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Posts Tagged ‘secondhand’

Yesterday over on my personal blog I posted  a photo of a beautiful old hand-painted wooden tray that came from my mom’s side of the family. I also commented on how I love to be surrounded by “stuff,” meaning things passed down from both sides of my family, or my husbands family. These things bring a smile to my face and I have good memories of them.

Wooden Tray 1

I also mentioned that there are times I am bothered by the clutter around me. Not the clutter of things from the past, but the clutter of projects that I am in the middle of or hoping finish soon, even dishes that need to be done.

Yesterday came and I had a bit of motivation in me, instead of working on a presentation I have coming up in January, I tackled an armoire in our bedroom. Ok, part of an armoire. I have more clothes than I could even need or use and it was time to chip away and decrease the piles. About 2 weeks ago, I took several boxes of clothes and other things over to a thrift store  and it felt really really good. Today I managed to fill one trash bag full of clothes.

cleaning out the closet

These clothes have a lot of life left in them and I need to let them get on with it. Live their life. Move on.

I know when I am met by a bit of motivation, I need to run with it. I get absolutely not where when I am not in the mood and I also know that I need to tackle things like this in small steps or it becomes too overwhelming and frustrating and then nothing gets done at all. So, I was in the mood, had a bit energy and got a lot done.

A laughed a bit, because as I went through the clothes, ever single piece was something that was handed down to me, things I didn’t spend a penny on and I don’t think I wore any of them. I hope someone else can get some better use out of them. They certainly aren’t doing anybody any good folded up in my armoire.

I still have way too many clothes, but it fells good to go through some of it and move it out. This journey continues.

What do you find is the best way for you to clean out a bit of stuff?

Sincerely, Emily

You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.

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Buying secondhand items is a great way to save money and have a little fun, not to mention save something from the landfill. It becomes almost a game, the hunt is often the part that brings the most fun and excitement. There are so many places to find an item you need that don’t involve a trip to the nearest megamart.

Mr Chiots and I enjoy going to auctions when we can to find secondhand treasures. It’s so much fun to walk around and look at all the interesting old stuff, but kind of sad at the same time. It’s sad that you’re buying stuff that someone else valued enough to save, but then it’s hopeful as well because you know someone is there to buy it and give the item a second lease on life.

This past year Mr Chiots took up hunting and wanted to buy an old wool hunting jacket instead of one of the new expensive manmade material ones. His first stop was Ebay, to search for that perfect wool jacket and pant set. He ended up buying two, both came with pants and he spent less on both sets than he would have on one jacket. One of them is old, very old. So old, I joked that Theodore Roosevelt probably wore it on one of his hunting trips (seriously, it’s that old!). They’re both still in great shape and still super warm. A few little mends here and there and they’ll last for another 100 years or more. He loves them and wears them all the time now, not just for hunting.

One of the best places to find a used item is ask family and friends. It’s amazing what you can get for free, or next to nothing from people you know (of course I often give a gift of canned items or baked goods when they won’t accept some cash for the item). When I decided to start canning, my mom gave me a lot of my grandmother’s old canning jars and a nice waterbath canner and a pressure canner, I only had to buy a few lids to get started.


This summer when we needed a pump for our water barrel system. Mr Chiots mentioned to his grandpa (who’s an avid secondhand buyer) to watch for one at the auctions. His grandpa had 2 in the garage and gave one to us, for free! Mr Chiots hooked it up and it works like a champ! We would have spent over $100 for the same pump new, and about $50 to get it used. Thanks to the generosity of family we didn’t pay a dime, just the expense of a few parts for the installation.

One of the things I love about getting secondhand items is that they have a history. We got an old reel mower from my parents when we wanted one, this is the very same one I mowed with as a kid.

Of course there are endless resources for finding used items when you start searching. Garage sales are a good place to look I’ve heard, although we don’t usually go to them (we work weekends so it’s difficult). Secondhand stores are common in most communities with Goodwill being the most common I think.

Are you a secondhand consumer, if so what’s your favorite resource for finding that needed item?

I can also be found at Chiot’s Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, beekeeping, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Simple, Green, Frugal, Co-op, and you can follow me on Twitter.

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