While I like to keep my possessions and house décor minimalistic, I still like to have some pretty things that Spark Joy. Years ago I used to buy new, expensive household items which would eventually contribute to landfill. Now I love the challenge of finding the things I buy through second hand, thrifted, gifted or free channels. Basically from any place that does not contribute to new production and waste, but instead utilises what already exists. I also enjoy donating items I no longer need or want, and in this way contributing to the ‘circular economy’ of stuff. This is a very convenient habit for me as there’s a charity bin meters from my apartment and a huge variety of second hand shops throughout Helsinki.

The second thing I’m conscious of now whenever I buy anything, is ensuring the items are made of materials that are easily reused, recycled or compostable, such as glass, metal, wood and paper. Here are some of my favourite places to go thrifting and some recent finds.


recycle shop

The recycle centre (Kierrätyskeskus in Finnish) in the Kyläsaari area of the Hermanni district was one of the first places we visited upon moving to Helsinki to find furniture and other household items for our new place. While we didn’t come across anything then, I have since visited numerous times and discovered some amazing bargains- from books to glassware to kitchen items and craft supplies.


thrifted bottles.png
There is shelf upon shelf of interesting and unique second-hand and vintage glassware


As well as glassware there is also a plethora of ceramics and crockery. A favourite find so far has been this 2 euro blue jug- perfect for flowers or growing plants.


I love blue and white items like these plates, baking dish and jar. As I did not find a use for the jar after a few weeks of purchasing it, I donated it, hoping someone else would find joy in it.

blue plates.jpg



I also love to grow succulents in vintage style cups and jugs.


The recycle store also has many shelves of DVDs, CDs, records and books- mainly in Finnish or Swedish but with a small section in English 🙂

books thrifting
The large selection of DVDs, records and books


My favourite books to find are travel guides (I particularly like Eyewitness Travel Guides for their copious pictures and maps) and stories of foreign lands. All the books below cost me between 0.5 – 2 euro each.

books colour.jpg


There’s also a whole section for craft and stationary supplies, with boxes full of sorted treasures, like scraps of leather, lace, felt, ribbons and a collection of old book covers (bottom right).

pencils book
There are pens, pencils and sometimes pretty damn cute notebooks. I love this bundle of brightly coloured unused pencils.


Finally, there’s a big clothes section and another level full of furniture. While I haven’t bought any clothes from the recycle centre, there are two amazing vintage/second hand stores in Helsinki that I’m obsessed with. I have another post planned for details on these stores and tips on buying second hand clothes- I haven’t bought anything new for over a year and haven’t been happier with my wardrobe 🙂





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