In the home
Love your home for less
If you want something different to the common furniture items available on the high street, buying second-hand can be a great way to furnish your home with unusual items at reasonable prices.
- Find furniture and appliances
Use the internet to search for reuse organisations who may sell second-hand furniture and appliances.
Charity shops are also a good place to start if you want to buy second-hand goods for the home at affordable prices. What’s more by spending your money there it is being put to good use to help others!
Did you know some of our household waste recycling centres also have sections where you can buy second-hand furniture? It’s worth having a look next time you go to one just in case there’s some hidden treasure there which you can make use of.
If you've found a great item, share it with us via email or twitter and it could be our 'find of the week'.
- Reuse your unwanted stuff
If you have unwanted furniture or appliances in good condition, donate it to a charity shop, vintage shop or bring banks.
Hampshire Furniture Reuse Network
Hampshire Furniture Reuse Network was set up to help local people in crisis obtain affordable (possibly free) furniture, white goods and electrical items. Find out more or donate an item
- Sell your unwanted stuff
- Get creative with upcycling
Re-using and upcycling, to breathe new life into old objects for the home has never been so easy.
Charity shops are a good place to start if you want to buy second-hand goods for the home at affordable prices. What’s more by spending your money there it is being put to good use to help others!
But did you know some of our household waste recycling centres also have sections where you can buy second-hand furniture? It’s worth having a look next time you go to one just in case there’s some hidden treasure there which you can make use of.
Upcycle old or outdated furniture into something new and unique with our four step guide to upcycling.
- To achieve an 'antiqued' or shabby chic look, use a chalk-based paint and wax. Chalk-based paints can be applied directly to varnished wood without any sanding or preparation required
- To achieve a 'distressed' look sand over random areas. Then apply wax to seal the paint. Solid woods such as oak and pine work well as the grain will show through after sanding
- Chalk-based paints can be mixed to create new shades. An average tin costs around £20 and will cover a couple of large items, or a table and chairs
- Alternatively, you may want more of an egg shell finish or have a piece of furniture made of MDF or similar, in which case use a special wood paint and sand and prime the wood first
The advantage of upcycling in this way is that you transform something old and unloved into a unique piece of furniture exactly to your taste. Often the furniture will be of a much higher quality than buying something new for a similar price, so it will last longer and if you want to refresh your colour scheme you can even choose to repaint it in the future.
- Donate your unwanted stuff
Donate your unwanted stuff to a local charity shop and help them raise valuable funds.
Take a look at our ‘Pass It On’ video to find out more about furniture reuse in Hampshire. This video requires a password - please enter HCCReuse100 in the password box.
It often seems easier to replace broken or damaged household goods than repairing them. However, there are a growing number of local repair services which may help extend the life of your items and save paying for something new.
Visit a Repair Café
If you have a broken electrical item, bike or piece of furniture why not visit a local Repair Café?
Repair Cafés are community events where expert volunteers repair household items for a small donation. They also offer tea, coffee and sometimes cake! As well as having your item repaired, you can also sit with the repairer and learn how to make the repair yourself next time.
There are currently four active Repair Cafes in the Hampshire area, details listed below. Please contact us if you know of any others or are planning to start up your own event.
Andover Repair Café
Held on the third Saturday of every month 10am – noon, at the Andover Mind Centre, Westbrook Close, South Street, Andover, SP10 2BN
Bordon Repair Café
Held on the fourth Saturday of every month, 10am to noon at The Furniture Helpline, Hampshire Road, Bordon, GU35 0HJ
Portsmouth Repair Café
Held on the 3rd Saturday of every month (except August) 1030am – 1pm at Buckland United Reformed Church. 174 Kingston Rd, Portsmouth PO2 7LP
Southampton Repair Café
Held on the first Saturday of each month (except January) 1030am – 1pm at Freemantle United Reform Church, 257 Shirley Rd SO15 3HS and on the third Saturday every other month (e.g. November, January etc) 1030 – 1pm at St Denys Community Centre, Priory Rd SO17 2JZ
Make repairs yourself
If you are handy with a set of tools or just fancy having a go at home, iFixit is a useful resource (https://www.ifixit.com/). You can find free repair guides for a wide range of household devices.
For other items, search online, attend a class or visit your local library for guidance on valuable skills from sewing to basic DIY. See our Reuse and Repair toolkit for advice on repairing or upcycling furniture or textiles.
- Love your clothes
Restyling, repairing and caring for your clothes - make the most of your wardrobe with Love your Clothes
Bored with your wardrobe?
If you fancy some new clothes but don't want to splurge, why not host a 'Swishing' or clothes swap party? Invite your friends, family or colleagues, ask them to bring a few unwanted items of clothing in good condition, and get swapping!
See our swap event toolkit for step by step guidance on running your own event.
- Making it Work: A reuse and repair toolkit
Hampshire County Council, in partnership with a number of public and voluntary sector organisations in Hampshire, has developed a reuse and repair toolkit.
It provides practical advice and inspirational ideas for reuse organisations that are looking to reduce their costs and make more of the items they receive. It’s also a great resource for anyone interesting in repairing or upcycling their own furniture or textiles.
The toolkit brings together useful information to help those reuse organisations looking to expand on current direct reuse operations and introduce cost effective repair activities. Items covered include:
- help in making the business case for investing in new reuse and repair activities
- a checklist of regulations and other important information organisations need to be aware of when looking to undertake reuse and repair of certain materials
- useful advice on how to overcome common barriers to reuse and repair
- ideas on creating new products from waste materials
- marketing your reuse and repair services to the local community
- selling your reused and repaired products on the open market
- ideas for partnering with other organisations to help expand your reuse and repair activities
- sources of publicly available information around creating new products, funding streams and advice on attracting and working with volunteers
The focus of the toolkit is on reuse, repair and upcycling activities relating to furniture, electrical and electronic equipment and textiles (including clothing and soft furnishings), although some of information and techniques provided can be applied to other products and material types.
This toolkit is the result of learning and experience gained by project partners through developing and delivering a project to increase reuse capacity and capabilities in Hampshire funded by the Innovation in Waste Prevention fund. The project ran from November 2014 to December 2015 and involved five charitable reuse organisations in Hampshire.