Recycle, reuse, preloved, resale, repurpose, upcycle are all buzz words flying around right now. Why? Because in our fast food and fast fashion life, everything is a quick fix. Our clothes are cheap and disposable, our food comes in containers, and plastic bags are given out with every purchase. Saving the planet is a great idea and makes headlines but what can we do?
While using a reusable shopping bag is quick and easy, furniture and home goods can be an effective way to lower your carbon footprint. Furniture takes up billions of pounds of trash each year. Think about how much space and weight every piece of furniture can take up in landfills. By rethinking how to solve your household issues, you can reduce your waste in a variety of ways.
Creating a more ecologically friendly home starts with repurposing. Check out what’s in your home and solve your issues with an item you already own. Maybe you have an item that would work but it needs cleaned up, repainted, or repaired. If you still can’t find something, searching resale stores with a plan can help.
3 steps to a better reuse home
Step 1: Repurpose – Discovering items in your home that you can use differently or giving them a better function is the easiest and most cost effective way to solve your problem. Do you need something to set your phone charger on and happen to have a side table that’s stuck in a corner? Often taking the time to search our own spaces can lead to surprising finds.
Another tip is to move items around and see how they work in a unique way. Sometimes it simply doesn’t occur to us that a piece of furniture could solve a problem in different way. Before you head to the store to buy something new, walk around your home with a different look.
Step 2: Upcycle – Most of us have items in our homes that are past their prime. Something with a few dinks in it, a fabric you used to love but now is not your style, furniture that was useful once but just doesn’t work anymore. When you find something in your home that might be used in a different way or something that looks shabby that needs a fresh look, think about upcycling rather than purchasing. Giving these items as fresh look can bring new life to your home and give you a great sense of accomplishment.
One of the fastest ways to transform a piece of furniture is through paint. There are tons of great paints that have very different results. Chalk paint, enamel paint, milk paint, acrylic paint, and more. One of our favorites is Wise Owl Paint who makes a water based enamel paint. It goes on easy, dries fast, and doesn’t need another protectant coat.
The internet is filled with ideas for upcycling so take a google and see. There are videos to watch, designers to follow on instagram, and too many beautiful pictures to save on Pinterest. The great thing about upcycling at home is that you can make mistakes, change your mind, and just have some fun.
Step 3: Reuse – Once you’ve determined there is nothing in your home that solves your problem, go shopping. Before you head out, think about the following:
- Budget – How much money do you want to spend? Not only does this create more financially responsible decisions, but it can also help with decision making. If you know starting out how much you can spend, it helps focus on what you can look at.
- Size – Measure your space before you go! Again, if you know the size then you can eliminate choices. Also, many reuse stores have a no return policy so check before you go.
- Color – Do you have a color theme in your home? Are you looking to change it up? What colors or patterns go with your existing items? Thinking through these issues help you purchase something you’ll fall in love with at the store and will also look good in your home.
- Style – There are lots of styles that can go together and patterns that work well together. If your home is all mid century modern, adding a random farmhouse piece might look out of place. If you are working for a more eclectic look, colors might be something that ties your furniture together rather than style. Also think of adding a variety of textures and finishes to any home to add depth.
Most of us can say we’re looking to save the world in some way. Some of us are better at it than others. Considering more reuse in terms of furniture can make a big difference and create a unique home you can be proud of.
The Perfect Piece Store is a resale shop in Zelienople, PA. They specialize in traditional and on trend styles of furniture and home decor. Purchasing furniture from people who are moving or downsizing, working with estate sale and auction companies, and always being on the lookout for items to save rather than be place in a landfill is how they fill their store with treasures and unique finds. Visit www.theperfectpiecestore.com for more info.