In our city, my family and I love large pick up days during our trash service. This may be gross to others, but it isn’t like we are rummaging through food, it is mostly building material from house remodels in older neighborhoods. Instead of it going to the dump, we recycle and reuse. It saves us a ton of money and it helps the planet. You would be surprised at what you can build and use with old scraps. On our list of projects this year, we have a chicken coop and a closet craft office that we will be working on later. Scraping like this was taught to me at an early age from my family. My dad loved to rebuild and collect things others didn’t want. You must be careful though, you don’t want to collect more then you can handle and end up turning your yard into a junkyard…not a good idea. If we had not done this as a family when rebuilding the little red house up north we would have spent hundreds more, instead we saved hundreds. I will post later about all the projects and rebuilds we did in the house, shelves are just a small part of it and all those city trash piles helped us out a lot.
The trash situation up at the little red house is something my family and I had to get used to. You see, in the city, we are spoiled because we have trash service, but up there what you bring in, you take out with you. It is just like camping. So instead of piles of construction materials waiting to be picked up, they have large burn piles. I have gotten a lot of stares pulling things out of the burn piles up north, of course I always ask. I tell people what I am going to make and then as a family we have fun figuring out if what we thought up will actually work.
One of those items that I rescued in a burn pile came from an old historical building that used to be a little country store right in the middle of town called Hoghland store.
I will never forget that first day our neighbors down the street walked over with the key to their purchase of the Hoghland country store. When we walked in after it being boarded up for years it was like time stood still. There was still candy in glass counters and tons of items just waiting to once again be sold. They were way past their expiration date, but still looked brand new, except for the dust of course. Our kids got a little history lesson that day on how things were made and looked back in the day.
Our neighbors had their own little remodeling adventures with that place. Over the months slowly the place was cleaned up and put back together again.
After our neighbors started remodeling the place they would have several burn piles around and in one of them my husband and I rescued some old drawers that used to be in the store.
There were four of them, so we split them up between both houses. My son designed his for his room using mismatched pieces of wood (again recycled). He decided to paint some of the shelves white to mix things up a bit, giving it a new modern look with the old wood.
He was shopping around for some shelves for his room online and at his favorite furniture stores like Target and Ikea and we told him about the drawers. He was going to use birthday money he had saved up for a bookshelf but decided it would be smarter to just build some himself with scrap material. Him and his dad got to spend some one on one time together building something and he saved money.
Up north we decided to separate the two shelving units apart some in order to put small items between the two parts. We also decided to have large spaces between some of the shelves for larger items we wanted to store. The ceiling is pretty high up at the little red house and it really needed storage when we first bought it, so these drawers really helped out a lot. We decided to leave the drawer handles on since they added to the shelves a little more rustic detail, that along with the history of the shelves make them really unique.
They were also perfect for our glass jars we fill with dry goods, like pasta and beans. My family and I eat a lot of pickles during the summer months, so we always have plenty of glass jars to transfer our food into. It is better to store your food in glass, just switch out things as much as possible when you bring your food home from the grocery store. If you like them to match then paint the lids all the same color. On one lid we wrote in the ingredients for homemade pancake batter, that way when the jar runs low, the kids can mix up their own to have on hand for later. Sometimes I do question a little about what they really put in our foods. If at all possible we try to make things by scratch.
Next time you are either in the city or country and you come across a pile of someone else’s trash, you might just find something interesting to redo. Have fun hunting for those unique and one of kind items to make for your homes.