Recycle, Restore, Renew. Repurpose, Retreasure, Refurbish.
As many of you may know, both my husband Randy and I have become orphans over the past three years. One of the many new processes we have been faced with is how to deal with the many tangible “treasures” that have been acquired for almost a century. A substantial number of these treasures found a new home with us or with many of our relatives and friends. However, one big dilemma remained: what to do with the rest of the stuff?!
For my parents, we were able to hire an estate sale expert, but that was not the case with my mother in law. She lived in a gated community and the condo association would not allow such a sale. We dreaded the notion that these items would be literally thrown away…there had to be a better solution. After all, isn’t one man’s trash another one’s treasure?
It was then, without intention, we became quickly acquainted with resale and consignment shops. The two shops in particular we worked with were The Pink Elephant in Elmhurst and The Treasure House in Glen Ellyn. The silver lining in working with these two entities is the great work they do in the community. Both entities are not for profit, the proceeds of each benefit Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare and Metropolitan Family Services DuPage, respectively. The Treasure House accepts items on consignment and both shops accept donations. The donations are tax deductible and provide income for causes for which we are passionate. Other shops can be located in your area – a great source for such programs can be found at www.secondhandchicago.com. Most shops will indicate the worthwhile cause for which they serve.
Not only have we potentially found a new home for those gently used treasures, we have found yet another resource to find OUR new treasures. I now use www.bargaintreasurehunter.com, which locates resale and consignment, vintage and antique boutiques throughout Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana.
And what about those antiquated electronics and gently used books? SCARCE, an acronym for School and Community Assistance for Composting Education, is a not for profit organization whose mission is to “Inspire people, through education, to preserve & care for the Earth’s natural resources, while working to build sustainable communities.” SCARCE will accept donations of books (primarily educational textbooks) and electronics. The electronics accepted as outlined by SCARCE as “almost anything with a plus or battery can and should be recycled.” Check out SCARCE’s website at www.scarceoed.org.
Unexpectedly, the process of finding a new place for my mother in law’s “treasures” has become a win-win situation – we were able to locate nearby resale and consignment shops that could hopefully find a new home for the “treasures” and also support local organizations!