I had a new experience while showing houses the other day — DUMPSTER DIVING!  

I used to go dumpster diving with my best friend when I was young.  Stacy and I found all sorts of treasures: an artificial Christmas tree (that my family used for years), office supplies, a wedding/honeymoon album with mementos from  Acapulco (I didn’t realize the implications of finding that in the dumpster until years later).  One person’s trash is another’s treasure, right?

Back to current times…we pulled up to look at a bank owned house and low and behold across the street there was another bank owned house (I know crazy, huh?) with a trashout going on.  A trashout is when the bank or listing agent hires a company (or their brother) to go in and remove the remaining belongings and debris of a foreclosed house prior to listing it for sale.  

There were two guys each with big trucks and a HUGE trailer with tall sides.  As I am trying to reach the listing agent on the phone (because the lockbox is a contractor’s lockbox with no code and no indication that I wouldn’t be able to use my normal lockbox key — that’s a rant for a different day) I hear Mrs. Buyer say, “Are they just going to throw that away?!”  When I get off the phone I find that Mrs. Buyer has approached the workers and inquired as to what they are doing.  She’s learned that they have to keep anything with a value over $50 but the rest is going to in the dumpster.  

Here’s where the fun begins.  She starts scurrying around grabbing things: an infant car seat, 2 bicycle helmets, a Boppy…I’m trying to find places to put things…my trunk is small (it’s a hybrid) and has a bunch of real estate and personal junk in it.  We all start picking through the “junk” cautiously at first and then not so much.  The guys are helping by bring out more and listing stuff off for us.  Mr. Seller and I wind up IN the trailer.  Then comes the bigger stuff…an ice chest, a wagon, a kids basketball stand & hoop, a small Fisher Price play set with slide.  (Now what to do with it?)  We decide to stuff this behind the gate of the initial house we went to look at and they’ll pick it up later.  

Want to see the treasure I ended up with?

Not a big ticket item but who can’t use some extra napkins around the house?  

The buyers keep commenting on it throughout the remainder of our time looking at other houses.  Why didn’t the homeowners take their hard earned stuff?  Why didn’t they sell it?  Why didn’t they donate it?  Why doesn’t the trashout company sell it, donate it, something other than send it to the dump where good stuff will take up precious space on our limited planet (I added that last bit)?  I don’t know the answers to this particular situation but it’s similar to those I see every day.  Maybe the time frame they needed to be out within, maybe denial, depression, laziness, apathy.  

I still don’t have a great place to put all these napkins, anyone have a spill?  

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