Fill your life for free – on recycling and upcycling

desk, chair and chest

Image: My own

I watched Kirstie Allsopps ‘Fill your house for free’ recently on Channel 4 and it appears I’ve found a new life love. I’ve always been a bit crafty, but the idea of finding hidden gems for free (or very very cheap) really floats my boat.

The show was very timely for me as I recently moved into a new home and we were sans furniture. Now this posed a bit of an issue as I’ve been on maternity leave and have no income … unfortunately the child benefit just wasn’t going to cut it. So I set myself the task of filling my home for free or at the very least, as cheap as possible (not as catchy as Kirsty’s title but hey ho).

I attacked Gumtree, Preloved, ebay, Freecylce, Freegle and charity shops with aplomb. I asked friends if they had anything they didn’t want anymore. The result was pretty overwhelming. I have some amazing furniture (that I would’ve bought at full price I might add) that cost next to nothing. Here’s a taster of my furniture swag …

  • Pine, farmhouse table with three chairs – £30
  • Console table – free
  • Pine basket for toys – free
  • Nest of tables – free
  • Rather large, solid wood coffee table – £26
  • Old school desk and chair (LOVE this new home office) – £30 (pictured)
  • Old metal chest – £40 (pictured)
  • Iron bedstead – £70
  • Rocking chair – £30
  • Old walnut dressing table with mirror – £30
  • Cot bed – free
  • Changing table – free
  • Wooden cabinet – £10
  • A bunch of kitchen crockery and bits of pieces – well cheap

Not bad eh? And I have to say it’s all looking rather lovely. I’m going to get my upcycle on soon and start sanding, staining and painting some of this stuff, which I’m rather excited about (who is this new me? where’s the one that spent much of her London life with bit of a hangover?).

Pinterest, as always, has been a bit of an inspiration and I’ve found lots of how to’s for upcycling furniture, which is really useful. I’m now on a mission to find the tools I need for next to nothing and am currently bidding on a sander on ebay. Now I’ve moved in, I’ve also found a local Facebook group full of mums selling kids stuff cheaply. Another great idea.

This has all made me realise that we live in a terribly wasteful society but we really don’t need to. Just by making a few changes in the way we shop and consume, we can make use of existing things that others no longer need. And it’s fun! I only wish I’d started doing this sooner.

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2 thoughts on “Fill your life for free – on recycling and upcycling

  1. I too have been watching Kirstie’s programme but not yet taken the plunge (read: had the patience) to trawl through all the sites you’ve both mentioned. Loving the table and chair though so maybe time to jump in and see what I can find (if you come across 2 large pine wardrobes let me know!)

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