Who Says They Won’t Change

I have to share a short story with you today.  This began with a text I received this morning from my daughter-in-law who lives out-of-town.  It simply said “you are going to be so jealous”.  I laughed and asked of what.  The reply was “of me”.  The explanation was that she found a business in her area that is right up my alley that she and her husband were checking out today.  After checking out the link she sent I knew this was something you, my readers, would appreciate.
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The non-profit business is called Construction Junction, and you can check it out for yourself here.   Their banner on their website is similar to the Target store’s logo (the red circles) with the motto Reuse More, Pay Less. If you scroll down the page you can click on the pictures to see the prices on the items.
don't let these things end up in the landfill.

don’t let these things end up in the landfill.

Construction Junction takes donations of just about everything you can imagine from your home, or business,  and resells it to those wanting to avoid purchasing new.  Not only do they sell used home improvement products, antiques, furniture, etc, they also give classes on how to restore items to keep people from tossing out items that still have life in them.
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If you are about to start a remodeling project the people at Construction Junction will come to your home and schedule a time to properly remove the items you will not be keeping free of charge to you.  This can save a homeowner a nice chunk of money on paying for a full demolition.
Construction Junction at the Home and Garden Show.

Construction Junction at the Home and Garden Show.

Construction Junction also accepts:
  • bicycles,
  • medical supplies,
  • tote bags which are donated to the local food bank
  • recycling of refrigerators (where they will remove the freon and recycle properly the remaining components).
  • You can also drop off working or non-working appliances, the non-working appliances will be scraped for you.
  • Free drop off of e-waste from cell phones to computers and televisions
  • Light bulbs (including CFL)
  • Batteries
  • Art and Craft supplies
  • Business surplus

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Construction Junction  also participates in Free Ride a program that rather than repair bikes is an educational facility to teach you how to repair your own.

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While this business is  a hundred  miles from my home it gives me so much hope that programs such as this will spread eliminating my access to furniture sitting on curbs waiting for garbage pick up.

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

The surprising thing about the message this morning was who sent it. I mentioned before that my daughter-in-law had never considered buying used items for her home before I introduced her to yard sales and consignment stores 7 years ago.  Before that her dream was to be like Carrie in Sex and the City TV series.
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Since that time she has filled her fixer-upper house with a mix of new and used items for a gorgeous home.  She is the one who was excited by the trashed chairs I found and proudly shows them off in her dining room today. And it is her kitchen we remodeled with paint eliminating any waste from the project as a Christmas present.  Consignment stores are now frequent destinations for her from clothes to books  and even some furniture.  She has looked to have the most inexpensive celebrations such as the birthday party she had for her daughter last week.
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The point is that for some people they may never have been introduced to restoration of “junk” and when they have been may very well embrace the lifestyle as a way to have more for less.  People can change!
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One last thing:  My daughter-in-law promises to take me to Construction Junction next time I come down to visit.

20 thoughts on “Who Says They Won’t Change

  1. What a great concept for a store, I can see why your daughter in law thought you would be jealous! I’ve just discovered something similar that I’m dying to go and visit where you can get a giant garbage bag of art/craft type off cuts etc for $25.00. Apparently they have all sorts of things from ribbons to paper, cardboard, vinyl and wood. I’ve just started teaching an art class once a week for young adults with Intellectual disabilities and need to get some materials.

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    • I can’t wait to hear what you think of your craft store. What a great concept, with all the crafters out there who can’t figure out what to do with their scraps that’s a great way of passing them on. Good luck with your class, I too have worked with adults, and children, both with physical and/or intellectual limitations and it can be very rewarding.

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  2. That sounds a great business. Lots of the components of their business happen around here separately, but not all under one umbrella like this one. Isn’t it a great feeling when you discover something like that and feel that maybe all is not lost after all!? And the story of your daughter-in-law proves that how we live our lives does have a knock-on effect on those around us…if she hadn’t met your son and you she might not have discovered the joys of secondhand.

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    • It is nice knowing there is one business that will take everything. I used to collect batteries from friends and families and transport them to the Ikea when visiting my son, then Ikea quit taking batteries, it’s been a struggle to do the right things when you don’t know where to take them.

      As for my daughter-in-law, I love that she has embraced simpler ways. She recently told me she made pancakes from scratch and will never use a box mix again. The best part about what she’s doing is that my son makes enough money to support her in a bit more of an expensive lifestyle, but she doesn’t see the reason to, in her words, waste the money if we don’t have to. I love watching her grow and mature. They met at age 16, actually she was a month shy of her 16th birthday. She was a completely different person from the one I know now.

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  3. As Heidi said, we also have a Habitat for Humanity store in our area that takes used building materials and furniture for sale. The profits all go to Habitat. While it’s not close to our house, it is our first destination if we have a home project in mind.

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        • I agree, building supplies are hard to pass on in many areas. We do have one business, very small one, that will take them around here, it’s almost 30 miles from where I live, but it’s at least an option. You can find things like hand rails, faucets, and lighting fixtures.

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    • The closest thing we have is the Salvation Army stores, but they have increased their prices so much it’s actually cheaper to buy things brand new. I would love to find an architectural salvage store around here, they are a blast to wander through, even if I don’t buy any thing it keeps me busy creating uses in my head.

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  4. That’s the kind of place I got the little cabinets that hold up the sewing worktable. It’s so much fun to look through. If I ever own a home again, that’s where I’ll shop. I too, was a buy it new kind of person. No longer.

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  5. Wowee … love her transformation! I’m so glad that attitudes are changing and that restoration is becoming “chic”. My husband used to own a construction company and he was passionate about thoughtful demolition and reusing materials. It was amazing, to me, that so many people thought that used building materials were somehow inferior and wouldn’t allow us to use them. The truth is that in many cases, it’s far superior to the stuff being sold new. I personally love the history of used materials … the thought that they were part of a home makes me feel a connection to all who lived there. And, of course, I love that it’s kinder to the earth. Hopefully we’ll start to see more companies like this in every city.

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    • I am sure it was frustrating to your husband. People can be so set in their ways. It’s just like one of our local businesses who when someone comes in asking for pesticides suggests natural products. The question they get in response isn’t will it work, but are you sure it’s safe. You would think they would ask questions about the chemical products, but no they still want them.

      You and I are a lot alike. I love the personality of the older things. I’ve lived in plenty of homes that were built in the early 1900s and even earlier. The details and time that went into things such as the window trim inside is amazing.

      I hope too that this idea will take off in more areas.

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    • So do I. What I think is great about this place is that they not only teach people how to restore and repair, but they do recycling of items for you that shouldn’t be in the garbage but we have no real way to recycle them.

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