While on first drive by it may look as if the owner is insane for parting with the items resting patiently for trash day by the curb, I've found that if someone has put something out for trash there is usually a good reason that they did.
In October, I broke our rule and picked something up off the side of the road. I'm giving myself a free pass on this one because it wasn't exactly in the "trash" category. Four slatted doors with the sign "free" taped to them sat propped against a tree of one of the homes on the way to my parents' house.
I'm going to be honest---I knew when I picked it off the side of the road that it still fell under the trash picking category in Hubby's mind. If I'm being really honest, it was that way even in mine. But I had a reason, a very good reason.
Here lies my inspiration for grabbing the one door that I instantly found to be longer and heavier than expected, as I rammed it into the back of my car, after nearly falling onto my bottom, then almost taking out my rear window, while balancing this behavior with continuing to peek behind me in hopes that the home owners didn't come outside to get their mail at this precise moment:
Hubby's boss buys me a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens every Christmas. Because of this, I have an ongoing file of future home inspiration and current home projects. Considering my display of Christmas cards usually involves taping them around a doorway in the kitchen, this picture inspired me to find a more creative display for notes of love during the best time of the year.
I'm sure you can see why I needed a slatted door and why finding one on the side of the road was an absolute gold mine for me.*
*Note: For as much as Hubby does not want me to trash pick, he also does not want to spend either minimal or astronomical amounts on items that appear to be anything other than brand new.
While Hubby was away in LA, I cleaned the originally white slatted door and painted it red.
Okay, that story isn't quite that simple.
I went to Walmart, grabbed the cheapest, smallest can of red paint I could find only to discover upon finishing painting my first coat that it was Rust-oleum paint: paint geared towards protecting against rust and corrosion.
Really necessary for a wooden door, right?
Yeah, that's exactly what I thought when I discovered it.
I also quickly discovered that paint, maybe particularly Rust-oleum paint or maybe just paint in general, smells absolutely horrid and can fill an entire house within minutes. So on one of the coldest days in November, I cracked open all the windows in my house, left, and prayed that the smell would clear out.
Then I got the bright idea that I should have just endured the cold and painted the door outside. Because, of course, I couldn't turn back time, hours later I moved the door outside and that is where it stayed for the following week.
But I think it was well worth it. I now have a beautiful display not only for Christmas cards, but thank you cards, birthday cards, and other notes that ordinarily would fill the front of my refrigerator or the frame of my kitchen doorway.