This past weekend was the annual Curbside Giveaway event in Halifax. Basically, people can put things they don’t want out on their lawn for other people to come pick up. The items can range from books to clothes to furniture to household goods and more. This was extremely exciting for me because of my severe lack of furniture and extremely tight graduate student budget.
My main goal for the weekend was to pick up a decent looking free futon and potentially a floor lamp because my living room doesn’t have any overhead lighting. I had lined up my friend Amanda to help me scavenge, and through my lab group and facebook had lined up some people to scout out their respective neighborhoods if they were out over the weekend. So I had my plan in place and before I knew it Saturday morning rolled around. And so did the remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea – meaning pouring rain and high winds. Not a great day for curbside treasure hunting. Undeterred, Amanda and I ventured out anyway, making a few laps around the south end of Halifax but not finding too much. I did find a very wet press board with metal frame “cafe chair,” old looking coffee maker, and an older looking reusable bag, all of which I later ended up in my trash after I decided they were too gross to salvage. I had also found a gold colored table lamp minus bulbs or a shade that has been drying for almost a week now but I am afraid to plug it in because of how rainy it was when I picked it up. Eventually we gave up and went over to the farmers market instead.
Sunday was a little nicer but still overcast and a little misty in the morning. I went out to run an errand in the middle of the day and saw that a few more people had put stuff out. So I did a few laps around on my drive home and picked up a tall table lamp with shade and a nice wooden base (score! no more darkness in my living room at night), and a “kitchen chair” with a wooden frame with fabric seat (I figured this could at least provide a little more seating in my living room) and came home feeling very happy about my treasures, despite the lack of actual couch/futon or living room chairs. But I had also found a taller wooden barstool to put in my kitchen at the little bar counter which was great because my current ones are just a tad short for the height of the bar. So I was happy although not completely satisfied.
I then was browsing Kijiji while waiting for someone who was supposed to pick up something I had posted (ended up being a no-show but luckily got rescheduled for the next day and made the sale!) when I saw an add for a free futon with metal frame. Woo-hoo! It had just been posted that day for pickup asap and did not have a picture or many details so I was hoping it hadn’t been taken yet. I had found a couple on Kijiji before but they seem to go really quick and I was too late for all of them. This one had a phone number so I called them up and it was still available and from a non-smoking home! So I frantically texted a bunch of friends to find someone to help me pick it up. Finally my friend Kristin got back to me and was able to come. As we pulled up I started to get a little concerned because it looked like a low income housing building and there were some pretty gross looking living room chairs out by the dumpster of the apartment building. But we went in and met the older couple who were getting rid of the futon just because they didn’t have space for it anymore and they seemed very nice and clean (and their house smelled fine) and the futon was in great shape. So we took it out and strapped it on top of my little Nissan Versa and started the drive home going nice and slow. But all the cars behind me were staying pretty far back – I guess they didn’t trust my knot tying skills.
As we were on our way home we saw two older but fancy looking living room chairs on someone else’s curb on one of the nicer streets in Halifax. So we pulled over hoping to pick up one of them and fit it in the back of the car. Somehow we managed to get them both in (great engineering puzzle solving!). One has some paint stains on it and the other looks like it may have been attacked a little by a cat but they are structurally sound, comfortable, and clean looking, and best of all – free!!! And I have been handy in the past with recovering, slipcovering, or strategic blanket draping questionable looking furniture. So now, between those two chairs, the futon, kitchen chair, the $35 living room chair I had bought at the thrift store, and the free Kijiji coffee table and end tables I had picked up a month ago I have a real living room! Now I am just waiting for my parents to visit next week and then I will have all my dishes, plates, and other kitchen and house decor stuff and can really feel like I moved in. And it might be time for a housewarming party!
I love collecting free and cheap furniture!!!!