A Non-Consumer Photo Essay

by Katy on May 20, 2011 · 5 comments

My coat closet, which is one of those “Harry Potter” under the stairs endeavors. I pulled everything out the other day and filled an entire Rubbermaid bin with excess hats, gloves and scarves. The wooden hangers and fabric organizer are both from Goodwill. You don’t have to shell out the big bucks at The Container Store to have an organized closet.

My older son's "Zero Waste" school lunch. The bottom half is filled with leftover Yakisoba noodles and the top has a cut up orange. I bought the Tiffin by exchanging an unwanted gift from a family member.


This large sketchbook and refillable graphite pencil were a birthday gift that my son received from the local art supply store yesterday. (This is not a normal practice.) The owner of the stores said it was because my son is one of their oldest customers. He had written a happy birthday message on my son's Facebook wall and told him to come in for something special. I am often overwhelmed by the wonderful people and businesses in my neighborhood!

This is a rare early morning photograph of my laundry line. Why? Because I ended up leaving the laundry out all night long, as I knew it wasn't going to rain. This was a first for 2011.

This is my older son's headboard. The wood was starting to split where the siderails attach, so I took it apart and my husband glued and clamped it. Real wood can be fixed, but particle board? Not so much.

I look around my house, and it is always in motion, even when the people are at a stand still. Glue is drying, water is evaporating from our clothes and all is well. None of it is a big deal, yet all of it gives me a quiet pleasure.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Ann May 20, 2011 at 9:03 am

I often hang my laundry the night before, because I don’t have time to do it in the morning. I’m sure my neighbors think I’m crazy hanging clothes in the dark. But then, maybe they are used to it by now.


Kathryn May 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I love your photo essays. And I love your point about real wood being fixable. I think that’s the main difference between the higher-quality consumer goods produced a couple of generations ago and the crap that’s in stores today: fixability vs. planned obsolescence.


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl May 21, 2011 at 2:34 am

I love that about wooden furniture too…the fixability is awesome.


Ellie May 21, 2011 at 5:59 am

Haha, only three comments and already two of them about my first thought, – yeah for real wood and durable old consumer goods!

I furnished my house entirely second hand for two reasons: one, it ws cheaper, and two, REAL WOOD! I have furniture raging in age from over 100 years to a couple of decades, from a great-great somebody’s antiques to decent wood stuff from the 80s. Some of it is a bit scuffed up and could stand a refinishing – but it’s all still sturdy! A lot of it has been repaired over the years, but is still in better shape than some of the saggy, couple-of-years-old particleboard I see in other people’s houses.

I have no idea why people buy new particle board when they could get real wood second hand for the same or less money.


Kris May 22, 2011 at 10:58 am

Wow, I had never seen a Tiffin before. LOVE IT. Thanks for showing the pic. If the opportunity arises I plan to buy one for my son. My husband and son both pack lunches for work. I already have the soft side cooler bag and containers for my dh, but haven’t found a used bag for my son. This seems perfect and it is a cool looking container isn’t it?

When we lived in Turkey we lost our possessions in a flood. We took the insurance money and had most of our furniture custom made by local furniture makers. Not just real wood but no plywood at all, even the back of the dressers, and the best part is the drawers are all constructed with the dowel system. No nails holding the dresser drawers together. We moved so often and it was nice to so easily fix the drawers that came loose from the move. Press-board would have cracked and we would have been unable to fix it. When our Great Dane was a puppy he decided he needed to teeth on most of the furniture in our bedroom. The real wood nightstand was fairly easy to sand and re-stain. The “fake” tea cabinet was not “fixable”.


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