I’ve been on a purging binge lately. As a former organizer the mess you live with when you have young kids is always mind-numbing to me. Where does all this stuff even come from??? I have some solutions in place, but mainly the best way to cope is to follow the 3 R’s.
Reduce what we bring into the house. This should go without saying, but the less stuff we have, the less clutter and organization is required.
Reuse things whenever possible. Even if we can’t reuse something we offer it up to family, friends, Freecycle, or Craig’s List. We got rid of our giant stack of pavers this way.
Recycle what we can. That includes recycling our old computers or donating old building and painting supplies to our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
If none of these options are available and it’s still something that has to go I put it out curbside. A few cars and trucks drive through our neighborhood every trash day and pick up things they can reuse. I’ve had people pick up an old mattress to use for their pet, a rusted swing that they planned to refurbish, and so much more.
While I know many people have success with yard sales we rarely earn enough to make it worth the time it takes to organize, price, setup and takedown a yard sale. The exception was when I put out gently used electronics. They weren’t worth trading in (the credit wasn’t enough) but some collectors bought them up.
We also take our time hunting for things we need to make sure it’s the best fit for our space and budget. Sometimes that means living with a weird solution (like our current mattress on the floor situation) while we hunt for the right thing. Other times I find things when I least expect it. This was one of those times.
On one of our recent trips to our local Goodwill my 11 year old accompanied me. She loves the ‘pop tags’ at the thrift shop so after I dropped off our donations we walked around and looked at everything that was available. She tried on a few dresses and looked through the purses, and ended up bringing home an adorable (and adjustable) black dress that she can wear everyday or to dress up. It only cost her $7, a relative bargain, and now I won’t have to go shopping next time she needs to wear something dressy. 😉
While I wasn’t planning to buy anything I found three things that were on my list, and their prices were too good to pass up. I found a bookshelf for $13 for Emma’s closet (more on that soon), and two lamps that I liked for $6 each. We are desperately in need of more lamps, but I wasn’t 100% sure where these would go. But I can often work on that when something is ‘right. In this case I loved the shape and height. I wasn’t 100% sure about the tone of the metal (it’s kind of a dulled/rubbed brown brass), but figured I could spray paint them if I decided I didn’t like them once I got them home. I have done that to lamps in the past with success, and they turn out gorgeous.
Next, I needed to pick up lampshades, and spent a day or so looking at options only to head to our local Target and find exactly what I wanted. I even took one of the lamps into the store to look at the various shades on the lamp. I opted for this black shade(which looks almost navy because of the texture of the fabric) and has a silvered lining to make sure all the light isn’t eaten up by that dark shade. Somehow the brassy color and the silver worked together even though I usually go a little more matchy matchy.
I tried them in our family room but they didn’t work there at all. I think it’s because the kitchen looks down on the family room (it’s a step down) all you could see was the top of the lightbulbs which was WAY too bright. Next I tried them in our bedroom, and in the end I decided they looked best in our bedroom on our long dresser.
Of course that wasn’t enough for me. I had to move the dresser too. Since we added a desk to our bedroom it felt kind of cluttered with the current layout so I shifted the long dresser to under the window and with the lamps it looked awesome! I love how a simple shift can make a room feel brand new.
Here are the lamps on the dresser.
Here’s a shot from the door. I love how it all looks together. And while I know I need to iron the curtains (blech!) I pinned them back with hairpins to help keep them out of the way.
All in all this makeover cost me under $50, but I think it does a lot to pull the room together.
Have you had any good thrift shop finds lately?