By Lady Saoirse
When I wrote last, I discussed the value of removing things from your home. Junking up your home with things that you have no use for is bad physically and spiritually and I gave my case for cutting the clutter to make room for what you really want in your home. Now, I’d like to make the case for bringing secondhand things into your home. Why buy secondhand?
First, you can usually get secondhand things cheaper or even free. There are thrift stores in nearly every town and people are always begging people to come get things they are giving away. I rehomed a piano and sectional for free. The people were grateful for them and came and picked them up themselves. It helps people clean out their houses and it helps you get reasonably priced things you can use and love. Buying second hand will help you to save money in the long run and even if you are wealthy, it’s always better to invest your money than to blow it on an expensive item that you could get for a lot less money if you bought it secondhand.
You can oftentimes get better quality goods secondhand than buying them new. Most of what is available in conventional stores is made cheaply on assembly lines by people who are trained just to make that item. They are usually not skilled crafts persons, carpenters, or artists. Quite often, you’re getting merchandise that’s made from cheap materials that falls apart within a few years. If you buy from vintage stores, you’re buying real wood furniture that might be 50 to 100 years old and will last another 50 to 100 years. That means you can buy furniture once in your lifetime and never worry about it again. If you buy it from a secondhand store, you’re buying something that’s already made whether it’s cheap or not, so you’re not supporting the big businesses that make things they designed to fall apart.
So yes, these things will be slapped together, but there is something even darker that can happen. A lot is made basically using slave labor in sweat shops. If you care about people but only buy sweatshop made goods, how much good are you actually doing with your money? Buying secondhand will make sure you don’t help keep those unethical sweatshops in business.
If you like having a unique interior, look no further than secondhand stores for pieces that are one-of-a-kind. Sure, some of these pieces were mass produced decades ago when a lot of people owned the same type of thing, but what are the chances that everybody you know has the same things you get at the secondhand store today? It’s always fun to go to the secondhand stores and find an unusual treasure that is unlike anything else that you see in modern stores. If you are a creative person, you can find pieces that need to be cleaned up or repaired and you can personalize them to make them your own.
Keep in mind what secondhand shop you are buying from. Some chain thrift stores get free donations, pay staff far below minimum wage, and pocket the profits. However, antique malls and privately run secondhand shops spend their time gathering decent things for you to buy and they don’t take advantage of anybody in the process. They go to estate sales, yard sales, and auctions to find all the things that they put in their stores. Some of them even redo the things that they sell, repairing them, repainting them, or even just cleaning the dust of ages off them. At the independently run thrift stores, their staff get paid a fair wage even if it’s not a lot of money and they don’t take advantage of developmentally disabled people like some of the big chain thrift stores do. Buying from those businesses supports that wonderful business practice.
Finally, buying secondhand keeps things out of the landfill. This is where the magic comes in. How many Pagans do you know who are serious about reducing their carbon footprint? Recycling, reducing what is used, and reusing things are all a part of that. What better way to reduce what is produced in factories and reuse things than to shop secondhand?
There are so many different reasons to buy things second hand instead of new as often as possible. I won’t lie. I don’t buy undergarments, shoes, mattresses, or pillows second hand; however, most of our furniture, art, decorations, and servingware was purchased secondhand. Maybe you’re not somebody like me who loves antiques but you love a good bargain. Not all secondhand stores are antique malls or thrift stores. In my hometown, we have an upscale ladies clothing resale store and we have a “new to you” resale shop that sells things for the home. We have saved thousands of dollars over the years buying used things as opposed to brand new things every time we shop.
Think it over, why don’t you? You could do a lot of good for the environment and your community in general by buying more things secondhand and your pocketbook will thank you for it.
As a Witch, it’s one magical way that I move my resources around to benefit my household and community as much as possible. Maybe you’ll like buying secondhand things as much as I do.
Lady Saoirse has studied magic and lore for most of her life but started walking her own Magical Path after being spiritually reborn in the desert. Today she is a High Priestess for The Temple of the Goddess, she is a psychic advisor and spiritual counselor, she is a member of the spiritual family at The Magical Druid in Ohio, and she shares her gifts as a Psychic and Content Writer for Spiritual Blossom. She has written for Mysticsense and PaganPagesOrg emag.