Super quick recipe using canned and frozen foods. It’s also easy to adapt – we typically skip the cheese, might add veggies or use more beans instead of TVP. You can also grate potatoes as a sub for the tater tots, and salsa is a good pantry topper.
While I haven’t tried this exact recipe yet, I love a good vegan mac & cheese. I’ve been playing around with different sauce bases and you can either go with a cashew/nut base or veggies like pumpkin, carrots, and potatoes. They’re all different but pasta is always great and this recipe looks delicious although I’d probably try to add some greens.
Definitely a go-to in our house for a comforting easy meal. I especially like being able to throw it all in the slow cooker and not worry about it. While I usually make my own recipe (typically with some canned tomatoes, whatever beans we have on hand, an onion, garlic, maybe also some carrots or other veggies if we have them, and spices), this recipe also looks easy and good if you need some inspo!
Ben actually found this recipe a while ago and it is SO GOOD, especially with the sweet and spicy roasted seeds. I can easily down a huge bowl of this and the pumpkin flavours are lovely for a cozy winter meal.
It’s an easy pantry recipe to make with canned pumpkin and subbing dried thyme.
My favourite curry dish to make. It’s easy to cook in one pot and we always make a huge batch because it’s even better as leftovers!
Again this is something I usually don’t follow a recipe for, but this recipe seems pretty close to what I use. Serve with some rice or homemade naan for a cozy meal.
While this might not be a traditional “pantry recipe” I think many of us have black bananas in our freezers. 😅
I don’t have a favourite recipe to share with you, because I’m currently in the process of trying to perfect a chai-spice banana bread recipe, but there are tons available on Pinterest or if you have a great one, please leave it in the comments!
I must include a chickpea recipe, since I use them all the time. They’re definitely my favourite bean (pea?) to cook with. Fantastic in curries or hummus, but I also often like to make a hearty Mediterranean salad similar to this recipe with olives, artichokes, and sundried tomatoes, although I use oregano instead of thyme and add balsamic vinegar. Typically I will add some fresh spinach, tomatoes, or cucumber, (pasta is also easily added for a pasta salad) but it’s also nice with just the non-perishables.
Peanut Sauce (for many things 😋)
I often make a peanut sauce similar to this recipe but without the maple syrup unless I want a sweeter flavour.
A really easy dish is a rice noodle bowl with veggies and maybe some tofu topped with the peanut sauce. I typically go for some combination of carrots, broccoli, peppers, and cucumber; it goes great with all kinds of veggies though and I’ve also enjoyed it as a quick meal just on some noodles or with some tofu or tempeh. It can make a delicious salad dressing if you thin it out a little more and you can also sub tahini for a sesame sauce!
A stroller was definitely the item I spent the most time researching – we had a lot of functional requirements PLUS I wanted something eco-conscious. After our plan to get one secondhand didn’t work out, I was actually surprised with so many strollers on the market how difficult it was to find a company that prioritized sustainability and transparency.
I was thrilled to find Bumbleride because it checked our boxes and is pretty comparable or even better priced than many of the non-sustainable brands I looked at.
If you’re in the same boat, looking for an eco-friendly and functional stroller, here’s my experience:
We have the Era model* (in Dawn Grey) which I chose mainly for it’s convertibility – it can be used from infants to small children (up to 55lbs), as well as the air-filled tires and suspension since I knew we’d be taking it through snow and on gravel paths and other rougher terrain. Additionally I wanted something which wasn’t too large and awkward to take into stores and that folded easily and compactly.
The Era met all our wishes and had some nice bonus features like an adjustable handlebar which is great since my husband and I are very different heights. I also really like the large storage basket underneath which provides enough room for whatever we need or even a grocery run.
It has a very large pop-out canopy which initially I didn’t think was necessary, but has been great for keeping the sun off baby at whatever angle. My only tiny criticism would be that it would be nice if there was a little loop inside the canopy to hang a toy or something to look at when the baby is fully reclined.
The Era handles our snowy and sometimes very icy afternoon walks amazingly well and baby B has some quite peaceful naps in it.
Bumbleride uses fabrics made from 100% recycled plastic bottles that are Oeko-Tex certified, which means they’ve been tested and don’t contain any toxic chemicals – pretty important for babies who suck on everything and also good to know nothing harmful is against their skin (additionally they offer organic cotton infant inserts and seat-liners which is great if you prefer something more natural or have a baby with very sensitive skin). The cork handlebar is also not only an eco-friendly material but also doesn’t feel freezing to touch in winter like plastic or metal can be. I would actually love to see them incorporate more cork into their products!
They also manufacture the strollers in a family-run factory in Taiwan which pays fair wages, doesn’t have overtime (which is unfortunately required in many factories) and actively works to reduce their waste.
They also have accessories to customize your stroller
We also got the bassinet attachment. It isn’t necessary as you can use the stroller with newborn infants and they also have the organic infant insert for more support, however I like being able to unclip the bassinet and move her without disruption if she’s napping. The bassinet is overnight rated so it’s safe to sleep in for long periods. When we’re visiting people and not using the stroller we will still bring just the bassinet so she has a place to nap.
If you go out a lot and plan on having your baby nap in the stroller quite a bit, or if you want a bassinet that also attaches to a stroller, it’s a useful addition. I also find it’s especially convenient when going to restaurants or cafes since you can put the stroller next to your table and there’s a nice place for baby to sleep.
We also have the parent pack attachment which includes 2 cup holders and a little space for your phone, keys, etc. It’s a great attachment for us since almost all of our outings involve bringing or picking up a coffee or tea (in our reusable mugs of course!).
Additionally they offer adapters for various brands which allow you to connect your infant car seat to the Bumbleride stroller frame. We opted to get a convertible car seat instead of the bucket + forward facing, but if you have an infant bucket seat it seem like a great option.
Overall, I’m very happy with our Bumbleride stroller, and love all the practical and sustainable features. We’re looking forward to using it for years and trying out the different positions as she grows. 🙂
If you’re looking for an eco-conscious stroller I hope this review is helpful!
The wisdom of crowds is powerful – our collective experiences and knowledge is so much greater than any one person. So instead of just sharing my thoughts and recommendations, I want to hear from you!
What are your favourite responsible brands and sustainability resources? What’s important to you as a conscious consumer and who deserves recognition in the sustainable/ethical space?
All responses will be compiled to create a list (and helpful resource) of the My Green Closet Community Top Picks!
Please share your input with this survey form:
Thanks so much for taking part and please share this survey with anyone else you know trying to reduce their impact and shop more responsibly, the more people that get involved the better resource we can build together!
I finally have my capsule to share with you! With having a baby and then our time in the hospital, it’s taken me quite a while to get this together and film it, but this is what I’ve been wearing this fall and winter.
(Please note: this post does contain some affiliate links and some gifted products however this does not affect my opinion of the products)
Before moving into and getting our new house ready (you can watch both the process and final house tour) I got the most questions and interest in what we’re doing with the nursery and what kinds of cooking/dining stuff we have so I’ll be doing a more in-depth post about both!
With a new baby on the way and a new house I was looking forward to planning a space for our child to grow in and enjoy. I wanted something comfortable and engaging but without a lot of clutter.
The room gets beautiful light and I really wanted it to be bright and inviting. The first thing I did was figure out the colour palette – I definitely wanted something gender neutral. After going through tons of paint colours I just kept going back to white however a plain white room also seemed bare and boring especially since we weren’t planning on having a ton of decor items; that’s when I came across Farrow & Ball’s wallpaper and decided doing an accent wall was the perfect way to bring some colour and design into the room and also be something for baby to look at from the crib.
I chose their Atacama print in a lovely green which has abstract flower and cactus shapes. This then set the tone and theme for the rest of the room. I decided on a colour palette of grass-green, white, muted yellow, and orange accents.
For the other walls in the room we went with a warm white also from Farrow & Ball who makes eco-friendly, non-toxic, and baby-safe paints. (note: I reached out to them and they kindly gifted me the wallpaper and paint)
I knew we were getting a secondhand crib in white and because of the beautiful wallpaper I really wanted to get an open bookshelf that would show the paper through and not be too heavy-looking in the corner. After a lot of searching on buy/sell sites, I finally found this white ladder shelf which works perfectly.
On the shelf we keep some books, toys, a couple succulents, and the top shelf is the perfect place for a baby monitor. I also got a lovely fair trade, woven grass basket from Ten Thousand Villages to keep some toys in and my mother knit a couple cozy cotton blankets which we have out for snuggling.
The only thing I’d still like to add is a little mobile above the crib which I’m planning on DIY-ing and will update the post with once it’s finished!
For the other side of the room I found this yellow dresser which provides more than enough storage for clothes, bedding, and some odds and ends (there is no closet in the room). Next to it there’s a little basket which we use as a clothing hamper and I was able to get this wooden glider frame secondhand and DIY’d the cushions which you can see happen in my video. Then we have a little reading/side table with a bunny lamp (which was another great secondhand find), although I’m thinking of painting the lampshade to add a bit more colour. At first I wasn’t sure if we needed a table, but it’s been very useful to keep things at arms-reach.
To add some colour to the wall I love getting illustrations and designs from Creative Market, they have tons of posters, cards, images, and graphics which you can print as-is or use to create your own designs. It’s much more affordable than buying prints and they have tons of great baby/nursery designs!
To go with our nature theme I also got this rug with geometric plants (kindly gifted from Made Trade) which is handwoven by artisans from excess wool and cotton. I really like the mix of organic and geometric plant patterns and shapes in the room.
I was happy to be able to use a couple fairytale woodblock prints that my great aunt made in the 50s, and picked up this lovely cut-out pillow from Ten Thousand Villages to make a comfy corner and bring some green to the other side of the room as well as slightly mirroring the wallpaper with some texture.
Putting up books with nice illustrations makes super simple, cute, and functional decor plus it’s fun to change them up throughout the year! We have mostly books about animals and nature so it also fits the room theme nicely.
Overall I’m really happy with how the room turned out, it’s calm and comfortable but still fun and playful which is exactly the kind of atmosphere I was hoping to create. I’m also thrilled that we were able to get basically everything secondhand or from conscious brands. We can’t wait to enjoy the room more and more as she grows!
Did you know that basically all clothing generates plastic waste? Even if you buy a garment in store it likely still came shipped in an individual plastic poly bag.
Many sustainable brands even use them and there’s a good reason – they protect the clothing from getting damaged since shipping can be quite dirty and wet. Imagine the overall environmental impact of a huge shipping container of clothing – from growing all the fibres, making and dyeing the fabrics, cutting and sewing the garments etc. which now can’t be sold because some rain leaked in and damaged all the clothes.
While there are some more sustainable options such as bags made from recycled plastic and brands are also experimenting with compostable and bio-plastic bags, the cost is much higher and the technology seems to still need some improvements. Brands have also shared that certain stores and distributors have very specific requirements about how the clothing is packaged which doesn’t leave much room for finding better alternatives. Hopefully with time and awareness we’ll see some better packaging but currently this plastic waste is a pretty standard part of clothing manufacturing.
The reason I want to talk about this is not to make anyone feel bad about this plastic but to highlight how there’s only so much you can do as a consumer – the supply chains and systems need innovation and reworking to solve problems like this. Supporting sustainable fashion is amazing but like with everything it’s not perfect.
Personally I agree that if the choice is between a ton of wasted clothes or plastic bags, the plastic waste is less-bad, but I also really hope some innovative solutions can be found.
This was originally posted to my Instagram but it generated such a great discussion that I wanted to re-post it here in a more accessible place. And I’d love to keep the discussion going – What do you think about clothing packaged in plastic? Do you buy new sustainable clothing or avoid it for this reason? Also eco brands – I’d love to hear your thoughts/experiences and how you approach this challenge!
Black Friday and the whole sale weekend can be chaotic and oxytocin-fueled. If you are looking to snag some deals these are a few things you should be aware of to approach the next few shopping days more mindfully.
A lot of sales aren’t actually that good.
Companies are known to use clever and deceiving tactics to get you excited about their sales and think you’re getting a great deal. For example brands will use “loss leaders” where they have a few products deeply discounted to entice customers and make it seem like they have amazing sales but knowing that people will still buy other things at a profit. They might also have these items in very limited quantities so they sell out quickly to generate further excitement.
Shopping gives us a short term “high” by triggering oxytocin in the brain and this increases when we feel like we’re getting a good deal. Being aware that you are actually fighting your own brain chemistry can help with more mindful shopping.
A great way to keep this in check is by asking yourself if you would still want the item if it wasn’t on sale.
Check out my video on the psychology of shopping:
Where is your money going?
There are unfortunately a lot of destructive and unethical companies out there so try to support brands that align with your sustainable and ethical values.
Manufacturing in a conscious way often means that the prices better reflect the true cost, so this can mean that these brands have a higher price point. Sometimes they can be out of budget so sales are a great way to score some pieces you’ve been eyeing!
Also instead of Black Friday definitely check out initiatives like Shop for Good Sunday (sales actually run from now until Monday Dec. 2nd) where you can still get some great deals but also support conscious brands!
Make sure your purchase is right for you.
When you are ready to buy something always ask these 10 questions to avoid impulse purchases, lots of returns, and so you know it’s something that you’ll get a lot of use from!
Personal, practical, and beautiful gift ideas from conscious brands. This holiday season you can not only give thoughtful gifts that will be cherished but also support great companies that are making a difference!
Spread some cosiness and help your loved ones stay warm and comfy this winter.
1. WOOLY WINTER HAT. I have been wanting a Myssy hat for years now and they make a beautiful gift. Knit by Finnish grannies from their family-farmed sheep, Myssyfarmi’s hats come in a variety of styles and are a true heirloom piece to keep you warm year after year. $$$
4. ORGANIC COFFEE.A warm drink is definitely the best way to combat winter chills. For coffee drinkers some fair trade, organic coffee makes a great gift, and tea or cocoa are also easy ideas. I love consumable gifts, and brands like Grounds for Change have gift boxes and monthly coffee subscriptions. $ – $$$
6. THE MOST COMFORTABLE BRA. I’ve raved a ton about my Lara Intimates bras. Everyone deserves to be comfy so if you know someone who takes off their bra as soon as they get home, give them a gift card to Lara Intimates so they too can have a super comfy bra! $$
8. CORK WALLET. Made from eco-friendly and regenerative cork, Corkor’s beautiful and durable (I’m pretty impressed with how well mine has held up!) wallets make a useful and thoughtful gift. They come in a variety of styles and colours to fit everyone’s needs. $$
9. HEMP UNDERWEAR.In my family we’re very practical with gift-giving and this ismy go-to gift for my husband. We both love our hemp WAMA undies and he’s always thrilled to get another pair. $ – $$$$ (for large packs)
10. SOCKS. An always-useful gift, if you ask me what I want I’ll probably say socks. 🧦 Organic Basics has the classic styles and even ones that supposedly don’t stink! Or if you’re looking for something more colourful and fun, check out Thought’s socks. $ – $$
Zero Waste Gifts
Low impact, recycled and biodegradable gift ideas.
11. COMPOSTABLE PHONE CASE.Pretty much everyone has a phone and instead of protecting it with plastic, Pela makes completely biodegradable cases! They come in a wide variety of colours and styles to fit popular phone models, plus they have limited edition (like this bee one) and charitable cases. $$
12. ECO LIFESTYLE BOX.From zero waste starter packs tohome, baby, spa, dog, and kitchen sets, EarthHero’s gift boxes have a wonderful selection of curated sustainable products – an easy “one stop shop” green gift! $$ – $$$
13. AUDIOBOOK SUBSCRIPTION. A gift of adventure, mystery, romance, knowledge, magic, or whatever they’re into! Libro.fm audiobook subscriptions give a book a month, and it’s basically the same as Audible but 1000x better as they support local bookstores and your money doesn’t go to Amazon. $ – $$$
14. RECYCLED BILLBOARD TOILETRY CASE. Remember Me Green makes one-of-a-kind bags from NYC billboards! Not only is the material incredibly sustainable and durable, but you also won’t find anything else like it. Their cosmetics/toiletry bags make a useful and unique gift and you can even personalise it with initials or a phrase. $$
15. BOTANICAL SKINCARE. My favourite skincare brand Oil + Water makes beautiful daily care and nourishing treatment products – great gifts for people who love skincare or who could use some pampering. Their soaps and paper-packaged lip balm are 👌 or they have body and face sets with everything you need. They also have a take-back program for their containers. $ – $$$$
(psst. use code MYGREENCLOSET10 for 10% off!)
Fashion & Accessories
16. ZODIAC NECKLACE.A delicate and personal necklace ethically made by Wild Fawn Jewellery from recycled silver or fair trade gold. $$$
17. CLOTHING RENTALS. For the person who loves to play around with fashion but is also conscious of their impact, Armoire offers monthly clothing rental services that you can also gift! PLUS they have a selection of maternity clothes which would be an amazing gift for anyone expecting! (US only) $$$$
19. FLORAL MAXI ROBE.TAMGA always brings the fun prints and colours to sustainable fashion. Their floral layering pieces are super versatile for both home and going out. Perfect to brighten up a neutral wardrobe or for the person who already loves colour and print. $$$$
20. QUIT FAST FASHION EBOOK/WORKBOOK.If someone you know is trying to change their shopping habits and build a more conscious wardrobe, give them my Quit Fast Fashion ebook to help and inspire them on their slow fashion journey! The download link actually comes with 4 downloads to be able to read it on all your devices, so you can keep a copy for yourself too. 😉 $
23. LINEN APRON. A romantic full apron made from timeless linen. Great for anyone who loves cooking or baking, and Sondeflor has aprons not just for cooking, they can also be worn over a dress for a cute pinafore look! $$$
24.FLEECE ROMPER. Keep the kiddos warm in a cool organic fleece biker romper from Mini Mioche. A comfy, cosy, and stylish gift. $$$
25. BALANCE BIKE. A present they’ll use for years – Wishbone Design Studio’s innovative modular design means their balance bikes grows with the child and can be used from 12 months to 6 years! The bike is made from sustainable materials and also designed to be easily repairable with replacement parts. $$$$
Our little one is almost 2 months now (everyone says time flies but it really feels like the blink of an eye 😅). These are my must-have baby items that we use almost every day. I hope this roundup is helpful for planning for your new baby, buying gifts, or filing out your registry.
While we’ve luckily been able to get a lot of things secondhand (and I definitely encourage you to check out what secondhand options are available!) you can’t always find everything you need secondhand, and in that case here are some great eco-friendly options!
I also was pleasantly surprised to learn that my favourite comfy bra from Lara Intimates* is also nursing friendly (up to size F, after that there is an extra support panel in the middle). While the clip styles are very convenient, it’s nice to have bras that I’ll keep and wear after breastfeeding!
NURSING PADS – I leak, sometimes a lot. 😬 I’ve tried a few different kinds of reusable and washable nursing pads and so far these bamboo ones are the only ones that I don’t leak through.
BURP CLOTHS – Not just for burping, they are a multi-purpose necessity! I made a bunch of cloths from cotton flannel but there are also organic cotton ones you can buy.
NIPPLE BUTTER – Something I didn’t think I needed at first, but I was given Earth Mama’s organic nipple butter* and it’s really nice, I use it multiple times a day! Especially for the first couple weeks when we were working on her latch and my nipples were very sore and cracking.
Diapering & Care
CLOTH DIAPERS – We were given a secondhand set of cloth diapers with a variety of brands so have had a chance to try out some different kinds. Our favourites are:
For diaper covers we actually prefer some of the all-in-one covers, however we actually use them with just regular prefolds. My husband’s favourite are the GroVia hybrid shells because the hook & loop makes it easy to use and the size is totally adjustable (UPDATE: the hook & loop does seem to wear out, so not sure if these are a great long-term option, we’re currently looking into ways to revitalize it) . I also like the Lil Helper covers because of how soft they are and the snaps are pretty easy (you can also get an extra free diaper with your order using this link!), however I usually use them with regular prefolds – the fleece inserts they come with are nice for something less bulky but I just prefer to have organic cotton on our baby’s skin.
Speaking of prefolds, we have a bunch of organic cotton ones from Bummis they’re pretty basic but work great! (although I don’t like their covers much 🤷♀️)
If you’re looking for a more natural diaper cover option, there are also wool covers.
WIPES – I easily DIY’d a huge set of washable wipes from an old cotton flannel sheet, but I also like these hemp & cotton ones, they’re nice and soft and the most affordable I’ve found at $12 for 12.
DIAPER CREAM – Our baby developed a little diaper rash and my midwife said not to bother with anything without zinc oxide because they don’t work well so we picked up this one from Weleda and it’s cleared everything up!
STROLLER – Going for a walk has become an integral part of our day – it’s easy to get cabin fever with a little baby. Finding a sustainable stroller was really challenging though, so I was excited to discover Bumbleride who uses Oeko-Tex certified recycled PET fabrics. We have the Era* (plus bassinet attachment) and really love it.
CARRIER – I love baby wearing and it’s probably our daughters favourite way to sleep, she’s immediately asleep when we put her in. 😴 I like using a wrap both when we go out and to be hands-free at home. We have a stretchy modal Solly Wrap that we found secondhand, and I’m planning on making a ring sling but apparently they only work well for smaller babies and buckle carriers are better for when they’re bigger.
BLANKETS – Useful for at home, but especially important when going out now that we’re getting into winter! My mother kindly knit a cotton blanket for B 😊 and I also like Parade Organics’ Everything Blanket which is organic and a great size for a variety of uses, plus comes in really cute prints.
CAR SEAT – Although I wasn’t able to find an eco option for car seats, we opted to get a convertible car seat as this allows us to use the same seat for years instead of needing to buy one for infants and another one once B gets a bit bigger. If you know of any eco-friendly options for car seats, please share in the comments!
DIAPER BAG – Personally I don’t find it necessary to have a specific diaper bag (we just used a backpack we already had), but there are some cute ones like these recycled sari bags if you are looking for one.
CRIB – We got ours secondhand, but if you’re doing this make sure it meets the current safety regulations. For a new option Ouef’s cribs are made from sustainably sourced wood and non-toxic paints – they also convert into a toddler bed for longer use!
SHEETS – We have some organic crib sheets from both Naturepedic as well as these jersey ones which work great because our mattress seems to be slightly larger than standard so the stretch of the jersey makes them more flexible.
SWADDLING BLANKETS – Our baby doesn’t love being swaddled, but they are still useful for many different things! We have organic cotton ones like this.*
PACIFIER – I know some people don’t like using pacifiers, but we quickly learned that our baby finds sucking very soothing so a pacifier has been a really helpful tool for calming her down. I love these natural rubber ones by Ecopiggy.*
SLEEPER – Our hands-down favourite sleeper is this gown-style from Parade Organics. I’m always sad when it needs to be washed and we have to use a regular sleeper. The open bottom allows for easy changing at night and the fold-over mittens keep baby’s hands warm and from scratching themselves.
Also an amazing idea are clothing rental services! These are a few I’ve found so far:
Getting furniture and home goods secondhand is not only a lot better for the environment because you are making use of things that already exist, but it can also save you a TON of money. We managed to furnish and outfit our entire house for around $5000 CAD (although this budget also includes the few pieces we ended up getting new which together was over $2000 CAD).
It does take more time and planning to find what you’re looking for secondhand (as opposed to just doing a massive Ikea haul) but you can also get some really unique pieces and I think it’s a much more fun and creative process hunting down those pre-loved treasures and styling them in your space.
Tips for creating a sustainably stylish home with secondhand pieces:
1. Get inspired
Starting with inspiration images can be extremely useful because it gives you some direction for your search and a general idea for the kind of space you’re looking to create. Pinterest is a great place to find and collect inspiration images (you can check out my interior design board here 🙂).
I also find creating a moodboard helpful and I will continue to update the board and adapt it as I aquire the various pieces.
2. Have a (flexible) plan
Creating a list of what you need/want for your space will make your hunt a lot easier, and it also feels really good checking the items off! However try to not be too rigid with what you’re looking for – for example “wooden table” is a good thing to plan for, but if you have your heart set on one very specific style of wooden table then your hunt will likely be challenging or end in disappointment.
I also loved using a home layout program to plan what furniture we needed and since I was able to measure the rooms pretty accurately before we moved in, I could also double check how the items would fit in our space when we were thinking of purchasing something.
3. Be patient
It can take time to find the real treasures so check back regularly. Some sites also offer options where you can get a notification if new listings are added that match your search terms – take advantage of this, it’s a great way to save time. 🙂
Keep in mind that once the perfect piece pops up you’ll definitely want to move on it quickly though!
4. Ask questions
When contacting sellers try to get as much info as possible, especially regarding anything that might be a deal-breaker for you. Don’t waste time going to pick it up only to find out it’s not what you wanted.
I always ask about the condition, depending on the item I might ask how long they’ve had it, and what brand it is (and then do some research into the price and quality of the brand/product) and I also want to know the dimensions to make sure it will fit in our space.
5. Barter (if you want to)
Once you have the information you want, you can try to haggle/barter if that’s something you’re interested in doing.
If the item is a little more than I’d like to pay, I’ll ask if the seller is open to an amount closer to my planned budget. Be fair and don’t go too low though, a “low ball” offer might be turned down completely. You can also wait to see the item and barter in person – especially if something isn’t what you expected or as advertised, try offering a lower price.
6. Be safe when meeting people
It’s good to meet in a public location, however buying furniture typically means going to someone’s house so in that case always bring someone with you, plus they can also help carry!
7. Check for quality & cleanliness
Give the piece an inspection to make sure it’s what you want and as advertised. If something isn’t what you expected don’t be afraid to walk away, or you can also haggle for a lower price if you’re still interested.
Look for signs of good quality so you know the piece is going to last and not break right away, and check for any stains, dirt, etc. – just like you’d check for with secondhand clothing!
Also consider how the item can be cleaned, many pieces just need a wipe or wash but it can get trickier with fabric furniture – it’s helpful to look for items with removable covers. I’ve also gotten questions about concerns with fabric furniture and things like bed bugs; personally I only try to by fabric furniture that is very gently used or “like new”. We also always inspect it thoroughly and if you’re concerned you might also want to consider renting a steam cleaner.
Don’t forget that most things can be DIY’d and customized to your needs. For example lots of furniture can be painted, so if you find a piece you love but the colour isn’t right you can probably paint it!
There’s endless inspiration for projects on Pinterest and in particular I always like to check out Ikea hacks since you can typically find a lot of Ikea furniture for sale secondhand and there are some really unique ideas of ways to customize it or make totally new pieces.
9. You can likely re-sell it
If you buy things new they will almost always depreciate in value. However one of the big benefits to buying things secondhand is if it happens to not work out or you decide you want to change things up, there’s a good chance you can re-sell it and get your money back (or if you got a good deal maybe even make a little extra!).
Where to find secondhand furniture & home goods
Buy/Sell and Classified sites – depending where you live there are different ones that will be more popular in your area
Local thrift and resale stores
Garage and yard sales
On the streets – in some cities you can find great pieces that people leave out on certain days to give away
Friends and family – ask them to let you know if they’re planning on getting rid of anything
The previous owner/tenant – we’ve often found when moving that there are certain items the previous occupant might want to leave or get rid of. Let them know that you might be interested in certain things and they might sell or give them to you.