A Simple Saturday Post by Cindy
The thrift store has been quite the topic of conversation this week, hasn’t it? Today I want to look at it from another perspective – completing the circle. If you only donate to the thrift store, and never shop there, you are not completing the circle. Now, for those of you who already like to shop in thrift stores, this is not permission to run out and purchase willy-nilly “because Cindy says it’s a good idea.” No, no, no! The idea behind my list is to give you an idea of all the really great stuff there is available in this world that you can purchase used, without calling on the earth’s resources to manufacture new, and you’ll save yourself a lot of money in the process, as well. Here is a partial list of non-new items in my house, and where I acquired them. As Colleen said earlier this week, I always look to buy used first.
- 90% of my clothing, 80% of my husband’s clothing, and almost 100% of the children’s clothing are second hand, except for their school uniforms, which are a mixture of new and used, depending on what’s available in the uniform closet. (Thrift stores, EBay, and my youngest gets hand-me-downs from her sister and from her sister’s friend.)
- Both girls’ bedroom sets, including dressers, beds, and nightstands. (Craigslist)
- Three upholstered chairs, sofa, love seat, coffee table, and living room art. (Craigslist, thrift store, purchased from neighbor)
- Tile for kitchen backsplash (never used). (Craigslist)
- 16 foot sliding door (never used). (Craigslist)
- Two Anderson sliding glass doors (never used). (Craigslist.)
- A truckload of wood, now the ceiling of my screen porch. (Craigslist)
- Two bathroom sinks with faucets. (Craigslist)
- Wooden desk. (Garage sale)
- Swing set. (Handed down from neighbor.)
- Porch chairs. (Found during bulky trash pick up.)
- Kitchen light fixture. (Habitat Restore, which sells new and used building materials)
- Window for stairwell. (Habitat Restore.)
- Rug, sofa, and side table. (Furniture consignment store.)
- Dining room table. (Top and legs purchased separately at Habitat Restore and assembled by my husband.)
- Dining room chairs. (Craigslist.)
- Silver jewelry. (EBay)
There’s more, but that’s enough of a sampling. Nearly every piece of clothing and piece of furniture in this house was purchased second hand. The terrific find of the 16 foot door saved me almost $4000 over the cost of the same door new. I have lived lighter on the environment by purchasing used and second-hand goods, some of which were no longer in their factory container but were, in fact, still new.
It’s important to complete the circle, but remember, you don’t have to do your part and the part of four other people, as well. If shopping at garage sales or thrift stores is a temptation for you, shop with a list, or avoid those stores all together until you are able to control your impulses. Follow this list to make wise buying decisions (starting with “Do I need this item”) and then complete the circle by purchasing used.