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How to Thrift Your Home Makeover

This is a guest blog post written by Katherine Steck

Everyone loves a good makeover but there’s nothing worse than browsing around and realizing "budget room makeovers" still cost thousands of dollars!

The good news, it doesn’t have to be that way! You can save money and save the planet while still getting swoon worthy rooms by opting for secondhand.

Hi, I’m Kat Steck, mom of 2 and secondhand fanatic. I share my imperfect low waste journey, secondhand finds, budget friendly sustainable living tips and simple living mom hacks on Instagram at @thejunkyardjournals.

When moving to a new place last summer I decided to sell off most of our furniture on Facebook Marketplace and totally start from scratch with new-to-us treasures to better fit the style and needs of our new duplex.

I am so excited to be teaming up with Tara McKenna from The Zero Waste Collective to share my top tips for getting the look you want for less -- less money and less waste!

1. Shop your home first

Chances are you can use a lot more of what you already have than you may originally think! Whether you’re moving into a new space, going full makeover or just looking for a spruce up -- get creative with what you have first.

Could that bathroom art look cute in a gallery wall in the living room? Could you shop that collection of jars you’ve been saving from the recyclables to make a little propagation station on your dresser? Could you pull some neutrals from other spaces and dwindle the thrift list down to just a few special pieces?

Remember, the most sustainable décor is always going to be what you already have!

2. Have flexible inspiration

I love Pinterest and Instagram for getting inspired by colors, feelings, and moods of spaces. Instead of getting caught up trying to replicate a space or swiping up to get the exact items, I will collect some ideas and go out hunting for old treasures that will give my space a similar feeling but make it truly my own! Give it a try!

3. Go Slow

We live in a culture that is obsessed with the overnight makeover, we’ve normalized “swipe up to steal the look”, the 2 day shipping, the instant gratification -- trouble is we make impulsive, quick decisions and more often than not, it’s not even stuff we love!

What if this time we let ourselves embrace a slower pace of finding treasures and stories to fill our spaces and make them truly our own? What’s another night eating pizza on a moving box when you’re about to score an heirloom table you may just keep for a lifetime? Enjoy the process!

4. Set Alerts

Facebook Marketplace and similar apps like Offer Up let you set alerts for keywords that are really helpful for seeing new listings first when you are looking for a specific item.

I have found many of my beloved staple pieces like a pair of leather chairs, my linen Restoration Hardware couch and vintage rugs this way! I set keyword alerts like “farmhouse table,” “Restoration Hardware,” “kilim rug” and let the app do the searching for me!

5. Pop in often + enlist your thrifty friends

Knowing your local thrift stores is one of the best tricks out there! Which thrift stores have a dedicated furniture section? Which part of the store has the lamps?

Next time you’re out running errands do a quick hop in to peek around for items on your list. Telling your thrifty friends what you’re looking for can get you more wandering eyes out there for you in the shops and on online marketplaces too!

Makeovers don't have to cost the earth or cost a fortune -- by tweaking our habits a bit and opting for secondhand we have so many options to create beautiful, new spaces!

I look forward to seeing your finds on Instagram and would love to be a part of your team as we journey together towards more thoughtful consumption!

Be sure to check out Kat's Instagram!

For more tips on going zero waste, read the book and head to zero waste 101!


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