20 September 2009

Bargain hunter or hoarder?

There is a program on one of the cable networks that exploits, I mean, features the drama around the disorder of hoarding. Cristy has a tiny fascination with this program and I sometimes watch it with her. We have both seen hoarding situations ourselves that were not yet as out-of-control as those featured on the program.

It is sometimes hard to throw things away. When you look at the item, it still appears to be useful, although it may not be candidate for use at the moment. Still, why send something perfectly useful to a landfill? My standby solution to this predicament has always been to carry it out to the edge of my front sidewalk. Generally in 60 minutes or less (sometimes 10 minutes or less), a curious passer-by will stop, examine the item and upon discovering its potential usefulness, carry it home.

It is the same concept as a rummage sale, but there is no work involved on my part.

The popular website, Craigslist, is the 21st century answer to the garage sale. I love Craigslist. I have sold several items and also used the Free Stuff section to find new homes for “specialty” items that would be difficult for a casual passer-by to identify if it was simply placed out in the free-stuff location on my front sidewalk.

It leaves me to ponder whether people who pick up discarded junk, I mean stuff, are hoarders or bargain conscious?

This question applies to me, too. Today, I purchased my first couple of items via Craigslist: two little tables for a guest bedroom, $40. I will need to spray paint them white to give them a crisp finish (they will look so adorable!), but the fact remains that I have enthusiastically joined the legions of people interested in other people’s stuff. And I’m willing to pay money for it.

The experience only serves to whet my appetite for future potential bargains that might be lurking on Craigslist. Am I merely an astute bargain hunter going for the shabby chic decorating look or am I dangerously close to venturing into hoarding territory? Only time will tell.

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