Rescuing Pooh Bear


Sunday was a great day. We had Zero Plans. The weekends that we have very little to do, we usually look for a fun, inexpensive project to do around the house. There is always something to be done. I was surfing the web as I drank my morning coffee. I checked my email. I decided to open up the “Nextdoor” notification email. It’s usually a message about someone who is mad about the subdivision gate being broken. Or, it’s a sad or serious message to be on the look out for theft or criminal activity. Not fun reading always, but either is the evening news these days. Sometimes there’s some cool cheap stuff for sale and that’s fun. I usually search for people throwing away cabinets or wanting to get rid of their pavers. Or, really anything we can refurbish or restore or rescue and give new life. I scanned the page and before I could even seriously read it all I saw my favorite word on a beautiful kid’s bedroom set — FREE— to a good home. I tempered my excitement and opened the photos to make sure it was as good as it seemed. The post was from our neighbor just down the road who wanted to give away his son’s Disney ‘Winnie the Pooh’ themed bedroom set. Can you say Jackpot ?!?. He even lived on our same street just around the corner. Our little boy would need a new set as he grew into a big boy bed within the next year. Plus, we “Frugal Forward-ed” his existing dresser from a thrift shop and sadly it wasn’t our favorite refurbished  project. His overall nursery project room was fabulous. It is “Bear” themed to go with the nickname his sister coined before he was born. My husband worked tirelessly last December to hand sand and stain tons of boards to make his “cabin” complete and totally perfect for the day he was born. But, more on that fun project later. That was such a great home project on a shoestring budget that it deserves its own post. Today the fun was about Pooh Bear and the amazing bed set our friendly kind neighbor wanted to gift to a good home. It was one of those rare finds that seemed to good to be true. I immediately sent a message saying I was interested and could pick it up right away. I know after much despair over the years that the amazing free stuff goes fast. Our neighbor messaged me back within 30 mins and he said it was ours if we wanted it. Sold!!! We arrived at the house down the street and it was as great as it seemed in the photos.  His younger son was now in 7th grade so ‘Winnie the Pooh’ was just not cutting it anymore. They had a brand new set coming soon and needed this old set out of the house. They didn’t really want to sell it if they knew it was going to a good home for another kid to love after their son loved it well for 9 years. We told them about our toddler who would need a big boy bed coming up soon and showed them photos of his cool bear themed room. The cabin like feel of the Pooh themed furniture would have a new great home and fit right in. Deal done. The only money that changed hands was because my husband also spotted a Peter Pan framed poster they looked to be getting rid of as well as they were re-do everything in their son’s room. We offered him $20 for it. Our 4 year old daughter is crazy for Peter Pan and it gave us an excuse to pay our neighbor something for at least helping us load the set in the truck. So, we also got an additional “deal” for the day. She was over the moon about her gift and it is already hanging up in her Peter Pan themed bedroom. Yes, it was all too ironic overlap on themes; we know. We unloaded the truck as we sweated profusely because July in Florida is enough to make anyone sweat like a bear. (Pun intended) The set was in pretty good shape but we knew it needed to be thoroughly cleaned and somewhat restored before it made it to our son’s room. We got to work right away. We cleaned every inch of the dresser, night stand, and mirror. For fun, you get to see the finished room first. Baby bear got the benefit of a new dresser and night stand immediately. We will add the mirror and twin bed in time.

Check out his new additions to his bear-y cabin themed room:

This is the dresser once cleaned and touched up with Old English scratch remover. I was scared of using the ‘dark wood’ treatment. I was worried it wouldn’t match but it had amazing coverage and perfectly restored the whole dresser.

Genuine Disney seal. Itty-Bitty Price.

Restoring the mirror that will be added once Baby bear is a wee bit bigger.

The night stand had a small imperfection. It was sticky. We were always big ‘Goof Off” fans, But, one day we discovered lighter fluid will do the same thing and is less than half the cost.

Good as new! After the cleaning, lighter fluid treatment and the “Old English” scratch remover rubbed over the entire surface, it looks like it came right off the show room floor.

To top it all off, we found a $2 dollar billed shoved behind one of the drawers in the mirror. But, we of course didn’t keep it since it was from our neighbor just down the road. We have immense integrity in our home, and it was not ours to keep. We went ahead and were sure we returned it to his son, But, had this been an anonymous thrift find that would have meant we even made money on the deal!

It was a phenomenal find and an incredible deal with just a little hard work and elbow grease it will live on for years to come and it will always have a ‘story.’ My favorite thing about how our family ‘rescues’ and reuses items is that nearly everything in our home has a story we can tell.

And this family can tell a story. We’re Irish.

Two Cent Tip: Don’t overlook any options to search for true ‘finds’ and ‘deals.’ Living a frugal forward lifestyle is a lot more than just coupons and budgets and checkout apps (though we use those too) The virtually brand new entire bedroom set, perfectly themed for our boy’s bedroom for years to come, we ended up with for free (and about a year before my son will truly need it) is one great example.

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