A Second Hand Home
We live in a second hand home; and we're glad about it. Another family cooked in the kitchen, stocked the bookshelves, let their dog in and out, set dirty dishes on the counter, slammed doors, listened to the radio, celebrated birthdays, and did all the good (and, let's face it, sometimes not so good stuff) that happens in a house. And although we do have some new things, we're pretty happy to furnish our home with hand-me-downs (like the kitchen table that was a sister's, best friend's, uncle's table, and stuffed chairs and china cabinets from the homes of grandparents). We enjoy cast-offs, thrift store finds, and heirlooms. There's WAY too much stuff out there in general, so reusing is practical way to combat the overwhelming tide of waste, but it's also cheaper, and it's more exciting to find the right thing, the thing that speaks to you when you know there's not ten thousand more of them in the stockroom of whatever warehouse it just came from. And (if you want another "and") buying second hand from a place like the Habitat Store also does good for the community. Now you're dying to know more.
What is Habitat for Humanity?
If you're motivated by that last "and," the one about your purchase doing good for the community, you'll want to know what Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity does to begin with. Habitat for Humanity believes everyone deserves a decent place to live. A big part of what Habitat does is build houses. What's unusual is that these homes are built by volunteers working alongside the family who will occupy and own the home. Families apply for a Habitat home and are accepted based on need, ability to pay, and willingness to partner (this means 200+ hours of sweat equity into the building of their home and community).
What else is good about these houses? Habitat builds with a focus on environmental sustainability. They go above and beyond many energy efficiency standards, and 98% of building material and waste created by clearing land debris is recycled. Talk about a holistic approach.
Learn more about Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat:
South Tacoma Habitat for Humanity Store
4824 S Tacoma Way
Mon - Sat, 9 am - 6 pm
What Can You Find? Go Look!
Our local Habitat store is right across the street from South Park, and they have popcorn available, so you should probably head over there right now and get a snack while you browse. We've found everything from a deluxe KitchenAid vent for our gas stove, to beautiful light fixtures that looked like big full moons, to a custom coffee table with drawers that was just so perfect. But those items don't do you much good since we already brought them home, so here's some of what we've seen more recently (a picture's worth a thousand words, right?):
If you didn't look at the images above, let me point out that this week there was a bunch of Armstrong tile in there. Quite a few colors, enough to put a nice checkerboard, or patterned floor together for a kitchen. And a green vintage Schwann Varsity. Sweet.
Donations - Here's What You Can Give!
Proceeds from your donated items go into building good, affordable housing for families in the community we share (and they're tax deductible, so that's nice too). Habitat also wants you to consider "by donating items, you are providing our community with a source of low-cost goods while also reducing the quantity of material going into landfills."
Habitat is always accepting donations, such as:
furniture (no rips)
tools (working condition)
appliances (working condition, all parts - please call)
household items (dishes, art, and decor)
antiques & collectibles
Also take a look at what not to donate.
We love second hand home living on a lot of levels, so you'll see more features on places to go in Tacoma for used, vintage, and reclaimed goods in our weekly blog in future. Good luck on your search, or in your sorting!