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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Step away from the sledgehammer

Since we've been in reno mode for well over a month, it's safe to say we've been watching more than our share of HGTV and DIY Network.  One common theme I'm seeing that seriously ticks me off is the mindset of people on reno shows who either have work to do in their own home or have bought a home and are doing improvements.  The first thing these people have been trained to ask from these shows is "when do I get to smash something up??"

"Demo day" is the holy grail of any home show and it romanticizes the power you feel when swinging a sledgehammer into what you consider dated cabinets.  People from licensed contractors to DIYers tackling a project for the first time go in, guns blazin', and demolish everything in sight because it makes for good TV.  So when it comes time to tackle your own DIY project, you may be tempted to do what you see on these shows and annihilate everything you're getting rid of regardless of their condition. Meanwhile, across town, you have a family who is living paycheck to paycheck that has cabinets that are falling off the hinges, drawers that don't shut and duct tape holding stuff together because they can't afford a brand new kitchen.  What could they afford?  Those perfectly functional, nice cabinets that some person who didn't like the color just took a sledgehammer to so they could feel like a caveman.

Habitat for Humanity does not only build homes for eligible families, they also have a ReStore that carries everything from kitchen cabinets to lighting fixtures to extra wood pieces and flooring/tiles. Hotels, businesses and yes, homeowners just like you donate perfectly functional pieces from their remodels to HfH so that others may take advantage at a deep discount.

Restore Atlanta has everything someone starting out in a new home on a budget could need!

Habitat Boston restore has some pretty sweet kitchen cabinets!

ReStores are open to the public and you never know what treasures are waiting for you.  Even if you don't need kitchen cabinets or bathroom sinks or a dining room table, if you have a small decor project you saw on Pinterest that you want to recreate, check the ReStore!   A few years ago, I got a drawer front for $2 then painted it and added 2 hooks and had a place to hang my camera bag.  A great piece for under $6 because I already had the paint on hand.

I desperately wanted to donate our bathroom countertop but because of the crack in our sink, it wouldn't be considered.  If you want to know the things you can donate from your reno, this post covers a good amount of it.  ReStores also help keep construction waste out of landfills and that's just good for everyone.

You can go here and enter your zip code and see the nearest Habitat ReStore near you.  Some ReStores will do pick ups so you can schedule them to come out and get whatever item(s) you're donating.  It's worth taking a peek around one so you can get an idea if it's a resource you may want to use in the future.  If you have a kid heading to college or getting their first home on their own, you're trying to furnish a rental property or vacation home or need a vanity or other cabinetry or furniture at a fraction of the cost of retail.  This is such a great resource that helps an amazing cause and if you have any bit of DIY in you and some paint, there are treasures waiting to be prettied up.

Have you ever donated to or shopped at a ReStore?

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  1. The Restore is a great idea and I think everyone should consider donating their no longer wanted or needed items to it. DIY type shows could do wonders for them too if they'd embrace that attitude instead of the, let's smash it all up mentality.

  2. This is super cool - I didn't know this existed! I just followed the link and discovered there is one of these stores not too far from my house. I know where I am headed for my next DIY project!

  3. Restore Atlanta is awesome - a friend took me one Saturday. The store in Raleigh, NC is great also, at one time it was their largest store.
    We have donated to them before.

  4. I didn't know about this either - thanks for enlightening us! What a great thing and I also have one close to my house, so I will definitely be checking it out!!

  5. The closest one to me is 3+ hours away. I haven't ever had anything worth donating (everything I've replaced has been replaced due to condition not taste) but I would definitely make the drive to check them out before I tackled a major renovation.

    I think this is a great post. I also think the producers/hosts of those shows should hear about this. I wonder if they even know about this aspect of HfH.

    Yes, demo day is great tv, and sometimes the existing cabinetry, etc. isn't worth keeping - but a short clip of taking "stuff" to a ReStore and a little history behind it would go a long way. This is a fantastic option for people and I hadn't thought about how much good a DIY show could do for their program.

  6. I love this post. Thanks so much for bringing options like this to light for your readers. There are two of these stores near me, and I've visited them several times. Some of the items still seem a little pricey, considering many of the items are used. But it's great to see so much being diverted from the landfills.

  7. I have not donated or shopped at ReStore, but they do have one near me. I was able to donate a bunch of house materials to a place in the suburbs during the winter for the same type of cause and they were thrilled to get that kind of stuff. It felt good knowing it would all get repurposed (and affordably priced) and would get some further use with people who would appreciate it.

  8. I haven't yet had a reason to visit, but I do know they just opened one up not far from my route home from work. I've also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity through work, and each time I visit one of their build sites they remind us about the store and how it basically runs on community volunteers, the families receiving the Habitat homes, and donations from both contractors and the general population.

  9. We donate all the time plus we build for HFH. We live full time in our RV and travel around to different builds and donate our time to help Habitat build homes for the family's that need them. People think that Habitat is giving these people homes but that is not true. The family's that get a house have to pay for the house it is just Interest Free Homes. They get the houses for a lot less because of the donated work that is done building them. HFH has a program called Care-A-Vanners which are retired people in Motor homes, 5th wheels or trailers and we sign up for builds to do. Very rewarding work, and I use to do accounting work never worked with a hammer and nails until we started doing HFH builds.


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