A neighbour recently called me a kerb crawler, but meant it as a compliment, not an insult. I am not given to hanging about on street corners soliciting money for favours from strangers.
She meant it as a compliment as she also has been known to trawl the streets of our neighbourhood on Council Cleanup Day, looking for handy items to being thrown out which can become born-again parts of her house and garden.
I started this practice when my children were very young and continue to practice it to this day. So far I have rescued discarded cupboards, chairs, children’s plastic shell shaped sandpits, magazine holders, brand new teddy bears, toys, books and DVDs, as well as filing cabinets, rugs and once a very comfortable leather lounge.
It never ceases to amaze me the amount of things people throw out which are in perfectly good condition, and could be sold on EBay to raise money or given to charity for those less fortunate.
I have even had garage sales, where passersby have offered to buy items I have rescued from previous cleanups which have taken up residence on my verandah. I once put an old wooden and metal bench out on the kerb, only to have a passerby offer me money to mind it for until she could return with a trailer to pick it up!
My son and daughter-in-law have a great supply of pre-loved play equipment in their backyard salvaged from cleanups. It is being recycled and reused by their little toddler at no cost to them. They also have a lovely cane lounge on their front verandah, complete with pillows, which only needs a coat of white paint to look a million dollars.
This is just one area where you can save literally hundreds of dollars, be environmentally friendly by recycling other people’s “rubbish”, and use your own creativity to alter and embellish through painting, varnishing or stripping back furniture or adding your own cushions or covers to seats and lounges.