Monday, May 4, 2015


Now that summer is pretty much here, towns everywhere are having big "spring clean ups". I'm telling you, it has been totally insane... the amount of garbage is staggering. Awhile ago I remember reading about people protesting the idea of a new landfill being opened around here, yet, when you crawl down the streets looking at all this crap, you've gotta wonder where people think it's all going to go. It has to go somewhere...

Here is a look at 2 streets in one town, it's just a small section, but there are huge piles like this at every house on every street.

So let's get to what I picked up in the last 2 weeks...

This baby swing sat at a curb for a few days before I decided to grab it. I think the people had good intentions by putting it at the curb hoping that someone would pick it up. I didn't really want to take it because of space issues, I figured someone who needs it will grab it. However, once garbage day got closer and closer and it still sat out there unclaimed...well, you guessed it...I couldn't bear the idea of it ending up at the landfill, so I took it. It still works perfectly. I'm doing a mom to mom sale at the end of the month, so it will be coming with me. Unfortunately, I don't think the curb has the right audience for baby items, but at least at this sale, people will be looking for this kind of stuff. I'll put a cheap price tag on it and I'm sure it will go quickly earning me some gas money :)

At another stop I found tonnes of clothing, seen here waiting to go into the washing machine

and dishware waiting for a cleaning before heading to the second hand store

All the clothes were in great shape so they will also go to the second hand store

I stopped at the curb of a house that I knew had a garage sale on the weekend. I didn't really see anything out, everything was bagged, but I decided to peek anyways, and sure enough, the bags were stuffed with good stuff...

A Sit n Sew. I have never seen or heard of one of these, and I couldn't find anything on Google about it either. It's missing one of the side handles, but it's still in good shape otherwise and still useful. I gave it to my friend Chantale who is a big knitter and crocheter :)

The rest of the stuff thrown out...

A nice burgundy winter coat

A Storm tech jacket

Elvis and Anne Murray cassette box sets that are in pracically new condition.

 Some nice flower arrangements

This tea pot has a marking for Laurentian Pottery underneath which some people collect, but I haven't been able to find this exact pattern online

A mozart CD...

That opens up into a mini biography book

3 half round wall planters with packaging and price tags still on them

My favourite though is this vintage step stool. I found one of these last summer (that I still plan on refurbishing) that was in much worse shape. This one is all original with no rust and just a bit of wear on the steps. My husband thinks it's super ugly, but I just love it's vintageness. I don't know if I'll recover this one or leave it as is. Maybe I'll just do the other one first and see how it turns out.

On another garbage day at another town...

2 cowboy hats

The biggest stuffed dog I've ever seen! He's so soft too :)

A Micro Chargers track set (just missing the car, which can be bought somewhere like WalMart)

A genuine sheep skin

An old vintage Samsonite suitcase which will go to my friend Mary-Ann who paints them, and a box full of good shoes for the second hand store

On the weekend we went into Ottawa to pick up a piece of furniture. We left our 2 oldest kids with a baby sitter so that we'd have the space in the car to fit everything. I got a taste of what it would be like to pick in a bigger city. Even though it wasn't a garbage day, there was still stuff out everywhere, but my husband, not knowing the streets or the city, didn't want to stop every 5 seconds. Can't really blame him I guess. I spotted a few bigger things I would have loved to take, but our car was just too full.

On the way home we took a more scenic route through the country and discovered a town that was having a large pick up day on the Monday. We weren't the only car cruising up and down the streets looking for treasures. 

Here is what I managed to cram into the car...

I grabbed this box full of boxed Christmas lights

At home I pulled everything out and there were 3 boxes of red, and one box of green, icicle style lights. They are all unused, I pulled out the plugs and yes, they all work. The bag still had a receipt in it, but it had faded to white and was unreadable. These will go into my garage sale pile :)

A nice pair of welded copper bowls

Real snow shoes made of wood, and I think, gut

A beautiful old vanity mirror. No vanity table to be seen though. I think I will add some hooks to the wood at the bottom and turn it into an entry way mirror with key or jacket hooks.

A box full of these awesome vintage Fire King mugs. I looked them up online and people typically sell them for about $15-$20 a pair.

I stopped to grab this popcorn machine. The people were out in the yard bringing more stuff out, so I asked them if it still worked. The lady said "It did, until about 2 minutes ago when a guy came by and cut off the cord" D'oh! Seems people go around cutting off electrical cords to salvage the copper. I was iffy on still taking it, but the woman said "Go ahead and take it, it still works, you just have to change the cord, your husband should know how to do that!" So ya, I took it. I figure if we can change the cord, it will be an easy $20.

When we got home and unloaded the car, I ended up going back out to 2 towns over the border in Ontario that were having a large pick up the following day.

Over at the first town I picked up...

A wrought iron wine rack

 a small side table that will be another painting project

and a vintage footstool which will be a recovering project

At one pile I picked out a garden scarecrow decoration, a Christmas tree skirt, a stocking, and a roll of wrapping paper still in the plastic

Yet another perfectly fine Cars chair

An "Easter tree" still in the somewhat crushed box. The decorations that you hang on the tree are still sealed in a plastic bag, so once again, something new and unused ends up in the trash.

A decorative cappucino sign

Various knickknacks and .47cents. The domed frame with the dried flowers had a $5 garage sale tag on the back. I guess it didn't sell.

This adorable little wood turtle is now holding the pens and pencils on my desk

Not a Flyers fan (Go Habs, go!) so this watch will be added to the garage sale pile.

I stopped at a big pile where I found tonnes of kids stuff...

Girls clothes

Look how cute this is, I bet it was only worn once for a few hours...

Boys clothes

These 2 items still had tags on them, and the unopened bag has a baby crib sheet in it

Lots of toys and accessories

A framed cross stitch of the letter T

 There were a few hand knit things as well with a tag that said "Made with love by Nana" that I put into the second hand store box. The one that made me saddest was this beautiful hand stitched baby blanket. So much time and love must have gone into this, and yet it, was tossed away to rot in a landfill. :(

On to the second town...

Here is my car jammed full of stuff when I got home

I was pretty tired of all the sorting and picture taking. I had already loaded a box full for the second hand store when I realized I hadn't taken pictures of the stuff I just ended up taking a picture of the full box :P

There were also a few sports things that my kids took out and brought to the yard right away to play with, like baseball gloves and golf shoes. I also left a fake tree in the yard which will be going into my cats outdoor run.

The biggest haul came from an older house where I think either someone died or got moved into a nursing home. There were lots of old pieces of furniture that got trashed when they were tossed out the door (everything was out on the front lawn), lots of older clothing and papers.

Clothing, towel sets, a vintage apron and what looks like a vintage child's christmas apron, hand knitted slippers...

This dress looks like it would have been worn on the show Mad Men

An awesome vintage bathing suit in perfect condition

Look at that old tag...

 I didn't find this device, but boy does that look uncomfortable! I wonder what you had to do to yourself to get prescribed this treatment, and if it's still even done anymore.

This little box was amongst a bag of clothing, there is nothing valuable in it, but it was still interesting to look through..

Cuff links with out their match, a tie clip, probably an old fob chain, a piece of a broken pin with faux diamonds, an old legion button, some pins and a little souvenir pocket knife from England, and oddly what looks like a modern body jewellery bar.

One of the pins says C de C with what looks like a crossed sword and anchor symbol in the middle? If anyone know what this pin is about, please leave a comment :)

A lone little bird earring. It may possibly be silver as I think I see an illegible making on it. It reminds me of The Hunger Games pin.

There were also a few old calling cards. These were the cards you handed to a butler when you entered a swanky affair so that they could announce your presence. I've only ever seen these used in the movies.

Another little box contained some religious items

On the back it says that one contains soil from the grave of É. Bruyère  and the other one says that it contains tissue that has touched the remains of Sainte Marguerite d'Youville .
Both a bit morbid I find...:/

And finally from that pile I grabbed this old plastic bridge table cloth. All the rules are printed on it, and when you turn it over...

It has a chess or checkers board printed on it :)

Finally we're at the last town for the week! 

The first stop had few boxes at the curb filled with a glass tray, another tray with candles and decorative rocks (How this didn't spill all over my car I'll never know) and a decorative wreath

2 prints and another licence plate for my collection

Lots of kitchen utensils

a nice stainless steel toaster that works perfectly. 

And a 5 CD stereo system with remote

Another pile seems to be the leftovers from a garage sale as some of the items had little hand written price tags left on them

The little wooden goose plaque had 3 holes where it looks like hooks were, so I went down into my husbands workshop and grabbed some hooks that I had found on other runs, screwed them in, and plopped it into the donate box.

This box was stuffed full of purses that didn't sell. Some were a bit crappy so I ended up tossing them anyways, but more than half were in really good shape and ended up in the donate box as well.

I stopped at a pile where it looked like some young guys were moving out as I saw them bringing bags out. From that pile I took this ceramic dragon statue...

this table that is in rough shape, but that has a lot of cool details that will look great once painted

and 3 of these old chairs

Judging by the way they are put together, I think they're at least from the 1920's, maybe even older. I have sent pictures of them to a local furniture appraiser, so I'm just waiting to find out some info on them.

One chair has a name and address written on it. It looks like it's possibly Mr. Linsley 27 Cres...?

Each chair has a roman numeral in the top right corner under every seat. These are number I, II, and VI. I wonder what happened to the others?

At what looked like another move out pile, I grabbed an outdoor rug and a wicker mirror. This pile was strange in that it had chairs, but the cushions were missing, there were blenders and coffee pots, but the glass pieces were missing. It seems that almost every thing in the pile had something missing, so not much was salvageable. Where did all those the missing pieces go? 

I ended up using the rug in my front entry as I hated the other one I had there.

The mirror will go in my garage sale pile

I found a bunch of kids stuff again at another pile. Once again, I think this was a case of good intentions, but since it was already close to 10 am, the garbage truck would be coming real soon...

These skis will go to my mom sale, and the little skates will go to my youngest as we had already talked about getting him a pair of starter skates for next winter

The stroller and playpen both had airline tags attached to them, so I think they were only bought and used for travel since they are in such good condition.

At various other piles I also picked up...

Tonnes of art

Various knickknacks

These lights from Ikea

Light bulbs included :)

A Shark steam cleaner with all the attachements

Another 5 CD stereo system that looks almost exactly like the other one. Same manufacturer too!

And this beautiful teak table

 After researching online, I found that it was made by R. Huber & Co. Their chairs seem pretty popular and go anywhere from $700 to $900. I couldn't find anything online about this table though, so I sent pictures of it as well with the pics of the chairs above.

As mentioned in my last post, I also did an indoor garage sale last week in a church basement. Considering that it was still early in the garage sale season, and that the weather was kind of crappy, I think I did ok... I ended up making $53 dollars. I hauled in 7 boxes of stuff and came back out with 5. I intend to do more this summer because it was a lot of fun :)

Here is my son who came with me as my helper at our table.

 Before I started writing this blog, I also found a watch in the garbage that turned out to be rather valuable. My husband and I hung on to it for awhile, and then called some places to see if they bought watches. Turns out jewellers and pawn shops don't want much to do with watches because they are hard to sell, which we found out for ourselves. We listed it on Kijiji and Craigslist, and dealt with so many low ballers and scammers it was nuts.  We took it offline and forgot about it for awhile, and then finally relisted it again a few months ago with the intention of finally getting rid of it. We finally found an honest interested buyer and came to a mutual agreement of $500


While I was writing this entry, I also heard back from the furniture appraiser. Here is what they had to say about my finds:

 "The chairs are Circa 1910, possibly American. They appear to be well made and of Walnut. The auction value is $40 to $80 each. The table is made in Canada of Danish design, possibly imported and a Canadian label put on. We do not know the designer because there were many. This company sold almost exclusively to Simpson’s during the sixties. Because we do not know the designer and it has a Canadian label, the auction estimate will be much less than that of a well known Danish designer - $250 to $400 at auction. It has a nice look. "



  1. I can't believe what people throw away!! Do you live in Canada? Great finds.

    1. Yes I do :) I'm just a few houses away from the Quebec/Ontario border.

    2. The reason I asked is because I live in the states and I'm wondering if there is a cultural difference at work. I don't see trash like you find and Martin finds on What I Found In The Garbage blog.

      You could look at it two ways. First it could be that Canadians are more wasteful, throw out perfectly good stuff and don't donate to thrifts or maybe there are fewer thrifts to donate to in Canada while people in the states are more likely to donate to thrifts or sell their castaways.

      On the other hand it could be that Canadians are purposefully putting their unwanted items out for pickers because maybe there is a more overt culture of picking in Canada than in the US. Just guessing at this and hoping it doesn't sound insulting.

      I know that in the states people have success dumpster diving behind businesses and such but I have yet to hear of someone so successful with finding such useful items in the trash like you and Martin do, both Canadian. I come across something I want in the trash once in a blue moon but it's a rarity. I don't go out regularly looking either so maybe that's the difference :) What do you think?

      Anyway, I love reading your blog and seeing what you find and how you put it to use.

    3. I'm not sure really, where do live in the States? I have seen a few You Tube videos of people who pick like I do who also find big piles of stuff. I don't really know where they were from, but I think it was Florida. Maybe certain regions in both The States and Canada are more open to picking and leaving things out for others?

      I haven't done much dumpster diving, only peeked in some a few times, but I've never seen the kinds of goods in them that I have seen people find on Reddit. I've only really seen what looks like regular household waste in them.

      I think in the areas I go around, we're a bit more isolated so it's not easy to sell things or have many people come out to a garage sale. Taking things to a donation bin is also a bit of a trip, so I thought people just throw things out because it is easier and more convenient. However that doesn't really explain all the stuff Martin finds. You'd think it would be easier to sell or donate things in a big city where everything is so central and easier to get to, but I think he's proven that that doesn't seem to be the case either.

    4. I live in a medium sized city in Wisconsin. I think you are right about smaller communities. I remember now when I would visit my parents who lived in a small town I would find things sometimes. Maybe I need to start taking country drives :)

      I think it is really admirable that you launder all those clothes and bring them to the thrift. Kudos to you.

    5. I doubt Canadians are any more wasteful. I've seen a few pickers that are from the States (mostly on Youtube - like "Mom the eBayer", who I think is in New York). Funny though, I don't think there are too many blogs about trash picking out there, and the main two I'm aware of (mine and this one) are both Canadian.

      I think the city is just denser, so you're more likely to come across people who really just don't care, or are ignorant of the value of their items. My technique is designed to basically see as many roads as possible, and find these locations while they're still producing great trash. Being in the city, I can go to a different trash day each day of the week (some trash days are even in the evenings, so I could go out 9 times over the week if I really wanted!). That means I can switch my route around when one goes "cold." There's just so many options here!

      I haven't done much picking in smaller communities, so I can't speak too much for that.

  2. Hi Nancy pointed me in the direction of your blog. I love it! I am an eBay seller and often find things in the trash. I just can't believe what people will throw out.
    Do you sell on eBay or just garage sales? If not have you considered it?

    1. So far I just do garage sales when I can and then donate. I have thought about ebay, but I don't really understand how shipping and all that stuff works.

    2. Cindy you could make a lot of money on ebay. It's not hard to learn about shipping and the other stuff. There are a ton of blogs, youtube videos and tutorials out there if you google. You already do the research when you look up what the valuable items are worth. You and Martin find just as good if not better stuff for free than what I pay for at thrift stores and sell on ebay. It does take quite a bit of time and it sounds like you are a busy lady but if you have the time I'd encourage you to just try it out with a couple of items.

    3. I'll look into it maybe this winter when things start to slow down again garbage wise :)

  3. Love the Fire King stuff. When I'm rich (someday! lol) I'd like to have a small collection - particularly of the mugs. I had a couple beautiful "jadeite" mugs a while back. I wanted to keep them, but it was hard to justify considering how much they were worth. I sold the pair for 60$, but I think they were a relatively collectible type (some are more collectible than others). I'm sure I'll find more someday!

    The "C de C" pin is from the Knights of Columbus, which I think is a fraternal group of some kind. In Quebec / French they're the "Chevaliers de Colombs." I think I had a pin just like that at some point.

    Good on the watch! That's pretty awesome.

  4. I love this blog!! This is exactly what my husband and I did when we lived in Montreal. The treasures to be found are amazing. If I still lived in MTL, I would LOVE to go on adventures like this with you

  5. I'm new to your blog and a little late for this particular party, but I do have a little tid-bit of information about what you called "modern body jewellery bar". These bars were used with men's neckties. It seems that the style at the time was to push the knot up. There was an eyelet sewn on each side of the collar, and the bar was pushed through one eyelet, under the tie and through the other eyelet. The bar itself - one side (the small cube, or other design) could be unscrewed. I guess men have fashion fads — maybe a little more toned down from some women's fads. I'm sorry I don't have a photo to show you, but if you see something old in your travels about men's ties, you might notice this old fad. Anyway...looking forward to getting your blog updates. I follow Martin, too. Fun stuff to see, and I'm glad there are at least two people who are rescuing the old stuff that is destined for the landfill. Poo-poo to the people who cut the cords on the electronics!!! How much copper could be in a cord? Jeez! Carry on!

    1. Thanks for the info! Even if it is late, I really appreciate you commenting! It's always interesting to learn something new :)