My house is by no means the most organized I have seen. It does not look like the inside of a decorator’s magazine. When people comment that they love how I have decorated the place. I kind of laugh to myself when they say things like “where did you get that, I love it?” The fact is my husband and I are on a tight budget for home decor items that are not essential and I have to cut corners wherever I can. So, most things have been purchased from thrift stores, discount stores, or garage sales. I can’t think of anything other than our couch, in our living room that was not at least 50% off of retail. I understand, a lot of people are scared of thrifting. They think that you can’t find anything good or that they will need to take a bath in Pure-ll when they get home to get rid of all the nasty germs from the filth in thrift stores. Well, ok that last part is kind of true. The bottom line is, most of my favorite items were thrifted and there are many reasons I go almost every week.
8 Reasons I LOVE thriting/vintage shopping
8. it’s a giant Treasure hunt out there.
Sure, you have to sift through things that you may very well consider garbage, like, some hoarders dusty dollar store girl-feeding goose figurines, but every now and then you come across something that reminds you of your childhood, peaks your interest or fits perfectly into a room you have been working to perfect for weeks/months/years.
**If any of my readers are girl-feeding goose figurine from the dollar store collectors, I apologize and, I’m sure in your home they are lovely.
7 .No one else has the same exact room that I do.
If you only shop at the major retailers and buy what they say is fashionable at the moment, you have to be aware that the chances of you seeing the identical pieces at your friends houses is inevitable. Not that I don’t shop at those stores, I mean, I shop everywhere (have you met me?). My philosophy is that you should buy what you love, whether it is the new trend or not.
6. I am a shopaholic.
“Hello, my name is Heather and it has been 1 day since my last shop”. Seriously. I wouldn’t exactly call it an obsession, but it is definitely a high for me. I can go to 6 different thrift stores and purchase 3 items that I love for under $20 on a Saturday afternoon, where if I had gone to the mall, I probably would have spent 10 times that and would have walked out with bags full of stuff I kind of like. So, I am saving money by shopping see. *Note to self, be sure to use this point on Sam when he raises an eyebrow on my shopping next time.
5. Diamonds in the rough.
Sometimes I see a piece that is truly hideous. Yikes! And then I look at the item for a while and I imagine what colors I could paint it, where I would put it in my house, how I could accessorize it etc. Soon, I am the proud owner of an octagon shaped brass framed mirror with lots of floral details. Viola, 1 insomniac night and $2 worth of paint and I now own a gorgeous black framed ornate mirror that looks perfect hanging over the antique buffet that I am “storing” for my mother. Taking an item from tacky to ta-DA thrills my soul.
4. No pushy sales people.
“Are you finding everything ok?” This is a question you generally are only asked if you are just browsing. If you in fact are not finding everything ok, you probably will not find an associate to help either. Or my favorite, “You should sign up for our rewards credit card where you pay only 45% interest, but in return get 1 point for every $100 you spend, which you will probably forget to use but will shop with us more just to earn points…..” Not all sales people are like this, but there are certain stores I avoid entirely because I feel like prey the moment I walk in the door. Thrift store employees do not make more money if they hassle you while you shop.
3. Reduce Reuse Recycle
Being green can be just that simple.
2. Quality counts, but it isn’t always pretty.
I bought a bookshelf once from a big box store that looked nice on the package. It was cheap, what can I say. I spent an entire afternoon putting it together per the instructions and being the handy gal that I am, even used all the screws and such. Feeling satisfaction at my job well done I stacked it with my favorite books. My mistake came from a misunderstanding on my part. You see, I was confused by the word bookshelf and assumed that it was meant to hold up books. As I sat peacefully watching a movie several months later, it completely collapsed very loudly and I realized that I had mistaken the purpose of that item. After I peeled myself from the ceiling I realized that I had clearly made a mistake and decided to purchase items that have been made of something sturdier than heavy cardboard. I have since spent even less money on thrift items that have been around for decades and although they need a facelift, are more substantial where it counts.
1. Great causes.
On any given day, on a very limited budget, I am supporting charities that help foster children, provide housing for those facing extreme poverty, training and independence for adults with physical and mental disabilities, provide a safe place for women in abusive situations to run, improve our public schools, give seniors a place to socialize, and shelter for unwanted pets by simply participating in a little retail therapy. I feel better about my shopping just looking at that list.
So don’t be intimidated by the funky smells, tacky fichus trees not for sale in the windows or the haphazard unorganized display shelves. Just remember, you never know what cool things you might find and by doing so what a beautiful thing you are doing for your community.