Whether you’re moving or just looking for a quick design change, selecting new furniture is a big part of the process. Unfortunately, furniture shopping can get extremely expensive and isn’t very environmentally friendly. Purchasing used furniture, or repurposing your own furniture, can actually be a better option.
If you haven’t done so before, you may not know where to begin. Below we cover the benefits of purchasing used furniture and restoration.
Benefits of buying used furniture
Some people are turned off by the idea of buying used furniture because they assume it’s in bad condition. It’s possible to run into a few bad pieces if not careful, but the reality is some used furniture can be very high quality. The following are three benefits of buying used furniture:
1. Less expensive
It’s no surprise that furniture shopping can get expensive. Realistically speaking, furniture diminishes in value as soon as it’s purchased. With a little bit of searching, you can find that high price tag item for much cheaper when it’s used.
2. Supporting your local business owners
Buying used furniture is a great way to support your community. When you buy used furniture, the money goes into the pockets of your neighbors. It’ll feel much better purchasing an item when you know your money is going into helping your neighborhood.
3. More environmentally friendly
People shop for furniture more often than you think. This can be because of moving needs, outgrowing old furniture, or even just a desire for change. An increase in purchases, however, leads to an increase in waste. Out of the 12 million tons of furniture that Americans toss out yearly, 80 percent ends up in a landfill, which negatively impacts the environment.
Places you can buy used furniture
Used furniture can be found for sale in many places. Today’s most popular way to purchase is through online platforms, such as through Facebook marketplace. This is not only a great way to buy used furniture, but also sell your old pieces as well.
Second-hand stores are also another place you can find used furniture. Consider making a trip to your local thrift store, as you never know what you may find.
Yard sales or estate sales can also have some hidden gems. You can also bargain in these situations. More often than not, people are willing to sell things at lower prices to get rid of them faster.
Purchasing tips and tricks
There are some things to keep in mind when buying used furniture. If possible, go evaluate and inspect the piece with your own eyes. Test it out and make sure it’s functioning properly and doesn’t have any damage that you couldn’t see in photos.
Try and also avoid buying used furniture that can be unhygienic. This includes mattresses, pillows, and blankets. The last thing you need is an infestation of bed bugs to deal with in the middle of the night. Likewise, beware of bad smells. They can be hard to get rid of and it’s better just to pass on a smelly item.
The restoration process is where you can get creative. Here are some tricks to get that used item back into shape.
a. Get rid of marks on wood
Believe it or not, you can actually rub a walnut on wood furniture to make scratches seem less visible. The walnut’s oil seeps into the wood to achieve this.
2. Invest in nontoxic paint and finishes
You may need to touch up furniture that suffers from paint chips or is worn. When doing so, try to use paint and finishes that don’t contain toxins or chemicals. Using toxic paints and finishes can lead to health issues for you and your family.
3. Get creative with it
Be inventive when restoring used furniture. Some items can serve as a different purpose for you than the original function. Use your imagination to think of ways you can actually upcycle an item. For example, you can remake a baby’s crib into a small bench for your entryway. The opportunities are endless! Bedroom furniture, such as a headboard, can even become a coat rack!
Purchasing used furniture is a great way to transform your home while saving money and doing right by the planet. Restoring furniture to your liking will also make your home feel more personalized and unique to you. You may feel as if it’s too much work, but remember that all great things take time. See additional benefits of buying used furniture in the visual below.
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
Salman Zafar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com