I did have some pieces in a storage unit so it was good to get arrangements made to close that out but it was mostly personal items and family heirloom pieces. The lot consisted of mom's treadle machine and kitchen table, my antique buffet, 1 bed, and grandma's 100 year old oak chairs and hope chest, and two dressers. The long trip with all my stuff in a horse trailer including the dog ended up costing possibly more than the value of replacement of the items but really, can grandma's chairs ever be replaced?
We had decided before moving that as tempting as it might be there would be NO DEBT PURCHASES. No monthly installments, no 90 days same as cash, and no regrets. No sweat. That was until a major expense came up right after moving that had not been revealed on the inspection that was an immediate MUST FIX item.
Does this sound like life or what?
So with the pocket books much diminished the hunt was on for somewhere to comfortably sit. Our weekly adventures were to hit the garage sales, consignment and thrift stores, watch the ads, craigs list, and keep our ears open for deals.
The first blessing was a brand new bed offered for free from a friend with a guest room that was no longer needed.
Weeks passed and the hunt went on. The furniture consignment center looked like the most promising spot. The prices were good for the quality but still a little more than we wanted to spend. Biglots even had a nice new set and with the discounts gave room for pondering.
Then it happened. We came to a garage sale where a grandma was selling her 1970's claw foot living room set in excellent conditon. We all burst out laughing the moment we saw it because it had to be one of the ugliest sets we had seen. It was as if the designer could not quite figure out what style they were going for so put all the styles into one eye catching combination. Yet at the same time we could all picture it right in the living room. The set included 2 love seats, a chair, and an ottoman. While we looked at it the owner lowered the price from $200 to $150. We whispered to one another that if they could deliver we were on. The question was asked and before the money exchanged hands the furniture was loaded. A wood rocker was added to the deal for an additional $30. We laughed all the way home. When the men saw our older antiques they commented on the vintages though I had never thought of 1970 being an antique. It was just the age of ugly furniture but I do admit it looks nice with the 1930's buffet and Singer that is even older than that.
Only one room left to go. And, this was where we would spend the most time. The rec room. I said that to someone and they had no idea what I was talking about. I responded "you know, where the t.v. goes". They thought I meant the living room. The conversation went back and forth as I explained that t.v. does not go in the living room because that is where company stays or one goes to read a book. Of course if you only have one room then the t.v. would be there but not if there are two. Then I referred to it as a family room and they still did not know what I was talking about, no it was not a den.
We were at 6 to 8 months now as our quest continued. We joked about how long this would go on. At this point it didn't really matter because we were comfortable, not sleeping on the floor, and still had plenty of space if someone wanted to ride a big wheel in the house. All of our garage sale shopping was paying off with books, clothes, toys, kitchen appliances, and other fun stuff. But, we knew our shopping days might soon be over because we were getting to the point that we needed to have a garage sale not go to a garage sale.
So here it is: The $200 furniture. Comfy, good condition, easy to wipe with a damp rag if needed. One can stretch out, lay down, or use the ottomans as extra seating if needed. The set came with the couch, chair, two ottomans, and two tables. And, of course, same day delivery.
The best thing about these purchases in addition to the daily use they get is that in the future any of the pieces can be replaced guilt free, resold at a garage sale for a similar price, or if an out of area move occurs they can be used and given away. Replacement could happen at the other end except of course for the heirloom pieces entrusted to my care.
They were not purchased for the style so much as for their function. Style can come sooner or later when the money has been saved and other financial goals acheived. If you have been keeping track the total is $530 for three rooms of furniture. Lamps, rugs, and decorative items are being added along the way. Whether this furniture is used for two years or twenty years it will still feel like a good deal. The buffet? I bought that in 1984 as part of a dining room set for $150. I no longer have the table and chairs and if you notice one of the little knobs is different which I am fine with. There is still a tag inside that indicates that it was built in Portland, Oregon in the 30's.
Though you may not share the same taste in choice of styles the outlets I have mentioned carry all styles. The consignment store especially carried many high end pieces for a fraction of their new cost.