Monday, 28 October 2013

Saving and Making Money with Second Hand Stuff.

pre-loved vase on 2nd hand "up cycled" cupboard
One person's trash is another one's treasure - so the saying goes and I totally agree with it!
Passed down, second hand, pre-loved, whatever - I could never just throw something away before checking that no-one else wants it and luckily most of my friends feel the same.

This has been particularly useful as our family has grown and grown. Ironically you'd think we would have plenty of clothes and shoes to pass on but they never seem to be the right size at the right season.

Take our daughters for instance - one was born in April, one in November. So the cute summer dresses I saved from the first would have fitted the second - in December!

Add to that the fact that our children have very different tastes... mostly I ended up with black bin liners of carefully saved clothes that subsequent children can't or won't wear so it was just easier to pass them on to friends and hope they repeated the favour when I needed jeans/plimsolls/snowsuits. Which generally they did.

Some of my favourite furniture and knickknacks have been discarded by other people. My dining table, our dining chairs. Our hallway cupboard was a friend's old orange pine bedside table "shabby chic'd" with a tester pot and some  careless painting.

2nd hand cats!
 The chair I'm sitting in now was an online auction bargain and I love it! Our sofa with matching armchair and footstool I discovered in a friend's garage! I asked nonchalantly; "What are you planning to do with the suite in there?"

Turned out she was planning to post on a recycling website for someone to take it away - so I saved her the effort and it is now my pride and joy! She was sitting on it the other day commenting how nice it looked in my lounge - I got a bit worried in case she wanted it back.....

Even our pet cats were pre-loved by other families before being adopted by our household!

When my older two were tiny I used to love scouring car boot sales for bargains. Toys, clothes, baby equipment all could be snapped up for very little. But online recycling, auction and selling sites seem to have largely killed the boot sale - well at least round here.

It's just so easy selling things online. I'm currently having a big clear-out at home and have already sold quite a few bits and pieces online through auction sites, "cash for your stuff" sites and just through posting onFacebook! It appeals to me that I am clearing my house, making some money,  not just adding to landfill and I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn and fill my car in the hope of making a few pounds in a chilly field.

Some online sites even allow you to donate your earnings to selected good causes if you want-great if you want to help charities without lugging bags to the charity shop only to find they aren't taking donations or the shop is shut and you have to take your bags home again!

I do have my doubts about some things I've seen advertised as "free to good home" online. I get a daily newsletter from my local free recycling groups and yesterday I spotted that someone was offering an electronic nit comb and a lady shaver to anyone who wanted them. I'll pass thanks......

I'm currently on the look out for a nice sturdy chest of drawers. I could traipse round all the charity shops in the region in the hope of dropping lucky, or I could just continue to sit here in the warmth with my cuppa and my laptop and find one free or dirt cheap online. Looking at the rain on my window, it's a no-brainer! Tea anyone?



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