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Roadsides, dumpsters, yard sales and second-hand stores can be a fun and creative way to acquire interesting, cheap (or free) and truly recycled furnishings for your home. You’d be amazed at what people will discard. Many of our home furnishing, including our plants, upholstered living room furnishings, chairs, dishes, and glasses came from roadsides, yard sales, and second-hand stores. However, before you bring some second-hand goods into your home, some real concerns must be addressed:

  1. Do a “sniff test”. If anything smells odd or moldy, beware, unless there is a way to remove the moldy parts (e.g. discard the moldy cushions on an otherwise desirable sofa and replace them).
  2. Vacuum thoroughly to remove pests and their eggs and other unwanted matter.
  3. Let sit outside for a couple of weeks, exposing as much surface area as possible to the sun to kill pests and their eggs (e.g. take cushions off a sofa or chair and expose them separately). Obviously if there are slipcovers they should be washed.
  4. Dust liberally with a natural desiccant like Borax to kill pests and their eggs and then vacuum after a few days.
  5. Stay way from scavenging electronics, as they are a typical home for roaches and other insect pests.
  6. Avoid gas-powered appliances, which may have gas leaks.
  7. Use insect –repelling aromatherapy essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, thyme, lavender and lemon grass, to chase away pests before you bring a “found” object into your home.
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