In the past couple months I’ve seen a deluge of quality trash like I haven’t seen since 2020. Thank goodness, because the multi-year lull that was 2021/2022 was getting pretty tiresome. The only thing missing so far is a really nice gold or silver haul, though there have been a few pieces here and there.
I’m still overthinking when it comes to deciding what is worthy of sharing here, which is why this post is so late. People following my Instagram have been a bit luckier, because it’s relatively effortless for me to share “stories” of random junk without providing much context. Here, I feel there has to be a bit more narrative, but I overthink regarding what that narrative should be. Anyways, today I’m sharing another mix of recent and relatively recent finds that I think deserve a closer look.
I’ve had several sales since the one I mentioned in my last post, and this is the first weekend since early May that I didn’t even consider working. It’s nice to have a break, although sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself when I’m not busy with trash-related endeavours. Regardless, my garage and storage spaces are looking a lot less clogged now, and that makes my work life a bit easier.
One of my favourite recent destinations is a house where the previous owners do not appear to have ever thrown out anything before, but who also kept good care of their things and had interesting tastes. That’s like the Holy Trinity when it comes to garbage. My finds include every Time magazine since 1970s (maybe an exaggeration), lots of old catalogues and sales sheets, other interesting paper ephemera (especially related to travel), lots of toolsy stuff and some vintage toy cars in their original packaging (one of which I listed on eBay).
But my favourite find thus far is probably this great Sanyo boombox, which is in near pristine condition. Based on my early research, I’m thinking it’s probably worth around 300$.
The gold tossers from the last post haven’t been throwing things out consistently lately. I think I’ve only seen trash on the curb on two of five garbage days since my last post. Here’s hoping they get back in the spirit of tossing, because I’m a fan of their brand. Anyways, I thought these glass candle holders/vases were interesting. They’re clearly a pair, but they have slightly different shapes and faults which makes me wonder if they’re quite old. What do you think?
Another interesting find came when I went to one borough’s heavy garbage day. I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s not a clock, because there a) appears to be no clock mechanism b) it doesn’t appear to have ever had hands c) too many indices. I asked Instagram, and the best guess I heard was that it somehow connected to a weather vane in a way that lit up the correct wind direction. You can see a bit more of the mechanism below, keeping in mind that the wire attached to what I’m thinking are lights were cut at some point (and we don’t know what they would have connected to). It’s signed by someone named Giroux and dated 1936, and at the very least it’s a very cool folk art type thing. If you’ve seen anything like it, or have theories about what it did, let us know in the comments!
Here’s another find I thought was very pretty. It’s a wall tapestry that needs a little cleaning around the edges, which I don’t think would be too hard to do. I’m guessing it was woven in Mexico, but tapestries aren’t my specialty so I’d appreciate any input you might have! Some of the designs have a mid-century feel, so if I got it cleaned up I think it’d sell for a decent amount.
I was pretty lucky during the move-out season this year. As usual, most of it was the same old crap, though I did pick up some free food and other useful household items. One pile, however provided a find that made all the scavenging worthwhile. Not the 1$ bill (a McGill move-out staple), or the loonies (same), or the Links of London bracelet (very fake), but a necklace in that tangle of mostly junk jewelry at the top right.
It turned out to be a Roberto Coin 18k necklace/pendant, which retails for about 1800$ at Birks. I tested the gold as well as the diamonds, and it checks out. It also just feels like a quality piece. Anyways, this was my best McGill-related find since that MacBook Pro I found way back in 2016.
McGill is pretty picked over these days, and recent waste reduction initiatives have done well to keep quality items from going to the curb (which is good for the world, but not so much for the pickers). My strategy now is to not take it too seriously, but to try to explore places less frequented by other move-out day pickers… and it seems to have paid off this year.
Lastly (for now), here’s a thing that’s been kicking around my garage since the fall. I happened upon a spot where people were clearing out their basement (I knew their neighbours, so I know this as a fact) at the request of their landlords. There were a lot of what seemed to be never used wedding gifts, in their original boxes (think, silver plated dishes and other kitchen stuff), but there was also a lot of ephemera and 70s/80s kids stuff. A few things ended up on Instagram, but most went to the yard sale bin. My most notable find though was this small photo album filled with cool shots of Grand Prix Wrestling stars, including Andre the Giant.
Some of the photos are signed, so whoever assembled this album probably had some connections to help them get backstage. I don’t know much about wrestling, besides the fact that people seems to love it, so I only recognize Andre the Giant. If you could help me identify the other wrestlers, that would be very useful! It would also be cool if someone could tell me where these photos might have been taken, and around what time (although I do know that they’re most likely from the early 70s).
Click the thumbnails below for a better look. To zoom in even more, click the little “i” with a circle around it, then scroll down and click “view full size.”
Now that my storage spaces aren’t so cluttered, maybe it’ll be easier to wrap my head around blogging. Ideally I’d like to at least post every two weeks or so, instead of every month and a bit. Let’s hope!
1. My eBay listings. Sign up for eBay (Canada, US). Search for something you want / research something you have (Canada, US). — These are Ebay Partner Network links. If you create an account or buy something after getting to eBay from here, I get a small cut of the profit! —
2. “Things I find in the garbage” on Facebook
3. Follow @garbagefinds and @garbagefindssells. Note that someone else runs the latter.
4. Email: email@example.com. Note that I really suck at keeping up with my email.
5. Donate to the blog. It costs close to 500$ a year to maintain (no ads, domain name, storage space, etc) which ain’t cheap. Otherwise, it’s nice to get a few bucks for coffee, food, or gas!