Hippie Christmas, the unofficial holiday on which seemingly everyone living in downtown Madison switches apartments, leaving heaps of stuff out on curbs for either the garbage truck or determined gleaners, is fast approaching. The official date is August 15, but piles have been forming all week. Here are some tips and tricks for rookies.
Rain and couches do not mix
The forecast looks pretty decent for Sunday and Monday, but if you suspect your curbside find has been rained on, don't take it home. Mildew and mold don't make good roommates.
Where there are students, there is free stuff
While the stuff most students jettison might not be the nicest, can pickers be choosers? Most students don't have time or foresight to put together a garage sale to profit from their undesirables and their loss is your gain. Try the Bassett and Tenney Park neighborhoods for high density picking.
If you can bleach it, you should keep it Furniture like bookcases, desks, tables, lamps and other non-porous items are easily sanitized and wiped down. If a curbside treasure has a certain funk about it, leave it be. You don't need bedbugs or something even more disgusting in your apartment.
Bring some strong friends
While out and about scouring the streets for scores this week, make sure you get a few burly friends to tag along. (Plying them with food/drink or tall tales of curbside finds can help here.) You will need these muscular companions to help lift your "new" recliner into the back of your car. Or carry it five blocks to your house.
Keep checking hot spots throughout the week.
When people pack up their stuff, they often bring more than they need, or than will actually fit in their new place. Keep an eye out for more scores later on in the week, especially near the fraternities and sororities on Langdon.