One of the times of the year I look forward to at work is student move out week. Not because they are leaving (I actually miss having loads of students around in the summer), but because our student affairs office puts out give away bins in order to collect useful items that the students would otherwise throw away. The bins are open, first come first serve, to anyone who would like to glean from them. Usable excess is then donated to various charitable organizations.

Some of the gems I took home this year include:


Yarn! Two giant skeins (about 700 yards total) of a bulky weight in grey tones, which I think wants to be a shawl, and an entire spool of thin red cottony stuff, and I’m not sure of all the stuff it wants to be! Ribbon, lace (some of it is tatty, and I’ll use that for wrapping gifts and bouquets, but there is some nice cotton eyelet, and I’m going to use that to trim some short, wide legged cotton pant-type things to echo bloomers!), embroidery floss-like stuff (I think it’s for making friendship bracelets but I’ll use it for a million different things), pom poms, a small painting canvas. Not pictured: a dozen heavy plastic hangers, a box of chocolate pudding (which we are currently enjoying as dessert!), an entire unopened canister of sea salt, some white muslin-like fabric which is screaming to be made into tea towels, maybe even dyed with tea!


We also visit the dumpsters. For some reason, the students put their work in there! I got this interesting ceramic piece on the left, shown next to the interesting ceramic piece I got last year! I’m not sure if I should use it as a planter, or a vase.

I also got some green 100% cotton curtains in perfect condition! I’m not even sure if they were ever hung. I don’t need lime green curtains, so I will most likely use these for sewing, a la Scarlett O’Hara. I wonder if I could screen print on the fabric and make some tote bags!


Woody is saying, “Mama! Look how this fabric matches my eyes!”

Two of my coworkers were my partners-in-digging, and they went home with some great stuff too. They made out superbly with clothing. We even got my other coworker a perfectly new looking sporty jacket which I looked up, and saw that it retails for $139!

I won’t moralize about why people would get rid of perfectly usable things — I’ll just say, “Awww! Awwww! Who’d throw that out?!”



  1. The ceramics are amazing! I’m always amazed at what people throw out, but I’m guilty of it myself

  2. What fab finds! I always find it very satisfying to find a new use for things and those are lovely crafty items!

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