Monday, February 22, 2010

thrifty tips

A few people have been asking me about thrifting lately, so instead of just posting pictures of my latest items, I thought I would also share some things I've learned about thrifting along the way. I'm no expert, but I have found (through trial and error!) some good things to keep in mind when thrifting.

1. Don't have any expectations. Seriously, don't go to a thrift store expecting to find exactly what you want because you will leave empty-handed and depressed (been there, done that. Where is my mid-century heather-gray couch?).

2. Instead, keep an ongoing list of items you need/want, and just keep an eye out for them when you go thrifting. Sometimes I end up finding exactly what I want, just not right away.

3. Try to go to the same place, and go often. I go to GW about once a week. I divide my time between two stores, and I have mapped out a comprehensive browsing technique for both of them (I know, it sounds crazy. But sometimes you have to think like a Marine when you are thrifting).

4. One dirty little trick I learned? If I don't have a lot of time, I go straight to the clothes hanger outside the dressing room, which can contain some of the choicest garments. It's like letting everyone else do the work for you!

5. Try to think outside the box. If you are creative/crafty, you might just find something that is considered "trash" and turn it into treasure. This post from way long ago is something I found and refurbished.

6. Along that line- a lot of the items of clothing I have found (about 40% of my wardrobe is from GW) have been too big/too short/just needed TLC. With a few quick stitches you can fix a lot of those problems, so don't overlook the items that aren't your exact size or in perfect condition.

7. Don't be afraid to go home empty-handed. I am a weirdo and I just love thrifting for the experience, but it can be a little disheartening to leave without finding any treasures. I try to be really honest with myself when I buy anything. Will I really use it/wear it? If not, then I just don't buy it. My bank account and my hubby are thankful for that.

8. Remember, you will get dirty. Thrift stores are notorious for being gross. Just bring your hand sanitizer and a kleenex (in case it's dusty!), and dig in!

How about you? Do you have any great tips for thrifting that you would like to share?


  1. This is AWESOME, thanks for all the tips! Now I know I really want to go thrifting with you. And I never even thought of keeping a list of things I want so I know what I'm looking for. Good ideas!

  2. love the tips! thrifting is a serious addiction of mine, too.
    i agree that you can't go in expecting to find something exactly as you're picturing in your head - you WILL be let down, 99% of the time. however, there have been a few occasions where i absolutely score and find something just what i'm looking for. those trips are rare, though.
    i LOVE your little bird art and those shoes!

  3. I'm drooling over that egg basket. Maybe the reason I haven't found one is that I'm always thinking, "maybe today I'll find the perfect egg basket!"

    My tip to to find out if you have a Goodwill Outlet near you. You can buy clothing and household goods by the pound!

  4. Great tips! You know I love thrifting : ) And you have found some stellar finds! Love that last pic of your cabinet with all the cute owl pictures! It looks lovely!

  5. @ Anna- Yes, we will go thrifting. Consider this a crash course before the real deal. =)

    @ Sarah- Yes, I know what you mean! Every once in a while I find exactly what I want, and I can almost hear the angel choir singing!

    @ Hattie- Now I feel silly. I didn't even know that was an egg basket! I just thought it looked cool! Haha. Thanks!

    @ Joye- I know you love thrifting too, you are a girl after my own heart! Thanks- I actually made those little owls out of felt a while ago. I love owls!

  6. Oh Hattie- thanks for the GW tip too! I really need to check that out, what a great deal!



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