Moving day 2018

I didn’t plan on trying particularly hard this moving day and the sweltering heat did nothing to increase my motivation. I think it was 35 before the humidity which is way too hot in my books! Thankfully my car has air conditioning so I toured around town with the cold on full blast. I tried to think of relatively wealthy parts of town with: 1) a high number of renters and 2) less competition as compared to somewhere like the Plateau. My brain came up with the apartment buildings in TMR and Old Montreal.

Neither of those bets really paid off, though I did find a few things worth selling in TMR. I sold the brackets, towel racks, and journal at a yard sale, and a bag of change is a bag of change. I gave the canvas to a friend, and left the dishes in Park Ex where they were more likely to be picked through.

One spot in Old Montreal produced some decent stuff, including a whole bunch of jars, some of which were filled with dry goods. A friend who came for the ride got some free stuff, but I left most of the rest (including the food) on the curb for others to pick through. I’m sure it was still good to eat but I didn’t feel like dealing with it myself. Hopefully it found a good home!

I also tried looking around Griffintown but only found huge piles of actual trash. This one in particular was a bit depressing, evidence (at least to me) that many products these days are disposable junk from the day they were made.

Ironically, after travelling around so much and finding little I happened upon my best finds no more than 30 seconds from home. One of my many neighbours tossed out an array of quality stuff, including a cool lamp (which I sold for 5$ at a recent yard sale), some laundry detergent, a wooden rolling pin, a few books, several miscellaneous cables, and some unopened tea.

The crown jewels were a Focusrite guitar doohickey and a Parker fountain pen that looked to have barely (if ever) been used. Without doing much research I’d guess that these two items will make me around 100$, a nice little haul that keeps the chains of profitability moving.

Another neighbour was bringing down some junk around the same time. He wasn’t moving, but was cleaning out a storage room that was full of random stuff from previous tenants. I had to have this industrial thing despite having no idea what it was made to do (neither did he, for that matter). I did know that the auction house would take it, however, and it sold last week for 20$. Not a huge sum, but definitely better than nothing. (Oh, and apparently it’s a riveting machine of some kind).

I also picked up a bike frame with parts and a pair of lightly used mining boots that I’m sure were very expensive new.

Later that evening I went for a little walk with my roommate. We happened upon a pile not far from home that contained a bit of cool vintage stuff, the best of which were these two mid-century watches and a nearly full bottle of Ralph Lauren aftershave. I doubt the watches are worth much but the vintage aftershave should sell for a good price – I’ve had good luck with vintage RL scents recently.

I’ve found more stuff at this spot in recent weeks so the purge wasn’t actually moving day related. Regardless, my overall moving day haul was decent in spite of the heat! Let’s hope the weather next year is a little more tolerable, I would have spent more time biking around otherwise.

In recent weeks I’ve happened upon some interesting and valuable hauls in many different parts of the city. I’ll be sure to share some of those stories & finds sometime soon!

Oh, and I figured I should clarify some things about the eBay links below. I mentioned that I get a bit of money when you sign up for an account or buy things after clicking to eBay through those links, but I’m not sure that I told you that I get credit for sales no matter who you buy from. So, if you’re looking to get a newer iPhone, a gift for a friend (that I don’t have), or whatever please consider going through my site before doing so! Currently I’m making around 15$ a month through this program, which isn’t a lot of money but I do appreciate it as an extra passive source of income.


1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
6. Follow me on Instagram

8 thoughts on “Moving day 2018”

  1. A post! Another post! Yay! They’re always so interesting and informative.
    Did you notice the “accidental” face (in the brick wall) that overlooks the pile of garbage in the Griffintown pic. 🙂 (The metal dining chairs on the left in that pic look like the ones your sister used to have.)
    A pen! You’ve often made good money with pens. Bring on the pens … and the bags of change (looking forward to our next rolling session!).

  2. This is a rather random question, but how do you figure out the price for vintage perfume? And if you sell perfume on eBay, how do you package it so it doesn’t break in transit?

    1. 1. eBay completed listings, sometimes perfume forums (Fragrantica has a “I have it / I had it / I want it” counter, and if the want is relatively high I know to charge a bit more. Ex: the Lise Watier Capteur des Reves bottle I couldn’t find anywhere but sold for 50$).
      2. Usually I will double box perfume, or at least wrap cardboard around the perfume and then put it in another box. Better overpackaged than broken.

  3. Another great post. I am sharing your blog with my cousin who likes to trash-pick furniture and re-upholster what she finds…

  4. I am against the anti-clutter authors who keep pushing us to throw stuff out.Read this article from

    In Defense of Clutter

    Posted on April 3, 2017 by Sheila Connolly

    Sometime in the past year I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. I’d read many references to it, and like quite a few people I lead a cluttered life and find it hard to unclutter.

    One thing that stuck with me from the book was the idea that you should keep only those things that give you joy to wear or see or feel. I liked that idea. The problem is, I found that a whole lot of things give me joy. That’s why I got them in the first place, and that’s why I keep them. Even if I have to stuff them in a box just to get them out of the way, when I return to that box and pull the items out one by one, I am happily reminded of when and where I got them—joy in small doses. Which does nothing to solve my clutter problem.

    But finally I found a book that defends the Other Side: the clutterers. I haven’t even finished reading it, but the first couple of chapters opened my eyes. It’s called A Perfect Mess, written by Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman (two men!), and it was published in 2007. Actually the full title is A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder; How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place.

    Our country has been obsessed about neatness, organization, cleanliness, order, call it what you will, for a long time. One result has been the proliferation of companies and consultants who charge you money for telling you or your company how to be neat and organized. But the question is, do their instructions help? Or to look at the larger question, does it really matter if we’re neat and organized? Why are we convinced that we’d be more efficient and more successful if we are? And why do we all feel so guilty because we aren’t?

    Desk 3-17

    My desk

    One basic fact: you can spend a lot of time sorting and filing (and making sticky labels for your color-coded files), but is that the best use of your time? There are actually serious studies that show that you spend more time labeling and filing that you would if you left what you were looking for in a pile on your desk—because you know where to find it in that pile.

    One section of the book I really responded to: the authors say “a messy desk can be a highly effective prioritizing and accessing system.” And that’s the way I operate. Yes, there are piles of things on my working desk—but I know what is in each pile, and where to find what I need quickly. Would it be more efficient to spend (or waste) time running around to my filing cabinets and plastic see-through file boxes carefully assigning each piece of paper to its very own slot? What I have (say the authors) is “a surprisingly sophisticated informal filing system that offers far more efficiency and flexibility than a filing cabinet could.”

    Maybe it’s taking the logic a bit too far, but I tend to save articles and publications that catch my eye, and stick them in a pile. Over time the pile threatens to topple, so I put the the whole stack in a box. I will not tell you how many boxes I currently have that are labeled “Misc—TBF” (translation: Miscellaneous – To Be Filed). They are not filed. But when I recall that I read a pertinent article years before, I know where to hunt for it. And sometimes while I’m digging through those boxed piles, I come upon something I had forgotten, which inspires me all over again. I’m guessing that’s how a lot of writers work—you save ideas for when you need them later.

    Files 3-17

    The Files (and this is only half of them!)

    Maybe humans have spent centuries trying to establish order, and all the rules that go with maintaining that, because they are trying to create a sense of control in their little corner of the world, in the face of a chaotic and unpredictable universe. That’s understandable. But if you ask me (and Abrahamson and Freedman), it’s kind of a waste of time.

    We need to stop guilt-tripping ourselves because we’ve failed to meet some arbitrary standard of neatness. Tell me you haven’t heard almost every woman you know open the door to a guest and say, “I’m sorry the place is such a mess!”

    Stop apologizing, and find joy in your mess!

    How about you? Are you a neatnik or a clutterbug?

    Please stop by my refreshed website at

    and see what’s changed!

  5. I love your blog and the amount of work that goes into scavenging and writing the blog.Please read this article from the Ottawa Citizen.A horror story.I feel very sorry for the victim.

    After five months in the Caribbean, John Balcaran returned to Ottawa in April 2017 to a giant surprise — his apartment was empty.

    Except for a couple of boxes, the contents of his home for 14 years was gone — Unit 302 at 2850 Cedarwood Dr. had been cleaned out and the locks had been changed.

    “I’m 78 years old,” he said. “Everything I’ve acquired in my life was in that apartment.”

    It would only get worse. Balcaran, a retired tailor and clothes designer, would soon discover he’d been evicted without his knowledge and the vast majority of his possessions thrown in a dumpster.

    He ended up, temporarily, in emergency housing. For the remainder of 2017, he fought for compensation and was awarded $12,500 by the Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario.

    But, after a successful appeal by the landlord, Timbercreek Asset Management Inc., the award was overturned on Dec. 1, leaving him with nothing.

    “All I want,” he says, “is what they stole from me.” Among the losses he claims is a trove of gold and diamond jewelry, dozens of high-end suits and ties, a large screen television, a computer, thousands in cash, and a large number of family heirlooms.

    The case turns on a tenant’s obligation when it comes to pest control in a multi-unit complex.

    A 10-page ruling by board member Philippe Rabot said the landlord asked Balcaran in writing on Oct. 28, 2016, to prepare his two-bedroom apartment for pest control treatment for cockroaches.

    Timbercreek said it tried to treat the unit on Nov. 16 but found it was “poorly prepared”, or too cluttered, for the work to proceed. Balcaran left for Trinidad about four days later. He says he informed the front desk he would be away for an indefinite period as he was helping his brother with an ailing nephew suffering from a heart condition.

    “I told the landlord, please spray the place as powerful as you can.”

    On Dec. 2, the board was told, the landlord served Balcaran with a notice that his lease could be terminated if he didn’t have the unit ready for pest treatment within seven days. It still wasn’t ready on Dec. 12, so Timbercreek proceeded with its eviction plan.

    (Timbercreek told the hearing it has a legal obligation to the entire complex to keep pests under control.)

    After more unsuccessful attempts to treat the unit — the interior was never tidied as Balcaran was away — an eviction notice was granted on March 6. “Are you going to allow the landlord to evict a tenant without the tenant even being there?” he asks, in astonishment. (The rent was being paid, via post-dated cheques.)

    On March 17, the eviction proceeded when a contractor arrived to haul out the contents.

    “It took a full two days to complete the process of removing all the items from the unit. Most of the items were placed in garbage bags and left in a dumpster,” the ruling said. Balcaran is very concerned about the loss of documents and valuable items left in locked briefcases.

    “In cross-examination, (the contractor) indicated that nine briefcases were among the items found in the rental unit and subsequently discarded. He did not open any of them.”

    A manager at Timbercreek, meanwhile, denied the firm had any knowledge of Balcaran’s travel plans, and his contact phone number was out of service. Nor did he know that, because of a rent subsidy from the City of Ottawa, he was not supposed to vacate the unit for more than 60 days without permission.

    The first board member believed there was reasonable evidence the landlord knew the tenant was in the midst of an extended absence and hadn’t abandoned the apartment. It awarded Balcaran $12,500, or half his claim, though his initial estimate of loss was closer to $500,000.

    The appeal board disagreed. It found the landlord had taken reasonable steps to find Balcaran, including reaching out to the city, and had no idea of his whereabouts or possible return date. And the member pointed to Balcaran’s refusal to get his apartment ready for treatment.

    “It would be fair to state, therefore, that the Tenant was the architect of his own misfortune,” says the ruling from Rabot.

    Still reeling from last spring’s loss, Balcaran now wants a lawyer to pursue a civil case.

    The lawyer who represented Timbercreek at the hearing, David Lyman, said the company considers the matter closed. He said the company went out of its way — taking two days — to sift through Balcaran’s belongings to save personal documents or items that were obviously of value.

    Though not exhaustive, the search did not find any of the claimed jewelry or missing cash, he said, and the company kept the saved items longer than the legally required 72 hours.

    “They feel bad he’s in a difficult position,” the lawyer said Monday. “It is unfortunate for Mr. Balcaran that he doesn’t have his possessions. However, the landlord is not liable for that, the contractor is not liable, and the City of Ottawa is not liable.”

    To contact Kelly Egan, please call 613-726-5896 or email

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  6. The above story is truly horrendous.It should send chills down your readers’ spines.I find it so shocking.All those snowbirds who go away for 5 or 6 months may come home to a nasty surprise.
    Let us fight to strengthen tenant rights.Martin,get involved in tenant rights.

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