The Art of Thrifting

The Art of Thrifting

The items above cost around $1.00, and I heart them.

If you want something with real character then there is no better place to look than a thrift store.  My husband and I love to go thrift store shopping.   We almost look at it as a competitive sport for who can find the best deal.  You will have to sort through a lot of crap, but it is such a reward when you find a gem.  I have found art, furniture, clothes, jewelry and all sorts of fantastic items from thrift stores.  I tend to get more compliments from wearing a thrift store dress than one purchased from a department store.  I think it is because it is unique and you wear it with pride knowing that you paid under $10 for it. To make the most of your thrifting, I have the following tips.( All the items above cost less than $ 1.00 total)

1. Oh hello, friendly Thrift Store -Become acquainted with your local thrift stores.  Once you know them, you know if what goods they tend to carry.  Some thrift stores get new clothing with tags, directly from big box stores.  You also learn which stores are overpriced.

2. Have a list- I keep a running list on my phone of things to keep an eye for while shopping throughout the year.  If you know you want a large vase to spray paint turquoise like you saw in a home décor magazine, and then put it on your list.  I also keep in mind upcoming event that I might need a certain style of handbag or a simple cocktail dress.   Don’t forget Halloween costume ideas. Prom dresses, and white suits and can make you a pageant queen or Colonel Sanders in a flash.

3. Group Discount Days- If there is a “Senior Day” and you are not a senior citizen, don’t go.  I have found that the stores are too crowded it is easy for me to get frustrated with long checkout lines and just leave.  It is also better to go during the week than the weekend.

4. Bare Bones- Check the fabric- I can scan the dress rack pretty easily, by the texture and quality of the fabric.  There is no reason to purchase an inexpensive dress if it still looks cheap.  I use this rule with furniture.  I always look for good quality construction with desks, tables and chairs.  Once you have the bones, you can paint anything.

5. Dress it up- Don’t take it for face value. If you are creative and have vision then you can make it happen.  Clothes can be altered, fabric can be dyed and you can spray paint almost anything.

6.Less is more- Don’t let your “to do” list grow while shopping.  In the past I would purchase clothes or furniture that would rest patiently in my house waiting to be altered or refinished.  Be realistic, not a hoarder.

7.Read between the lines- I love to read and I enjoy reading real tangible books.  Thrift stores are a great place to expand your home library.  Most of the books are in fantastic condition and some have never been read.  To get rid of the musky smell that sometimes comes along with used books I place the book is the freezer for a few days before reading.

8. Investing – Don’t be afraid to spend a little more if you found a real deal.  I passed up some nice cowboy boots from a thrift store just because they were priced at $30.  I kicked myself all that fall for that move.

9. On the Fence-If you are really not sure, then put it back.  There is no reason purchase something if be donated back again.


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