Hi everyone… welcome to another Quick-Tip-Tuesday!
In the last two years, I’ve rescued and restyled numerous pieces of furniture that were trash bound. Through experience, I’ve learned having a few choice tools on hand makes a rescue SO much easier.
If you do any roadside rescuing or curb-shopping, here’s a list of must-have tools of the trade!
1:: Tape Measure
Measure up before loading up! If you spot a large piece of furniture on the roadside, it’s a great idea to measure before trying to load it into your vehicle! A perfect example – my sister and I spotted and braked for a large bookcase/wall unit… it was amazing. We struggled by inching this beast of a unit off the curb onto the road …only to discover it was a few inches too large to fit into my van… omg! Andrea and I laugh about it now, but at the time, we went home disappointed and with aching muscles.
2:: Flash Light
A flashlight is a must-have in your vehicle. It comes in handy when spotting a potential piece at night. There have been a few pieces I’ve loaded into my van under the sheath of darkness that I’ve totally regretted bringing home. The two pieces that top my list – a moldy dresser and a badly stained chair. If I had had a flashlight to give these pieces a quick once over, I would have saved myself some time and effort.
3:: Wet Naps
I always carry a container of sanitizing wet naps in my van. They are great for cleaning and sanitizing anything off your hands… or the furniture!
4:: Bungee cords or Rope
A bungee cord or rope works great to keep the trunk secure if your piece is sticking out and the hatch/trunk doesn’t close. They also work for securing and fastening furniture in your vehicle. Safety first!
Wrapping a blanket around your furniture will help protect the rescued piece AND your vehicle. Blankets can also be used to cushion a back hatch that won’t completely close or they can be placed in-between two separate pieces of furniture to keep them from scratching each other. I keep a few moving blankets in the back of my van but any type of blanket will do. If find them a must-have for delivering furniture to my clients, and also for retrieving cast-offs!
6:: Screw Driver
On yesterday’s post I wrote how grateful I was for my small find. Because I had a multi-head screw driver in my van, it was super easy to unscrew and rip off a backboard on a roadside dresser. Not only is it handy for furniture parts (ie. legs, backboards etc.) but it can also be great for removing pulls, knobs and hardware off a roadside find.
So there you have it. My arsenal of tools which I keep in my van for lucky furniture finds! And no need to spend a lot of money. Most of the above items can be purchased at your local dollar store!
What are your must have tools when rescuing furniture? Care to share one of your roadside rescue stories? I love all your comments, questions and suggestions so don’t be shy…chime in!
Catch last week’s Q-T-T here – and if YOU have any ideas or tips you would like to share on the SI Quick-Tip-Tuesday-Series, send me an email!
Related Posts ~
The Importance of Gratitude & My Small Find
Road Rescue General Finishes Desk
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Emma S says
I live in central London and most of my furniture, kitchen appliances, IT equipment, garden furniture, and small items of decor have been items retrieved from things left on the street. by others.. My single most useful tool during the last 16 years has been a physically strong friend to do most of the lifting and shifting!
LOL, brilliant Emma! And you sound like a kindred spirit! 😉
Thanks for sharing such relevant information. I am glad to see your post this is really useful Keep up the great work.
Thanks for sharing such relevant information. Keep up the great work.
Jessica Ray says
Great work”” “MUST-HAVE TOOLS OF THE TRADE” Howdy Denise… You cleared out two critical thing behind I mean for me, number# 1 is an arrangement of substantial greenhouse gloves they are extraordinary for not harming your hands, and a battery little penetrate. I have every one of the things on your rundown, aside from the drill. The drill is likewise fabulous to separate a bit of furniture on the off chance that you don’t have the space accessible in your truck. A debt of gratitude is in order for the tips they are great. Sharing at my fb page.
Taylor Hughes says
That’s a great list !
Fabiola Garcia says
Hi Denise…You left two very important item behind I mean for me, number# 1 is a set of heavy garden gloves they are great for not hurting your hands, and a battery small drill. I have all the items on your list, except the drill. The drill is also excellent to break down a piece of furniture in case you don’t have the space available in your truck. Thanks for the tips they are excellent. Sharing at my fb page. https://www.facebook.com/FabiFabucom-1605920799681579/?ref=hl
Thanks for adding to the list Fabiola! I enjoy wearing my ‘pink-skull-biker-gloves’… but M-M-M likes to laugh at them. 😉
Wrapping a cover around your furniture will help secure the saved piece AND your vehicle. Covers can likewise be utilized to pad a back incubate that won’t totally close or they can be put in the middle of two separate bits of furniture to keep them from scratching one another.
Hi Denise! This is the first time I’ve stumbled across your blog…I believe I found you due to a post on a painted furniture fb group where I saw a TO-DIE-FOR cream china cabinet that is RIGHT up my alley and exactly what I’m wanting to do to my current dresser, except with a little gold! Anyway, I’ve been hesitant about tackling the project because it’s a huge piece and I’ve never done a distressed look before, so we’ll see how it goes. But that post definitely helped and encouraged/inspired me to go ahead and do it already! Also, I solely had to comment to tell you that we seem very similar and I bet we would hit it off! haha I am a hugee thrift finder in every corner of the universe, yet all of my friends and family think I’m a huge “shopper”…until we do a walk through and i’m like “I found this here, this on the side of the road, this on craigslist, this in a dumpster….” and everyone is like “wait, that’s not brand new?! How much did that cost you??” haha my my what paint, good taste, and a little TLC and patience can do! Love looking at your stuff 🙂
It’s nice ‘shocking’ people with amazing finds isn’t it…lol! So glad you’ve found the post inspiring… all the best with your cream and gold dresser project Kierstin! I’m sure your family and friends are going to be envious of this restyle too! 😉
That’s a great list ! I have run into some of the same issues. Your information is always very helpful. Thanks:)
Yaaay… have a great weekend Kay! 🙂
Wendy Johnson says
I have a truck so most anything will fit but still very useful things to have. MY family laughs at me because I don’t want to scratch the bed…
Wendy, you sound like my friend… she has serious truck love…lol. 😉
This made me laugh so much. Roadside furniture doesn’t happen in England. I wish it did. We used to be able to go to our local tip and buy pieces of furniture for a few pounds, but that has now been stopped. If people did leave furniture by the roadside, it would be frowned upon if someone came along and stripped the piece of all its assets while leaving the main piece behind. It’s a shame, as the hardest thing is finding furniture to ‘do up’. When I first got married (over 25 years ago) I filled my house with reclaimed, painted furniture from the tip!
Now you’re going to have a good laugh at me Tania…what is a “local tip”??? Is it like a thrift store?
Hi Denise, our local tip is what I think you might call your local dump. It’s where we take our rubbish (trash) that is generally too big to fit in our dustbins (trash bins?). Nowadays we have to separate it all into different containers, e.g. garden waste, metal, wood etc People would leave decent pieces of furniture/items to one side rather than chucking it into the containers so that other people could come along and take it if they wanted to. (One man’s trash is another man’s gold). But that’s been stopped now, they even have cctv to make sure you don’t take anything!
Got it.. learned some new UK lingo…lol! We have separate containers for recycling (blue box), green been for compost etc. As for large pieces of furniture, we have designated days once per month where we put them by curbside and they are picked up… it’s super convenient!
PS…I don’t know if it’s good luck or bad, that I rarely find anything worth having at the side of the road, but when visiting relatives/friends in apartment complexes in the various cities where they live, I do check their dumpster areas, then pray for good weather while traveling home with whatever treasure turns up.
Sounds like good luck to me MJ! I’m always grateful for a neighbors cast-off or when a friend of a friend says, hey – so and so is getting rid of this piece… are you interested? I think the rescue is all part of the fun regardless of where it comes from. Keep checking those apartment complexes! 🙂
Mary Hooper says
All great suggestions.
My favorite tool of the trade is the long (11″) cable ties. With these a passel of dining room chairs will ride on your luggage rack, leaving room for the table ( with legs removed) inside the car, or the other way around.
I attach a cable ties to the rack ( in places i figure our after putting the furniture where it will travel best) leaving a little slack, then put a couple of ties on the chairs (on a rung and the back, say), then use a third tie to connect the first two. Use as many of these triple ties arrangements as you need for holding each piece of furniture steady while traveling. The slack lets you adjust the load gradually when go round the car and tighten the ties after all the items are in place. You arrange the lighter furniture as you like it on the roof and put the heavier pieces inside the car. My subaru outback once carried a dining table and 6 chairs in one trip. Now, with a taller car, it’s a little more difficult, requiring a pain-in-the-neck step stool, which goes with me on furniture treasure hunting expeditions. Turn a table upside down and use a triple tie to attach each leg to the car. Next car will be another low roofed job, a van, or a pickup. Meantime, I’ll tie one on, every time I find something I can’t just shove into the truck area. I kick myself for not considering moving issues when car buying!
Mary, this is great and it sounds like you’ve perfected your rescue strategy! I have a rack on the top of my van that I’ve never used! M-M-M purchased ratchet tie down straps so I could strap furniture to the roof but since I removed all the back seats in my Ford Windstar (which I realize is not an option for everyone)… no need! Happy treasure hunting and stay safe on that step stool girl! 🙂