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Saturday Letter: Why One Man’s Trash Should Not Be Your Treasure

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Have you ever found a treasure on the street?

I’m not talking about a chest full of gold at the end of a rainbow, but smaller gems, like a beautiful wooden table, designer light fixture or a gorgeous decorative bowl.

Or do you always buy your treasures from a store?

And most importantly, do you know how to separate treasures from trash? 

Sometimes one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but sometimes one man’s trash is just trash.

Saturday Letter by SaturdayGift

September one of trash and treasures

When you live in a college town, the craziest time of the year is the 1st of September – the moving day.

That’s the day when the whole city is packing and unpacking. Loading and unloading. Taking things out of the houses or bringing them in.

It’s a day when people leave things on the streets – the things they don’t want to (or cannot) take with them.

The day when you could easily furnish a whole house (or two) with the things you find on the streets and make your home look gorgeous.

September one – the day when one man’s trash is another one’s treasure.

Treasures, tools, toys and trash

When you think about the things you own, one way to categorize all of your items is the 4T-method of Treasures, Tools, Toys, and Trash.

When categorizing your things with the 4T -method, you only think about two functions: usability and love.

Treasures are something you love but don’t use. These could be photographs or a gift from your late grandmother.

WARNING! If you haven’t decluttered lately and most of the things in your home are treasures, I would suggest for you to re-evaluate what you love. It might be that your castle full of treasures is actually a hoarder’s house.

Tools are something you don’t love, but you do use, like a vacuum cleaner.

Toys are something you love and use, like a smoothie maker (if you’re a smoothie lover), an iPhone (if that’s your thing) or your favorite pair of leather shoes. And apparently, I just named a few of my favorite toys. What a coincidence.

And trash is all the rest. The things you don’t love, and you don’t use.

So how can categorizing the items this way help you? And what should you do with them? Let’s start with trash being treasures. 

Trash is not always trash

Those things in the trash category are not always trash. They might be a treasure, tool or a toy for someone else.

And so the saying goes: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

And on September 1st a lot of people are hunting those on the streets. Your truly included. 

Treasures need your attention

I was tempted (oh, was I tempted!) to join the party and bring home some of the things I saw. But I didn’t’ need those treasures. And most of all I didn’t need the responsibility a treasure brings into your life the moment you own it. 

You need to pack the treasures in your car, carry them home, clean them, fix them, scrub them, maybe even sanitize them (!), find a place for them and finally one day – when all of that is done – use them.

Of course, you can skip a few steps if the original owner maintained the item accordingly. Then owning those pre-loved items is not just joy but good for our beloved planet.


If the original owner didn’t maintain the thing properly, it’s good to ask yourself, “are you are bringing home a treasure or a workload”? 

So could it be that sometimes one man’s trash is just trash? 

And let it be what it is. Trash. 

And all of those unwanted sad items that don’t have a home anymore will fill the overflowing landfills instead of making our lovely homes into one. 

Would you give a home to another man’s trash?

Would you give a home to another man’s trash?

Well, I did. The temptation was too much. And I am now a proud owner of a Keurig coffee maker in it’s prime.

And just in the case you’re wondering, I did clean it. Very passionately. And then I scrubbed it and cleaned it again, just in case. And I’m still a little cautious about using it.


To beautiful Boston with its treasures and trash

With love, Cristina

By the way.

Would you like to have a cup of coffee while you read another Saturday Letter?

This post was originally one of the Saturday Letters (I’ve sent to my readers via email).

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