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What's Old Is New Again

Reduce, reuse and recycle has recently become the mantra of socially conscious consumers. In North America, consumers are buying and discarding 5 times as much decor and furniture as we did 25 years ago. A staggering 700 million tons of household and office furniture end up in a landfill every year!

The most popular solution in the past couple decades, and growing in popularity, is to donate our unwanted items. Some thrift stores like ValueVillage, a Savers brand, is a for-profit, global thrift retailer offering great quality gently used clothing, accessories and household goods. Other charities like Habitat for Humanity will come to your home to collect household goods, even removing your old kitchen cabinets at no charge and offering you a tax receipt for your donation. These items are then re-sold and sometimes refinished and sold at the ReStore to fund life-changing work such as building affordable and safe housing for families in need. The Furniture Bank takes gently-used furniture and gives it to families that are transitioning out of homelessness or newcomers to Canada.

I frequently shop these locations and many other vintage, salvage and antique markets for items that are unique and different and can be refinished or repurposed and used in staging my listings. I also never pass up an opportunity to take discards from family and friends ;)

Recently, my client was clearing out her childhood home to prepare it for sale. One item that was designated to the “donate” pile was this beautiful gold leaf mirror and shelf that was hung in the foyer of their family home. I reluctantly agreed to take it to the Value Village to drop off, but when I got there, I just could not part with it. So, I tucked it away in my basement with the thought in mind that I would refinish it one day and give it back to her. A simple, inexpensive makeover and it is now contemporary and shabby chic!

Another great find were these old canoe paddles, such a score at $20 each found in an old vintage store in Port Rowan Ontario. I stripped the varnish and wood stain and taped off a pattern with 1/4" painters tape. Layering acrylic paint in coordinating colours gives these paddles an artistic flare and creates a functional piece of art for your walls. Finish with a polyurethane top coat to make them water ready

What do you have tucked away in your basement or garage that is just crying out for a makeover? Before you toss it in the trash, think about how you or someone you know could reuse, recycle or repurpose it. Haste makes waste, let’s all do our part!

If you are thinking of listing your home and are in need of some staging and decluttering to make your home stand out from the rest, reach out for your FREE home evaluation and staging consultation.


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