Monday, May 3, 2010

Curbshopping isn’t Cheap!

Reader Warning: this is an extra long post.  You may want to freshen your coffee, or clear your calendar before starting……and I should add a graphic photo content warning too.  Not for the faint of heart.

You would think that curbshopping would be pretty easy on the wallet, wouldn’t you?  I bet it is for most people.

But……………………..If you’re addicted to curbshopping, like someone we all know…..(guilty as charged, Your Honor)  it can cost some serious bucks!

Let me explain further. 

The beginning:

It was 2 full years ago when I really got addicted to curbshopping, I was on a roll, picking up anything and everything I saw.  What a rush it was!  One memorable day I even brought home a porch!


Yes, a porch, at least most of the porch.

You see, I was into architectural salvage in a big way, thanks to one Sharon S. from the HGTV Trash to Treasure Forum.  She did some amazing things with salvaged wood and I really flipped over the whole look.

Anyway, the tongue and groove floorboards from the porch were amazing, a two-tone blue/grey full of chippiness.  I picked every one of them out of the pile, from 1 foot pieces to 6 ft, it didn’t matter, I took them all.


Those blue floor boards made great bench seats!


Then there were the porch posts, one even had the house numbers still on it…..

1111 Justice Lane copy

(In my defense, I did use up an awful lot of it.  This project was made with parts from that porch.  You can read about it over on Gail’s blog, she featured it last fall.)


But I digress.

Now what was the topic again?




That’s right, I was going to tell you how expensive it is.

There is no way you can pick up that much stuff and find room to store it until ready to use it.

Believe me, I have tried.

Poor Mike, his convertible was booted out of the garage for the entire summer.  Who needs to park in the garage in the summertime anyway?

Until he started making noise about needing to store it in the garage for the upcoming winter months.

And silly me, I promised he would have room in the garage before the first snowfall.

No problem!


I tried.  I tried real hard to get stuff used up.  I got really creative with storage too.  Ladders on the side of the shed, windows hung on the fence and piled behind the shed, headboards and drawers in the basement, (along with many chairs, lamps, cribs, shutters, and even a table)

Sandy 008

My wonderful sister even came and spent some time helping to organize it all.  We made a lot of headway and it was looking pretty good.



My equally wonderful Sister in Law helped out by booking a space in a craft show for me so we could sell some of the projects.  We set up an EZ Up tent in the driveway.  She became the finisher, I would make things and she would come and paint them.  Perfect!  We got rid of a lot of stuff that way, but it was pretty stressful. 



A view of the booth at the show….


Then it was October, and I still didn’t have the garage cleared for the car.  Not even close.


Time for drastic measures. 

Mike had a friend with a warehouse.  He agreed to rent out some space for me to store my treasures.  $50 a month for a pretty decent sized space.

storage 024

I’ll take it!

$300 for 6 months.  That bought me the entire winter.  I used all the money made at the craft show.  Surely by May 1st I would be able to get everything used, right?

Wrong.  May 1st comes and I find out the convertible side of the garage is not to be used for junk. 




Don’t even think about it.

He really put his foot down on that one.

OK Honey, no problem.

So long as I get to keep my half.

Time for a garage sale.  It helped some, but not enough.  Raised about $200 though.


Another check for $300 buys me the entire summer. 

Which probably would have been enough time to get everything used up, IF I didn’t pick up anything else to add to the collection.  (Did I mention already that I’m a curbshopaholic?)  That’s like telling me not to breathe.

I made lots of stuff.  I really did.  Furnished my Son and DIL’s entire house practically.  (then stored some more stuff in their nice big garage and conveniently forgot all about it, shhhhh)

And then did the same at my Daughter’s. (Until new SIL put his foot down.  I don’t think he gets the fact yet that Mother-in-Laws are supposed to be nutty)

End of summer.  Instead of emptying out storage, I’m taking more stuff over to squeeze in.

   fall 2009 061


Another check for $300.  Winter passes.  Not one thing was removed from storage to work on.  The house is bulging at the seams again.  Every room has extra furniture in it.

Sigh.  I need to learn to drive with my eyes shut.

Then comes April. 

And the eviction notice. 

“My partner, Tony, who owns most of this building, is re-doing the back area creating an automotive shop.  He is requesting that the storage be moved out by the beginning of May.  That would make it 6 months since you last paid.  Sorry ‘bout that!   Hope you find a new home for your ‘treasures’.    Ken”

Oh My Gosh!  Panic!  I had 3 weeks to remove all my junk!

For the first 2 weeks I just buried my head in the sand.  Hoping it was all a bad dream and maybe they didn’t really mean it.  Then came the nudge via e-mail. 

“You did get the message about having everything out by May 1st, right?  Just checking as nothing seems to have been removed yet.”

Yes.  It was real. 

Time to get the checkbook out again.  This time a visit to a  local self storage facility yielded a very fancy 10 x 20 space for only $140 a month. 

OMG!  Are you kidding me? 

$140 a month for storing JUNK?


To which my very wise and pragmatic husband replied,

“I suppose it’s cheaper than marriage counseling” 

Point taken, honey.

And so, after a very busy week of moving (with some extra help from my son) I can now say that my junk is in a very safe, well lit, secure place with multiple cameras recording every movement.  There is even an alarm system to make sure nobody breaks in and steals my precious curbshopped goodies….



And the second months rent is free.

Maybe I won’t need storage anymore by then……

And look how happy Mike is now!

(I love you Honey!)



Gotta go now, it’s trash day somewhere!


Linking this post up to Nifty Thrifty Tuesday #10 at Coastal Charm


  1. oh my gosh, I've been with you all along the way! It's hard to believe dear friend!
    the story makes me smile and laugh! It also makes me GREEN with envy! All those wonderful treasures you have! And a great space to keep them. Oh, yeah! and the BIG one, a super duper husband that maybe doesn't "get" you, but he loves you and that makes it all okay! That's the one treasure I'm most envious of! Lucky girl, you!
    I hope you have a great week, keep those eyes open while you drive, but only get the "best" stuff, k?

  2. I am very careful about curb shopping because I don't think my husband would be nearly as understanding as've got a good guy...

  3. Omg, that was hilarious! I can not believe you have acquired all of that from the curb, and not paid for any of it? Well, not counting storage fees. You must live in the greatest town ever!

  4. What a great hubby you have! I am trying to convince mine to buy a small truck so that I can start curb shopping LOL. Yep free gets to be expensive quickly huh! Love the pics and post and sure wish you were my mother in law to furnish my house with your great treasures!

  5. Rose, is it wrong that seeing all your Treasures made me happy??? Now I have to go start searching out inexpensive storage since I see where my addiction is headed... ;)

  6. Oh Rose this was post is hilarious... I can so relate... you need to have some trash-to-treasure classes and sell your stuff to your students and teach them how to revamp... you do amazing work but there are only so many hours in a day unfortunately... I wish you luck my friend and you better keep your hubby away from the TV if he watches that "Hoarders" show you are in big trouble... lol... that sure staightened my butt up from bringing everything I saw home... but now I am so afraid to bring anything home... it is a definite catch 22... we are just going to have to get you a pair of blinders (like they put on horses)... Good luck.

    Hugs, Deb

  7. I can't believe all that really great stuff you have. My husband and I used to manager a storage facility. If you think curb shopping can be addictive, wait until you see people setting things by the dumpster. I've stopped people in the middle of paying their bill so that I could go grab something before anyone else could get it.

    By the way, With some really long S hooks made from wire hangers you can hang things from the ceiling in those storage rooms. Oh gosh I'm not much help am I?

    You have one handsome hubby there that obviously loves you bunches. Now when do those classes that Deb mentioned start? I'll be one of the first to sign up. :)

  8. Okay, this was a fun post for me and made me not feel so bad about my garage. If you have room for it, maybe you should take the next $600 or so that you make from a sale and buy a storage unit from a home improvement store and put it in your backyard to store stuff as long as you want with out a monthly fee! (or build one from the free wood you keep finding!) Wish I lived closer so I could go shopping at your storage unit.

  9. Yes, but look at all those goodies you have! Jealousy is rearing its ugly head! And my hubby is mad at me for bringing home one chair. Sheesh.

    I'd love for you to check out my blog for a CSN give away! Have a wonderful day!

  10. I am laughing right now at your story and today is a day I need a good laugh! I cannot believe all you have! I love it! Thanks for sharing. Be blessed. Cindy

  11. I have got to say that this the BEST post that I have seen in a looooong time...what a great guy you have! HAPPY NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAYS! I'm so going to follow you:)


  12. That is just too funny, absolutely hilarious! And I can't believe all the pretty stuff you find on the curb, I need to make it more of a point to snoop around the neighborhoods on trash days. Thanks for the laugh :)

  13. OH MY GOSH!!! I am not the only one?!?!? LOL. My daughter first thought I was crazy when I started doing what I have previously called dumpster diving. I like curb shopping much better. My stepfather started me on it when I was about 8 years old, he still says I was hard to beat at auctions. Funny thing happened though when I took a break and stopped looking for daughter started yelling at me to pull over so that she could go grab something cool that she wanted to redo. I guess she never noticed that my crazy ways became fun for her too. I love the time we spend together redoing our finds. She is 11 now and I sometimes wonder how much longer we will have this great pastime to bond us together before she realizes it is "uncool". Hopefully never. I am so happy to know that there are more of us out there. Thanks.

    P.S. One of the reasons I bought this house was because it had a workroom and 2 garages in the basement. One for the car and one for my curbshopping, lol.

  14. Your husband rocks! I love all your stuff. My husband turns his head the other way, he says...LOL


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