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Oh hi!

Welcome to my blog.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I’ll be honest with you, Its no War & Peace, but who has the time to read that!

Matthew

Charity Shops... Friend Or Foe?

Charity Shops... Friend Or Foe?

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OK, don't get me wrong there's nothing I love more than a good rummage in a charity shop (or being a skip ferret as we like to call it in our family).  There's also that feeling I get knowing the money I spend is going to worthy cause; BUT as a kid growing up in my family, you had no choice but to love them! In fact at one point, they were pretty much the only shops I really remember us ever going into, except for the occasional trip into Woking on a Saturday morning, where I would be dragged from clothes shop to clothes shop, there I'd sit waiting as my mother and two older sisters tried on everything (and I mean everything).

One shop in particular called Snob, oh how I loathed Snob, it was my mothers favorite shop, she'd be in there for days, or what seemed like days. The worst part was there was nowhere to sit, so I could often be found sat on the cold floor! I cant tell you the amount of times I was run over by buggies with screaming toddlers in them.

This is what's called hitting the charity shop jackpot!!

This is what's called hitting the charity shop jackpot!!

The family obsession for charity shops definitely stems for my Grandmother, or as we called her Nanny Beanie. Whenever we went to visit her, she'd love nothing more than for us to all to go hunting round the charity shops together ... there are a lot of charity shops in Dorking! We would start at the top of the street and weave our way in and out of all the charity shops (except for Oxfam "too expensive" she'd say) then once at the bottom we'd cross over and work our way back up to the top. The best part of the day was at the end when we would go get fish 'n' chips and take them back home and look at all look at all our treasures we'd just bought.

Many a school holiday was spent walking up and down these streets. 

Many a school holiday was spent walking up and down these streets. 

When Andrew and I first bought our house (like a lot of people that have just bought a house, you don't have much money left over to actually put anything in it), this is where the trusty charity shop came in handy, if you look hard enough you can get some great pieces of furniture at low prices, and for us this was really helpful but some of the things we bought were only intended to be a temporary fix until we had the money to buy the pieces we really wanted, but eight years later, its all still here!! 

The not so temporary dining table and chairs...

The not so temporary dining table and chairs...

So this got me thinking, should we be buying second hand furniture rather than buying new? The advantages are numerous, not just cheap, but value for money too, the quality of furniture is better from yesteryear, solid wood rather than plastic laminated MDF, proper hinges that don't buckle, real character too and the Jones's are less likely to have the same either, the possibilities for eclectic mixing are endless, placing a classic piece in a contemporary setting can be perfect.  If you quite fancy being a skip ferret for the day, here are a few tips you might find helpful....

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Know your measurements, now this ones really quite important, as I know first hand how frustrating it can be to see something that you know is going to look fantastic, just to get it home and yep its too big! One tip is to keep a tape measure in the car, or if your looking for something for a specific room keep a note of your room measurement's and save them on your phone, along with photos of the troublesome space, sounds a little odd but you'll thank me later. 

Have restraint, this has always been a tough one for me, as I have so little of it. Seriously, its shocking some of the things I've come home with, without thinking it through first, Andrew still has no clue there's a metal bed frame i bought that was to big for our mattress in the garage (side note he probable will now!) This was before i bought the tape measure, sometimes its a good idea to stop and take a moment and think do i really need this, or am i just buying it because its so cheep and you know that once its gone its gone ...

Here we have another classic case of no restraint... WHY?

Here we have another classic case of no restraint... WHY?

Don't be a stranger. The great thing about charity shops is that they get new stock everyday, so you never know today might be the day that you find that lamp that you never knew you always wanted, or today could be the day you don't see a single thing you like. i like to think of it as a game of charity shop roulette. (only without the threat of death at the end)

And finally Location - sometime you need to go that extra mile or five. We all know that the charity shops in the more affluent areas can have some really amazing finds, but this doesn't mean you wont find a real bargain in other areas too. So wherever you go, why don't you make a day of it, make sure you take your trusty tape measure, empty your boot, stay strong, fill your thermos, have fun an don't forget to channel your inner Nanny Beanie and you wont go wrong ...

Nanny Beanie and myself in the mid 80's  x

Nanny Beanie and myself in the mid 80's  x

Thanks for Reading ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Two Tones Go To War

When Two Tones Go To War

Tidy home Tidy mind..

Tidy home Tidy mind..