Words to live by

19 Nov

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
William Morris

These have been my words to live by recently. The furniture we shipped over from London was rather sparse in our new home (the joy of moving from a tiny flat to a bigger house) so we needed to get some new bits and pieces. We also couldn’t bring any of our electricals with us when we moved (we had some fun times distributing things like our toaster and vacuum cleaner among our London friends! I know that doesn’t sound like fun but it conveniently coincided with also drinking all our booze, since we couldn’t ship that either). So we’ve had to restock appliances too. But I’m trying to think like William Morris and get things that are (ideally) both useful and beautiful but one or the other will do.

The furniture has been new to us, rather than storefresh, as we try to buy secondhand or freecycle where we can. This is easier here than in London, since we have family close at hand (so we’ve inherited a two-seater sofa, or loveseat as they rather charmingly call in the US, and amazing crochet afghans and the like) but also because of the joy that is Craigslist. I’m sure any readers from North America will be like “Craigslist is so a million years ago” but it’s a revelation to me. There is so much stuff for sale! Why would we ever buy new again?!? It’s so much better than the London equivalent (Gumtree). In fact, I’m typing this post while sitting on this sofa bought from Craigslist:









It’s lovely and comfortable and I know it’s an hilariously impractical colour with 2 small children but hey, it cost $75 so I really don’t mind what stains it gets! They’ll all just add to the character of it (I say optimistically). Oh and the crochet afghans are some of the family ones we were recently given – my amazing grandmother-in-law crocheted them. She’s 96 and still crochets if the light is good. While telling stories and singing old songs and cracking jokes. She is an amazing lady!

I’ve also discovered the joy that is yard sales. OMFG, as the youth would say, they are brilliant! For practically no dollars I got a hall mirror, some bedside lamps and cool toys for my son. Check out this lamp:











And then guess the price…$10? $5? No no no, a measly $2!

And that was with no haggling (which is good as I cannot haggle. Having to haggle practically brings me out in hives).

There have been yard sales every weekend that we’ve lived here but I’ve had to give them a bodyswerve. I could get completely addicted to them and before you know it I’d be mainlining estate sales and I’d have lost the children under some nifty vintage dinnerware. And I’ve not even sampled the delights of our local thrift store or Goodwill yet…


6 Responses to “Words to live by”

  1. happyflowerwordzoo002 November 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    Nothing like a good garage sale. Good way to unspend as well. 🙂

    • lowimpactmama November 20, 2012 at 10:31 am #

      It is a good way to unspend – hadn’t thought about it like that! But a great way to keep money in the local economy (like I need another reason to love these sales!)

  2. Dilly Tante November 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    I wish we had things like that in the UK. And the apocryphal ‘flea markets’ which I have never ever seen here.

    • lowimpactmama November 21, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

      I was wondering why they don’t really exist in the UK (or Ireland for that matter) and I think it may have to do with privacy, not wanting the neighbours to see what we have (can you tell I’ve been overthinking this!). Anyway, the closest thing I remember are the jumble sales of my childhood! And flea markets are cool, but in my limited experience tend to be of the overpriced jumble sale variety (in fairness, the most recent ones I’ve been to have been in hipster Brooklyn so not really bargaintastic!).

  3. Alreethinny November 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    I’ve always wanted to have a good rummage through someone’s yard sale, when we have been in the States. Love the idea, but over here in the UK we seem to prefer the anonymity gained from flogging your nick naks out of the back of the car, at a car boot sale.

    • lowimpactmama November 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

      I always wanted to go to a proper car boot sale – the ones near me in London weren’t great!

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