If you love your junker. A PSA.

Many of us have junkers in our lives. This is awesome. Junkers are some of the best people to know. They always find the coolest shit, and, if you’ve got the right stuff, they’ll take yours off your hands for you. Saves you a trip to Goodwill and you get to be an excellent friend in the bargain.

But! Not all junk is the same to all junkers. Please take a minute to peruse the following, so your beloved junker will not become frustrated with you.

Thing 1: Just because it’s junk, doesn’t mean we want it. Most junkers have very specific types of junk they love, and those are really the only kinds they’re after. Trust me, I practically live at flea markets and I know of what I speak. For example, I love rusty things and organic things that age and decompose beautifully. Bones, wood, some types of metal, paper, natural fabrics. If you have those things I’ll be happy indeed. But if you give me plastic things I generally don’t know what to do with them. There are types of plastic and vintage toys that are definitely my jam, but I don’t want your kid’s old toys. Maybe your grandma’s old toys from when she was a kid, though. Back when toys were made of material that would eventually decompose. Sense the theme? So find out what your junker gets into rather than just throwing boxes of random stuff at them, and they will love you for it.

Thing 2: Ask. First. Your junker may or may not have the room or inclination to acquire the junk you have. Your junker’s hubs may be all “Loretta, you bring one more box of 1940s pillbox hats in here and I’m gonna set the whole thing on fire!”, or “Bernie, you’re on the couch from now on if I see another piece of Super Bowl Shuffle crap!”, or something. Throw a box of junk at them and they’ll feel obligated to take it, but they might not be very happy with you. Ask if they want/need it however and you’ll save everybody hassle and cranky feelings.

Thing 3: A junker is a different animal than a hoarder. A junker turns over their junk. Either because they’re selling it somewhere like a flea market or antique mall, or because they’re artists and making other things with it. A hoarder has a psychological condition and will just keep acquiring more junk without ever getting rid of any and you don’t want to encourage that behavior. It leads to reality tv and many other issues. Don’t give your junk to a hoarder.

Junkers love junk, just not ALL the junk. So please, when moving, or spring cleaning, or any other thing that involves you getting rid of stuff, consider your junker’s needs before showing up at my doorstep with a trunk full of old curtains, a slightly used Barbie play set, and four ziplock bags full of wine corks. I’ll have to do that awkward smile and “Thaaaanks” thing at you. Nobody likes that.