“Schoooools Out For-ev-er!” (Part I)


November 28, 2012 by Decorum DIYer

Well, the last bell rang at a local Catholic school recently.  A good friend of mine was a teacher there many moons ago and a few of my past dance students also attended the very same Catholic school.

Imagine my mixed sadness of a bygone era and elation for geeky goodies when I saw this Craigslist ad in the free category:

Catholic school giving everything away! Old furniture, books, and more


Sacred Heart of Mary school is opening its doors this Saturday and Sunday! Tons of furniture, library books and text books, hundreds of desks, chairs and tables all must go!

Also, some computers and equipment — plus Christmas decorations and so much more!

***Purchase can be made by any donation amount that you would like to give.

You can browse through the 3 floors of the school building! Bring a truck, van, and a friend to help you!

Lots of bookshelves, big tables, small tables, hundreds of chairs, old wood school desks plus the desks from the 1980s, etc.

I am not going to pretend that I wasn’t excited.  School/office ephemera is something for which I pine.  I could spend hours browsing Staples or Office Depot.  But, vintage/retro school ephemera…, TO – DIE – FOR!  (Did I just get a bit ‘valley girl’ on you there?  Sorry about that.)

The first thing I said to my husband was, “I bet they have a ton of maps and globes!”

Although I had a dance class earlier in the morning, and my son a birthday party to attend that very same afternoon, I made my husband promise me that we would attend.  I was fortunate enough that my mother was available to watch all three of my crazy kids whilst my husband and I frolicked around a closed school for nerdy finds like two kids in a candy store.  It was absolutely euphoric!  (Thanks, Mom!)

Okay, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. Below are some of the items I found.  This will be a multi-part series.

  1. A Globe Wernicke, industrial, adjustable, desk/table chair on casters. It even swivels!  This chair is awesome! The lowest setting is great for a toddler and the highest setting is perfect for a fully grown adult.  This would make a great chair for a child’s desk, as it will grow with the child.  It is well made and durable to boot! (Swoooon.)
  2. General Fireproofing Company metal file box. It is a wee bit rusty on the exterior, but not on the interior.  The hardware is gorgeous and the storage possibilities are endless.

    2. HON, metal file box.  This is much less rusty, and a dark, gun-metal color.  

  3. A well-made, wooden, student table. I have special Santa plans for this little guy.  There are four sets of holes in the top, but that won’t matter, when I’m done with it.
  4. A stereo microscope – well, the case and paraphernalia, at least.  Someone arrived at the school first thing, took ALL of the microscopes and left the cases in a jumbled mess on the floor.  Very disrespectful, I thought.  I was bummed, but I still think the case is super cool.  And, if I find an inexpensive stereo microscope (probably Craigslist), it should fit just fine.  No one shall be the wiser. I did snag an overlooked, smaller microscope.
  5. Reel to reel tape recorder.  My husband grabbed this like a kid that had just received his Red Rider BB Gun.  It even had a few reels of recordings.  I feel obligated to track down previous students/teachers of the school and offer to return them.  Someone out there would love to have these lovely memories. (Hey Audrey, do you want them?)
  6. A record player in a sturdy case.
  7. Wall Maps!  As soon as I entered the front door of the school, I asked where the wall maps would be located.  I was told to check the library.  I ran upstairs to the second floor and was disappointed.  All of the maps were taken first thing by some sweet, old lady that loves maps.  (Hey, that could have been me!)  It’s okay, I turned on my charm and asked where, if any, I could locate others.  (Like how I assumed there were others?)  The school staff was so helpful and sent out the troops on my behalf.  Buried in locked offices, three, double-layered wall maps were found.  (Yippee!)  A few have been drawn on, but not in a graffiti-type way.  Someone crossed out ‘U.S.S.R.’ and wrote ‘Russia’.  Someone else (maybe the same person?) outlined the Mississippi-flanked states that look like the outline of Lincoln.  For the record, I was never taught that silly business in school – it was: these are the states, the end, no funny drawings.
  8. and of course, GLOBES!  I can’t tell you how many people tried to take these from me.  They are slightly damaged, but still usable. There was also one globe that was completely torn in half, but I still took it home. I don’t know what kind of Geography was taught in the school, but it was pretty intense, judging by the condition of these globes.  Extreme Geography, no?
  9. Plug-in light sockets?  I think I cold use them at some point.  My gut told me to take them!

I have many more treasures to share, but my husband and I haven’t had the time to photograph them.  We didn’t bother cleaning any of the items before photographing, as time was working against us. Ascher could have awoken from his ‘nap’ at any minute. I’ll be sharing more of my treasures in future posts.  Some items I plan to gift to my children under the guise of Santa.  Some I will refashion into new items, and some I will dismantle and create new, useful items for my home.  Whatever is leftover, I may attempt to sell on Craigslist or eBay – only once I am sure I have no use for the items.

I did have this idea…

But, the ‘Fire Marshall Bill” in me thought that looked like a huge fire hazard.  I did some research to make this idea plausible and realized that there is no way to make this work without cutting at least a seven (7) inch hole in the top of the globe, so essentially everything above the Arctic Circle.  Rats!

This may not be a totally dead attempt.  I’ll put my thinking ‘globe’ on and try again.

I can’t wait to show you the rest of my geeky chic items! Oh, and don’t worry, we made a generous donation to the church in exchange for our scavenger hunt of goodies.  Let’s just say that my husband’s newly-filled wallet was empty.  I do have a conscience, you know.

Stay tuned….

Until next time…, happy Craigslisting!



One Project Closer


10 thoughts on ““Schoooools Out For-ev-er!” (Part I)

  1. theSlum11111 says:

    Wow!! I can’t wait to see Part II, or Deux for those of us who took high school French 😉
    You had to be like a kid in a candy store!

  2. Pretty cool finds. You seem to have all the luck finding great deals. Can’t wait to see what else you scored.

  3. Wow! You hit the jackpot with this one, Christine. My husband would have had the same thought you did with the “maps.” He’s a fanatic. And the globe light idea is brilliant, fire hazard or not. Looking forward to seeing Part II (though it’s hard to imagine it getting better than this!).

  4. 😦 I love your globe light idea. Why is it such a fire hazard? Of course I didn’t research it like you did, but aren’t pendant lights essentially the same idea (light fixture with a covering)? Cool finds regardless. There are some old roller maps in my school building that I’ve had my eye on for awhile as well. Can’t wait to see your take on incorporating them into your home!

  5. […] Schooooool’s Out For-e-ver! Part I & Part II: Christine thrifts with the best of them and found some amazing pieces at a sale held at a Catholic school that had closed their doors.  Gawk at the fun pieces she found. […]

  6. ngnrdgrl says:

    So many goodies! I can totally spend hours in the office store too! Can’t wait to see you santa plans. 🙂

  7. Megan says:

    So many great finds! Sorry you weren’t able to make the light.

  8. jocieopc says:

    WOW, some great finds. And the globe light idea was so creative! Can’t wait to see what you do with the rest of it!

  9. Amazing finds! Wow, I would have LOVED to have been there! Love everything you snagged! And there has got to be a way to make that light work…keep thinking on that one.

  10. […] about my first layer of window treatments in the room.  When I found the pull-down maps at the Catholic school closing sale, I knew they would make the perfect window shade.  Of course, I still have to replace the roman […]

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