Monday, January 19, 2015

Without Recourse to Retail

So this last week I have been plotting how not to shop for certain household items that I wanted.

My first want was a cupboard in the the loo. It is kind of a necessity in a house full of women. For many years it has been on The Man's list of things to do. He even bought a large piece of beautiful timber to construct it with. However, for one reason or another it didn't get built, and last November I used that piece of timber to get a lovely desk built in my new study. So how to get some storage space in the loo? After prowling around the house several times, I noticed some old CD storage cupboards in Posy's room. I bought them years ago for the girls to store their precious tiny treasures. So, much to Posy's disgust, I annexed one for the loo. Perfect for storing girl essentials.



Want Number Two was a lamp for my bedside table. I did have two in the bedroom, but moved one downstairs to what is now the room that The Man and The Boy use when they come to stay, and the other is now Posy's desk lamp. My first solution involved an extremely expensive, locally made beeswax candle that I bought last year, and a candlestick I found when clearing out a cupboard full of vases. It makes me very happy because I feel like I am living in a fairy tale. However, I must say that anyone in old novels found to be reading by candlelight must have gone blind shortly thereafter. I was not prepared to give up reading in bed, but where to find another lamp. The solution came to me in the shower, of course. I do feel that all the electricity used in long hot showers is absolutely justified in the long run..



There has been a lamp sitting on the sideboard in the dining room for a number of years. I bought it after we renovated because I felt that dinner by lamplight would be soothing and relaxing. However it turns out that my family prefer to see their dinner rather than be soothed and relaxed, so we never used the lamp. It just sat there and I never noticed it except to dust it. Is that not the uncomfortable truth about many of our possessions? Now it is installed next to the bed, and I can choose to live in a fairy tale OR read a book at night. Such riches!



So, two household 'necessities' supplied without recourse to retail. I would love to know what you have been doing to use what you have..

12 comments:

Lynda D said...

Im scared to tell you that i had some major retain therapy on the weekend. I replaced my 20 year old appliances on a 50 mth interest free. You know it will be paid in 24 (i never pay interest) but i figure use their money and leave mine on the mortgage.

rabidlittlehippy said...

Nice work Jo!

Jo said...

Lynda, you are so cunning with the finances. And don't worry, it's not like I'm never going to buy anything ever again. Luckily none of my household needs this week included a major appliance!
Thanks Jess:)

Tracy said...

Over at The Nesting Place, Myquillyn regularly encorages 'shopping the house' before buying anything. You did briliantly!

Meanwhile I discovered, today, that we need a sock intervention in our house. Two family members had no less than 80 pairs between them.

Tanya Murray said...

Thereafter to be referred reverentially to...."The Lesson of The Lamp". Yes it is an uncomfortable truth indeed and one of several found right here I suspect. Love your posts. x

CJ said...

I love the CD tower idea, I have a spare one that I never know what to do with - the shelves are too small for books - and I could do with some more storage space in the bathroom. Thanks for the tip.

theroadtoserendipity said...

Great repurposing Jo :). We finally finished that water wicked strawberry bed made out of an old boat. We also finally turned my sideways without-a-door-now retro fridge into a garden mint bed and a pond. We had a bit of old trellis that we nailed up and planted out my kiwiberry and even though we paid $5 for it, we picked up a deep corner shower unit at the Beaconsfield tip shop to turn into a water garden. Anyone know where I can buy water chestnuts locally? We found an old cast iron bath on one of our dog walks, at the rear of the beaconsfield council building and asked them if we could have it (cheeky but if you don't ask, you never know...) and they were glad for us to take it away. It is now installed next to the glasshouse and will be used to store water in Sanctuary and grow azola, a water plant that is valuable in composting.The best thing that we did this week was save $200 by repurposing our old kitchen table that was disassembled under the bed when we were given a much nicer one (minus Earl's toe scrapings) late last year by friends who were moving away. We gave the chairs away on Gumtree and Steve cut the table down the middle and turned it into a nice long workbench in the shed. As you discovered, there are heaps of things laying around that you can repurpose, position differently or just rediscover that might be just the ticket for what you are in need of. Another lovely post full of positivity Jo, I love seeing how other people cleverly recycle, repurpose and reuse what they have :)

Jo said...

Tracy, I love the term 'shopping the house'. That is my kind of shopping, so easy on the credit card:) And the socks - well, that discovery means you won't have to shop for socks for years. Also a bonus!
Tanya, yes, familiarity breeds contempt..
CJ, glad to be useful:)
Fran, you are a re-using wonder!It's also a wonder that you don't spontaneously combust with all that activity! I love the strawberries in the boat. Brilliant! Will keep an ear out and let you know if I hear of anyone with water chestnuts.

duchess_declutter said...

Well done Jo, another couple of things ticked off your list. I love candle light and lamp light too, but agree it's certainly no good for reading! Imagine doing needlework by lamplight. Talk about eye strain back in the old days! We have lots of little battery tea lights and they are nice to have around the place too. Just have to remember to turn them off! cheers Wendy

Jo said...

Wendy, agreed, I hate to think what the long winter evenings would have been like in the northern hemisphere. Hence the story telling, rather than reading tradition..

lucindasans said...

Clever you! And you have such a tidy bedside table! Love the little piggies!

Jo said...

The little piggies are from New Guinea. Just adore them! And I do like a tidy bedside table, but you should see the dozens of books all over the floor. And the other side of the bed. I lost a husband, but gained a lot of book storage space..

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