Curb to curb

“Orbatarium” — one of my favorite garbage picks of all time

I used to be on the lookout for treasures on the curb. It was fun and full of surprises. One neighbor was an antique dealer with limited storage space, so we were often lucky. We’ve picked up stools, porcelain ewers, frames still in their wrapping, loaf pans and Bundt pans, wicker tables, tins of all kinds, and so much more.

These days, however, I’m much more motivated by putting things on the curb.

I’ve reached the age where getting rid of shit affords a nearly religious pleasure.

It’s not quite what the Swedes call “death cleaning,” though it’s hard to avoid the thought that our efforts will at some point make life simpler for the boys. It’s not quite Kondo-izing either since the house is pleasing and functional already and I don’t feel the kind of virtue that I associate with “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

There are other factors as well. My town switched up the garbage rules such that fewer and fewer items can be scouted in all their random and free glory. The antique dealer moved away. Also, I HAVE ENOUGH GOD-DAMNED FRAMES!

I cleaned out half of a cupboard this weekend. Now my two cuisnarts have room to breathe (Yes, I have one big one and one nut-chopper-sized one and I use both all the time).

Some items went straight to the curb. I’m happy to say, someone snagged the Zoodler (a counter-top device that turns zucchini into “noodles.”) Someone took the wooden bowl, even though it was cracked. A sizable collection of paper bags went first. Whoopee! With each disappearance, I feel a kick of joy.

Other items from the recently cleaned-out cupboard will get listed on Facebook — some on the Everything Free board, others on a sale board.

Note to self: remember the turkey frier.

First let me say, the frier was a garbage pick itself and hence part of the flow we label, curb to curb. If there’s a slight hesitation about giving something up, it can help to shrug and say those words out loud, “Curb to curb.” Clearly, price was not a big factor. I asked $15.

To my surprise, the thing generated a lot of interest. I fielded and juggled messages for days. After one no show, I was careful not to mark the frier sold prematurely. Some people saw that gap as opportunity. They got weirdly ruthless (“I CAN COME OVER THIS SECOND!”)

As badly as I wanted the process to be over, a sense of fairness came into play. I felt I needed to wait and see if the sale closed before offering it to someone else. This went on for days.

In short, it was a lot of work for fifteen bucks.

Maybe free is better?

One stand from Noreen, one from the curb