Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Up-cycling Project

Upon arriving in the US our wonderful family friends offered us to look through some old furniture and take whatever we wanted!  While it was tempting to take everything, we stayed focussed and took a set of 4 dining chairs, which were free but needed reupholstering.  With only a day left before leaving my parents house and heading to Central Illinois to our new apartment I recruited my dad to help with the project. I went to a fabric store (50% off coupon in hand of course!) and bought new foam and a pretty fabric I fell head over heals for!  The project was relatively easy and only resulted in one minor injury (a big splinter in my nail! ouch!).

The steps included:
1) Remove the cushions from the frame of the chair
2) Remove the staples, old foam and fabric
3) Place the wooden base on the foam and new fabric and cutting out the appropriate size
4) Work around the base stretching and stapling the foam and fabric to the wooden base
5) Re-attach the base to the frame


A new set of dining chairs for our new place.  Not only was this a fun project, but I feel good about up-cycling existing furniture to meet our needs instead of buying new.  This was a cost effective and creative way to make our home more functional and our style without breaking the bank!  Please share your DIY projects with me and I will feature them in a future post!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A New Trick To STOP Impulse Buying

Upon arriving in Champaign, IL we had to do some shopping.  We needed some food to eat, some toiletries, cleaning supplies and such, so I took a trip to Meijer.  Back in Israel, there were zero mega/box stores with everything you could possible need or want in a lifetime under one roof.  I took a shopping cart and with list in hand started marching up and down the aisles.  I was determined NOT to stray from the list. But then out of the corner of my eye, a cute vase, a salt and pepper shaker set, dishes, side tables, a cute top, etc.  It got to the point that I actually muttered under my breath, "Sometimes I hate America".  Now, don't get me wrong, I love America.  I love my country dearly and it does feel good to be back after a year abroad.  What I meant by the comment was, "I hate American consumerism".  I hate that they know how to make me WANT everything, even though I don't actually need it.  With an empty apartment awaiting me, and all my belongings in boxes and in disarray, of course I wanted new, shiny, pretty things that I was under the impression would make me feel better, more at home and more stable.

So as I stood there in the middle of Meijer I remembered something.  I have a smartphone.  I pulled it out and started taking pictures of all the items that interested me.  I would go home, finish unpacking, organizing and settling in with the items I already own and take some time to see if I would have use for any of the items at the store.  It's been a week and a day and I have been back to Meijer to get a few more food items, but I have not felt the need to purchase any of those extras.  I was able to take the images home with me, show them to my husband and my friends and took the time to process and think about if those things would make my home a better place to live or not.

Some example shots of what I thought I wanted:

The next time you go shopping and find your eyes starting to wander go ahead and pull out your phone or a camera and snap a photo of the things that strike your fancy.  Take a few days to mull it over and only then go back to retrieve it if you still cannot stop thinking about it!  Shopping consciously and deliberately is key to achieving a more simplified and clutter free home.

I hope this tip is helpful!  If you have other ideas please share in the comments!