If you don’t already know, Francis and myself have recently moved down south (yay!) and we are loving our new flat but it is the first unfurnished place we have lived in which meant we needed to buy quite a few things. I am a huge fanatic of buying second hand stuff and although Francis is usually fairly easy going with this, he can be quite fussy with some things (usually technology). We didn’t thrift everything but I tend to usually only share our second hand buys on my instagram which was starting to make me feel like a bit of a fake, so I decided I would write a completely transparent post to bring it back to reality a bit more. We’re not perfect by any means but we also made a conscious decision to buy some things brand new and I wanted to explain why sometimes this might be a better option.
Firstly, we made a list of everything we needed to buy in priority order. We couldn’t afford to buy everything all at once but we also didn’t want to rush into it. If we didn’t see something we liked and it wasn’t that high on the priority list, we would wait.
We had decided that whatever we bought, we wanted to be good quality so it would last us a long time. We picked up a Dyson vacuum cleaner for £45 from British Heart Foundation, a Breville Kettle for £25 on eBay, plus a coffee table, two shelving units and a table and chairs for £90 on Gumtree which saved us potentially hundreds of pounds by simply buying these items second hand. Not only that, but it means that we have saved some great quality products from potentially going to landfill plus saved a lot of energy and raw materials from needing to be used to make new ones.
Here’s where we ‘failed’…
We had a very clear idea of the kind of sofa we wanted, plus it had to have a bed as it’s important to us to have somewhere for friends and family to stay. For the first few weeks, we looked in countless charity shops and scrolled endlessly through second hand websites with no luck. We were recommended a pretty cool UK based company where we could literally design our perfect sofa and knowing that it was very good quality, we decided to order it. In the end, it was a more practical option as it disassembles (we live on the 4th floor with no lift) so we will be able to take it with us to new places. We plan for it to be a sofa for life.
Long story short, I lost on the TV. Francis wasn’t keen on the idea of buying a second hand TV in the case of it breaking / having dead pixels etc that we would find out later after spending so much money. I also had a £100 John Lewis voucher that was just too tempting not to use. But again, we purchased a good quality TV we’re hoping will last us a really long time.
One of the things I can’t stand is having cheap pots and pans that fall apart and become unusable after a few months so we decided to go all out and buy a couple of Tefal pans. Along with a saucepan we already had, we have also minimised our kitchen equipment – one saucepan, one frying pan and one wok is perfect for all our vegan cooking needs.
All in all, we found some really great second hand items which we’re really happy with. We made sure that when we did want to buy something new it was well thought through. Everything considered, the best advice I could give for buying anything is the following; Look for second hand first, if you can’t find it make sure you buy something really good quality that will last a long time. That way, even if you come to not need it anymore, it will still have a lot more life left in it to be sold / donated to someone that will.
I hope this was useful in some way! Thanks for reading 🙂