One man's trash

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I was running late to meet some friends last night and on my way I got a text from one of them.

"Running late. Traffic"

I responded back.

"Me, too. Hoarder."

Let me explain. You know I LOVE flea markets and garage sales and resale shops. And, I'm learning how to turn that rush of a hot find into a business.

My friend, Angela, is equally enthralled with trash picking and she's turning her love of great furniture pieces into a money making venture by refinishing and reselling pieces. She likes to peruse the ads on Craigslist.

In case you don't know what Craigslist is, it's a website that allows you to regionally search for items for sale. It also lets you list your (ahem) services. And then there's the Craigslist killer. Which, by the way, was in Ohio. He lured men to a job opportunity that never existed and then...well I think we know how that one ends. But I digress.

Angela tells me where she's going, just to be safe. She had gone to this guy's house about a month or so ago and came back with a crazy story. She had walked in, not knowing what to expect, and was greeted by an obese man in a wheelchair and another skinny guy who later revealed himself as "the man's caretaker". Wheelchair guy told her that she was welcome to go in the other room and take a look around so Angela peeked her head around the corner to see a ceiling to floor hoarder's heaven. The whole situation was kind of odd so she decided to take a pass and not venture any further into the house, lest she became one of the collectibles herself.

I got an excited email from Angela on Monday with a link to the Craiglist ad that said this guy is moving and clearing out his WHOLE HOUSE. He was only taking people by appointment so we went yesterday at 3:00, leaving what I thought would be plenty of time to get to my 5:30 dinner.

We had some storms in the past week and there were still some branches in the roads as we were driving. Suddenly, there was a huge BOOM and Angela screamed and looked at me.

"Oh my GOD! Did you see that? Did you see that huge branch that just missed the car?"

I shook my head, "No. I just thought it was a gun shot."

Ah...the excitement begins.

We pulled out front of the house and climbed the uneven brick steps to the big, old colonial and were greeted by the man in the wheelchair. I looked around and didn't see much. Framed pictures leaning against a wall, a stained glass parrot panel and a few mirrors.

The caretaker directed us to the basement and we were both given a pair of latex gloves.

"It's pretty dusty down there."

This is what we saw when got to the bottom step and turned left.

Piles and piles and piles of STUFF. We started going through things but I was afraid to go to far into a pile because there had to be animals or bugs or Jimmy Hoffa in there.
We did come out with some cool stuff, though.
Coolest urn ever

Look how this awesome tray came back to life with a little hemp oil!
NYC souvenir ashtray. It features the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building in the middle and Coney Island and the NY skyline along the sides.


There's just a little polishing to do!
1954 Anscoflex II camera

Since I'm such a nosy Nellie, I just had to put this camera in my pile.

 It only had about 7 pictures taken on it. Now I don't even know if anyone can still develop it but I'm way curious to see what's on it.

Angela looked a little worried, "What if he's killing someone on it??"

"Well then," I replied, "We'll cross that bridge when we get there."

All in all, a good take of stuff for $80 total!

It did make me a little late to meet my friends and I felt bad because I felt so dirty leaving that place and I really wanted to do small stuff like curl my hair and bleach my mustache before I saw my friends, but I don't think they even noticed.


  1. Hey Chrissy! I think you're quite mad going through all that shit in a dusty basement of a weirdo's house, but I'm loving the results. Oh, and you have a little something on your lip, there... ;) Indigo x

  2. The new TV show, Cleveland Pickers now on the History channel!

  3. My company had a crew in Rhode Island staying in the same hotel and same floor the night the original Craigs List killer struck his last victim. Luckily she survived. I showed up the next morning to find the Hotel on the TV.

    Some drugstores and camera stores still have film developing. Otherwise there are online places.

    I tend to be so busy fixing my own junk to try to salvage someoneelses. Seems you did find some neat things tho.

    You be careful going into those houses.

  4. Oh my this is tooooo exciting!!! I wish you the BEST of luck with your new adventures Chrissy.

  5. @Indigo,
    I've really NEVER encountered anything like that. I usually hit the markets and stores but yes, I got some great things. It was worth the "dig".

    Thanks, I'll get right on that. ;-)

    Way ahead of ya, Ray!

    @Simply Suthern,
    OMG, they were in the same hotel! Spooky.

    Thanks, there might be a place locally but I didn't even think to go online.

    Hey, if you have any junk you don't want, Angela and I will be happy to take it off your hands!

    Thanks, pepper spray is my next eBay purchase. ;-)

    Thanks! And thanks for the tip!

  6. HA! LOVE that last photo of you, Chrissy!

    Holy shit, when I saw those first couple photos of all that stuff, it looked merely like junk. But found some AWESOME stuff in there!!!

    And only $80.00???? That's great!

    Love the NYC ash tray and sterling silverware!

    "Angela looked a little worried, "What if he's killing someone on it??" "

    HA! Yeah, you gotta get them developed just to see whats on those 7 pictures!!

  7. @Ron,
    I was going for a different look. ;-)

    When I first got there, I thought, Oh no way. But a little digging revealed some cool treasures!

    I'm taking the film in today!

  8. That is a pretty neat stash for only $80! And you made it out alive which is an extra bonus. ;) I would totally go meet and sift through hoarder's hoards if my husband would let me. lol. He's a bit over protective, but then I'm a bit reckless so it all evens out. lol

  9. @thehouseofhale,
    HA HA! Yes, I guess it was a good deal that we made it out alive. :-)

    Maybe we can kidnap you to go with us. That way you can say you had no choice. :-)


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