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New Home- Old Stuff – How refurbishing and upcycling saved us some good bucks!

Repurposing and upcycling can save you money and save the environment too.

This Native American Proverb “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children,” sums our environment threatening lifestyle and how we must not take our planet for granted.

I have loved creating stuff out of waste from early on in life.  I used to think of ways to put old, abandoned stuff to use.

3 months back, when we moved to our new home, I wanted all things bright and beautiful for my house, but instead of splurging into brand new furniture, upholstery and artwork I revived what I already had and substantially cut down our expenses.

In this post I will share about few of the things that I brought from our old home and how I got them customised for our new place.

Wish I had before and after pictures of these, I didn’t plan to write about my refurbishing story hence have no “Before” pics.

 

Beginning from the entrance, this setty is probably more than 20 years old. Even before we moved to this new house, I knew what I wanted to do with this one. I wanted to make a sitting space outside our main door. We got the laminate changed, added a handrest and got new mattress. Although, the carpenter didnt do justice to my idea of handrest, but it does look decent; just by giving it a little contemporary makeover, this setty was all set for its new role!

New home for us meant buying new curtains as the windows here are much bigger than our previous home. It could have easily costed us 2-2.5 lakhs, when we were already burdened with far too many expenses, I didn’t want to add this to the list. Also getting new curtains would have meant disposing the old ones, the where and how of getting rid or storing the old stuff was too much of a headache. I then checked with my upholstery guy if he could customise these old curtains that were still in great shape for our new windows. He happily took up the job. Although the Labour charges were steep but we had our good old curtains and we saved much more.

The sofa set too was a misfit for our new home, getting a new sofa would have meant spending hefty and then getting heartaches everytime my son jumped on and off it. I have a monkey for a toddler who has just begun jumping wildly on sofa, need I say more?

I got the upholstery changed and gave it a look that matched our new home, all at a reasonable sum.

Art work adds to the beauty of a home, you can transform a house completely with the pieces of art that you use.

My husband’s nanaji (maternal grand father) was a government officer and an artist at heart. His art was put for exhibitions (30 years back) and we are proud owners of some of his work, paintings and driftwood art.

Almost 30yr old Cross-stitch work by my mom

The paintings had gone dull with time and the frames took away all the beauty, I got them reframed and now they adorn the lovely walls of our house. I also got many of old photos framed and created a beautiful memory wall in the foyer of our new home. Cant tell you how happy I am that this wall now stands as the most interesting part of our house.

I have many sarees that have been passed on to me by my mother in law. I got a beautiful table and bed runner made out of one of the silk sarees that I knew I wouldn’t wear. There is much more you can do with old clothes, I am going to do a separate post on it. I recently got more than 20 cloth bags made from old clothes. You can check my post on eco-friendly return gift ideas, the post also talks about ecofriendly packaging ideas.

Some of our Upcycling projects are still a WIP ( Work in progress) and probably would be taken up in my future posts.

We are still settling to our new place and a lot still needs to be done, hoping that we create a home that soothes our souls, exudes positivity and brings happiness to our lives.

Thanks for coming here and reading it, share some love if you liked my work, do tell me about your upcycling projects.

 

This article is a part of #Reuseblogtrain hosted by Papri of Through my pink window and Yogeeta  of Vrag.in and sponsored by Aroma Essentials . Read and engage on some really useful #reuse #recycle #reduce posts by 15 amazing bloggers. Thank you Nisha  for introducing me.

I’d like to introduce Shreenithee, a #beautyblogger by passion and a working professional. Through her blog, she wishes to share her thoughts on safe beauty, indigenous beauty practices, all through naturally available resources. She pens down her thoughts on desireflexions

baking soda, clean house, cleaning, diwali, eco-friendly, housekeeping, Lifestyle and health, Vinegar

Eco-friendly cleaning hacks

Those of you who have been reading my posts or following me for a while now, would know that I am attempting to endure a natural living, use of eco-friendly stuff and  minimising wastage.

I have just begun, which means I am at almost “zero” currently. It is a change in lifestyle of not one person, but whole family and hence may take over months and years and along with time it requires lots of patience and perseverance.

Being Diwali around, I am dedicating this post to a few tried and tested eco-friendly cleaning hacks for two most important areas of your house.

What you will require-

Some spray bottles
Rags/flannel cloths/sponges
Lots of white Vinegar
Lots of baking soda
Lime
Salt

Kitchen Cleaning

For cleaning drains – Put one cup of baking soda in the drain and gradually pour one cup of white vinegar over it, it will clean the drain.

If the drain is clogged use your regular plunger first and then follow the above steps.

To clean the sink- sprinkle baking soda and with a cloth/sponge soaked in vinegar, wipe sink surface.

To clean the taps and other fixtures, use a cloth dampened with vinegar and wipe the fixtures. You could use a mix of baking soda and water, apply this paste to the fixtures and scrub them clean.

I also use tooth-paste (the white ones) to clean fixtures, they shine like new.

Drinking glasses and baby dishes could be sanitised and cleaned by dipping for few minutes in vinegar and water solution. Baking soda could also be used to have your crystalware shining like new, just sprinkle some baking soda over crystalware and use a toothbrush to rub gently.

For ovens and microwaves, to loosen the grime use a large oven/microwave safe bowl, fill it with 400ml water and 100ml vinegar. Run  the microwave on full power for 2-4 minutes. Let it remain closed for the steam to settle and work. Open the microwave, remove the bowl carefully and clean the oven with a damp cloth.

Easy hack for your silverware is to wrap your silver article in an aluminium foil and dip it in boiling water, add baking soda and voilaaa the article comes out shining.. no scrubbing can give you this result.

For cleaning fridge-  Sprinkle baking soda and salt and use a damp cloth or sponge to clean the surfaces. You could also use the following solution to clean interior and exterior walls of the fridge –  2 tableapoon of baking soda and 1 litre luke warm water, use a cloth dipped in this solution and wipe the walls and surfaces. For stubborn stains use baking soda directly.

 

Bathroom Cleaning

Spray a mix of water and vinegar on the walls/tiles , let it sit for 10-15 minutes and wipe with a cloth. This will clean and help you get rid of mildew.

For chrome fixtures you could use toothpaste or a mix of vinegar and baking soda.

For floor I used to use bleach, but now with a little baby I try to avoid it. You could use vinegar and hot water to clean the bathroom floor and for grouts bleach can be used with a toothbrush. Alternatively you could use lemon to clean the grouts.

Happy cleaning, wish you all a very happy Diwali.

Will try to cover other areas in my next post..  hopefully before the next Diwali!