Dumpsters make great swimming pools and skateboard ramps, but when they're full of trash, they're pretty valuable, too. You can get a surprising amount of free booty dumpster diving. If you're a penny pincher who values low cost (re: free) functionality, check out Apartment Therapy's guide to mastering the craft. Below, my three favorite insider tips.
- Large Item Pick Up
Did you know? "Most major cities in the US have at least one large item pick up day. I remember my first years out on my own and literally making trip after trip to fill my home with everything from dining room chairs to dishes. It's amazing what people set out on those days."
- Recently Purchased Commercial Properties
"Most often when a commercial property is bought, they'll hire someone to clean the space out for them. There's always a dumpster with at least one piece of hardware or fixture that could be put to use — often times you'll find chairs or even artwork. Watch for empty spaces with windows you can see in. If you see someone in a property with something inside you'd like, don't be afraid to stop and ask for it if you see a sign of life!"
- First & Last of the Month
"During the times that people are moving out and moving in, many people just leave these finds by the dumpsters in their building in hopes someone will scamper off with their past treasures. Find out where the dumpsters are in the buildings near you. Twice a month it can pay off!"