Tag Archives: recycling

Trash Day

19 Oct

People in my neighborhood throw out the most amazing things!  I have seen leather sofa’s and sectionals in great condition just sitting on the side of the road.  If we weren’t renting and had a garage I would be hauling these home to sell them on-line.  It is so disturbing to think of these items sitting in a landfill because someone never thought to call a donation center for a pick up.  But sometimes I find things that people are getting rid of that we can actually use.

That was the case with the dining table I just found.  Although I hated the color, it was a solid sturdy table and would allow us to finally return the table we have been borrowing from my sister for all these years.

before

Somehow I managed to get this baby in the car all by myself!  I don’t know how I did it since it was really heavy, but I didn’t want to wait for my husband to get home from work since I feared it may be gone.

Out in the yard I sanded the top and primed it.  Then it got a coat of teal paint and I dry brushed brown over that.  I did not sand or paint the legs, all I did was dry brush the brown paint over the light tan legs.  The result was very pleasing.  It looks like dark wood grain and goes really nicely with the top.

after after set

Like I mentioned in my last post, here is where I struggle with two concepts that I love.  One concept I strive for is simplifying my life which means minimizing our stuff, purging and getting rid of things.  The other concept is reusing as much as we can and buying or finding used items to refurbish.  Over the years we have really gotten rid of so many things and are trying very hard to keep our possessions from taking over.  However we have also found many useful free items, like a coffee table, a leather office chair, an exercise bike, yard ornaments and baskets.  I guess this will be a life long struggle in finding balance.  Meanwhile I will enjoy the challenge  and creativity that a found treasure presents.

Thrift Store Scores!

14 Oct

As I simplify my life and remove myself from the consumerism and materialism of our society I find myself doing a balancing act of sorts.  I try to reduce, reuse, recycle, upcycle and refuse as much as possible. In reusing and upcycling I come upon the dilemma of saving things.  Saving things goes against minimizing and simplifying.  But it works with my desire to remove myself from consumerism, from buying new, from supporting companies that don’t pay their workers well and from supporting the consumption of “cheap crap” and adding all of that to our environment.  So I save some things and try to come up with ways of reusing them.

Right now I have a bag full of those mesh produce bags, the type onions would come in. I keep thinking there has got to be a way to turn them into dish scrubbers or something.  For awhile there I was in need of old t-shirts to be used as solutions for various problems I had.  At that time I had no old t-shirts and had to purchase one cheap in order to use the fabric.  Now I have several t-shirts that we are getting rid of; they are not good enough to donate to the thrift store, so I am going to save them for the next time I have a need for some soft jersey cotton fabric.

So do you see my dilemma?  Where do I keep those t-shirts and scrubby mesh?  How many of them do I keep?  Are they going to start cluttering my world?  Or can I get a good place to store them where they are out of the way, organized and not forgotten about?

I am however very comfortable with this new lifestyle.  We are not spending our money on anything new, except for underwear.  (Now in my head I am singing the “Underwear” song from camp… anyone care to join me???  “underwear, underwear, how I itch in my woolen underwear.  How I wish I had gotten a pair of cotton I wouldn’t be so itchy everywhere….”).  We are finding items we need used; either to purchase or put out on trash day.  We are shopping for needed items at thrift stores or on craigslist, and I am only purchasing used books when I want a book (I still like paper books, especially reference books).

The problem is, sometimes you find a lot at the thrift stores!  How do you limit yourself?  I think some of these thrift store scores are going to put a dent in our budget!  But how can I turn down a winter coat, boots and blouse that all fit me like a glove and that I have been looking for for years but couldn’t afford them at the regular store?  I didn’t and am enjoying wearing them already.

So I continue with my balancing act of clearing out the clutter, weeding down our possessions and staying out of the world of consumerism and materialism.  I guess if I am going to walk this tightrope I might as well enjoy it and put on a show!