Monday, February 7, 2011

One Man's Junk, Another Man's Treasure: Furnishing your home in Korea


Those who knew the Harrington's while they lived their Wyoming life will not be surprised to learn that the majority of furniture now gracing their Wookyeong-bill Apartment has been retrieved from the streets of Korea. Koreans love all things shiny and new. The Harrington's love all things cheap and used. (If you're not sure about this, check out our recent article regarding Melissa's love of a local thrift store). Surprisingly, these two worldviews collide in such a way that is highly beneficial to the Harrington's. In pursuit of new and improved, the Harrington's neighbors are constantly throwing furniture out to the streets (because in Korea there is a stellar process of recycling and garbaging and residents need only purchase a tax sticker, place it on the furniture item, throw it out on the street, and allow the powers that be come and take the items away.)

Back to the subject at hand, this discarded furniture then awaits a garbage truck to come and take it off to it's final destination. There tend to be enough days between first being set outside to final pick-up that scavengers have an opportunity to pick up a new piece of furniture to furnish their happy little home, enter the Harrington's. Since settling in their Wookeyongbill Apartment which was furnished with a bed, wardrobe, entertainment center/chest of drawers, dining table, two chairs, tv, microwave, refrigerator and washer the couple has added unto their furnishings by pulling in: a smaller dinning table, three short tables of varying size, three chairs and another entertainment center/chest of drawers. Even now there are two large wardrobes, a bookshelf and an old mattress (sketchy) sitting near the Harrington's apartment waiting for a new home...or disposal.

If you find yourself living in Korea, don't hesitate to pull some things in off the street and offer them new life. Bonus: leave the tax sticker on the item and when you're ready to move on or find a better street item, discard the original item 'free of charge'.

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