They don’t call me The Salvage Sister for nothing! I’m going to let you in on some top secrets for getting your mits on fab freebies…
Skips are great for finding good free stuff, you’ve got to be on it all the time though! It’s a lifestyle, not a fashion statement! I keep my eye out wherever I’m going for skips full of goodies. It is a way of life for me, I can’t help it & I don’t think I could stop if I tried!
In a good skip you can find all manner of great items, from wood, furniture, sometimes metal if you get there before the scrap man, home wares, textiles, building materials, plumbing, bathroom suites, paint, fixtures, fittings, doors… the list is endless, you would be surprised what some people will throw away.
A great way to spot somewhere that might have a skip is to look out for scaffolding, 9 times out of 10 if a building has scaffolding it has a skip, and scaffolding is a lot easier to see from further away!
A few pointers for when you find a skip full of goodies;
- Always ask permission first! Even though the junk is in a skip because the person don’t want it anymore, it is legally still their property & believe it or not you can get arrested for taking things without asking, so a little knock on the door, a smile & some manners go a long way!
- Make sure you are dressed for the occasion, suitable clothes, foot ware & gloves, you don’t want to drop a brick on your foot, stab yourself with a rusty nail or end up in A&E no matter how good that junk is!
- Leave the place tidy, put items you are not taking back & make sure you put things back how they were, it is quite an effort stacking a skip properly to get as much in it as you can, they are expensive to rent so the hirer will want to fit in as much as poss & won’t want you ruining their hard work!
- Remember, you are saving items from landfill & saving yourself cash so enjoy yourself but be safe & always polite, we don’t want to give skip diving a bad name!
- Take items as you see them, other wise you will miss out, there are a few of us at it! Take a van with you or put the car seats down if you can, goodies left behind probably won’t be there when you get back!
- Keep an open mind, as you are looking imagine what you could do with items you see, lengths of wood are great for a variety of uses, shelves for instance. Think about up cycling possibilities as you dig!
- If you can, take a screwdriver with you, even if you don’t want the old furniture you might want the handles, knobs or feet!
Of course skips aren’t the only place you can find freebies, keep a look out for good stuff left outside houses & at roadsides. I found a Vintage Wing back chair along the road from me, just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s rubbish, it just means that the person who threw it out doesn’t know it’s worth, or can’t be bothered to work on it.
Here are some options to look into for finding free stuff to fill your house with:
- Freegal: http://www.ilovefreegle.org
- Freecycle: http://www.freecycle.org
- Free ads on Gumtree: http://www.gumtree.com
- Free ads on Preloved: http://www.preloved.co.uk
- Free section in your local free ads or rag roadsides
- Family & friends, nothing wrong with hand-me-downs! Ask around & put the word out!
- Follow pages, groups & communities on social networks such as Facebook & Twitter
- Building sites, they might not have a skip, but what are they doing with the old roof tiles they just took off? Or the wood they’ve just removed from the house? Check it out!
- House Clearances; Sometimes people need to get rid of everything out of a house quick & while they might try selling most of it there will come a time when they run out of time & it’s a free for all! You could also ask your local house clearance firms if they have items that are going free, you never know.
Remember one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure so get stuck in & let me know how you get on!