Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bargain Shopping

I've lived in the same house now for seven years and it still looks like a bunch of random uni students live here. I've complained about this before and then done nothing about it. I hate most of the furniture - which I just cobbled together when I came to Adelaide, having no idea of the good places to go and settling for a large warehouse type place where I could just get pretty much everything (albeit boring versions of) under one roof. There are barely any pictures on the walls as it's double brick and I'd need an electric drill to create holes for hooks, and the hooks that are there are in stupid, weird places. There is pretty much no storage outside the kitchen cupboards, save for one cupboard filled to the brim with all the random shit you have to keep in a house (ironing board, sleeping bag, extra pillows and blankets, etc.) but don't want seen.

So, finally I have wandered out of my house funk and decided that it's time to do some decorating and make it more of a home we actually want to hang out in. However, that has coincided with me changing to a job where I will have a drop in pay of well over $200 a fortnight, so we are staring down the barrel of a very tight budget. Enter the secondhand shops.

Lily came home a couple of weeks ago and told me she had been to a store with her vintage/op shop loving friend and she thought I would really like it. "They have EVERYTHING, Mum - furniture, DVDs, books, old lady crockery." Since I'd been thinking about finally getting some wardrobes and ditching the clothes racks we'd been using for years, I figured it couldn't hurt to go and have a look, although to be honest, I wasn't expecting a lot. I've been to a handful of op shops and secondhand places in Adelaide before and they were all shit and ridiculously over-priced. But I thought that we could have a look, and then go to (my original plan) Ikea and just buy two wardrobes there and be done with it.

The first thing you notice about Hindmarsh Disposals is that it's huge - it goes back forever and there are so many things to look at that it's overwhelming. We were there for ages and didn't get much past the bedroom furniture. The second thing is that there's a cat who just follows you around to see what you're doing. And the third thing is that it's crazy cheap. I mean, we're not talking about geniune Hepplewhites here, but we're not talking garbage either. I had budgeted a maximum of $600 for two secondhand wardrobes and delivery. I got two wardrobes, two dressers, one of those dining room cabinet things everyone's grandma has, a small table nest and delivery for $490.

This is my wardrobe - my only stipulation was that it had some drawers in it for my jumpers and cardies, so I didn't have to have a separate chest of drawers taking up space.

Lily's wardrobe. She's not as fussed as I am by 'old furniture smell' so she just left hers overnight with some containers of vinegar and then was happy to put her stuff in it the next day (I'm still messing about deodorising mine). Note her beloved Cosby cardigan - purchased during a Savers expedition a couple of weeks ago. I had a boyfriend in 1985 who used to wear those kinds of cardigans.

There were so many dressers it was really hard to pin down which one I wanted. In the end I went with this one because I liked the curved drawers. It doesn't have handles but I can pick some up at Bunnings or probably even on eBay. Again, I haven't put anything in it yet as I'm still cleaning it out - those drawers are currently sprinkled with bicarb.

Lily's dresser. I kind of wish I'd chosen this one as it's huge, but I do still love mine. She's super happy with it as she finally has a more or less full length mirror in the house.

And the dining room cabinet thing. I don't even know what I'm going to do with this, but it was $65 so I just had to have it. I have a desk/shelf thing in the kitchen that I really hate so I'm thinking I might just clean this up and then use it to store pots and pans and whatever.

The customer service at Hindmarsh Disposals was fantastic - the lady was really helpful and knocked 10% off everything because we paid cash (and not even with me asking - I never, ever, ever haggle). We also lay-byed a small lounge suite while we were there and when I go back next week to pay the rest of it I'm going to finally get around to looking at everything else they have. Seriously, you could spend days in there. And finally my house is starting to look like something I can enjoy.


  1. OOOOH how wonderful! The wardrobes and dressers are perfection <3 I've been finally doing the same around here, getting rid of crap, putting pics on walls, moving furniture about, putting my mark on the place. It's a great feeling hey :)

  2. This stuff looks great!… well done…. x

  3. That is exciting! Half the enjoyment is finding something amazing that's cheap and has had a story before you owned it.

  4. That is so cool, you found some really great pieces I can't believe how little you paid. Now I think I want a dressing table like that damn it