Shopping in your own home


For month and months I’ve been looking for a little table to put between my two rocking chairs in my living room. I have hunted in vain. We were making due with a little teak folding table – the kind you use when you have extra guests and need a table to eat off of; not the best thing.

Well today I went on a bit of a cleaning frenzy in my house. Does this ever happen to you? I seem to have a clutter/dust/mess threshold (that is much, much higher than my mother’s or my sister’s) and when I reach it I feel like if I don’t do something about it I might lose my mind. Today was one of those days.


The room that got the most thorough cleaning was our office. Oh my gosh. The dust bunnies were almost life-sized. Egads. I emptied desk drawers. I shredded. I sorted books for thrift and reselling. I took things down to the basement for storing. I vacuumed and actually dusted. It’s not quite done because there are things that only my hubby can deal with, so the pleading will begin this evening. Still, the room looks way better and just knowing that I got rid of a bunch of crap makes me feel fantastic.

The best part about it all, is that I found the table to put between my two rocking chairs. It’s actually my antique Singer treadle sewing machine. I’ve had this for over 3 decades. It’s the machine I learned to sew on and it would still work except the leather strap that goes around the wheel is torn. (Does anyone know where I can get that fixed in Abbotsford?)

I dragged this sucker from the office to the other end of the house and set it between the two chairs. On top of the machine is a manual typewriter I picked up in Kelowna at a garage sale years ago. I paid $5 for it. It works beautifully (except that I type so fast that the hammers always jam.) The best part of having a typewriter is watching kids try it. “Where’s the mouse?” is the most common phrase, “Where’s the screen?” is the second. They’re totally enthralled when I put paper in it and show them how it works. The “ding” at the end of the row always gets a smile.

My aching back is telling me that I should have a lower threshold and clean more often so that it’s not such a gargantuan task all at once. Nonetheless, I finally got my table, with the bonus conversation piece, and all it cost me was a little elbow grease and honest sweat.

How about you? Ever repurposed something in your own home that you’ve had for years?

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6 Responses to Shopping in your own home

  1. Doris says:

    I have the same problem with my treadle machine – the leather thing is broken. Was thinking maybe a cobbler could fix it? Do you know a good cobbler?

  2. Christina says:

    I have done this several times! When we got rid of our TV, I just looked around the house to fill the void space and in no time had some “new” decor! I especially did this when I knew we were moving soon (which means HUGE purge) and didn’t want to accumulate more stuff…. even the temporary baby room… I actually used a rubbermaid box with a cloth over it for a nightstand. Now we’re going to be moving into an apartment here and the thrifty decorating will begin… we’ll see what we find here:) I think I’ll really miss the MCC store though!

    • hi christina! i’d be super curious to know if there’s any thrift shopping to speak of in the philippines. if there is, let’s do a joint blog post about it – you take photos and i’ll interview you!

  3. Jen Burkholder says:

    hey ang, you could use your typewriter as your home guest book! put in some nice paper, and when company comes, have them type the date, their name, and leave a comment.

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