The second hand challenge is almost over.

With all the focus on COVID and the lockdowns this year there has been little time to write about much else. Being stuck at home day in and day out doesn’t make for very exciting reading and there were only so many “stay busy at home” posts that I could bear, but my second hand challenge is definitely alive and well.

Towards the end of the second lockdown here in Melbourne my housemate moved out and took most of the furniture with him. I was left with a couch, coffee table, TV and just my bedroom furniture. The place was looking pretty sad and it felt like the horrible days back in London when living in some crap hole, but this time I was in my home town and luckily there are heaps of thrift shops around.

For those of you who don’t know the background to the challenge I’ll quickly get you up to speed. I believe that there is already more that enough stuff in the world that I don’t want to keep getting swept up in the consumer culture that is constantly pushing us to consume the world around us. So in an effort to reduce my impact of the environment and decrease my carbon footprint I decided that this year I wouldn’t buy any new clothing except for undies and socks. When my housemate moved out I decided to expand the challenge to include as much of the stuff that I needed for the apartment as I could.

The result is that I’ve managed to furnish the place with a mix of vintage and second hand items that I think are much better than the packed chipboard garbage that most cheap furniture is now made from. Including a fridge, TV and washing machine, I managed to furnish the whole place for under $1000. I’ve also collected some great fan art over the years that I am slowly getting framed. The result is that I finally have a place of my own that I feel reflects me. After live ing out of suitcase in other peoples houses for such a long time it’s a beautiful thing.

That doesn’t mean that I bought just any old junk. I still had a vision in mind for the kind of place that I want to live it. My home needs the feel alive and that means lots of plants, soft warm colours, wood, material and as little glass and chrome as possible.

The best thing about using second hand or vintage items is that the place doesn’t look like I just ordered a room full of Ikea furniture straight out of the catalogue. I know my style isn’t for everyone but I’m pretty proud that I was able to stick mostly to only second hand stuff. There were a couple of items I couldn’t find or which I needed urgently but otherwise I’m pretty happy with the way things turned out.

The best buy was a 350$ armchair that I got virtually brand new for $50 on facebook market place. It even came with the plastic still on.

There are somethings that I’m hanging out to the end of the challenge to buy. I really need some new gym gloves and a singlet, but this year has taught me that I just don’t need to keep buying new stuff all the time.

I love my chair.

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