Free Furniture Finds and Climate Change

Today was one of those days where the good restored my mood after hearing a news report about the effects of climate change.  Did you know that planes can not fly if the temperatures are too hot?  I don’t fly so hadn’t thought much about how temperature affects air travel.  In Phoenix, Arizona flights had to be cancelled due to it being too hot for the planes to lift off. I guess that’s one way to curb emissions although a bit too late if you ask me.

So how about some good news?

I’m asked often where the best place is to find used furniture inexpensively. My first answer is to ask rental property owners. If you don’t know anyone who owns rental properties you can look up “property management” companies in your area. When tenants move out and leave furnishings behind it costs the landlords time and money to clear out the homes. Most are happy to let you take what you can use.

Yesterday I received a call that a woman moved out of her house and had left a lot of stuff behind. Was there anything I needed.  I suggested I was looking for a small the dresser/nightstand for the boys’ room. Today the landlord suggested I come over and take a look.

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Scrappy Table for Outdoor Dining

I wanted a nice table on the deck to enjoy meals outside now that the weather is warm. I looked around and was astounded at the prices wanted for even the “cheap” plastic tables.

Then it came to me. I had a table that just needed a little TLC and it would be perfect.

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Salvaged Planters

One afternoon on a stroll I spotted two metal deck planters in someone’s trash. I picked them up and carried them home.  I cleaned the rust spots off with a wire brush then painted them.

They needed liners but those are expensive so I pulled out some fabric I had on hand, organic duck upholstery fabric, and used that instead.

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Reimagining the Simple Ikea Table

Ikea, you either love them or hate them. Personally, I find a lot to love about their simple designs and their affordability.

My son and his wife purchased this dining table seven or eight years ago when they were setting up their first home together. Recently, they upgraded to a lovely dining set that complemented their current home better and asked if I wanted the table.

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Kitchen Storage and Another Old Window

Time to get caught up on sharing with you all the projects we worked on this summer.  Today I want to show you the latest updates in the kitchen. Before I do I thought you might like a peek into my day so far.  First thing this morning little guy arrived with his mom to drop off some supplies I needed and their dog – they are taking a weekend trip.

Little guy found the last of this year’s strawberries. This bed was planted just for the children and it’s a good thing because I might have had a dozen berries all summer from this bed – when they were willing to share with me.  🙂

Little guy and strawberries

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It’s Been a Busy Month

It’s been a crazy summer.  First there was the infestation of cicadas which brought with them lots of clean up from dead cicadas covering every surface daily to the damage they left behind. Then came the storms.  The flooding was bad and took its toll on both the gardens and the property itself. This was just a few miles from me.


I was lucky in that for once the sump pumps  worked like a charm and I had no further flooding in the basement, yes, I have two sump pumps in my basement to handle the water problems that result from living on a steep hill and improperly installed gutters and bad landscaping design.

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What Simple Living Looks Like

There hasn’t been much that has been going as planned lately but that seems to be the way life generally is.  We can’t control the world around us instead we make adjustments and keep on keeping on.

Take for instance the weather.  It’s been so very hot and has me wondering what the next few years will be like as climate change worsens.  Meteorologists, while never perfect at predicting weather, are having a harder time of it.  For three straight days the prediction was for clear skies and a heat advisory. Instead this happened to me on each of those three days.

unexpected rains

The laundry has definitely taken way longer to dry.

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Giving Back: A Yard Sale Redo for a Deserving Child

We had a beautiful weekend, if I didn’t know it was April I could have easily believed this was summer. I headed outside thinking I would finally get some work done on the exterior of the house when my phone rang.

The caller wanted to know if I could redo and paint a dresser for a foster child that has been placed with her family long term. I took that to mean, can you fix then paint a dresser.   My answer was probably.  A few minutes later this was delivered

dresser before

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Can You Cure a Broken Heart?

I have enjoyed watching the neighbor boy get excited about learning to repair things and garden.  One afternoon he spotted a chalkboard I made out of a kitchen cabinet door for my grandchildren. He had so many questions on how one makes a chalkboard I had to pull out my can of paint and explain it to him visually.

The idea that he could have his own chalkboard stayed with him and weeks later he showed up to ask if I could help him repair his dresser and “make chalkboards” on the drawer fronts.  His mother gave her consent and we spent the next two days repairing the dresser, painting the drawers and then he decided he wanted to choose a paint from my stash to paint the rest of the dresser.   When that was done I pulled out my boxes of knobs and let him select new knobs for the drawers to replace the bulky pulls that would have been in the way of creating his works of art. You would have thought I was Santa Claus from his excitement over those boxes of knobs. I wish I still had those pictures to share with you again.

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Making a Princess Bookcase

With changing technology many pieces of storage furniture are easy to find in thrift shops set or set out for trash pickup.   Take the VHS cabinet. Who has VHS movies any more?


I don’t have a before picture of how the inside would have looked because my grandfather altered this fresh out of the box.

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