Monday, March 1, 2021

Sustainable Living - Decorating Your Home With Gently Used Items

 With the upcoming changes in our lives, I've been thinking about creating a cozy nest once again, both for myself and my daughter, and as a sweet place of retreat when my husband returns home from time to time from traveling. It's going to be an adjustment for all of us, for sure, but we are all at peace in this process.

Most of my lovely things have been packed away in storage, but since we did some significant downsizing prior to moving into the van, I am looking for some decorative items to supplement the things that were discarded when we thought we would both be on the road together for at least a couple of years. 

I'm VERY late to the game, but living sustainably has become more and more important to me as I've grown older. You would have thought growing up the 70's it would have played more of a factor, but I somehow I never related much to that classic Keep America Beautiful commercial as littering was at least one thing I never engaged in, or so I thought. But I've learned over the years that what we throw into our garbage can and conceal in plastic trash bags (which is part of the problem), is just as detrimental to the earth and our environment as blatantly throwing trash out the car window. No one's letting me off the hook, and it's high time I did my part.

One of the ways that I am looking to do this is buying local and second hand, when possible, and I'm finding that it's almost always possible. So when I decided I wanted to begin to pick up a few items here and there to decorate our new apartment I turned to our local Goodwill. Now before I go any further, I know there are a lot of people who have issues with Goodwill alone, and I completely understand. But in my neck of the woods there aren't many other sources, save for yard sales which won't be in full swing for a few weeks yet. And yes, there is Facebook Marketplace, but having been a buyer and seller in that format I find that route mostly more frustrating than profitable. What I may save in money I lose in emotional peace. I don't know what it is about the nature of most of the people who buy and sell in this format, but it's never been a very pleasant experience for me.

Anyway, I thought about writing a weekly post "Thrifty Thursday", as in the past Thursday was the day I went to the grocery store and picked up food items for the weekend and also stopped in at our local Goodwill, there are actually six different store fronts within an hour's drive here, though I seldom hit them all in a day. But until we actually get moved and settled **again!**, I haven't established my daily and weekly routines yet, though I suspect they will be much the same as before. But this week I ended up getting out yesterday, so maybe today's post is more suited to "The Sunday Sales". To be honest I'm not even sure I'll post weekly, because I typically never went EVERY week.  However, I am considering recrafting and repurposing some of the items I purchase to see if I can't turn a small profit and supplement our income a bit. I haven't decided exactly how or where I'll sale my goods, but it is something I'm considering. That being said, all of the items I picked up yesterday I plan to keep, at least for the moment. So let me share my haul with you! 

In this picture you see this cute little wooden container with the pine tree cut out. I ADORE decorating with a woodland, cabin theme, especially in our bedroom. You can't tell by the picture, but it's actually pretty tall and narrow, I'd say about 10" in height. I bought it filled with pinecones, which you see peeping through the cut out, but my husband wanted those for the van, so I gave them to him. My plan is to paint it black (of course), and then place a tall votive candle inside to shine through the cut out, kind of like a little night light. Though I might have trouble finding one tall and narrow enough to fit, in which case I may just pick up another bag of those cute scented pinecones that you can find pretty easily at craft stores and fill it again. Anyway, I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and for $1.99 I was happy to get it. As an added bonus, when I got to the check out line I realized the color for the day was red and since this had a red price label on it, it ended up only being .99 cents!

Also in this picture you can see the little tin spice cans. I originally bought these thinking my husband might want to use them, and by the looks of them, I think someone originally paid a pretty price for them. There are 24 of them altogether, all labeled with a sticker on top naming common spices, and in addition each one has a pretty hefty magnetic bottom with a strong stick. I picked them up because I'd seen many van-lifers use these magnetic containers for their spices and I thought my husband might want to do the same. But he seems pretty happy with his current set up, so now I'm thinking I might remove the stickers and rather than using them as spice containers I might fill them with small craft supplies like straight pins, safety pins, beads, etc. I'm hoping to set up a small work area in my bedroom when we move, or maybe somewhere else in the apartment, I haven't really decided. But since crafts supplies can make an area look a little busy, I'm not sure I would want it to be very focal in the main part of the house, I would prefer it be tucked away somewhere. But in any case, having organizational tools like this can help to mainstream some of that clutter and make things look a bit more presentable. These were $2.99, and as I said, they are so well made I feel that was a real bargain!

And finally, in the image on the right you can see more of the little spice tins as well as a little basket with the cute little wooden pine trees adorning it. I picked this up almost as soon as I walked in the door but went back and forth a couple of times before purchasing it. The reason for that is because I didn't like the look of the little pine trees on the ribbon around the middle, they were just a bit too whimsical for my liking. But then I remembered that I had some green and black checked ribbon at home about the same width that I thought would look very nice in place of it, and then when I got to check out and discovered that the $2.99 red price tag made it half off so $1.50!, all the better!

Under the basket, and also peeping out a bit in the other pictures is a wooden kleenex box cover. As my daughter and I both suffer from seasonal allergies, keeping kleenex handy has always been important, and I don't even want to admit to the amount of time I've spent looking for a design and color of box that would compliment our decor, and it almost always doesn't. But this box solves that problem and for .99, it will save me hours in the future! It's a little worse for wear and needs a little sanding and a coat of paint, but since my plan is to paint it black, that isn't a problem!

All total I spent $6.50, which I thought was a REAL bargain as I'm sure originally just one of these items was likely twice that alone!

So I hope you've enjoyed coming along with me on my little thrift shopping tour, and if you have I'll be sure to include more of them. I will be coming back in the coming days and weeks and sharing how I recrafted and repurposed each item, if you're interested, and if I can figure out how to sell items from right here on my blog, this might be an avenue I employ to do that. So who knows, something might catch your eye here one day and end up in your home!

Until then I hope you have a lovely start to your week. I'll be back later this week with my thoughts on the practice of silence and solitude, how I'm incorporating it into my day and how the Lord has already begun to use it in my life, so I hope you'll join me!

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