As I sit here on my second hand sofa bed (free, from Mr S’s brother), I can see more items of furniture that were pre-loved than purchased new. The same goes for much of my clothing, ornaments and kitchen bits. So, I thought I would give you a little view on my second hand life!
As I said in this post, there are many reasons I like buying second hand. Firstly, second hand items are cheaper. Sometimes they are even free! When you are on a tight budget, it makes sense to pay less for things when you can.
But second hand doesn’t mean buying poorer quality. In fact, for me it usually means that I can afford better quality. Cheap new items are often shoddy and not made to last.
Living a second hand life means that you can help develop a circular economy, where items are produced and used until the end of their lives, maybe repaired and upcycled along the way, rather than discarded when the owner is bored with them and fancies a change. You get the maximum value from each items and then recycle or reuse as much as possible of what remains.
Here are some examples of my second hand life and some of my favourite items.
This Windsor armchair is more than just second hand; it is an antique, given to me by a family member more than 20 years ago. It has been in several houses since I got it, and I love it! I purchased the cushion on eBay recently to tart it up.
This is another piece that has been passed through the family. My parents had it made in a honey coloured pine in the late seventies, to go with the honey coloured pine kitchen that my dad made from scratch.
I had it in my first house in Norwich, as they no longer needed it and it was small enough to fit into a snug two bed terrace. It has come with me ever since, was at one point a Brittany blue, but is now a sage green and lives in the kitchen.
All of the china is from junk shops too. There is nothing of any great value, just going for a shabby chic vibe!
This fabulous vase featured in my Instagram feed recently. I found it at a boot sale for £2, and I love it! The plan is to get some kind of artificial foliage to go in it, if I can find some at a reasonable price. This has to stay in the sitting room where the cats rarely venture, or they will use it as a scratching post!
As I said, this second hand sofa came from Mr S’s brother, who was also given it for free but didn’t use it. The bonus is that it is also a very comfortable pull out bed, which is great when we have visitors.
Some years ago we found this bench in pieces outside a neighbour’s house, with a free sign on it. Mr S repaired it and I painted it, and it has been a really useful piece of garden furniture ever since.
It actually needs repainting now, which is on our list of things to get done when the dog’s not looking.
I absolutely love this retro looking reading lamp, which was in a pile of things a friend was giving away after a house move. At the moment it hasn’t found its permanent home, but I know it will prove useful somewhere and couldn’t pass it by.
I have never bought a new car in my life, and I am pretty sure I never will. They lose so much value as soon as they are driven off the forecourt. I suppose someone has to buy them new, but I will leave that for others with deeper pockets.
My current model is a 2009 Nissan Note, which is perfect for me. Roomy enough for the dog and all my boot sale finds, but small enough to make it easy to drive and park and economical to run.
This is a cheat, as the unit itself was a rare purchase from new (from Ikea). However, the rose covered boxes were second hand from eBay. Ikea don’t sell them any more so I was pleased to track them down.
I mentioned in last week’s Five Frugal Things post that I have a second hand but very lightly used bed and mattress coming from the same friend that gave me the reading lamp. This has saved a few hundred pounds that I thought I would have to spend, so is a good result.
As the boot sales are back on and the charity shops have reopened, no doubt I will be finding some more bargains to furnish my second hand life with.
What about you? Do you buy second hand and what has been your best used purchase to date?