Buying second-hand makes sense to us

The new-to-us sofa

Big changes are afoot at the BOTRA household.  As we move away from paid work it made sense to change the use of the second bedroom of our flat from office [and storage of stuff] to dining room [and storage of stuff].  This is a bit of a challenge, as although generally our dining room only needs enough space for two and up to six when we have visitors a couple of times a year it needs to stretch as we host our book group.  On these evenings we need space to sit ten people for a meal; a big ask for a small flat.

After much deliberating, measuring and scribbling of plans we figured we could fit the two dining tables needed for book group in to the room formerly known as the ‘office’ as well as some built in cupboards for the stuff and so the project started to take shape.

A bonus with this plan is that moving the dining table out of the living room gave us much more space in the living room.  More consideration and measurements later and we realised we could fit in another sofa.  Hurrah!  Not only would the ten book group members be able to sit and eat, they would now also have more space to relax in during the pre-eating and post-eating phase of our meetings.

But our excitement plummeted when we realised what an expensive business buying a new sofa is.  We don’t buy new furniture very often but we walked down to a local furniture store and sat on everything they had.  The cheap [ish] ones felt shoddy and although we are frugal, we don’t like shoddy, we expect things we buy to last for years and years.  The well-made sofas felt the business but would take a good chunk of our budget.

Somewhat disheartened I went to look in a local charity shop that specialises in furniture and found the sofa in the photo, just the right colour to compliment our other sofa, from a well-known and expensive brand and professionally cleaned by the charity before being put on sale.  At only £125 it was a good recycling bargain.

We feel good because we haven’t spent lots of money and our savings have stayed on track, our cash has gone to a charity, rather than a big business and we have helped to recycle a sofa and so reduced the amount going to landfill and no new resources have been used up.