Blog by Dr. Lori

How to Find Cash in the Trash

by Dr. Lori Verderame
How to Find Cash in the Trash

Are you a trash picker? Dumpster diving is an American pastime. There have been many valuable pieces found in the trash--from Arts & Crafts chairs worth 148,000 dollars to a Mexican mural painting worth nearly 2 million dollars. While those are some of the trash to cash stories in the world of art and antiques, many trash to cash items are part of popular DIY projects. People will pay for this stuff. Here are three ways to spot cash when sorting through the dumpster or along the curbside trash.

1. Take the Solid Wood Furniture


In the lottery of valuable trash, good pieces of furniture are the holy grail. Look for items that were put out by the curb, solid doors, vintage suitcases, sewing tables, etc. These pieces make great bases for a piece of heavy duty glass or a countertop surface. Plus, furniture is one of my top three choices for valuable antiques. Find out the other two valuable antiques you should never pass up.

2. Pick the Hardware

Vintage hardware on kitchen cabinetry, doors, or windows can be very valuable and wonderful when re-purposed or just cleaned up. Look for hinges, knobs, handles, etc. There are people who just buy this stuff for their DIY projects.

3. Use the Parts

While it is great to find a chair or sofa that is complete in tact in a dumpster, sometimes pieces of old furniture are even more desirable. Consider the part of that ruined sectional sofa that could be a great ottoman. Take the legs off that damaged dining room table and use them on a coffee table instead. But, be careful before you dismantle. Some damaged pieces like Duncan Phyfe tables or Eastlake chairs can still have value in not so good condition.

Do you have a how do I know if my dumpster pick is valuable question?

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