Ahh, dumpster diving. There’s no room it can’t fill, no item it can’t provide. (No thanks to the disturbing wastefulness of our here and now. But for now, we revel.) This picture comes from a home in southern England. “I have four kids and a proper house, so a completely different lifestyle,” Lady F explained when she sent this photo, “but in another life I’d have done what you’re doing, or maybe lived on a narrow boat or something.” See, says I. Dumpster diving isn’t just for crust punks and homeless people and bloggers who, all this considered, may or may not even exist. Dumpster diving is for everyone, even (especially) folks with not-so-tiny houses and small herds of children.
Here’s what Lady F had to say about finding this room full of booty:
“Bed: Yes, the lovely Victorian cast-iron bedstead had been put out with the rubbish. I was on my way past with a baby in a buggy, and took the head and foot-ends home on one journey, then doubled back for the base. I just about managed to heave it home, pushing the buggy with the other hand. The base is a bit saggy, but all fits together no problem and is fine for a child’s weight. I didn’t even have to paint it, it was already that lovely silver color.”
“Bedding: A friend gave us the duvet cover and pillow set, because she was updating her daughter’s bedroom and was going to replace them. They are completely perfect and lovely quality cotton.”
“Chair: The blue chair was put out for the rubbish by someone at the end of our road. It is missing a spindle, but is otherwise perfectly sturdy. It was already painted blue.”
“Beanbag: the red beanbag her brother is lying on in the bottom right-hand corner was put out by someone in a block of flats we walk past on the way to school. I just washed the cover and stitched it up in a couple of places.”
“Tin trunk: the tin trunk I found years ago when I was a student, and painted it shiny black. The kids keep dressing-up clothes in it.”
“Wicker basket: The wicker picnic hamper you can just see under the bed I rescued from a skip. It now holds the dolls’ clothes and sundry other tat.”
“Toy castle: The pink toy castle you can nearly see on top of the chest was made for my youngest daughter by her oldest sister out of tin cans, cardboard and paper mache. It is home to an eclectic mix of playmobil animals and people.”
“Clothes: The kids’ clothes in the picture mainly came off freecycle/freegle as well.”
And everything else (excluding the rug) Lady F found in a charity shop. I have long been of the opinion that things for kids are best bought second hand. Not because they don’t deserve the best, but because they deserve to be as wlid and ruckus as they so choose without having to ever hear a variation on the theme of “and this is why we can’t have nice things” from an angry parent whose pocketbook was significantly lightened by the purchase of now hard-played toys, clothing, and furniture.