One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

trash treasure

What is junk to someone might be valuable to someone else. In the city, I see this all the time – people going through the recycling containers to pick out the cans and bottles they can put into the machines to exchange for cash.


A few days ago while strolling on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, I walked into a local consignment boutique. Beautiful clothes, designer fashions that have been gently used and no longer fit into some trendy fashionista’s closet and which were now being offered at a fraction of the price. The boutique clerk told me how the consignment store works – some lady brings a high-end clothing item in, they agree on the price that the piece is worth now and they put it on the rack. When the clothes are sold, they split the money. The fashionista gets some money back for an item that no longer fit in her wardrobe, and the shopper gets a still beautiful, designer item for a fraction of what it cost when it was on the runway. One (wo)man’s trash is another (wo)man’s treasure.

Consignment stores

Maybe you’ve gone to the Goodwill or Salvation Army where their slogan is literally instead of putting it in the trash, give it to us. I’ve been in the Goodwill and seen things in worse condition than things I’ve thrown out, but there’s a market. Someone will buy it for some reason.

Ever been in an antique shop and seen some things that look junky?

Ever watched those home design shows on HGTV and seen those stylists go get some of those junky pieces and sand and paint and change the hardware and transform those same junky pieces into beautiful, new-looking furniture.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

I love decluttering my space but I often hold on to things just because I don’t want to put them in the trash. If you’re like me, here are some ideas to turn your decluttering into an income generating opportunity:

  • Designer Clothes: Google the consignment shops in your area or check out online ones like Second Chance Resale
  • Makeup and Cosmetics: Host a party with some friends where you can swap cosmetics. Just because you don’t love it, doesn’t mean someone else won’t. You probably won’t make any money from it but you might score some cool new stuff from your other friends to save money from future spending.
  • Books: I’ve seen Instagram accounts dedicated to selling gently used books.
  • Furniture: Take pictures and list your items on Craigslist
  • And for all the other flotsam and jetsam that you’ve accumulated over the years and are ready to part with, plan a garage sale.

Have you ever found a treasure in someone else’s trash? Do share your story, please.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Tara says:

    In a word.. YES.
    One thing I love about GA is the abundance of Thrift store and garage sales. Now it’s garage sale season and my happiness level is elevated. I’ve found so many awesome things that now have a home in my house! Just this weekend I found the perfect sized desk and antique chair (or so she said) for my son’s room for $17.00. A desk like that was $35 in store, plus the cost of the fold up wooded chair. I have a new in kitchen breakfast table and two chairs for $20.00. Last summer I got a box of Stephen King books for $6.00. I got some cloth that I used to make curtains for my living room at $3.00. My mom got a arm chair for free.

    I’m on the hunt for some new living room furniture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Awesome upcycling. I don’t have the space for new stuff but I love garage sales too. Enjoy


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