So when I came across a few episodes on the A&E network site of a show called "100 Dollar Makeover," you can imagine how my ears pricked up. I watched the first episode, and it did not disappoint. This is a show where a team of three experts—a home organizer, a carpenter, and a designer—goes into a badly cluttered home and fixes the problem areas for just $100 per room. To stay within this ultra-slim budget, they use a variety of ecofrugal strategies, such as:
- Building from scratch. The carpenter shows off his skills by designing and building a custom-made piece to fit the space for only the cost of the lumber.
- Creative reuse. Furniture pieces that don't work in one space may find a new home and a new purpose in one of the other rooms. Not only that, but they go rummaging through the rest of the house to find other items they can use in building their custom pieces. (In the episode I watched, they scavenged medium-density fiberboard, vinyl-covered cushions that they recovered for their new seating area, and a set of twin sheets that they turned into a window treatment for the bedroom.)
- Buying secondhand. Though they do make some items themselves, their three-day schedule doesn't allow them to construct everything from scratch, so some items get purchased from a big secondhand store (possibly a Habitat for Humanity ReStore or some local thrift shop). They even manage to talk the seller down on the price.
The only down side: as far as I can tell, there are only three episodes on the A&E website. Maybe I can find a friend who gets A&E...