How I became a trash-picker + Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color Contest

When I moved to Columbus from Pasadena, CA. I didn’t have much. Before leaving I purchased a compact Saturn with a roof rack and brought along what I could pack into (and onto) the car. Arriving here, I took a decent paying job training as a vending machine driver. This required me to get up at the crack of dawn, to be at the shop to take inventory and to load my truck, repetitively lifting 50lb. at a time. Oh and I also was expected to drive a 20ft. box truck on the freeway, in a large city, which I had obviously never done before. But I had a crazy positive attitude AND I needed money.

The first couple weeks were hell. I had to navigate around an unfamiliar, busy city in a hulking vehicle, sometimes parking downtown in very tight spaces, all in the name of restocking goodies. The job was very physical. I went from just riding my bike as my only form of transportation and exercise to, what felt like boot camp, a full-on complete body work out 5 days a week. I didn’t have any furniture, so I slept on the floor and my muscles ached, to say the least. It wasn’t all bad though. I could eat more than my share of cookies, candy and snack cakes without gaining an ounce. And it was all for free. One of the perks of the job. It was marvelous.

Out on my route one day, I spotted a disheveled looking dresser by the edge of the road. You would definitely say it was ugly, with green paint that could be described as the color of pond scum. Which was overlaying a darker green that peeked through in areas and could be accurately named “Mold’. I couldn’t imagine why anyone held onto this hideous thing to begin with, but I desperately needed a dresser. I pulled my truck over and upon closer examination, found that it was a very nicely constructed, solid piece. With my newly acquired strength, I hustled that 5 1/2 ft long x 3ft tall x 2ft wide bad-boy (by myself) up onto my truck (with no ramp) and was on my way.

I only lived in an apartment, so out on the balcony this beast went. I taught myself how to strip, sand, prime, paint and seal it. Being that it was my first, it didn’t turn out exactly like I would have wanted it. But I still have it 14 years later as my bedroom dresser. Since then, I’ve hauled home quite a few pieces of furniture, a lot of them for free. My daughter’s dresser and bookcase in her room. The mirrored dresser in kitchen that we used as our drink station for our wedding as well as quite a few of the lovelies in our living room. Check out our room here: Erin’s Happy to be Home Room Read about which pieces were reworked and remade to what you see now and HEY! while you are there, be sure to vote for us! We’d love to win some paint to use on Hallie-the-Duplex!

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3 Comments to “How I became a trash-picker + Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color Contest”

  1. I love it! Your awesomeness never ceases to amaze!

  2. Remember when we used to pass each other when I was on my route and you were on your way to work? 🙂

  3. You are so ridiculously talented, I am still surprised to this day at what you can do.

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