I have broken the secret world of successful thrifting into a two part series. We will cover the ever-so-important preparation phase today, and tomorrow, we'll brain storm some amazing projects, all inspired by some really common thrift store finds.
Here is an awkward and embarrassing introduction to today's topic. This is also video proof that I am SO much better in writing.
I wasn't lying. There is one huge part of thrift store shopping that I think most people, unfortunately forget. And that is what I am going to focus on today. The preparation.
If you are like me, preparation may not be your thing. I like to get inspired and then puruse a project all within the same 15 minute time period. I then love to execute a project as fast as I can, because I get SO PUMPED about seeing the final product. BUT. HOWEVER. In the world of thrift store shopping, preparation is KEY in order to have successful trips.
Here are a few practical ways that you can focus on prepping for your thrift store shopping days:
MAKE A LIST
Seriously. Not just in your head. Keep a list on the fridge. Keep a list in your planner. Write it on your hand for crying out loud! But please, right it down. As you walk around the house, as you clean up your kids room, as you brush your teeth in the bathroom. Any moment those thoughts hit you, like "Man, this blank wall really could use a photo gallery" or "Gosh I wish I had a cuter dish to put this soap in" ... Write it down! This step will not only ensure that you don't forget the things you need when heading to the thrift store, but it will help you not leave with a buggy full of stuff that you will eventually give back to the thrift store, because you didn't even need it in the first place!
Here is an example of what my list looks like today:
- Liquor Decanter (Maybe rocks glasses too?)
- Mason Jars (bathroom, toothbrushes)
- Fabric (curtains for office)
- Luggage (good suitcase?)
- Bike Basket
- Mirror with orange frame? (acid wash)
- desk for Burley?
So not only do I list out the items that I am looking for, I make sure that I note what I originally intended it for. Otherwise. I seriously... would just forget all of it. Not proud. Just telling the truth.
When you are specifically looking for clothes, it is most important to ensure that you check the hot spots of any thrift store. My list goes like this:
- Accessories (Purses/Clutches), Scarves, belts
- Dresses (nothing current, usually only looking for vintage)
Those are the areas that I find the most luck, in that order. It is important to look for pieces that will work well with OTHER items you already own. That's when you have the most success in the clothing arena of the thrift store. We will talk more about this next time as well.
KNOW THE DATES
Every thrift store (at least that I have ever frequented) has a specific day each week that they restock most of their product. They will also rotate out old product to keep frequenters like us, happy. KNOW THOSE DATES. If you hit your local thrift store on these dates, you will be more likely to have the pick of the litter. Just give them a call and ask when they normally restock.
MAKE IT FUN - BRING A DATE
So, not that I think that a thrift store shopping spree would be a great idea for a first date (unless you are dating a superhero... don't let that one out of your sight!), but you SHOULD commit to making your thrift strore trip a blast. I am not normally an "I love to shop with my friends" girl, but the thrift store is different. You have to be dedicated to shopping and searching a LOT. You have to be willing stay out for a while, taking time to search for treasures. This is SO much more fun when you have a buddy by your side. So plan ahead, invite your friend, grab an ice coffee to go, and enjoy your day. Trust me. It is so much better this way.
TAKE YOUR TIME
This is super important. I know I say that a lot. But it is a lot true! Thrift store shopping takes time. Don't give up. You have to pass by 1 million pieces of trash before you find your 1millionthand1 treasure. This takes planning ahead to have a good chunk of your day to browse, take a lunch break, browse again, take a coffee break, and browse again.
I hope you find this helpful. I PROMISE that if you follow these tips, you will not only leave the thrift store with EXACTLY what you need, but you will have a blast doing it, and you will get home a carload of things that you actually have intentions for. I promise. I promise.
Make sure you tune in for the next part of the series, where I will share some AMAZING transformation ideas for all of the goodies you find while you are out!