I am a huge thrifter. That is, I frequent thrift stores and love bringing home the treasures I find there. But every now and then, I pass by something that I think is garbage and later kick myself for not buying it to turn it into something awesome. There are some amazing things you can do with the items you find in thrift shops. Over the years, as I have perfected the thrift (OK, so maybe not perfected) I have come up with a few tips and tricks to help me be more efficient when shopping at thrift stores. I have wasted a lot of time in secondhand stores and a lot of money figuring out some of these tips! Here are a few thrifting tips that will help you out on your next outing.
1. Go for the Supplies!
More often than not, as I’m browsing the aisles at the thrift store, I stumble upon some supplies that are brand new. Sure I wasn’t looking for them, but they often spark ideas for something I can use for a DIY or around the house. Finding supplies makes me giddy! And for some reason, these supplies often come in large quantities. Maybe the person who paid full price for them at the store had an idea to go into business making something out of them and then it never panned out. Whatever the reason, there are usually a lot of them. If my idea can easily be used for a baby shower or party I might be throwing, I will usually buy them all!
2. Check the Outdoor Area
At the thrift stores I go to, they will often place larger items like chandeliers, desks, and bookshelves out in the outdoor area with all of the sporting equipment and plastic furniture. Don’t ask me why! Make sure you check that area if you don’t see what you’re looking for in the main area of the store. I have found many soon-to-be-treasures in the wrong section of the store. I once found the perfect desk lamp mixed in with the basket balls. I’m not saying it was the thrift store that put it there, but what I am saying is to look thoroughly! You might be passing by your DIY soulmate.
3. Know What You’ll Do Before You Buy It
I cannot tell you how many times I have bought an item — or 10 — and then got home and there they sat for months on end because I couldn’t think of something to do with them. I have a rule for myself when I am thrifting: If I don’t know what I am going to do with it before I buy it, leave it at the store! Items can often spark an idea when you first see it; I call it “DIY at first sight”! But if the sparks aren’t there, move on. There’s no sense in wasting time and money on something that you are unsure about.
Now that we have those tips down, here are some pretty amazing and inspiring ideas you could easily make with your thrift store finds!