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Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Rules of Thrifting

Ok, to get started I must say that these are MY rules.  This is MY approach to thrifting and some tips I have learned. If you have more, please share!

I started by going to Habitat for Humanity's ReStore when we were redoing the kitchen cottage a year ago.  I scored a full set of cabinets for a fraction of the cost and was hooked on finding the deal.  I redid the whole kitchen on thrifty finds, but that is another post.

I then ventured into a Goodwill.  My rule was to by-pass the clothing, shoes and hit the home accessories.  Each GW has an aisle of Target items that are new (have been returned to the store), discontinued or damaged.  My first few visits, I would only buy from this aisle.

Like most things, I have evolved.  I am no longer a thrifting snob.

I hit the furniture first.  Pick it up, turn it over, shake it, sit in it.  I whip out my measuring tape and toss it in my cart or run to get a worker to put a sold sign on it.  Yes, I said run.  Act fast or it'll be scooped!

Then I go down each aisle.  I get on the floor and look at the bottom shelf.  I pick things up, look for a stamp, I run my finger along the edges.  If necessary, I put a magnet on it to see if it's real.

Then, I walk the textile area.  I look for fabric that I can reuse.

As a last effort to find the treasure, I checkout the area behind the front cashier (showcase).  This is where they keep the valuables.

Once in my car, I use handi wipes and get the crud off me.  It is a dirty sport and I dress accordingly.  Learn from me, do NOT wear white!

Eat before you go, or bring something with you.

Avoid using the bathroom at all cost!

If you cannot see beyond the obvious, do not thrift.  I rarely use an item for its intended purpose.

Go often.  Places restock constantly.

I have two fabulous friends who are starting out on their thrifting journey.  Both are classy, well dressed and stick out like sore thumbs!  That was once me.  Now people ask me questions since they think I work there!

No need to shower before you head out.  You may want to shower after!

A well stocked purse: gloves, tape measure, magnet, handi wipes, a pair of reading glasses.

It may be wise to buy a netti-pot.  Tons of dust at these joints and not good on the sinuses.

By no means am I an expert.  People have asked me questions and  this is what I do.

Got tips? Please share!

Hope this helps!



Mariaelena said...

I'm laughing out funny and so true!!...can't wait to see your treasures and what you did with them....Mariaelena

Deneen@dreaming-n-color said...

This is so true! I started out the same way. Now I am trying to figure out the pricing. I want to know if I am getting a good deal and sometimes I am not sure. Thanks for visiting me! I am your newest follower. Would love for you to follow me too!

SIL (sister-in-law) said...

Good tips! I have some to add....Don't look at clothing for clothings sake, feel textures and look at color. You can find 100% cashere, silk, wool, linen,hemp and leather too. These items can all be re-purposed for throw pillows, blankets, chair covers, etc. I sometimes look in the skirts section, because a large wrap skirt is basically a large sheet of material. Also, ironically, you can find hand sanitizer for sale in the Thrift Store!!

Tat said...

I love your kitchen. Very impressive work!

michelle@decorandthedog said...

Love your thrifting tips. So true.

I would add "leave when you see a scary man wandering around with 5 large kitchen knives"...oh Salvation Army...

Carrie @ Hazardous Design said...

Omg, you are so funny and this post is full of great tips! GW has a Target isle? Use a magnet? Look to the textile area for fabric to reuse? I wouldn't have considered myself a thrifting newbie, but your tips were news to me! Thanks :)

Jon'el said...

I live to thrift! Like seriously, that is all I think about at my sucky job. How many deals I am missing by being at my job, haha. Great tips.

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