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Deciding What is Trash, What is Treasure

How do you decide what is trash that can be turned to treasure and what is truly trash? I used to collect anything and everything just because it was old or unique. But that led to a basement full of stuff I never found a use for. I'd purchase something at a thrift sale thinking I'd come up with an idea later, but inspiration never struck. Instead, my husband had to put up with my collection. Now, don't get me wrong, I still have plenty of stuff. Enough to consider myself a moderate packrat. But at least I've weeded it down a lot.

To prevent the clutter problem, I've created some guidelines for my thrift shopping that might help you with your own trash to treasure decorating and will keep your husband happier too.

Rules for Junking
  • Can I come up with at least three ways to use this item off the top of my head?
This will ensure that if you don't use it in one place, you might use it in another. For example, I have an antique picnic basket that can be used to store magazines next to my recliner, to store yarn and crochet supplies, or it can be a place to hide mittens and gloves by the front door. Once I've thought of at least 3 ways to use it, I'm likely to come up with even more. 
  • Is it worth what the seller is asking? 
Sometimes an item will be marked at a high price at a yard sale simply because it is old. Not everything old is valuable. Be sure that you're not paying too much for something that really is junk.
  • Do I need another one?
I love old rake heads. I have 2 of them on my walls right now, but I don't really need a 3rd. Too much of a good thing is a waste of money. So unless a friend is looking for one, I'll pass up the next rake head I see at a yard sale. 
  •  Is it safe?
 I have some old windows on my walls as artwork, but I'm pretty sure that there is lead in the paint that was used on them. If I had little children around or if the paint was chipping off, I'd consider them unsafe unless treated with something like a protective layer of urethane. So as you purchase 2nd hand things for decorating be sure to choose things that are safe for your family. 

By following these simple guidelines, you'll be able to eliminate some potential basement clutter and you'll enjoy the true treasures that you do find. 

Happy decorating!

P.s. I'm on a road trip to a conference and I passed the coolest junk place on the way down. I'm hoping to have time to stop on the way home. And I have my camera too! I'll post any cool finds.

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