It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Is it time for the holidays already? No. It’s Bulky Item Trash Pick-up week!
I can hardly contain my excitement whenever I receive the postcard from the rubbish company announcing that we can put our oversized trash items at the curb and they will magically be picked up. No questions asked. No extra fee. What a wonderful thing!
It’s so satisfying getting rid of old stuff. I find it truly liberating whenever I purge these unwanted items from my home. I like to put on my gardening gloves and drag to the curb those miscellaneous pieces of lumber, errant cement blocks, and rusted pieces of patio furniture that have been stacked up next to the trash cans. And something about them being labeled as “Bulky Trash” makes them even more repellent.
Go away bulky trash! I banish you from our home!
I look forward to this week for another reason too. I am, apparently, a bit of a scavenger. Okay, some might call me a dumpster diver. Whatever. Guilty as charged.
I love driving from street to street, scouring the neighborhood to see if there is something wonderful out there, some gem of a castoff that I might be able to use in my home. The kids will yell at me to keep the car moving. They’re going to be late to school or some such nonsense. But surely some of these items just need a fresh coat of paint, a few new screws, a bit of T.L.C. and then they’ll be the subject of bragging rights to my friends, “Yes. That is Naugahyde on that recliner. Those people on Lemon Street were just going to throw it away! Can you believe it?”
I once felt great joy when I found a sandbox in the shape of a turtle or dinosaur, never quite sure. I quickly loaded it into the minivan before the homeowner could see me. A bit of scouring (with bleach, of course) and the sandbox was ready for use. My children got a few good months of fun out of that sandbox until one blustery day when the lid blew off and then all the neighborhood cats decided it would make an excellent giant litter box. So the next time there was a Bulky Item Trash Week that sandbox was, you guessed it, out on my own curb, ready for pickup.
Sometimes I rationalize that my scavenging of the neighbor’s trash comes from my background in Anthropology. I had at least a half a dozen classes in college and I’m sure that qualifies me as an expert. It’s fascinating to see what type of items my presumably more well off neighbors are discarding. Apparently, there’s a good deal of turnover in mattresses, BBQ’s, and baby items. I see a lot of toilets as well – a surprising amount of toilets, really.
I’ll admit I get a bit judgmental when I see some quality items being thrown out. Are the homeowners too lazy to take them to Goodwill? Couldn’t they just call the Veterans groups and ask for a pickup? Then I think, well, perhaps that baby swing was “recalled” and could very well send little Abigail soaring into the atmosphere. Maybe that perfectly good-looking couch is really infested with fleas? How do I know? Who am I to judge my neighbor?
Why, I often wonder, does the trash collection company offer this generous service? Did the city mandate it as a way of encouraging us residents to keep our couches off the front porch? I don’t know. But, as I often tell my children when they ask about Santa, don’t question the holiday magic – just enjoy it!
It is indeed the happ- happ–happiest season of all!
You would never make it as a hoarder.
Man, you’d go apoplectic in my town: we have bulky trash pickup every week.
I am buying my airplane ticket now.
In urban Honolulu, bulk trash pick ups are a monthly event. If they were less frequent, folks would dump their stuff on the sidewalk under cover of night. They pretty much do that anyway. As a neighborhood board member it sometimes seems I spend hours every month listening to residents howl about illegal dumping. So I love the official bulk days, too but for a different reason.
I always feel good if someone can use the stuff at least. Hate the idea of filling up a dump.
This is great. At my previous house it was a big deal to see who could get the biggest pile on haul off day. At night the piles would get smaller as trucks drove up and down the street late at night picking through for goodies. We’d always be amazed at how much JUNK people had. I mean, how many couches and broken dining room chairs can one family have?
Anyway, you said it all! Thanks for a great post.
Reblogged this on West Coast Review and commented:
This is fun. And admit it, you DO want the biggest pile in your neighborhood!
Thanks Juliette! Appreciate the repost.
Yah, it’s amazing how much stuff people have!
I lived in Kyoto, Japan for a few years back in the day and loved o-goto-gomi day – big garbage day. Found amazing heaters, furniture. I continued this tendency when I lived in NYC – often walking blocks with lamps, etc. I love a good scavenge! (where do you live so I can come scour the streets?)
Great Japanese word – we should call ours that!
I so wish my town had this! The next town over does and you see people from my town under cover of darkness throwing their things onto other’s piles in secret:).
It really is a wonderful thing. I’ve heard of other towns having it by phone call only, but I know I’d put that off.
Aside from the subject of garbage, I always wait with great anticipation for your closing line. I am always so tempted to quickly scroll to the end, but I know I will enjoy it even more by taking in all the nuances along the way – you know, I need to relax and “just enjoy it.” You are ever hilarious! Thanks for the laugh this morning! (And the great Santa tips!)
That means a lot – the ending to my essays has become a running joke between me and my husband – he teases me that sometimes my ends are like the Monty Python 2 ton weight that comes down to smash the scene. So then I have to rewrite. UGH! 🙂
We were on a really tight budget when the kids were little and this is how we got their turtle-shaped sandbox – which also wound up being a sandbox for feral cats in the neighborhood. I do also like those bulky trash days – my husband calls me a “bin diver.”
It is very nice that you decided to get rid of all unnecessary items! Filing your home with junk is very common as people get attached to their things so it is very nice when you finally let them go! Thanks for the post!
It is very important to do your own clearance once a year because we don’t realize how much unnecessary items we keep! Good for you!