Every September 1st, thousands of Boston leases change hands, turning the streets of Allston into a Mad Max Thunderdome of moving vans and double-parked cars. If you’ve lived in the Hub for a year or more, you know that the high stakes come with rich rewards: free stuff (clothes, furniture, electronics!) reliably placed on sidewalks and street corners every single year. Here’s how to take advantage of the annual citywide dumpster dive. No hobo.
Do celebrate Allston Advent
While the real fun falls on September 1st, the days leading up to Allston Christmas are a great time for hardcore foragers to score items from the forward-thinking renters smart enough to get out before the 31st. They're contributing curbside debris throughout August, so go big or go home.
Don’t restrict yourself to Allston
The streets around Tufts, Berklee, and every other college in Boston are just as jammed with treasures and trash as the ones around BU. Consider them satellite hotspots for the savvy Santa. And with the majority of the city on the same September 1st-August 31st lease cycle, all you have to do is follow those U-Hauls.
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For the love of all that is holy, do not put that beer-stained Red Sox jersey on until you've sanitized it through a hot dry cycle. Yes, it’s free, but rein in your excitement for a sec because maybe that’s not beer, and even if it is, you need to draw the line somewhere. (And if you can’t wash it, freeze it for three days... scabies aren’t sexy.) Speaking of...
Don’t trust that mattress
Or that sofa. Or anything upholstered, really. Unlike love, bedbugs are forever.
Do check Craigslist
People who are giving away really nice stuff will often post before putting it out on the curb. Even if they want a few dollars for it, odds are it’ll be criminally cheap.
Your friends just helped you haul all your shit up a third-floor walk-up and warded away scavengers with your mom’s dust pan -- you totally owe them! So pick up the beer tab, go to FoMu, or get dessert nachos at Sunset. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
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