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Recreational Re-purposing Or You Can Just Call It Dumpster Diving

cat trainer brand new in the box

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

A new word I made up for Dumpster Diving and it actually sounds like a job description you might actually see in the want ads actually is “Recreational Repurposing”.

So it’s time for one of the features that everyone loves I am trying to do one every week….it’s our latest dumpster diving adventure!  We have found more treasure…..or at least some items that we will either use or possibly resell at a yard sale.

Either way it’s taking someone else’s trash and repurposing it.

These are our latest finds!  Trust me I couldn’t even make some of this stuff up!  If any of our posts are going to start “trash talk” this would be the one 😉

Yes the first item is a “Cat Trainer” that teaches your cat to be toilet trained it’s called “The Litter Kwitter” and YES It’s brand new in the box….we might have to have a giveaway for this one!  I have never seen this item before so it was funny to me!  However it really sells for about $49.95 at Amazon…however my husband says it’s missing the instructional DVD that’s probably where all the magic happens 😉

The next item is a backpack that is in great shape however a little too small for my son so I will most likely be donating this item.

back pack in great shape


The towels shown below are Christmas Towels by Martha Stewart probably sold at Kmart with tags still on and are in mint condition!

brand new kitchen towels with tags on


The next item is a sport picture frame……this would be a great item to get out of the original box and perhaps share as a gift with someone who has a child that plays basketball.

sport picture frame originally valued at 10 buxThe next item is a 9 foot speed jump rope in great condition never used or hardly ever used.  My son will definitely be using this with his training for his football camps this year.

a jump rope thats freeThe last item of this post is a Pearl Vodka Shaker which I am snagging up myself to make coffee drinks!  I love making my own Copy Cat Coffee drinks in the summer I will have to share my recipes with you!

drink shaker by Pearl Vodka

Thanks to all of you for stopping in!


Goodnight! Ya’ll!


Vintage/Antique Jugs That We have Used To

Decorate Our Porch In Rustic Fashion

vintage, antique, jugsThis is becoming one of our favorite features because it’s always amazing to us all of the items and I mean really good items that people discard in the dumpster. So many of these items would be better used donated to local thrift shops and charities which is what we do if we cannot find a use for the items. Obviously we can’t keep everything but when we have a use for the items we do!   Here are some of our latest freebies!

The next item is a laundry basket in mint condition.  

Perfect to use on Wash Day!

The next item is a rain suit.  My husband “The Viking” in my life

has been looking for one for when he has to work

on projects out in the rain.   Great savings!

rain suit, reflectiveThe last item is my very favorite find and it graced our Thanksgiving Table a beautiful fall  tablecloth.  Not one stain, rip or tear….It’s just lovely!  You know how I feel about making your homestead your hobby!

tablecloth, fall, thanksgiving

In this economy many folks have had to learn to be frugal and resourceful and even with all of our efforts my husband and I still struggle at times.  For us it has not been a transition or a change in the fact that we have always been frugal but we have taken it to new levels. However I do know our frugality and resourcefulness is probably why our children have gotten to go on some fabulous vacations and why we all can can carry smart phones and watch cable which I have already told you are some of my luxury addictions I am not ready to give up just yet.  Although I have gone five years without a pay raise if this continues we may have to start saying goodbye to some of them.  The good news is by finding the freebies, making homemade laundry soap, eating mostly at home you can offset many expenses.  The bad news is utility bills are on the rise and so is gas.  We need to save money where we can.

Hope you enjoyed our latest freebies and remember a good “Dumpster Diver” never reveals their sources!



Not Pig Pickin’ time either……I haven’t been posting as much lately I guess I am overwhelmed with work, the quiet of football being over and  the fact that the holidays are right around the corner.    I guess this time of year catches a lot of us off guard and the next thing we know the holidays are upon us and the local stores are hanging up tinsel and garland and I am stuck thinking once again the months have flown by and I’m not ready.  But no this isn’t a holiday post from me just yet.  The subject matter this morning is “Dumpster Diving” or “Trash Picking”  You know I was watching Cody Lundin the other day and he said something that I found fascinating and what he said on this particular episode is that “Mental Disgust” often hurts people because they can’t get through their own mental issues and overcome hurdles and obstacles that they need to do to reach their goal.   I feel like people tend to think “Oh that blanket was found in the dumpster therefore it is disgusting.”   I am going to write out a list of items we have found in dumpsters and let me know how disgusting it is that I saved all that money!  Many items we find brand new and then we turn around and sell the items at yard sales.  So let me take you on a journey of Dumpster finds we use in our house proudly and no negative connotation with us and our kids luckily don’t have that notion either!  This is only Part 1 of my Dumpster Diving Series so stay tuned you won’t believe all of the extremely nice items we have found!

By the way this is just a few of the items we have found we have found many more and put them to use, donated them, or passed them on to other friends and now our daughter has moved out so sometimes we send items her way.  I think too that many people have the negative connotation picturing a filthy dumpster but some of the best finds that we have discovered have been right on the side of the road.

Here are some pics of not our best “pickin” finds….but some of the more recent ones!

The first one is a little 4 Cup Kitchen Aid Coffee Maker – We actually do own a Keurig a gift to us from my in laws however when we run out of Keurig Cups or we can’t find them on a great sale this little coffee maker comes in so handy!  I also have the refillable Keurig cups but sometimes I just want to make 2 cups of coffee in one shot.

The next items is a wine opener we found which if you have a bad wrist and can’t use a traditional cork screw comes in very handy.  Also I was surprised to see how high these were in the store.

Let’s face it who doesn’t like the price Free?  This next item I have shared with all of you before which is the pot rack my husband “The Viking In My Life” made for me out of a ladder.  I love this piece and it’s so convenient!

The last item is just a ChikFil A coffee thermos….he found us two of them but recently I could not find my nice pink tupperware one anywhere and this one did the job nicely!  No complaints from me I was happy to have a thermos and not have to run out to the store to get another one.

My husband also found some brand new stuffed animals an entire box of them and we were able to share them with our neighbor whose mother in law is going to fill up shoe boxes with them for the holidays!

So don’t be embarrassed to pull over and pick something up on the side of the road…in this economy there is no shame in being resourceful and creative!    If your already a picker I would love to hear about some of your finds please comment and share I always love to hear from all of you!



I love that the Viking in my life is so handy!  Truthfully I love projects too and I am working on getting better with power tools but I have to say when he can just do it all so quickly and efficiently why should I get involved.  I have wanted a pot rack for a long time and this holiday he surprised me with one.  I came home and the rack was mounted on the ceiling the only thing was we didn’t have the light fixture we wanted so temporarily he strung up Christmas lights on it for a while and that looked so nice during the holidays anyway although my lighting wasn’t super strong in the kitchen for a while.

He found this ladder in a dumpster it had been used as part of a display or a prop of some sort apparently.  The funny thing is ladders similar to this sell at Pottery Barn for about $129.00.  So the ladder was free to us and then he did sand the ladder down to make it have more of a “Shabby Chic” look.

Then we had to solve our lighting dilemma I wanted to have flexible track lighting of some sort so we could have some flexibility as to the directions the lights faced and we went to our local hardware store and the fixture I wanted was about $79.99.  I thought we could do better and when I remembered there is an Ikea right on the way to see our family for New Years we decided to wait to check there.  We had already shopped online and felt confident we could find what we wanted for about $29.99.  We did!  Not only that when we stopped at Ikea it was Monday and we all got free breakfast!  Yes Ikea has free breakfast on Monday who knew we would get free breakfast thrown in with our new pot rack 😉  Sometimes life is just too good…..not only that I found a few other things to pick up as well.

Here is the link to the light fixture we purchased at Ikea.  Interestingly enough when we got back to town they had a couple of these marked down to $39.99 but they still weren’t the one I wanted.

My husband made the hooks for the pot rack out of salvaged metal and bent them to be used on the rack to hang the pots and he did have to purchase some lag bolts for about $4.00 to mount the pot rack to the ceiling.

It did help tremendously that he knows how to do electrical wiring and installation.   If he did not know how to do this I would see if we could have bartered with a neighbor to do this.

So if you have a tiny gallery kitchen like I do think about installing a pot rack for some extra room in the cabinets and to make your kitchen more efficient.  I love that I can just reach up and grab a pot to use for cooking dinner.  I was a little worried for my 6′ 4″ son but he has clearance we made sure and I am still able to reach the pots!

Hope you enjoyed hearing about our latest project!

My husband and I are always looking for clever ways to store things, and to keep up with our ever-expanding collection of books, sentimental items, cool finds etc……

We both are collectors we just collect different types of stuff!  I collect books first and foremost and then a few other odds and ends and he collects the coolest stuff just unusual finds like vintage oil lamps and bottles and between both of us we have a few items we cannot resist such as old canning jars and that sort of thing.

We also collect magazines….we have a huge collection of Backwoods Home Magazines and Mother Earth News magazines too.

However my husband “The Viking in my life” has a knack for finding things and he knew I wanted to have floor to ceiling shelves in our living room and as fate would have it someone on Craigslist advertised that they had free shelving and my husband taking a risk went and looked at it and it was in amazingly good shape.    The great thing about us re-using something someone else doesn’t want is that it also makes this project a “sustainable” endeavor.  We did not have quite enough to finish the job though so he had to purchase a little bit more lumber and trim and of course paint to finish the job.

The ladder in the final picture was a “dumpster dive” find you gotta’ love it!  Slowly but surely our Lil’ Suburban Homestead is becoming the little beach cottage I always dreamed of.

Thanks for stopping by our Lil’ Suburban Homestead and remember when you see an ad on Craigslist or in the paper it might not be too good to be true… might just be meant for you!  Stay true to your visions and dreams and keep up the homestead journey!


14 thoughts on “Repurposing

  1. I have found some great items too! Some I will take to the Thrift Shop or some I keep for myselt. I have some lovely treasures. To name a few! A Palm Tree, Plant Stands, Pots, A brand new rug which I gave to my cat. Garden tools, and coolers. Amazing the good stuff people throw away.!

    1. Susan I agree so much good stuff and not enough time to explore all of our favorite spots for free stuff! My husband just found a brand new complete dremel tool set I could not believe it! Thanks so much for stopping by and I will definitely be by your way and stop in for a visit 🙂

  2. Karen, I knew we were related. LOL… love dumpster diving. My last greatest find was two 6ft. plexiglass pieces of plastic from a display case (v shaped). It is perfect for protecting my dehydrating trays, which was headed for the trash bin, because the heating element went out. It holds so much food, and the sun is free. It also heats up nicely. Yeah, I am a dumpster diver… I admit it. I could be telling you all night long my finds… but this last one just makes me smile.

    1. Evie’s Gardens so glad you stopped by I have so many things to add to the Dumpster Diving Page it’s my end of year wrap up in the school system so I am so behind on my blogging right now! We use plexiglass we have found for so many purposes I will share one this summer in a blog post! Isn’t it amazing what others will throw away….now just to get organized around our Lil’ Suburban Homestead! Yes we are definitely kindred spirits 🙂

  3. I know at work at a dollar store I hate it when they make us throw stuff out. I asked what happens to the stuff we have to get rid of and the tiny stuff is mostly trashed but if they get a lot or bigger items they get donated.
    Still… I’m not overly happy with the fact that store is forced to be so wasteful. The items we have to throw out aren’t damaged or expired, they’re items that haven’t sold and corporate thinks aren’t worth keeping anymore. Almost always it’s “seasonal” items but sometimes it’s from the generic section or clothes. What really makes me mad is that according to policy we’re technically not even allowed to sell them to people who want them (our store will if they bring them up but we know we could get in trouble for it), nor are employees allowed to take them. Stuff I’ve seen tossed include goofy plushie paw slippers (kid sized), small items from the $1 section (mini notepads, magnets, etc), and stuff like that. Even though it’s little stuff, it’s still perfectly good and I would rather see it used.
    Unfortunately, I doubt they’ll change the policy since I’ve noticed that they’re insanely paranoid about employee theft and I doubt any form of allowing employees to take anything (even stuff they consider trash!) will ever happen. Employees have to jump through hoops just to buy stuff at their own store.

    1. I hate waste too I totally understand its frustrating but I agree absolutely not worth losing your job for at all! I so appreciate you stopping in and leaving a comment it’s been a little quiet around here lately as I am in the midst of football season around here etc……anyways I appreciate hearing your story but sad to hear about so much waste 🙁

  4. The litter Kwitter does work, we used it but had to stop with the training becuase we moved and got a kitten and so on and so forth, so our cats never progressed to going #2 in the toilet but they use it for #1 all the time AND our younger cat learned it from his mama, he wasn’t even trained with the it! Anyway it does work, you just have to clean it often and go really really really painfully slow (six months sounds about right :D).

    1. That’s cool that I have met someone that has used this and it does work! Thanks for sharing your testimonial 🙂 Love it! So glad you took the time to stop in and share at our lil’ blog 🙂

  5. Where is your dumpster???

    My kids would dumpster dive (before it was all the rage) behind the local strip mall; mainly hoping for big RadioShack finds – which they did sometimes. Myself – I never seem to find anything but actual garbage – and I am not the picky sort!

    Any tips for the best areas to engage in some ‘Recreational Repurposing’ ???

    1. Sue some things are “Trade” secrets 🙂 but I will tell you that you will be surprised that many shopping center owners etc… hate to see things thrown out so make some friends….offer to do some parking lot clean up will be surprised how amenable folks are we always make sure we are not violating any laws in our DD adventures! 🙂 Some good areas would be small shopping strip malls for one and business owners that throw away books and magazines the sky is really the limit. Thanks for stopping in!

I Love Hearing From All Of You! Thanks for sharing!

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