9 Secondhand Things We Use Everyday At Home

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I never knew how many free and secondhand things we used as the family until now. As I took a stroll around my home after Christmas holiday it occurred to me that a good percentage of our possessions were second handed in nature. I started tallying up in my mind how much these products would have cost new versus the used condition we got them.

This is one of those times where I can’t tell if I’m being clever or cheap.

The biggest motivator for rehoming second-hand stuff is knowing that these physical objects and purchases tend to have a bad resale value and/or they’re difficult to dispose of. I end up veering away from purchases if it’s not urgent which is one of the reasons why we live lightly.

The last thing I want is a 3 car garage full of stuff for the rest of my life. To be honest, I’m still not over that Christmas discovery.

If the item is large or bulky that means it will be larger to get rid of later. It will be harder to dump. Bulky used items will cost more to ship since USPS overcharges shipping items over 16 ounces. Lastly, a large item is harder to shove under the bed when company comes over and I only have 20 minutes to clean. So my frugal frame of mind applies these principles before I want to decide to purchase something.

1) Our Linens

We have a lot of jumbo bed blankets that came from the in-law’s house. Roughly 30% of all our linens were second hand. Jared’s mother has stockpiled 30 years worth of heavy winter blankets, jumbo bath towels and jumbo-sized pillows from Costco so we took her leftovers towels and blankets.

My Airbnb blankets and linen were purchased from professional vendors. Our linens were not top shelf clean and soft. Since Airbnb didn’t require that many things just to start out with, we decided to splurge on brand new linens.

2) Furniture (chairs, tables, wardrobe, mirrors).

Let’s see…our living room dining table, our actual dining table, 6x of our chairs, 1x ugly stool, 1x yellow sofa, 1x coffee table, 1x convertible breakfast table, 2 lamps, 1x 15-year-old dresser, 1x bed frame, 2x guest room mirrors, 1x glass brass etagere, 1x ugly bathroom shelf, 1x hot pot cooking kit…and more.

Man, people throw out decent stuff!

I wish our TV, easy chairs, pots/pans, dinnerware and canopy bed were second hand but some things couldn’t wait. Plus, some of those was cheaper to buy online than finding someone on Craigslist and asking another person to deliver it for $50 more. Sometimes we do give in and just buy it on sale but it’s rarer than you’d think.

3) Old Laptop

I’m currently using my husband’s old laptop from his college years circa 2009. Although working, the ancient 7-year-old laptop fans bloody murder if I don’t turn on the cooling fan. I withdraw from purchasing a new laptop for similar reasons as Ms. Frugal Asian.

The laptop itself is still functioning and it does serve the simple purpose of Internet browsing and graphic design. So if a recreational item technically works but just happens to be unglamorous (and a little slow) is it excuse enough to take out $800 that could garner more money invested elsewhere?

4) Used Clothes to Rags

Everyone knows I thrift! Sometimes I even thrift for a profit! Jared’s old clothes are now dog, dish, dust rags. When his shirts start bearing noticeable holes in the collar, it’s time to throw it out. I think his work has a relaxed dress code but not that relaxed.

5) Curtains & Bath Mats

The thrift store is the king of these big miscellaneous fabrics. We purchased our curtains and bath mats for $1 a piece. We didn’t have to dig around much for them. In thrift stores, they’re usually placed in the kitchen section or next to the racks of clothes. There is usually a pile of random linens and fabric that is multi-purpose.

6) Fans & Vacuums


I don’t even want to get into how we ended up with 6x fans, 5 of which were used, left or found by the side of the road.

Oh…and the 4x working vacuums that we have. 3 of 4 were used or found by the side of the dumpster. 1x we purchased from Amazon Warehouse (Amazon seller that sells lightly used products.)

We’re not hoarders! *Shifty eyes* We have a lot of house to cover and people around here throw out good, functioning fans and vacuums like its road pebbles.

7) Garage Sale Decorations

Old photo, there’s more stuff in there now but it’s currently occupied so…no entry no photo.

Most of our home decorum from paintings, knick-knacks and random doodads were from garage sales around the neighborhood. I don’t think decorum serves many purposes besides appealing to vanity so I rather go with something symbolically meaningful to me.

I collect birdhouses and ceramics from garage sales (usually just $1-2) and I incorporate them into my Airbnb rooms.

8) Grace

Hello, I’m Grace, I’m cute.

Our dog was adopted so…totally second hand haha. Adopt don’t shop! I believe she was about half the price of a purebred German Shepherd. Nevertheless, this was definitely not about price. We wanted to rescue a dog and when we heard Grace’s story and saw her picture, I just melted.

9) House

Our house is less than 20 years old but it’s by no means new construction. New construction these days tend to be pricier, rushed and more impersonal. The build quality depends heavily on the budget of the builder. When we were house shopping, I told the agent I wanted something tried and true.


Is it odd that we have these many secondhand things? How many secondhand things do you use every day? What are some weird second-hand items that you use that would raise eyebrows?

22 thoughts on “9 Secondhand Things We Use Everyday At Home”

  • We have tons of second-hand stuff in our house. We used to live in Atlanta, and for fun would drive around and hit yard sales every Saturday. Somebody was always having a yard sale. Most of our furniture is yard sale or Craig’s List. Hey, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? 🙂

  • LOL I’d never heard a dog be referred to as ‘second-hand’, had me laughing. We have some stuff, but honestly we got a TON when we got married. Add that on to the fact that we just flat out didn’t really have much when we moved, and it meant acquiring new things. This was before we were really that smart about our money, so we bought a lot (too much in retrospect) new. Thankfully I got a few great things second-hand like a lawn mower, bed, and some random small kitchen appliances.

    Our house is the one thing that’s new that I don’t regret. We’d considered a fixer-upper, but home prices were nearing the budget we had in mind without renovations, and the thought of going through reno’s for years wasn’t appealing to us. The only thing I wish we’d maybe considered or done differently was wait and purchase a duplex and rent half of it out, THEN build later. But I’m happy and we hopefully won’t have to worry about anything major with the house for a very long time. 🙂
    Dave @ Married with Money recently posted…Why the Spend Less or Earn More question is BS

    • Oh that’s right Dave, you guys brought new 😃 We have a mini duplex (stand alone townhouse) that works for us. Duplexes are pretty pricey around Seattle because they’re so rare.

  • It’s not odd at all. I think it’s a great way to repurpose home items and to save money.

    Most of our stuff at home are used too. We got them from friends, neighbors, or the curbside. We have used silverware, kitchenware, bedding, furniture, fans, and even space heaters. I can’t imagine spending money replacing all of them with new items. No way! 😀
    Ms. Frugal Asian Finance recently posted…7 Secrets About Personal Finance Bloggers

  • Wow your thrift store has way more variety than ours!

    I think my problem is I don’t like doing yard sales because 78.5% is junk or something we don’t need. We do buy lots of Craigslist though. If I do have to buy something new I’ll check to see if I can get it refurbished!
    Budget on a Stick recently posted…2018 Goals, Not Resolutions

    • I love Craigslist but 2 times I was totally blindsided when I saw the prices were higher used than if I bought online new. It’s good but always double check prices before (I didn’t!)

  • The majority of the pots, pans, cups, utensils, etc., in our kitchen are all second hand! The older I get, the more I try and stay away from buying “new” anything! I just continue to see through research that the person who buys “new” anything usually experiences the most depreciation from that buy, and the person who gets it second hand obtains the most value for that purchase.

    Also..Grace is definitely ADORABLE!
    Sean @ Frugal Money Man recently posted…How Much Are You Really Worth?

  • Almost all the furniture in our house is second hand. Whenever a friend or relative would say they were looking to get rid of something, we’d check it out and if it was better then we already had, we took it and got rid of our old one via Craigslist, charity donation, etc.. I can see folks wanting everything to match, I’m fortunate that much of what we acquired does since much of it was “sets” or pieces that matched what we already had. I pretty much gag and choke when I see what a “set” of furniture goes for new at a store.

    • Lol! Me too!!! I like for it to match too but they don’t have to match exactly. Just you know…in the same general family/shade/period. 🙂

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