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One Man's Junk-Another Man's Interior Design

Updated on July 14, 2009
The reason for the delighted glee on the children's faces, has nothing to do with the estate sale couch on which they are perched.
The reason for the delighted glee on the children's faces, has nothing to do with the estate sale couch on which they are perched.

"One man's junk is another man's treasure". If you don't believe the old saying, take a cruise one Saturday morning and view the people combing your neighbor's driveways. Better yet, read the classified ads.You will quickly become a believer. Selling 'junk' in the yard has never gone out of style and with the current economic developments, it has become downright advantageous. There are professional garage shoppers who make a killing on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I am not one of them, but I have been known to snatch up a find or two.You would be amazed as to what the vigilant 'shopper' may hit upon. Remember, one man's junk, may not be junk to you.

Garage sales are not the only source for great discoveries. A couple of years ago when attempting to furnish a new house, I came across a classified ad claiming to have a refrigerator, stove,dishwasher and microwave for sale. I could not believe that someone would be selling brand new matching appliances. The person responsible for placing the ad had moved into a new home. When buying a house from a builder the appliances come as part of the deal. The buyer in this case wanted to keep the original appliances from his old house. I saved a bundle of money on brand name kitchen appliances complete with warranties. In a similar manner I furnished my living room from an estate sale. Someone at some time had enjoyed those very gently used couches. However the furniture became junk to the relatives of the lady who had once chosen them new. It was easier for the family members who lived in another state to sell them, less than their worth I might add. The heirs junk, became my treasure.

Though I know first hand the advantages of perusing the classifieds for area garage and estate sales, I must admit, my participation is willy nilly at best. It is often on a whim that I visit. There is something about that collection of junk strewn about a yard that beckons me to stop and check it out. It is my 'road less traveled'. It is not until I am in the market for a specific item that I become serious in my pursuit. When this finally occurs it is imperative that I am diligent. The item I am purchasing must be in nearly mint condition. I am willing to paint but have concluded, if the work required is more than painting, the object loses appeal. Upholstering, slip covering, tightening, and gluing though not all that challenging is time consuming. It is more likely the piece will sit as an eyesore. It is a matter of time management. Though I can imagine the great possibilities, I have to skip the purchase.

A rule of thumb; the object has to speak to me. It must whisper my name. I must love the object and have an honored place in mind for it. If I do not adhere to this rule, it is likely my living space will be defined as so many square feet of contiguous junk under air. In the words of the great philosopher, Dirty Harry, “a man has got to know his limitations.” I can pick up that glittery ceramic thing-a-mabob or the googlie eyed sea shell figurine for just cents. But in some cases “another man’s junk” is just that, another man’s junk.


(" Don't store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven..., where your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will be also." Matthew 6:19-21)


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    • R Burow profile image

      R Burow 8 years ago from Florida, United States


      Thanks for reading the hub. Searching for treasure in odd places can be fun.

    • jesusmyjoy profile image

      Betty Bolden 8 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

      I love garage sales. We use to go garbage picking years ago we would find washers that work and furniture that was good with no rips and no stains..yes one mans junk is another mans treasures.

    • R Burow profile image

      R Burow 8 years ago from Florida, United States

      Journey, Thanks for stopping by. You are right about good finds at yard sales. Finding something 'cool', is so much fun.


      We could have so much fun

      on a Saturday morning. You sound like an expert. I think I could learn a lot from you.

    • TamCor profile image

      Tammy Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

      A hub after my own heart, lol...I wrote one similar awhile back about our vintage finds--and it's so neat to read another one!

      We have furnished our whole home in "other people's junk"--the only new things we've purchased were mattresses!:) I love old kitchen gadgets, and have a drawer full of them--you just can't beat an old ice cream scoop, ice pick, or egg slicer, haha.

      We get most of ours at estate auctions, though--we're addicted to them, lol.

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 8 years ago from USA

      Hi R Burow, It's true that there can be some good finds at yard sales. Thanks for reminding us of that. I like the couch. You really lucked out with those kitchen appliances from the classified ad too! That's great.

    • R Burow profile image

      R Burow 8 years ago from Florida, United States

      RGP, I could not have said it better. Thanks.

    • profile image

      RGP 8 years ago

      Yes, I have found some really good buys at local thrift shops. I especiallly like those like Goodwill Industries, and hospital thrift shops...I find "treasure" and the proceeds go to excellent causes.

    • Melody Lagrimas profile image

      Melody Lagrimas 8 years ago from Philippines

      Yeah, my hubby and I love to visit garage sales too. We have lots of household stuff bought from yard sales.