Nothing like a blank slate to inspire interest in reusing, recycling, repurposing

Our story so far: We’re waiting impatiently for the seller of the church we want to buy and turn into our home to conjure up the paperwork necessary to provide a clear title.

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In retrospect, I believe God was giving us a break. An opportunity to catch our breaths and think. A few weeks of rest. But at the time, the delay was maddening. Here we’d finally gotten our heads around the idea that we weren’t going to live in the camper and travel the country indefinitely, and we’d decided to jump back into the real estate market. We’d found a property we were pretty confident we couldn’t lose money on no matter what Wall Street did to Main Street. We’d created a renovation plan. We’d determined we could agree on the style of our kitchen backsplash, the fireplace mantel and the color of the paired sectionals with which we planned to furnish the great room. But we couldn’t actually do anything other than shop.

This was problematic since we no longer owned a garage in which to store the amazing deals Tyler scored on Amazon Prime and Craig’s List. On a brief business trip, we visited an expansive architectural salvage store with historic doors and unique bathroom fixtures, but we couldn’t buy any of it. Nowhere to put our treasures. Tyler found an amazing store of used construction materials in greater Chicago selling 23 pieces of solid wood kitchen cabinets in the perfect shade of cream. Upon inspection, they were the perfect shade of yellow so we didn’t invest in them, but we were awed by bathroom vanities in every shade of the rainbow and the doors in widths from 27 inches to 32 inches. Too bad we didn’t know exactly how wide we’d need our doors. Or how many for that matter.

The visits to seconds shops cemented our decision to pursue this renovation with as many pieces of recycled materials as we could find. We’d sold most of our furniture when we vacated our home a year before, and we were horrified by how little other people valued our belongings. We’d vowed never to buy new unupholstered furniture again (upholstered furniture of unknown origin, not so much).

Our lack of storage space didn’t prevent Tyler from stopping at an estate sale and finding an ornate Mirror, Mirror on the Wall for the front entryway. He also scored a bathroom faucet, sink and vanity from Craig’s List. He purchased two-by-fours and built eight saw horses. All of these finds, he stashed in the garages of his cousin and his mother (sometimes over their objections).

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Tomorrow: Chapter 4 concludes with the creation of a new plan. Read it here.

3 thoughts on “Nothing like a blank slate to inspire interest in reusing, recycling, repurposing

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