recycling and reusing – buying used and selling or passing it on when you are done with it

Although we definitely don’t buy everything second hand, we do buy most things used. I have found that if I want something, all I need to do is wait and look around for a while, and I can usually find it used. I don’t think that means we have a household full of old crap. We have some quality items that we bought second hand and fixed up when necessary. We don’t have matching suites in anything, but we do have an eclectic mix of things that (at least in my humble opinion) have made our home comfortable and inviting.

I change things around as new stuff comes in to our lives. Right now I’m keeping an eye out for more modern lighting to replace some of the grandmotherly lamps. I like the old stuff look, but would like to add in a few modern touches.

Here is a quick list of things we’ve bought used:

  • furniture/antiques (pretty much everything in the house)
  • linens/quilts
  • appliances
  • cars
  • baby/kid/adult/maternity clothes
  • baby equipment
  • toys/games
  • play structures
  • animals (we had lovely Newfoundland dog that we bought from Kijiji after the kennel that bred her retired her from breeding)
  • housewares – dishes, small appliances
  • area rugs
  • artwork/decorative objects
  • sports equipment

We also have a bit of a round robin going with children’s clothes. Good quality clothes that I had handed down to me when our babies were born have now made it through 4 families and 7 children, perhaps more. We do of course buy new stuff as needed, but when we are done with it we pass it along. Even at my place of work, most of us have children close in age but at different stages of growth, so we tend to bring in bags of gently used clothing for the other moms to look through. We support and help out each other this way.

We also sell the things that we no longer need. Another short list of things that we have sold in the past year:

  • 1940s era Cockshutt tractor that was rusting behind the barn
  • radial arm saw from a high school woodshop
  • woodstove
  • electric hospital bed

Just keeping up our part in a continous loop. If we don’t need it, we can usually find someone who does.

Linking to Cozy Home Scenes, Frugally Sustainable, Thrifty Decorating, Sorta Crunchy, Mod Vintage Life, Knick of Time, Learning the Frugal Life

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32 thoughts on “recycling and reusing – buying used and selling or passing it on when you are done with it

  1. What a lovely home you have created! A true testament to buying second hand. Great job!

  2. Years ago I took a vacation to Laguna Beach, CA and found a restaurant that was called “Dizz as Is”. The restaurant had been outfitted with all used stuff. None of the dinner plates matched nor did the silverware or glasses. The walls had art that varied from inexpensive print reproductions to old license plates to paintings that had been purchased at garage sales. It was eclecticism at its finest – and the food was great. I ate there three of the six nights on my vacation – as much for the atmosphere as for the bill of fare.

    • I have to admit that I like eclectic – I grew up in a house that was extremely eclectic! Now my kids are having the same experience.

    • We live near Laguna Beach and go to church there. I’m going to see if I can find that restaurant. I’d love to give it a visit!

      • It was a fixture – I have a neighbor from the area. But neither of us is sure it’s still there. If it is it’s on the east side of PCH and about a mile south of the main entrance to Laguna Beach as you approach it from the west. Hope it’s there and you enjoy it.

  3. You have such a good eye for this! I adore the lamps…and the chairs…and the red candle holders. What a perfect setting!

  4. You’ve created a wonderful home with used stuff. Not only does it save you money, but it’s great for the environment. I’ve heard of groups of women who do the same with clothing and accessories as you do with the kids clothes. They gather together and each shows what they brought…all stuff that is in good shape, but they are tired of it. The women trade it for new to them things. You know the old saying, What is one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Thank you for reminding us of that and for joining up with my party this week!

  5. Your home is lovely and I love your attitude about reusing. We also have very little that we bought new but we have been able to get many quality items that we could never afford new this way. Not only is it easier on the budget, but it keeps things out of landfills, supports charities when purchased from thrift stores and in the case of just passing things on, it is fun to bless others and I’ve found the good will comes back to you!

    • Exactly. You said it better than I did. This is the way I grew up though and I have a hard time remembering that not everyone sees buying used as a good thing.

      • It blows my mind that buying used isn’t always seen as a good thing. I have a friend (whom I love dearly) who will only buy new clothes for her children. Her reason? “I grew up with only used clothes. My kids aren’t going to go through that.” I want to shake her. So, your kids will grow up with brand new everything—unlike about 99% of the rest of the world and be spoiled and expect things and feel entitled and have a much more difficult life than they would otherwise? Well, you know what I’m saying…and of course, it’s just my opinion…

  6. That reminds me of a coworker, who when we bought a used Wii system for the girls for Christmas 2 years ago, said “but for less than $100 more, you can buy one new!”. My reply was “yes, but for almost $100 less, I can buy one used!”

  7. shelia says:

    Your living room looks very nice and very homey. You have a great eye for arrangements. I love your grandmotherly 🙂 spindle lamp. Maybe you could find another shade for it. I have a little antique table just like yours that’s on the right hand side of your fireplace. My mother gave it to me and I love it. Hope you’ll pop in to see me sometimes.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  8. Hi again…..I know I commented before, but I just wanted to stop by to let you know your post was included in my Saturday Picks. Congrats on your feature! If you’d like to take it, there is a featured button on my blog. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

  9. Ally Jo says:

    You have a lovely home. I agree, if you wait long enough, what you want or need will show up. Thrifting teaches patience. Love all those tables.

  10. Jen says:

    Your living room is beautiful I too also am very frugal and do not buy anything new well under clothing lol

  11. We need to have a price-your-space party. Most of my rooms are probably in the low hundreds – I am notorious for picking up furniture finds on the side of the road. Thanks for linking up @ the Delectable Home!

  12. Jen says:

    MIne is for sure $160 for 2 couches and a chair oh and just bought a lil stool for $6 I think you should hold a lil blog hop thing let everyone post there frugal rooms

    • Definitely something to consider once I have higher site stats. I’m afraid there wouldn’t be enough response yet.

      • Jen says:

        Who cares how many post least were having fun maybe it will put your stats up I am terrible at even posting on my blog but I love to by used and recycle it just think how many hands it has went thru

  13. pobept says:

    For me and many my age and older, have for 60 years or more Recycled/Repurposing.
    However until the past few years I had never heard of repurposing and really don’t like seeing or hearing that term.

    We were and are simple folk and we are simply Frugal 🙂

    • I never really thought of it as repurposing until recently – I just thought of it as normal. Frugal as a side benefit, but mostly normal. And why would you by new stuff that falls apart easily when you could have something handcrafted that’d already lasted for years and had many more to go.

  14. What a cozy room. I much prefer an eclectic look over matchy-matchy furniture. We inherited much of our furniture from our still living parents. Luckily, both sets of parents had good taste. A room that looks as though it has evolved through time is much more interesting to me than one that came out of a Pottery Barn catalog.

    • Thanks, I feel the same. Some of our stuff has come from relatives still living, some from relatives that have left us, and some from good old fashioned auctions and yard sales, with a little thrift shop thrown in.

  15. Mindie says:

    Very warm an cozy room. I like finding a deal too.

  16. Jerry says:

    You really do have a lovely home and reusing and recycling is insurance for our environment and our future. We have always lived like this and hope to pass on these ideas to our children. I hope it leads to future crunchies!

  17. introvertedblogger says:

    This is so lovely. I am trying to do more so thank you for the wonderful information

  18. Your home is lovely, Heidi! Thank you for sharing this link on my site. Sharing, passing on and patience all come together when decorating a home this way. I love it!

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