be an effective 'dad zone'.

Grannymar said...

I don't have any shed. The garage takes the car and there is little space left for clutter, good job I am not a hoarder!

That Shed looks well now. I am sure you felt good after a good old chuck out.

Vagabonde said...

Congratulation on your cleaning job. We have a two car garage that is full of stuff and we are slowly going through it but it is hard. We give the stuff to charity or place it in the dump but we might try placing some near the mail box just to see if people would stop to get it. We bought this house in 1976 so you can imagine how much stuff we have. The hardest to give away for me are books – they are like my friends.

Darlene said...

I have a storage shed that is so full I can't get in it. One whole wall is Christmas decorations. Since I am either away at Christmas or no one comes to see me I don't decorate anymore. I have stuff I could probably sell, but am reluctant to have strangers coming to my house. I really should get out there and do something with the mess. I may need the space for something else one of these days.

Your shed is so neat. Good job!

Ropi said...

Oh, your daughter reminds me how problematic English is. In Hungarian there is only one way to spell names but for example your Clare spells differently her name as my former English teacher Claire. That must be a nightmare.

I would love to try that orangle machine in your garage. What is that?

Alan Burnett said...

Nothing wrong with the quality of this post. I could picture the dead rats and creepy spiders. From the photograph you seem to have done such a good job. If you are ever around this neck of the woods there is a shed awaiting your ministrations

Megan said...

Sounds like a dirty job! :)

Congratulations on getting it done just in time to fill it up again! At least you know the hay won't stay that long, I suppose.

nick said...

Megan's right. The custom is that now you have to draw up a Grand Plan for Refilling the Shed. You can't have all that empty space just sitting there doing nothing. In six months' time I expect to see an old washing machine, some rickety bunkbeds and several surplus rolls of carpet.

Kate Hanley said...

I think I move so I don't collect stuff, seriously. But I am supremely impressed by the amount of work you did. I would have said, forget it and opened a bottle of wine.

Ronda Laveen said...

It never fails to amaze me how much and how quickly curbside stuff is gobbled up.

I picked up a really nice bread machine and roaster not too long ago.

Baino said...

I don't mind the scavengers Nick, if someone can make use of our old stuff that really makes me happy actually.

Strange indeed subby. My niece spends a fortune on 'vintage' clothing, It's very big in Melbourne!

Thrifty, mine was supposed to have a painting nook but it became cluttered with everyone else's stuff! It's actually a permalum double garage.

Neither am I Grannymar, it's everybody else that just shoves their mess in there. I just use it for horse feed and a couple of saddles.

Good luck Vagabond! Our house is about the same age but neither I nor my brother hoard stuff, it's the damn kids that won't throw anything out! I forgot to mention the broken dishwasher . . that went too! Some enterprising repairer will either fix it or recycle the parts!

Oh ,Darlene, you need a couple of strapping lads to sort it out while you sip a glass of wine and bark instructions! I'll have your Chrissy decos, I love 'em! Well it's not as neat as I'd like it but it's a big improvement on the rat poo invested bog that it was.

Ropi, I named Clare after a county in Ireland so have dispenced with the 'i' it's a more gaelic spelling than French which is probably more common. It does get misspelled but it doesn't bother her fortunately. The orange machine is a small tractor with a cutting deck . . it's our lawn mower. Essential when you have 3 acres of grass to mow. The horses eat the other two acres!

Tempting Alan and at least your spiders aren't hairy mofo's the size of your palm or poisonous redbacks! Tell you what, you send me the ticket, and I'll tackle your shed!

Couldn't have done it without Adam Megs, pays to have the odd strapping lad lying around.

Haha . . no no nick. All that's going in there today is 10 bales of green lucerne hay!

Kate there was some sippage and quaffing after the event I assure you!

See! I've never done the curbside scavenge but I'm beginning to think it might be worthwhile!

Cinnamon said...

You put me to shame, you intrepid, fearless woman you. Three rats!

And as for your energy, I am in awe.

ian said...

You have so much space! Why throw anything out, you could hoard it all for years and leave future generations to deal with it. A friend had an old aunt whose hoard of rubbish included a jar labeled 'Pieces of string too short to be of use'.

e said...

I know people who'd have taken your discards in a heartbeat, andd your cleanout's impressive. I wish you a wonderful week, Baino!

Kath Lockett said...

Well done - the rat carcasses and angry (living) spiders would have sent me screaming and outta there.

We have Hard Rubbish next Monday and I'll be very curious to see if the old rabbit hutch (Skipper's got a swish two-storey townhouse these days) is taken......

Blogger's block? Yep, I'm finding it hard, too. And finding the time .....

otin said...

I have not done my spring cleaning and summer is almost over!!!!

laughingwolf said...

wow! you have fencing equipment? sabers or foils? :O lol

jay said...

"We were insulted frankly because we'd been using these pieces until . .well . . last weekend but apparently our furniture is not good enough for the homeless and down and out. Talk about making us feel grubby."

That is EXACTLY how I felt when I tried to give some furniture we were replacing to a charity here that furnishes places for the homeless, literally just-off-the-street homeless. I was told - quite snottily - that it was too tatty. I had been living with that furniture in my lounge until the day before and foolishly thought that now we could (just about) afford to buy new, it might be useful to someone who had nothing. Ha. Silly me. As you say, they only want virtually new stuff.

Now, I give it all away on Freecycle and get gratitude, not insults.

Shed looks good! It's a great feeling, isn't it?

Renee said...

Your shed is cleaner than my living room right now.

xoxox

Tom said...

with summer winding down...i really need to get a lot done i've been putting off...you have inspired me, truly. Gads! I'm tired just thinking of it.

Melissa said...

Fantastic, Baino! There is nothing quite like the feeling of clearing out space like that. I've been known to take repeated looks at the back room once I've hauled things out, cleaned up, tossed, given away and dusted. And they say when you make literal space in your life, good "stuff" (not necessarily physical/monetary things) has room to move in. :)

Bimbimbie said...

Tsup*!* Glad most of your gear got picked up - charities are very choosy these days, they run their op shops as if they were some high street retailer *!*

kj said...

oh, may the day come when my garage looks like this. it will take me more than one hour. but dammit, hells, if you can do it, i may just coast on your good example.

charities are getting fuddy fussy, huh? hmpf!

xoxo

River said...

Two kerbside cleanups a year? No fair, we only get one. Ours is coming up this weekend. The Eastern suburbs area is broken up into council territories with each being allocated a different weekend. Well, as you've said, one man's trash...I really hate cleanup time. L goes trawling through the piles of stuff and brings home all kinds of things that might be useful, usually they're not. We have several things that he scrounged last time, I'm hoping that he'll put them out for collection this year. The one good thing he brings home is pram wheels. I've got one of those little wire market shopping trolleys with the small back wheels and really tiny front wheels, okay in the shops, but useless on footpaths as the tiny wheels catch on every crack in the pavement and come to a sudden stop causing the walker (me) to fly over the damn thing as it tips and land flat on the footpath. Ouch! Well, that happened twice, so L removed the wheels and fitted the trolley with large pram wheels. We also have a gorgeous stained glass butterfly patterned touch lamp in the living room that he brought home about 4 years ago now. Every year he says we don't need anything, we don't want other peoples rubbish, we've got no room for stuff, we're not going out even to look. Yet next Sunday we'll be out walking the streets....(pssst..I actually like looking at what others throw out.)
word verification is elookax, "ee, look ax that.." ha ha.

unstranger said...

There's ebay. Had similar truck with charity here so eventually began to deal with ebay as we don't yet have council pick-up days like you do. ebay works for me.
Excellent post.

Baino said...

Haha I thought about you and your drownded mouse! These were stiff and not complaining about being grabbed by the tail (I did have gloves on). Dunno about energy, I spent most of Sunday on the couch watching DVDs

OH Rev, you're such a hoarder. We couldn't move in there and besides it was all rubbish and junk. Pieces of useless string indeed!

Thanks e . .well the last piece of the sofa had disappeared when I got home tonight!

I know Kath, I'm so brave! I'm sure someone will find it useful. Yeh, I'm getting there just had a bit of stasis over the weekend. Thank God for politicians being assholes.

Otin what can I say . . unclutter your clutter, and unclutter your life.

Hardy har har . . .I have a small knife for opening chaff bags but that's about it!

Well Jay, someone's getting good use from our cast offs. What was funny is that the bed Clare installed was someone else's cast off. We just bought a mattress. I must see if we have something like Freecycle here

Ha Renee, my shed is cleaner than MY living room right now. The kids have turned it into a very messy office.

Tom, me inspire you? For drawing maybe, or a poem?

Trouble is Mel, it made me look at a few other cupboards so now this weekend is wardrobe time and that bathroom cupboard that seems to breed tubes of gunk.

True Bimbimbie, but I think the salvos like to sell on their stuff and use the cash for shelters and food services. Still, a bit insulting when half of it was good enough for us just last week!

Erm, took us longer than an hour kj . . more like 4 hours. But I had help from Babybro, Clare and Adam.

Oh River you have to send me a pic of your granny trolley with big wheels. Loved your little lamp by the way, what a coup. I really should scrounge more but feel like such a scab. Maybe a 'casual' stroll with a big shopping bag . . .

I know, I thought about ebay but really for all the effort of photographing and registering and fielding bids or calls and having to arrange delivery, I was happy to give these things away for free if someone would pick them up. If it was anything of real value, yeh, I'd give ebay the nod. I've learned that if you put something out with a sign saying "Free" someone will grab it!

Kate said...

It was the same when I had to find a home for my Mum's furniture - apparently it was worthless so I gave it to charity then saw it all in a local 'antique', shop!

Typical - the guy wanted it but didn't want to pay what it was worth!!

I want to see the 'before' photo!!!

Ropi said...

We cut grass with this: http://www.kissugyeskert.hu/kisgepek/ujkepek/04-al-ko-classic38e-funyiro-1300w.jpg

I don't like my timetable at school and I have many new teachers again (history, 2 English, Spanish).

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