simple living

If you’ve been with me for awhile, then you know I love cooking, baking, gardening and the dump!

Yes, the dump.

Well, it’s not actually the dump, it’s actually a transfer station, but I lovingly (though incorrectly) refer to it as the dump. It’s just what I call it.

It’s where I take my trash and recyclables. I’ve lived in a few areas (and states) where residents can choose to use a service or take care of their own trash, meaning, go to the transfer station (dump) themselves.  I’ve always opted for the later. Why?

Well, first off, it’s free, secondly, it’s no big deal for me to take care of myself (and my trash, which, by the way is quite minimal…) and usually, there is an area for ‘free’ items.  It’s an area where residents can leave unwanted, yet good items, for others to take and enjoy…what’s not brilliant about that? My town has such a place.

I call it the ‘freebie barn’. I love it. Lots of residents do. I have found countless items there…toys, shoes, dishes, beach toys, chairs, tables, televisions, radios, rugs, silver ware (real silver), glasses, fabric, grills, telephones, old cameras … the list goes on and on – sometimes I look around my house and think, ‘Wow, I’ve scored so much cool stuff, for free!’ I love the dump.

It’s second hand stuff, without the price tag. Squeamish about second hand? Well, if you’ve ever eaten at a restaurant or slept in a hotel – you’ve experienced, ‘second hand’… get over it.

More areas need this resource. There are too many things being wasted. Lots of people would just love to have what others are ‘throwing away’ – too many good things (and well made things) get ‘tossed’ simply because another tires of it…thankfully, where I live, good things don’t go to waste.

So, the next time your driving down the road and see a table or chair on the side of the road and it’s got great lines, is well built and could use a good clean or a fresh coat of paint – don’t think twice. Pick it up. Fix it up. And enjoy it.

Why not? You’ll not only save yourself some money, (while adding to or changing your living space), but you’ve repurposed a completely good and useful piece of furniture or whatever it may be, that someone else simply tired of...don’t let well made items go to waste. Use them and enjoy them!

Here’s a look at a few things I’ve recently scored for free from my local transfer station…

fisher price elevatorVintage toys are always fun to find. This piece is great. All parts work, the bell dings (without batteries!) while the elevator moves up (and down) and it’s great fun for Finn to push his cars up and down the ramps while allowing ‘passengers’ on and off the elevator.

beach chairsWhen you live near the beach, one can never have too many beach chairs. I love how low these are – perfect for sitting at the waters edge…cocktails anyone?


I have scored such a variety of glasses from the dump and here’s a few more I’ve added to my never ending collection…one can never have too many glasses either…I love entertaining and having a plethora of glassware to choose from – and if one breaks (which, they inevitably do), I don’t fret…I will always find more…again, cocktails anyone?

his and hisNow, these were a fabulous (and serendipitous) find. Finn has been enamored with mowing the lawn (and we have a BIG lawn to take care of)…though, he’s only 3, so no real mowers, for a long time…though he’s been asking for a toy mower (his own mower)… most are plastic and I didn’t want to buy plastic (there’s too much plastic as it is, without consuming it, new!) so when we found this one (above) – he and I were so happy! He, because he finally had his mower and I, because we’ve recycled it (despite it being plastic), and we will recycle it, again. The red mower in the back, I also picked up! It needed a new spark plug and that’s it – it started right up – $200 mower, free. Love it!

mower + wheelbarrowHere’s the real mower again and the wheelbarrow in the back, was also, you guessed it, free.

tool tray

This (plastic – I know) tool tray we also picked up with these fun tools (below)! I know, more plastic (frightening!), but at least it’s being re-used – even the drills (below) still had (good) batteries in them! What?


Now, I much prefer wooden toys (that is all I choose to buy) so when I spotted all these (below), I had to pick them up! Great additions for play dough play…not only does Finn enjoy working with play dough, but he also enjoys helping me make it! It’s very simple (and fun) to do, see here.

wooden toys

So while second hand may not be for everyone, it is for me.

It’s great for the planet and great for my wallet. You don’t have to spend a lot, to have a lot.

Do you love second hand things as much as I do? If so, I’d love to hear from you!

Share your thoughts, finds and most favorite ‘scores’ below.


12 thoughts on “simple living

  1. Oh wow! We had that exact same garage when I was a kid. I’d completely forgotten about it, but now seeing the picture I can remember turning that little crank on the side! Great finds, as always!

    • Thank you! I wish every town and city in the world had such a resource…how fun for everyone; those who need to discard and those who like to re-use, everyone, especially our resources, would benefit…
      the lawn mower find was the best! Both of them…(: Now, I’m ‘putting out there’ to find a rider mower, that’s what we could really use…(: The lawn is that big!

  2. Yes, I do try to find used as much as possible. When our four children were young, I dressed them almost exclusively from garage sales, and they always looked great. (I was a very fussy garage sale buyer for them!) Our first three cars cost $500, $500, and $800-used cars that served us well. These days, I use craigslist a lot. I just found a wonderful desk for $25.00. I would really like it if we had a transfer station like that in our large metro area.

    • Sounds like you know how to live the life you want within your means…fabulous for you and your family! Craigslist is a fabulous resource too, I agree! I agree, every town/city should have such a resource…perhaps I’ll have to look into ‘spreading the idea’ – who wouldn’t like such a resource? Perhaps some sort of non-profit? I know of a non-profit which collects donated, used, but good furniture and house hold goods and then donates them to women with children overcoming struggles as a result of poverty in inner cities. Different ‘intent’ but same idea. Take good things and give them to good people who need/want them. Everyone wins.

  3. I absolutely love second hand. Our entire house is furnished with second hand auction sale, garage sale, and hand me own finds. And I think we have an attractive and comfy home. I also buy clothing, cookware, etc. no squeamishness here. Good finds.

    • Thank you! I’m sure your home is more than comfy and lovely…you hand select items because they are well-made, speak to you and they don’t ‘break the bank’ – what’s not to love about that? Glad to know another thrifter…(: Thank you for commenting!

  4. Just had another idea about stuff on the side of the road–if it’s there the next day, pick it up even if you don’t want it and take to Good Will. That way it doesn’t go to the landfill.

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