You’ve probably heard of Habitat for Humanity, but have you heard of Habitat for Humanity ReStore? I hadn’t until last year, when my dad told me about a ReStore in downtown Frederick, MD. ReStores are nonprofit home improvement and household goods stores that sell gently used items like furniture, building materials, and appliances. Since ReStores are owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, they sell donated items to raise funds for building Habitat homes. In addition to providing an excellent, tax-deductible donation center for individuals and businesses, ReStores promote conservation by re-using materials and furniture instead of sending them to local landfills, where more than 40 percent of space is filled with construction materials (citation).
I absolutely love this concept because it meets multiple needs: those who want to donate gently used items, those who want to help fund their local Habitat for Humanity, and those who want affordable household goods (or DIY projects!). And let me tell you what—this place is a treasure trove if helping others, affordability, and recycling are important to you. And if you love DIY projects, this place is definitely for you.
If you’ve never been to a ReStore, they typically have a regular storefront that is attached to a much bigger warehouse. The storefront had the good stuff, and the warehouse has the gently used (read: needed some TLC) stuff. It’s amazing what people get rid of, and ReStores truly do prove that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. And you’re not dumpster diving, here. Habitat for Humanity is a well-run organization, and that really shows in their ReStores. Here are some items from the Frederick, MD ReStore’s Facebook page:
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I’ve been to three different ReStores, and I’ve never been let down. In fact, Habitat recently opened a new ReStore in Silver Spring, MD, and it is HUGE! This ReStore is one of two Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland Restores; the other is in Gaithersburg. When we visited the new Silver Spring location a few weeks ago, the employees told us that they were having a hard time turning product and couldn’t keep up with the high number of donations. We told them we were glad to help and took two wonderful, sturdy shelving units home that day for only $30. Despite needing some love, they far eclipsed the wobbly, four-year-old Target shelves we had been planning to ditch for a while. That’s another thing about ReStores. You’ll often find very nice—even antique—items for incredibly reasonable prices. And remember—it’s all for a good cause.
Here is one of the shelving units with the shelf taken out:
And here are the two shelving units painted. I used Americana Decor Chalky Finish in Primitive on the exterior and removable shelves and Vintage on the interior (finished with one coat of the Ultra Matte Varnish). We stacked them on top of one another to save space, and they are plenty sturdy enough to hold all of Mike’s text books and binders. Thanks, ReStore!
We also recently purchased a desk from our local ReStore, which I’m very excited to start working on. It’s exactly what I was looking for, but it just needs a little TLC. I’m sure there will be many more Habitat for Humanity ReStore DIY projects in the future.
If you’re interested in donating to your local ReStore, you can look one up by zip code here. Shopping and donation hours vary by ReStore, as do volunteer programs. If you can’t haul a bigger item, our local ReStore picks up donations, so yours might do the same. Additionally, ReStore created this handy guide outlining acceptable donation items—this guide will also give you an idea of what you’re likely to find in your local ReStore.
For my local friends, here are my go-to ReStores:
- ReStore Metro Maryland (Silver Spring and Gaithersburg)—they even have a Virtual Showroom. They also have a Facebook page.
- ReStore Frederick, Maryland—they list some items on their Facebook page and even have a Creative Ideas page to share recycling/upcycling inspiration.
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