The under-utilized art of dumpster diving.


I’ve been called a pack rat since I was a little kid. I hate throwing things away that I know can be of use. But what I hate more is seeing people throw away thing I know I can use. 

I learned the art of curb shopping from my grandmother. She lives in a beautiful trendy home, and she will proudly tell you about all of the furniture she found on the side of the road and at yard sales. I introduced her to the facebook buy, sell, and trade groups. She loved them. I don’t know how often she buys from them, but i helped her clear out an entire garage.

Anyways…. I wanted to write this because, today whilst cleaning my new car I notice a stack of boxed neatly piled by the vacuums. I tried so hard not to be interested. With the new roommate and a baby in a studio, I REALLY have no space to save anymore.

But while I was driving past them I noticed they said glass. Shit. I love glass things.

So I pulled over to check them out. Bro…

Last week I decided my next big project would be candles. I love them but decided I couldn’t afford them anymore.

Look at those beauties. Perfect size and everything. 78- 8 oz. Mason jars. Do you even know how much mason jars are these days? It was a sign fo sho.

Okay so even if its weird to say I love digging through shit.

My first job was at an thrift store that frequently bought unpaid storage units and sold their contents. It was thrilling. They’d pile boxes in and I got to dig through them and clean things and decide where they went in the store. I love hoppers!

But enough rambling for one day here are some awesome tips on dumpster diving: 

  • Apartments are sooooo easy. Most of the time if people decide to throw something out they know is usuable they wont event throw it in. They’ll leave it next to it. I’ve found so much awesome furniture at my complex already. Even if it’s not something you need, take it, paint/fix it, and sell that shit.
  • Carefully consider anything fabricated. Bed bugs are rampant. Especially if it looks new, and too nice to throw away. Look under cushions, and look closely.
  • Gas stations and carwashes. People always clean out their cars here and they throw out some cool stuff. I once found a full trash bag full of shoes, most being my size.
  • Avoid restraunts like the plaugue. Because maggots are gross.
  • Highways? Ok so not the safest thing to do, but I’ve found amazing shit before. Two tubs of shoes (I have a lot of shoes) A lot of moving people lose like a box or two and decide its not worth going back for.
  • Small town alleys are the best. Okmulgee and Henryetta taught me this. Lots of privacy and lots of not so gross trashcans to sift through.
  • Wear clothes you dont care about and maybe even gloves. For obvious reasons. Trash juice is the hardest thing to get out of clothes.
  • Remember it’s “technicality” trespassing. Most people wont care if you don’t make a mess, but if they ask you to leave, it’d be wise to do so..
  • Don’t brag that you found your “new” ugg boots in the trash. People get super judgey….
  • Craigslist and free fb pages are the best. People just tell you where to find stuff.
  • It’s better to go alone. Besides your friend’s weird looks, the more people, the more attention gets drawn to you. Unless its a superheavy haul, go solo.

Curb shopping and dumpster diving are awesome ways to get things you didnt know you needed. Its kind of like a treasure hunt though. Sometimes you find boots, sometime you find dead bodies..  Or old tires or something…


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