Craigslist to the Rescue

I hate throwing away anything that might have value to someone else. Take for example the tricycle I plucked out of a neighbor’s trash (in her defense she was hoping someone would) and gave to another friend to rehab and use for their son. Maybe the husband got carried away?


But more than throwing away things that still have life in them, I abhor paying other people to throw things away for me. We had a deck on the back of our house.

It was a fine deck, served its purpose but not terribly well suited for a family with small children. Our neighbor said it’s a redwood deck. We believed him since he helped build it. It was also over-engineered. Screws (not nails) – 2 per joist per board, joists every 16 inches – it’s like they were building a house foundation.

We wanted a concrete patio and got a few bids. All the bids included demo and removal of the deck. But if it’s redwood, surely it had some value, right? Not to the concrete guys. So I placed an ad on our local Craigslist listing the redwood for free if you dismantled and hauled it away. Nearly immediately I had a furniture maker call me. He came over the following Saturday and removed all the decking. He also said it was really good redwood and will make lovely outdoor benches and tables.

He left behind the pressure treated lumber.

Another post on Craigslist. Another taker. In the end our deck was dismantled and hauled away by people other than us and for free!

We kept the materials out of the landfill and lowered the cost of our patio since they didn’t have to do any demolition. It was a total win.

The next time you have things that still have life in them just not room in your life, check out Craigslist. You may not make a penny, but you’ll keep stuff from the landfill. Remember, one man’s trash is another’s treasure. And it makes for good community.

Do you have any good Craigslist stories? That antique dresser that you finally found? The dining table you’re going to rehab? Share!

9 smart people left their mark:

  1. melissaz, 4. August 2008, 8:35

    You remember my poem, right?

    Craigslist is sooo cool.

    melissazs last blog post..Me and my little neuroses….

  2. Tiffany, 4. August 2008, 11:25

    Our house in New Jersey came with a huge hot tub in the back yard. John and I are not hot tub people, they are a pain in the but to clean, our yard is pretty small and it took up most of it. I posted it twice on craigslist, once for free if someone came and hauled it away, I got a lot of responses, but nobody actually followed through. Then someone told me a story about how they had a couch they put out on the curb with a sign that said, “free.” Nobody took it, so they put another sign out that said, “$20,” it was gone by the next day. So, I reposted it asking $1,000 for the hot tub. In the end, we settled for $500, and it went to a lady who had MS and needed it for her therapy. They came and got it, and John used the money to buy the XBox.

  3. Abbey, 4. August 2008, 12:08

    Good Job, Cat!! Very Smart Thinking!!!

    Abbeys last blog post..You Knew I Wouldn’t Be Able to Wait…

  4. Lynn, 4. August 2008, 14:51

    We posted boxes (fully assembled) from our move. We received 30 replies and someone came to get them, and they broke them down!

  5. shauna, 4. August 2008, 19:38

    i’m digging your patio!

    shaunas last blog’s my birthday!

  6. Tracie, 4. August 2008, 22:35

    I love craigslist! I’m sitting on the best couch ever and it came from craigslist. Furnished my livingroom for under $500 with couch, oversized chair and ottoman. The same set would have cost me over $2,000 at the store.

    Tracies last blog post..I’m ashamed to admit

  7. Pamela, 5. August 2008, 7:09

    Hi, I’m Pamela, and apparently I live in the century directly preceding the invention of Craig’s List…whoops, it’s craigslist, and that grinds my grammar gears, but I will get over it. I’m intrigued, and will investigate this craigslist phenomena that allows other people to remove your crap for you. Fabulous.

    Pamelas last blog post..(bump) kissing and telling

  8. Nylonthread, 5. August 2008, 8:52

    What a great story. I love the results & that you went to the effort to enrich the lives of many. I have a few items with craigslist potential… It does take some motivation to get them out there, though.

    Goal: end of month! I need to get rid of a dining room set (table+chairs) that needs some TLC. But, same as you, I’d rather they don’t become landfill.

    Nylonthreads last blog post..Next Season: MODERN

  9. Gary P, 8. August 2008, 15:03

    1986 – 6th grade – parents decided I was old enough to have a “re-modeled” bedroom. We went to Ikea. I loved it. I spent two weeks in the basement putting everything together (bookshelf with storage area underneath, two dressers, desk, wardrobe). Pine with white finish on doors. It rocked.

    2006 – posted on Craigslist. 20 calls in about 2 hrs. Sold individual pieces off for about $10-20 each plus they had to come haul the shit out of my garage.


    Gary Ps last blog post..Scrooge