Can we go to the Tip Shop?

One of my fondest childhood memories was going to the tip with my Dad on the weekend. I loved it because back in those days you were able to scavenge through the ‘rubbish’ and I would always without fail return with other people’s trash (which naturally become my treasure)!! It’s such a vivid memory and I’m certain that it is where my love for vintage treasures started. I’ve always been a collector, especially of second hard items; I love imagining the life certain objects might have had before me & who might have owned them.

Second hand objects always have a story to tell & as a storyteller I adore that.

I will be honest and say I also feel a bit like I reach ‘eco warrior status’ when I shop second hand shop.  Knowing that I’m the reducing landfill waste by giving objects another life in my home, fills me with a great sense of satisfaction.  Not only am I helping the environment by reducing waste; second hand shopping is also much cheaper… so I am helping my savings as well! #WinWin


I often feel so guilty when we go to the tip to drop off our garden waste and see good quality items being thrown into the massive skip bins and then being crushed by the machine. Whilst the kids love it when the machine is out, smashing TV’s and furniture, for me I just find it so wasteful. With de-cluttering and minimalism on the rise (yep we are all Marie Kondo bandwagon jumpers), I think it is really important to also think about where our ‘clutter’ and our unwanted pieces should go. To me there is no point in de-cluttering your life if you are just going to clutter up the world.  If you are a Brisbane local, the Brisbane City Council has recycle collection centres where you can drop off all your usable items (furniture, clothes, home wares etc) to.

A few weekends ago was a motherhood milestone moment for me, as I was able to recreate my own fond childhood memory of ‘tip shopping’ with Isla at the Brisbane City Council’s The Southside Tip Shop.  I’m also hoping that I’ve inspired Isla to love second hand shopping as much as I do!


Isla and I picked up some silverware cutlery, embroidered doilies, a basket, a toy ornament teddy for Isla and truck for Oliver and two made in Australia cups for the bargain price of $12!!

I can honestly say I have been second hand shopping for over thirty years and the best tip I have is to arrive early, when the store opens (8am for The SouthSide Tip Shop); otherwise all the bargains will be snapped up by others.  I also think it is easy to be overwhelmed by second hand stores as there really are a lot of items! It’s so important to go in with an open mind and not be searching for something in particular. On the weekend I knew I wanted to get some items for food styling, but I didn’t have anything specific in mind; which made everything I found seem like a bonus!


Do you love finding a bargain? What’s your favourite item you have bought second hand?

Emmy Xx


This post was written in collaboration with Brisbane City Council, all opinions are the authors own.

Published by emmyoneill


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