Alternate Title | How to Not Achieve Hoarder Status
I love thrifting, it is one of my all time favorite ways to kill time. Especially by myself. And that is saying something because I generally don't enjoy spending time alone. I love the thrill of the hunt, finding unique interesting items that every other Tom, Dick and Harry won't have. I love retro stuff. I love a good bargain. I love sifting through things and finding that treasure that is waiting for you at the bottom of the pile.
Over the years, I have decided that thrifting is a little bit of an art. And that there is some strategy involved. After all, you want a home full of lovely, useful, curated objects, not a home that feels like a thrift store. I feel like I have finally started to figure out what works for me and what doesn't. I have definitely made my own share of regrettable purchases, and taken bags of things back to be donated.
So how do you end up with a home full of lovely things and not an intervention? Carefully of course... Here are my tips.
1. Do you need it? Note, I'm using that word "need" a little loosely here, not true survival style in the sense of food, water, shelter and fire. For the average household, you will need some plates and silverware. You need serving utensils, containers for organizing, basic household stuff. That's what I'm talking about here. For example, I recently picked up some ice cube holders - fun? not necessarily. Useful? Definitely.
2. Are you replacing something? Replacements are fine in my book, as long as the old item is actually getting donated (or maybe even tossed). Something comes in, something goes out. We all have those things - kind of useful, but maybe a bit broken, or out of style. If you find a better fit, the style is better and the price is right, snatch it up. And say good-bye to that falling-apart-silverware-organizer that is driving you crazy! Wait, that's just me? Oh well. (the replacement I found is pictured above - sooo much better!)
3. Would you be willing to pay full price? This a question I ask myself. This one is definitely not a hard and fast rule, but it definitely helps when I'm on the fence about something. Sometimes, we tend to buy things just because they are a good deal - and for me that is never a good idea. Being a good deal should be a bonus. Just because something is a "good deal", is not a reason to buy it - it's not a good deal if you don't need it or love it, that's money you just threw away. I've re-donated way too many clothes because I didn't pay attention to this one...
4. Will you actually use it? Be realistic. You know yourself. Something can be totally darling, just your style but also somewhat unpractical. So the question is will you actually use it? Example, I was at an antique store and saw this little hand cranked ice crusher, just sitting there looking super cute and in my perfect color. Joe and I had already bought a fridge, and specifically decided not to get one with a space hogging ice machine. So when we needed crushed ice, we were literally putting it a plastic bag and smacking it on the counter (and startling our guests I might add). So I knew that I would totally use that thing, but I'm probably the odd one out in that scenario.
5. Go often and be willing to leave empty handed. If you want to find good stuff, you have to be willing to often. And you also have to be equally willing to leave empty handed. Those days are not fun, but they happen. A houseful of awesome stuff is not found in a day. Its thrifting, it's not predictable - but that's part of the magic.
6. Limit items for the "future". It's definitely tempting to get things that will be perfect for when ___________ (fill in the blank). I have passed up cute toys that I would love for my future kids, perfect decor for the beach house of my dreams. I do have a tiny pair of salt & pepper shakers for my future camper, and a pair of enamelware mugs, but that's it. I don't want to lug around a bunch of stuff for "someday". The thrift stores will still be there, and I'll have a reason to go!
7. Limit purchases that need a lot of work. Another tempting area is the fixer uppers. Be realistic about how much time, energy and money you have. Nothing is more depressing than a pile of great finds in the garage sitting there rotting away while waiting for some TLC.
If you want so see more of my found treasures, check out my hashtag on instagram #shewentthriftingagain. And with all that said, (whew, that was a mouthful...) happy thrifting!! Hope you find something awesome!