Making a nice home & a some new friends.
The question I’m asked most often about living on Oahu is, “Isn’t that really expensive! Well the answer is Hell Yeah!
Especially coming from the Midwest, where I think the cost of living is marginal in comparison. Oahu is a very cosmopolitan island. There are plenty of resources on the island for filling your home with whatever you need. There are “big box” stores such as Best Buy, Home Depot and the “local Home Depot”, City Mill. There are several furniture stores, including, REDKnot, C.S.Wo and INspiration and Ashley Furniture. And thank goodness there’s also value favorites, Walmart and Tarje’ (translation: Target).
Thing is, when you’ve relocated and you need so many things all at once finding every little (and large) thing you need could really break the bank. Every item costs more here due to the pricey shipping process. This also means a very limited supply of anything you may be looking for.
There is an invaluable resource here on Oahu. It is the community connector – Craigslist.
In case you’ve somehow never heard of Craigslist.org it is an online resource that connects employers, job seekers, buyers and sellers, community groups, real estate partners and so much more. I think its safe to say that Craigslist changed the classified ads game.
Of course Craigslist is available worldwide, but in one of the most remote places to live in the world, it was a lifesaver.
I am a big fan of vintage and antique items. I also don’t feel “a certain kind of way” about using most pre-owned items. I am a lover of bright and shiny new things, but have no qualms about giving a used item a bright and shiny new home.
One of the ironies of the challenges of shopping for your household on Oahu is that someone else is always leaving and clearing their home. Military families being re-assigned, people deciding island life isn’t for them after-all and local families expanding their horizons provide great opportunities to help a relocating family and help myself at the same time.
Another common situation is that people end up with duplicate items if they shipped household goods from the mainland. By the time they arrive – it took our shipment 5 months, they have already purchased it again. So they sell off things in their storage units.
One thing I learned the hard way – check for termites. One of my first HI Craigslist buys, a dining room set had termites in two of the chairs. No worries though. Lesson learned and since then I’ve been very careful.
Great finds AND new friends.
One of the not so obvious benefits of “shopping” on CL is the people you meet! Almost every person wants to hear my story – if I’m not military, then what the heck am I doing here. It’s a regular reaction to meeting a Black woman on Oahu. Remember African-Americans are only 1.8% of Oahu’s (and Hawaii’s) population. Once I get past that conversation, people love to chat and compare life experiences.
I’ve been given gifts, invited out to party, served tea and have simply made great connections in general.
I actually found one of my best friends on Craigslist – our dog, Miles Davis! My husband and I were out for brunch and continued a pet adoption conversation we’d been having for months. I told him that I was finally ready for a dog and he jumped on CL on his phone. It was meant to be because that is a “me behavior”, not his at all. Then he shows me this picture and says the military family is relocating. I was hooked! Call them now! Before the day was over we had our baby.
A peek into my CL treasure chest.
I thought it would be fun to share some of my cool and practical CL treasures. Remember we’ve been using most of these items for at least two years – so they are in a more used condition than when I bought them. See if you can find my dog Miles in some of the pictures 😊 He likes to follow me from room to room.
I apologize in advance for the picture line-up – I still working on my skills 🙂
Please leave me a comment or question or share your Craigslist experiences. Mahalo!