Updated: Apr 24
These are strange times we’re living in. Much of the nation is covered by “stay-at-home” orders. Many of our favorite businesses are shuttered or operating under restrictions. The days of leisurely browsing home décor and hardware stores, flea markets, and antique shops in person are over—for the time being. That doesn’t mean we have to stop creating. In fact, now more than ever, feeding our creative sides is critical to our mental health. Read on for a fun idea on how you can keep the creative juices flowing and maybe even get the family involved.
We all have items in our homes that haven’t caught our eye in long time. Now’s the perfect opportunity to rethink those pieces. Take a walk around your home and place a plain piece of paper or an index card on every piece of furniture. (What counts as furniture? Click here.)
If you have kids, get them involved. Enlist them to be the flea market owner. Have them name their business, create a sign, and write the price of each furniture item on the pieces of paper or index cards. Prices in your home flea market do not have to be actual or even reasonable. No real money will be exchanged. If you don’t have fake money in one of your board games, make some, or you can create a fake checkbook out of some folded paper. Your stay-at-home flea market can be as simple or elaborate as your family wants it to be.
Once the flea market is open for business, walk through each room, considering every piece of furniture carefully. Do you like it? What do you like about it? Do you use it? How and how often do you use it? Would/Could you change anything about it?
The answers to these questions will help you determine the following:
1. If you would buy or acquire this piece of furniture all over again.
2. If this piece of furniture belongs in its current position or place in your home.
3. If there is anything you can do (i.e. paint, strip, remove doors, add legs or moldings, etc.) to refresh the piece or make it work better for your family.
4. If it’s time to sell or donate the piece to someone else.
If you’re taking inventory of your items alone, then you can jot ideas on the pieces of paper or index cards, then decide if there’s a project you want to tackle while you’re safe at home. Materials are available via online and telephone ordering through big-box and local hardware and craft/hobby stores, where shipping and/or contact-free delivery is available. If you normally purchase paints and/or materials from a favorite local business or organization, check with them first to see if they are conducting business from a safe distance. You might be surprised at what’s still open and available.
If you’re kids are involved, determine which piece of furniture you want to buy, and let the haggling—and giggling—begin. When a price is agreed upon, encourage the kids (if old enough) to “do the math” and “ring you up,” including adding the appropriate sales tax for your state. For extra fun, the kids can make a prediction. Have them secretly draw a star on the back of the price tag on the piece they think you will buy. If you end up “buying” the piece with the star, they win a special treat … maybe an extra hour before bedtime or another round of Stay-at-Home Flea Market.
Soon enough, life will be back to some semblance of normal. Until then, take stock of what you have, make a plan to refresh your items and spaces, and look for the beauty and simple joys in everything you have and do.