While the holidays are a great time to spend time with family, catch up on each other’s lives, eat good food, and swap gifts, let’s face it – eventually you’re all caught up and need some good activities for the rest of your time off. And if you’re anything like my family, you probably also feel a little broke once Christmas is over, so here are 5 things that will help you save money, while keeping everyone entertained.
Our homes are reflections of our lives and ourselves, and we like to fill them with conversation pieces. On trips, you take a bunch of family photos so you can frame a few to display when you get back. If you’re like me, you also look for unique decorative pieces while on vacation. I like finding unique pieces on vacation because I know that it’ll be super hard for someone to find the exact same thing. We all like having unique pieces in our homes that set them apart from others.
At some point you probably walked into a friend’s house and saw that they bought the same trinket at the same home décor store as you. It’s almost like showing up to a fancy event and someone is wearing the same dress as you. It’s kind of flattering but a little awkward. Your unique dress, or piece for your home, suddenly loses its luster.
If you’re looking for some unique pieces to decorate your home and want to make sure that none of your friends or neighbors can find the same thing, check out a couple of these places to find one-of-a-kind items for your home.
Scrap or junkyards offer more than just used car parts. Scrap yards, in my option, are just cool places in general. Okay, it may sound kind of gross, but give me a chance here. As things go out of style, from flooring to furniture or architectural pieces, most people typically just throw them away, right? Most landfills or local waste disposal pickups don’t take items much outside normal trash. Consequently, people pack up trucks and haul their stuff to a junkyard. Sure, some items look rough, but with a little elbow grease and a bit of refinishing work, you can find some pretty awesome things. The beauty of scrap yards is that you never know what people throw away.
This unconventional way to decorate your home lets you recycle some cool stuff that might have otherwise rotted away. Plus, most of these places will sell you their “junk” for pennies on the dollar.
I’m not talking about those antique stores downtown. I’m talking about a way-out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-on-a-two-lane-highway antique place that if you blink, you might miss. Antique stores in the city and suburbs mark up their items at ridiculous rates and often won’t negotiate prices. If you’re not down with getting quite as gritty and dirty in a junkyard, a dusty antique store might be the place for you.
Many newspapers and sites like Find Estate Sales or Craigslist can help you locate estate sales in your area. Look for the sales with photos so you can see what’s for sale, or phone numbers so you can find out what they’re selling. If they’re selling furniture, ask what kind it is because this will give you an of idea what other items are for sale. Chances are, the older the furniture, the older the rest of the items will be.
Ok, if you don’t want to get gritty at all, or even leave your house, just try searching the Internet for what you seek. Places like Ebay and Craiglist might have the perfect item you need to transform a room. If you want a bit more of a bargain, you can easily snag some good deals on Craigslist. Most sellers rush to dump what they have, because they really want to get rid of it. Sometimes they’ll price it incredibly low because they don’t know the retail value. You can also do a quick Google search to see if there are any specialty salvage stores near you. This isn’t nearly as fun an adventure as digging through shops or a junkyard to find your treasure, but if you have limited time it’s an option to consider.
If you want unique pieces for your home, you have to look in unconventional places. You also have to look beyond the dirt and dust that cover those hidden gems. Sometimes a little bit of cleaning goes a long way to bring back the luster of a discarded object. The best part though is you never know what you’ll find. Maybe you’ll find a rare object from the 1880s that’s worth a ton of money. Plus, you’ll have an even better story to share about how you acquired your special item, rather than “Oh, I just bought it at the store.”