Saturday, March 23, 2013

Being Thrifty Ain't Easy

Do you ever read those blog posts that randomly insert, "I picked up this [insert item] from my local Goodwill/thrift shop" or "I found the greatest [blank] at the thrift store this weekend."  Well I'm here to give a little PSA to you fine folks, thrifting ain't easy. There's a reason the stuff [ahem, crap] in thrift stores is cheap----- it's mostly junk.  Sifting through it all is pretty time consuming. Unfortunately, the whole thrift shop concept doesn't lend itself to perfectly arranged displays and organized racks.  There are a lot of  times I walk into my local Goodwill, scrounge around, but end up leaving empty handed.  

In order to increase my scrounging efforts and in an effort to accessorize our new casa, I started to utilize some new tactics.  
First tip: I started going to different Goodwills.  I'm fortunate that between home and work, I am always near several Goodwills.  A quick pop into a couple every other week or so doubles my chances at finding some treasures.  I'll also note that the Goodwills near my work are in a "richer" part of town, so I benefit from rich people's junk---AKA gold mine.  This past week I came across this planter in perfect shape for $3.  I mean who is giving this stuff away?  Rich people, you be crazy, but I love you for it.

Second tip:  It's important to think outside the box for your sought after items.  For example, I've been looking for planters lately to accomodate some new houseplant purchases.  After a few trips to Goodwill and coming up short on smaller planters [unless you count the handmade kids' clay projects that Mom is throwing out when nobody is looking], I decided to think outside the standard variety.  After opening up my requirements a bit, I came across these two cuties.

Neither of these were originally planters, but add a little succulent and you'd never know. (Note: these have no drainage holes and likely wouldn't work for plants that need constant watering, but I'm going to try my luck with dry-loving succulents)

Third tip:  BOOKS- buy them.  I love the look of antique books and have actually started collecting the Reader's Digest Condensed Books that have the most beautiful covers.  My mom gave me my first one, and now I'm obsessed with the hunt for more.

The covers and spines of these books are adorable and come in all different colors and patterns.  However, in order to find these books, you have to dig.  And in addition to digging, you have to be prepared to look like a legitimate crazy person by removing the paper jackets of the books in order to find the gems.   This extra step led me to these over the past couple of weeks to add to my collection:
(Vintage Walt Whitman poems collection and selected works of
Shakespeare? Yes, please.)

I love using my Reader's Digest books on bookshelves and buffet tables around the house for their pops of color and hope to find even more to add to my collection. 

Final Goodwill tip: patience and perseverance is a must.  If you are looking for a specific item and need it ASAP, the thrifting method isn't gonna cut it.  Months ago I saw a vintage scale show up in a Pinterest image, and ever since then I have been hoping to find one for my own kitchen.  I wasn't having any lucky at antique malls or Goodwill, so I turned to Etsy and Craigslist.  That was mistake as I didn't find anything for cheaper than $100.  Well patience paid off, friends, when I came across my newest kitchen accessory hidden away in an obscure antique mall.
Goodwill hunting [arr arr] isn't for the faint at heart.  It can be time consuming and frustrating at times, but at the end of the day, I love the thrill of the hunt.  And while popping into Homegoods or shopping on Etsy might be easier, I like knowing that I found some of my favorite house accessories second hand.  

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