Quality junk

One of my storage areas after a heavy purge.

I’ve been too busy lately. I did a yard sale on Saturday, and those are always a lot of work (roughly nine hours without a real break in this case). On Sunday I organized my storage area, which was a disaster zone, and did a purge of junk I didn’t think would ever sell or was just sick of looking at. I also went on a garbage run that night, and filled the car with more stuff.

On Monday a friend and I did more organizing, and dealt with some of my finds from Sunday. In the evening I went on another trash run, and again filled up the car with more quality junk.

At this point I’m slightly burnt out, so a car full of stuff doesn’t conjure up the same amount of joy it normally might. If anything, part of me is annoyed that I had to take time today to make room in my garage for these recently orphaned items. I’m not completely burnt out, but I will need a real day off sometime soon.

Most of my finds last night came from a wealthy street in Cote-des-Neiges. I almost skipped it this week, but at the last minute I reversed course, remembering that one specific household looked to be getting ready for a move.

I saved a bunch of decent stuff, including two vintage folding chairs; two enlarged prints of vintage 1960s Couture magazine covers; a set of what I now know to be Roto-Toms; a hockey stick, driver, and putter (there were more golf clubs, but I left them for others); a mid-century looking cushion; a pinball game; a signed photo of Patrick Roy; and some other things.

I also saved a couple decent pieces of furniture. I particularly like the cabinet on the left, which has some great mid-century pulls. Neither are in perfect condition, but they’re definitely worth yard sailing. I also found a miniature chair and a pen holder thing. The latter looks kind of fancy, and has a powerful magnet that holds the ball in place. The plastic bit is busted, but that could probably be replaced.

Inside the large “Montreal 1986” folder was a nice screen print of the Eglise Notre-Dame. The artists involved don’t look to be famous, but it’ll definitely sell at a future sale.

I also found a few things in Villeray, like this vintage wind-up toy clock by Westclox. I’ve been finding a lot of good stuff at a spot there recently, but most of that will have to wait for a future post.

I’ll finish up with some other bits and bobs I’ve found recently. St-Michel has been productive of late, and one spot in particular has produced some excellent finds. My collage friend will be happy to receive this batch of National Geographics, most of which date from the late 60s and 1970s.

I also found a vintage enameled bedpan. I’m not sure anyone wants this kind of thing, but I do like having a few funny items at my yard sales!

Edit: just checked eBay and people do seem to want them, though they’re not super valuable or anything.

A bin in TMR last week provided a large collection of vintage wristwatch bands. Some of the bags had gotten a bit moldy but most were fine. They were all made by a company called Meillon in Paris. I can’t find any reference to them online, but I’m sure they’ll sell regardless. They might even be worth eBaying, since the cost of shipping would be very low, basically lettermail + bubble envelope.

The bin also provided this very cool mid-century perpetual calendar. I love the globe design, and it should sell for between 10-20$.

I picked these up on a local heavy garbage day. I’m not sure what they were made to do, but I thought they were cool and potentially useful for some interior design project. They remind me of the inside of a confession both, though I doubt they were used for that purpose. If anyone has any ideas, let me know in the comments!

That’s just the tip of the iceberg really. I’ve found so much recently, and unfortunately a lot of it will never make the blog. I already have a load of photos to post and stories to tell, so some things unfortunately won’t make the cut due largely to circumstance. A recently acquired storage cabinet is full of these things – here’s a look inside. There’s a lot more, and unfortunately I would need an unpaid intern and more storage space to get it all on the blog.

Although I’d love to take next weekend off the weather is supposed to be great, and Sunday seems like a perfect time to do a final yard sale. Mark the day in your calendars if you want to check it out! If all goes well I’ll do a couple more posts this week, one featuring a couple bags of cool vintage clothes I found a couple days ago and one featuring recent furniture finds. Assuming I get the posts done in time all the items within will be available at the sale.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

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38 thoughts on “Quality junk

  1. eve bolt says:

    The panels with the grid thingies could make for nice earring storage lol. Or to suspend bins and then put stuff in the bins, I think Ikea has similar systems.

  2. willedare says:

    Please schedule some down time. We all love your work and your posts. We don’t want you to burn out. What you continue to do is fascinating and inspiring. THANK YOU!

    • martng says:

      I plan on taking some time off tomorrow… at least until the evening, when I’m going out for trash lol. Once fall arrives it should be easier to get down time, right now the weather is unseasonably warm and it’s hard to resist not making the most of it.

  3. Jennifer says:

    The confession booth thingys would be cool for hanging jewelry. And/or if you had some little clothes pin-type clips one could display photos.

    Hope you get to take a little break and have some fun. “Burnt” means break-time.

    • martng says:

      I thought so too. They could be useful in some kind of store.

      I’d say I’m not quite burnt, but I’ve been there enough to know the warning signs. I think I’ll try to take tomorrow mostly off.

  4. Zowieeee, Martin … even reading this post I got winded. You’re definitely due for a much-earned day or two off (if not an entire week!). Best to avoid a case of burnout. Take good care of #1 and all that.

    Love the kiddie cow clock. 😀

  5. Sarah says:

    I love reading your updates. Question for you, how do you mail your ebay shipments? I sell a lot of books and I recycle boxes from, what else, the garbage. I score bubble wrap lined envelopes and cardboard mailers on a daily basis. Such a huge bonus.

    • martng says:

      I buy most of my smaller boxes, and scavenge the medium to large boxes at a local bookstore. I also get bubble wrap and packing paper there, so I never have to spend money on that (occasionally I find rolls of bubble wrap that people throw away as well). I would like to find a source of cardboard mailers and bubble envelopes, though in general I think it’s better to use new, not used ones just it looks more professional. I do sometimes re-use bubble mailers when shipping things to readers however, haha… I expect they’re happy with a recycled mailer.

      As for the actual mailing I do the Paypal labels and tape them to my boxes.

  6. L. Baker says:

    I find it amusing that you complain about being tired or burned out or …..you certainly don’t work 8hrs/day like most folks –

    • martng says:

      Maybe not in the traditional sense but I do frequently work 8hr days or longer, and then (as it was this weekend) I work hard on the weekends as well. I think when everything is said and done, between picking, sorting, photo taking, eBay listing, eBay customer service, shipping, yard sales, blogging, emails, cleaning, and trying to keep the whole thing organized (perhaps the most challenging task of all) I work 40 hours a week, and often more.

    • K.B. says:

      That’s an assumption, L. Baker, not necessarily based on fact. Maybe he works a 40+ hour work week but it’s not 9 to 5. Maybe not, but as he is effectively a small business owner and entrepreneur, he gets to choose. If you’ve ever tried to list on eBay or Etsy, you would have a sense of the true work involved. It can be onerous and exhausting. Lots of people “work” 8 hours a day but aren’t really working as OP is – given that part of his time is spent bringing us his finds, I for one am glad he recognizes when he needs a break. I like the perpetual calendar, BTW.

      • martng says:

        That’s basically it, it’s not 9-5 for sure but the hours are there regardless. For instance, yesterday I was doing various organization stuff from around 11-6, and then went out for more garbage from around 9-12pm. So around 10 hours overall, certainly a solid work day.

        eBay does indeed take time as well. I haven’t even had the time to list much lately, I hope to get to that more once the cold weather arrives.

    • I do the same thing Martin does, but not near the amount of volume, and I can tell you that even at a lower amount, it can be hard, long & tiring work. For just a dozen items, I sometimes I spend an entire day just cleaning them up, measuring, photographing, uploading, editing, and posting. Then you sometimes have to deal with a slew of emails if an item is popular, and field questions, and deal with people who want a closer view of something, which means more pictures, editing and uploading. Sometimes you get a request on an item that has been packed away for so long, you kind of forget where it is and you need to go out to your storage shed and dig through all your stuff just to find it. Sometimes you need to spend a few hours online just researching an item to figure out it’s value (which can also be frustrating if there is no info out there) Loading and unloading finds from the car or setting up and breaking down a garage sale isn’t always easy either (my poor back can tell you all about that I’m sure). There is much more behind the scenes stuff that most people don’t think about. On top of it all, Martin has mentioned that he deals with some mental health issues (as do I), so sometimes what seams easy and simple to a “normal” person, can be completely overwhelming, frustrating, and almost crushing for another person who suffers from these conditions. I’m glad Martin can see when he needs to take a break, and when he does take one, it’s well deserved! 🙂

      • martng says:

        Well said! I knew there was one thing I forgot to add to my list of tasks, and that was pricing. Sometimes it’s easy but sometimes it can be a real hassle!

        Yard sales are always a lot of work. The sale the other day was actually a relatively short one, I’ve had a few that have been around 12 hours of work all in all, with no real break (with my sales, there’s always more I can sort through, organize, and so on).

  7. Always good finds!!! I am interested in the drums (3) and the (I think) the drums’ holder stand…let me know if still available, Thanx!

  8. I would put that cabinet up on Kijiji or Craigslist instead of settling for a yard sale price. I think you could get at least $65 for it and it would be snapped up quickly. I’ve seen people use those old bedpans as planters. It’d be interesting to put a few cacti in there I think 😛 I hear you on the burn out issue, I really don’t know why I don’t have the time anymore, but I just don’t. Where does the time go? I think the last time I was able to post on my blog was in May, and back then I was still posting about stuff I found last fall. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to catch up. Hope you do well if you decide to do a garage sale, but the weather has been really good and I’m sure you might be able to get one more good weekend out of this summer…it’s not over yet! 🙂

    • martng says:

      I’ll think about it. What I might do is ask a relatively high but still lower than Kijiji price at the sale, in hopes that someone buys it and saves me the effort of listing it, meeting people, and so on. I’m happy to leave a little money on the table if it saves me some effort in other areas.

      If I were you I’d forget about the old stuff and just start fresh. Maybe do an all-star post of your favourite finds from the last while and leave it at that. I don’t know about you, but my most exciting finds are the most recent ones, and I find it harder to motivate myself to write about the old stuff.

      • Yeah, I might, I was tinkering around with the idea of doing a few slideshows but then I got all caught up with a bunch of “free” ones that weren’t really free, and some didn’t work on my site, so I got all frustrated and put it off to the side again. I’ll try to get on it again soon 🙂

  9. Teri says:

    Pretty sure you meant yard “selling”, but if you didn’t, I’d love to know about yard “sailing”!
    Keep up the inspiring work!

  10. martng says:

    Lol. I mostly just think it’s funny. Yard selling doesn’t sound right, while yard sailing looks wrong but sounds right, at least to me.

  11. diane Corey says:

    The best place for getting deals on small mailers is rummage or estate sales. Churches usually have a bag sale last day

  12. Roberto Pillar says:

    This planet is being destroyed by massive overconsumption,excessive garbage production and overuse of cars and methane emissions from factory-farmed cows and pigs.I gave up my car for everyday use 10 years ago and have been a vegetarian for more than 10 years.I hope someone rich and without children leaves you a big cash reward in their will to encourage you to do what you are doing and to reward you.I am shocked by the amount of waste in our society.I see some of it myself,but see much more through your blog.I rescued four full perfume bottles from the trash this week near Ste.Croix street in St.Laurent.
    We should all worry with the record-breaking heat we are having so late in September and the massive hurricanes in the Caribbean,the massive flooding in Houston,Texas,the glaciers melting near the Arctic very fast,etc.
    Continue to educate people with your blog.I hope you write on dumpster diving and saving good food too some time soon.Have you saved vinyl records from the dump recently?

    • Deb says:

      I saved a bunch of vinyl records from my Dad’s basement. Most of them are 78s. Any idea on the best way to find them a new home? There are so many I don’t want to have to go through each to list. They also are musty but I am sure the actual record is still fine.

      • martng says:

        Records aren’t really my expertise so I can’t help too much. I think generally speaking the older pop stuff, the foxtrots and the marching bands aren’t worth much and could probably be donated (or maybe given away via a Facebook group or Craigslist). I personally have had no luck with the stuff at yard sales. There can be money in old blues, jazz, and country. I’m not sure how must affects a record but it would reduce their value in general, as they would have to be cleaned and I think even after that they might be crackly.

    • martng says:

      I like to think that humans will figure all that out just in time. We’ll see. I’ve saved a few good ones lately, but have had no big hauls for a while.

  13. Grover says:

    I collect old National Geographic magazines for decorating and for reading pleasure.You may think all people interested in old issues might be interested in them just for collage,but I actually like just reading them and collecting them.I hope there are other people like me.

    • martng says:

      There definitely are people like you. Some people collect them for sure. I just happen to know someone who wants old magazines for collage, and National Geographics are good for that. They’re still very common, since they were mass produced back in the day, so I don’t think of them as historical artifacts that need to be preserved.

  14. Laura Carder says:

    If I lived closer I’d love to volunteer to be an unpaid intern… Too bad I live in the very middle of the US!

  15. Francine says:

    Those grid-y things look like they might have been used to conceal radiators. Or am I off in scale on that?
    We are in an old building at work and the boss’s office has pretty similar-looking ones for that purpose.

    • Danyele says:

      Pickings have been good lately here as well and a little overwhelmed myself by it all. I’ve noticed that when school starts in the fall again that seems to be the case around here. I’ll second what Francine said on the grid things, they look like radiator covers to me also. The watch bands look like that might be a nice score, and easy to ship which is always a plus. Congrats!

      • martng says:

        Yes I was wondering that too. Maybe parents have time to do other things now that the kids are back in school. I actually had a pretty good summer in general though – last year was really slow in July and August. Maybe I was just unlucky…

    • martng says:

      I think that’s the best guess so far. They are quite large, the biggest one is longer than I am tall. I also have been similar looking things in old houses come to think of it

  16. Mary Pressman says:

    Those grid-y things could have served as screens for windows as in they put up the window and it rested on the screen.

  17. Great post Martin, and wonderful follow-up comments from your great blog followers. There’s some good feedback there! A true joy to find this new and, as usual, interesting post today, thanks.

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