Saturday, April 11, 2015

J is for Junk

The donation bay at my local Goodwill

The saying goes that one man's trash is another man's treasure and I have learned this to be true.

The Webster's New World Dictionary defines junk as: things of little value; rubbish. Defining the value of something, however, is fairly subjective.

I've written previously about my love of yard sales and thrift stores, and my general appreciation for pre-owned items. I find it interesting to look at the things people have discarded. I think it says a lot about someone, even if I don't know the person. I enjoy slowly pursuing the shelves at my local Goodwill and photographing interesting finds. I like to hold an item and consider this thought: This used to be someone's treasure. What made them get rid of it?

The majority of my possessions are items that would hold little or no value to anyone but me. Not all of my things were purchased second hand, of course but I have a tendency to become emotionally attached to items I received as gifts or obtained during an emotional time in my life.

Often, second hand items hold energy that I can perceive. Many empaths dislike pre-owned things for this reason but I actually like it. For the most part, feeling that energy is a positive experience for me, although occasionally it can be negative and make me feel queasy or simply overwhelmed. I tend to dislike brand new items at times because they can feel "blank" to me.

I especially love it when I come across something at a yard sale or thrift store that's particularly unique yet specific to me. For example these Declaration of Independence glasses which I purchased at Salvation Army, both for a quarter! Since I grew up near Philadelphia, the city holds a special place in my heart and I particularly love things related to the rich history of the city and all things Ben Franklin related! I was thrilled to run across these here in Montana!

Similar to that is the story of this bust of Teddy Roosevelt that I found for my other half at a yard sale for $5. I bought it on an impulse, knowing Teddy is his favorite president, then had buyer's remorse on the way home. His reaction when he saw it was priceless. You never know what you're going to find across when you search through someone else's discard pile!

I also use the term junk to apply to one's emotional baggage. So I have a lot of junk in this sense too!

No matter what you call it, everyone has junk, both physical and non. I think it's another glorious part of being human. There's so much stuff to choose from. We get rid of some, we pick up some more. We pass ours on to someone else, we take some that another is giving away. It's all the same in the end, really. What matters to me is that I'm surrounded by the stuff that means something to me and makes me happy, my own personal junk.


  1. It is good that one's junk is another's treasure :) In going through my husband's parents' home after they passed (he inherited the house); we literally gave away, sold, threw away because it couldn't be used, over 30,000 pounds of stuff. We had lots of garage sales with items at 25 cents or even free :) I like to get my clothes at thrift stores; I work at home so I don't need to spend a lot on clothes :)

  2. I agree with everything you said. My stuff might be junk to other people, but it's my treasure, mostly because I know the story behind it. And I also love yard sales and secondhand stores for the same reason as you!

  3. My eyes went right to those glasses and then I read what you wrote. I live in the Philadelphia area so I guess you are right. We appreciate the constitution! I love going to thrift stores and finding something I need. I never seem to get to yard sales, I am going to try this year. Good luck with the rest of the A-Z Challenge!

  4. "How 'bout a place for you and your cats!?!?!" - Orville Jessup, from ORVILLE JESSUP'S PARADISE PROPERTIES!