Thursday, January 22, 2009

The best things in life

are FREE!

I've been talking about doing this post for awhile. Finally got around to it. After a fun trash-find last week, I've been needing to document just how many wonderful things we've gotten for FREE! We have many more in our house that were family or friend hand-me-downs (from clothes to dressers), or low-cost used items (from leather sofas to strollers). In fact I think the only furniture items in our entire home that we bought brand-new are 2 mattresses!

Here are some of the best free finds...

This sofa table

and this side table, along with another small circular table we use for our altar,
these were found from our online classified "giveaway" section. Great furniture, free price. A little touch-up paint and they are perfect!

Since I haven't posted enough about my Christmas tree...
This was found on craigslist last year. My parents went to pick it up for me and after telling the seller about my young family who wanted a nice pre-lit tree, the lady wouldn't let my parents pay for it. Nice tree, free price.

This is another one of those things that someone wouldn't let me pay for.
It was waiting to be sold at the garage sale for the school where I used to teach.
It's gotten many hours of good use. Cute kitchen, free price. The red-painted bookshelf behind it was also free from my grandparents' house.

From a sweet friend in the homeschool group whose son didn't like it.
They even delivered it to my house! I love it because it's so easy to clean.
I did buy the tray from IKEA a few months later which has made things easier.

Another online giveaway. Steven Joseph's dresser.
This was sitting in the trash pile so I had to have Steven run and get it
before someone else took it! Some touch up paint and clearance drawer pulls added.

Our most recent trash/treasure from the neighbors-
the bottom floor of this Barbie house got a little flooded during Ike,
but the kids don't care! Steven Joseph likes to crawl into the 2nd floor room!

Found this shelf in the trash pile about a year ago.
It was bare wood and I painted it. Finally added the photos and got Steven to hang it a couple weeks ago. Great find!

These last two are our most recent family gifts...
the deep freeze from my parents and the fridge (plus office chairs and desks) are from Steven's brother's old office. They are getting lots of use!

We are very blessed to have so many gifts from friends and family. The school table from the S family sits behind me right now as I type on the corner desk from my grandmother's home. I stare into the playroom with my childhood toy box and Steven's old bookshelf, along with the playhouse found by Santa online and the shelf I bought from an old man at a garage sale. Each furniture piece tells a story, and I love it that way! Just think of the thousands we've saved by accepting and seeking out used furniture! Last week I found a great trundle bed that we'll have to put together soon. I'm always on the lookout! Now it's for a piano and a sewing machine...anyone have one in your dumpster???


Jill said...

I love that sofa table! We were searching everywhere for one around here and never did find one (well, one that wasn't astronmically priced.)

I LOVE free things. I have this weird personality trait where I get almost giddy over getting free things...but then the second I take it home I have an urge to throw things away! :) A lady at school just told me to come over and have a look at all of her boys' old toys that they were throwing out. I saw all of the stuff and couldn't believe I was getting so many nice things! But, as soon as I got home I was like, "I don't want all of this in my house." :)

Beside hand-me-down clothes, my favorite free item is our livingroom end table. It was Paul's parents table when Paul was a kid, and they gave it to us. We've had it since we were married and it has been very well loved. It's the center of play in our house as the boys use it for driving their cars.

I also love finding a good home for our things once we don't need them anymore. While I normally have to save all of the kids' clothes for Henry and possible future children, I am able to give away some things because I have two of a lot of things from the boys. One for Henry and one to give away. I was able to give a bag of clothes to a family at school and it was so much fun to see the little boy wearing a winter coat that I passed on. The mother was beyond thrilled. :)

Anyhow. I really got to rambling.

That dollhouse was quite a find! It's so cute to imagine little Steven in the dollhouse. :)

Anonymous said...

I just love "recycling"!! Great finds.
Theresa in ALberta

Kimberly said...

Yep, free is great.

The toy box in Gabriel's room was free--neighbors were throwing it out, but I grabbed it, David fixed the loose hinge, and it works just fine. Same thing with a big plastic storage bin for outside stuff (in the trash, but got it before the garbage truck came by).

Our Christmas tree came from my sister's MIL, she wasn't able to put it up anymore. It was only 2 years old, 8 feet tall, AND pre-lit! She wouldn't let us give her any $ for it, all we had to do was go pick it up :-). It looks so pretty in our foyer every year.

My neighbor gave us a bag of clothes for Gabriel that her little boy never worn. Jeans and nice shirts (from GAP and Ralph Lauren). Gabriel sure looks cute--and stylish!

The best one--David got free office furniture when one of the bank branch offices was remolding. They just took the furniture and set it up next to the dumpster. David told the office to let him know when it was set out, that very day, he grabbed our neighbor's truck, and came back with a beautiful, solid oak, 6 foot desk, 8 foot credenza, and 2 filing cabinets. Some scratches and dings, but in great shape overall, plus bronzed draw pulls. What a great deal!

I feel sorry for people who have too much pride to dumpster dive. You can find GREAT stuff in there!

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