Saturday, May 21, 2016

This Isn't Trash

Recently I read the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. (Yes another blogger is about to write about this book, but please stick with me). Afterwards I went on a decluttering frenzy and after a mediocre yard sale, unloaded about four pick-up truckloads of stuff at various places (be it the thrift store, animal shelter, or dump). This wasn't eBay stuff, it wasn't even eBay WORTHY stuff, it was my own household clutter. In the book Kondo has a kind of "set it free and life will give back to you ten-fold" mentality on stuff. She has a great attachment to things and is all for keeping your things in your house, but the rule is each item has to bring you joy or ease, not pain or anxiety.
About a day after setting a bunch of stuff free, the universe did indeed pay me back ten fold. I opened up the dumpster behind my office and found these:
Ten wooden printing press letter trays.
I've always found these interesting and admired them in antique stores or on other's walls. In the digital age where these are completely obsolete and will never be manufactured again I think they're a true treasure. Someone was going to throw them away. I was able to save them so 10 other people could have them as a centerpiece on their walls, and my heart soared with JOY. Real joy. A feeling that only fellow scavengers and artists could understand. Ms. Kondo certainly would.
I borrowed a neighbors power washer and got to work.
Eight were probably antique and I left them pretty much as is. Here's my favorite.
A few were newer and made of pine, they were in really poor condition and unlike the older ones did not have a patina they just had ugly green paint.
I chalk-painted this one and am very happy with the results.
I have not been listing for about two months now. So far I've managed to tread water plus a little while I dissolve my business in anticipation of our move. But I have been listing these trays this week plus a very few things which surfaced during the decluttering.
I'd love to hear how things are going for you in the comments.


  1. O M G. What a spectacular find! These are one of my top five favorite things EVER - for my personal collection or selling (although in 20 years, I think I've actually let go of maybe 3). I've been on the hunt for these ever since I saw my first one. I am fascinated by the little cubbies that I fancy will hold all matter of wee treasures. Long story short - I bid on a large lot of them at an upstate NY auction years ago. I've been hauling them with me since. I thought I was going to sell beads as a serious side gig at one time and I was going to showcase them in my treasure trove of printer's trays. Sadly, there is no need to make them any more so they truly are a vanishing find. What a great reward for setting your clutter free!!!

  2. I saw a Pinterest pic that said "I read that new book about getting rid of items that don't bring you joy, so far I've thrown out all the vegatables and the electric bill" That about sums up my recent decluttering efforts :)

  3. Love these! Would love to make shadow boxes for the kids with something like this.