1 February 2007

Dumpster Diving

Two weekends ago I came home from work and was rounding the corner when I heard this most God awful screeching noise. I then saw only about 1/4 of this piece of furniture that was being pushed by this rather large dude towards the trash containers. I think to myself - that looks interesting but as usual, I avert my eyes and look to the ground (or floor as it is referred to over here).

So in the door I go and wait for the lovely elevator to come whisk me up to my flat. I am counting the seconds as I wait - hoping that no one else passes by and grabs the treasure. The rather large dude and his cohorts come in the lobby area and are now too waiting for the elevator.

Finally, it arrives and I get in and they ask what floor? I say 7th and they push 6 for themselves. I hoping and praying that significant other is upstairs to help with the rescue, as I know I cannot move the furniture by myself - otherwise I am going to be sitting down there alone for a long, long time!

Dude and company get off and finally it reaches the 7th floor and I'm out like a shot and in the door and screaming for partner who answers. I tell him to get his shoes on (in my most panicked voice!) and that we are going to do some dumpster diving. Bless him, he knows me by now when I am in this mode not to question me as I am usually onto a good thing, and time is of the essence.

Back we go down to the lobby out the door to the where our trash bins are, and we see it. It is even better than I hoped and cannot believe someone got rid of this furniture. Well I can believe it because you see; I have practically furnished this whole flat with items found in the trash.

Therefore, we just look at each other and J (name withheld on purpose) says 'You've done it again'. Yeah, I do not know why I get good luck finding furniture and such bad luck in other areas but hey, I will take it! So one, two, three, and we lift and carry back into the lobby and up the elevators for its journey past the 6th floor to its new home on the 7th!

Once in the flat and we squeeze past the cabinet, which is now blocking the hall wardrobe and just about everything else and we wonder where to fit this beauty in our already cramped flat. We are lucky that we have a lot of room for a two bedroom flat but by American standards, it is small.

Fortunately, we had this useful but ugly hallway entertainment centre thingy in the hall. It was here when J moved in and Landlord said it could go. It was just kept, as it was utilitarian and did the job albeit not great on the eyes.

We now look at each other (it is great when you can read each other's mind!) and say – it has to go. So the long task of taking everything out and finding some place to put it began. Every inch of available floor space used, we were still unloading the thing! What now? Onto every chair, bed, and anything, flat that would hold something.

Then came the fun moment – breaking it apart, well you have to have some fun! It is quickly dispatched to the trash heap (it was not fit to be donated which we do if it is possible). Back up to the flat and we have to move the cabinet back out into the hall to be cleaned (it was filthy).

Then of course, since we were never able to move said entertainment centre I took the opportunity to clean behind it and wipe walls, etc. Then we had to Hoover and do all of that stuff too.

Now the cabinet comes back in for internal clean and rub with furniture polish. It really is not bad looking and only one of the drawers looks somewhat damaged from what I suspect is from too much heat (i.e. being too close to a heater or fire).

There is a cool bit where you pull on the handle and it comes down like a writing desk does but inside is a little overhead lamp with a mirror in back and a lovely glass shelf. I am assuming it was some sort of sideboard/drinks cabinet at one point. There are two large doors that pull out and reveal two shelves that can hold a lot of stuff (we keep our important papers in notebooks).

Now we have the task before us of putting it all back again. However, what was even more important was deciding on what has to go. We both knew the cabinet could not hold what was there previously. Also it was an opportunity to get rid of so much of our clutter that we figured we would not have bought something to replace it and only something like this would have driven us to begin the de-clutter process.

So kick kindly received and we started at 5pm and yes, did not get to bed until 5am but we had nearly everything back. We only had a few things on the floor that needed to be dealt with the largest bit was all away.

Here are a few pictures (if I can ever get it to work!) of the cabinet and the ones below that are from our other dumpster diving expeditions. We figured about half of our flat was free stuff and the other half is stuff we got via charity shops for very little money. In all we have only paid about £175.00 total if that.

Well that is one long post but thought you might enjoy the story. More adventures to follow so stay tuned!


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