Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thrifting How-to

I'll just go ahead and say it...thrifting can be SCARY. It can feel intimidating to walk into what seems like an over sized yard sale full of..well..interesting smelling second hand items. If you don't have an idea of what to expect, there's a chance you'll leave empty handed and feeling exhausted. Here's a few do's and don'ts to help you on your journey to finding one of a kind items that are worth hunting for!

  • Ignore the smell: We all know that thrift stores don't always smell very nice. They collect things from people and places all over the city which tends to produce a specific 'thrift store' scent. So remember, any of your finds can be washed!
  • Open your mind: Try not to make judgements right away. Thrift stores can be dirty, crowded, and unorganized. If you can look passed the first impressions, you'll be very happy with the things you can find. 
  • Try new things: I will be the first one to admit that I can be picky. Something I've learned from thrifting is that you won't always find things the way you'd find them in a retail store. Rather than looking at something and immediately thinking "I'll never wear it!" think about what attracted you to the item in the first place, and then...
  • Be creative:   Taking that item and looking at it in a different way can be a great thing! For example: take a scarf with a fun pattern and us it as a head wrap, find a long skirt and pull it up high to wear as a dress, find men's belts and tie them so they'll fit you! This will set you apart from all of the other fashionable ladies out there!
  • Pick a patient buddy: Last but not least, find a friend to go with you! It doubles your chance of finding goodies when you both are searching. 
  •  Forget your cash: If you forget your cash at home, there's a chance you WON'T be able to use your plastic. There's often a limit on how much $ you have to spend in order to use your card so bring some spare cash!
  •  Set a time limit: Setting a time limit for yourself really hampers your motivation to dig deep to find the good stuff. I've noticed that when I only have a certain amount of time to shop, I am not thorough. So, wait for an open afternoon to go. 
  • Miss the deals: There will ALWAYS be sale items! Most thrift stores will designate a color tag to be marked 50% off (sometimes more!) and when you are already paying next to nothing for things, a deal like this can be wonderful.  

Thrifting can be a cheap way to buy unique furniture, clothing, and home decor. I've purchased anything from bags to vases to shelves to rings! The possibilities are endless and the thrill of treasure hunting makes it that much more fun. Hopefully this post will inspire some of you anit-thrifters to get out there and give it a try!

Before I go, here are some of of my favorite thrifting finds!



  1. I love thrifting. It's a favorite past time for my husband and I :) We are always looking for old fisher price toys and the vintage colorful pyrex dishes!

  2. I love thrift stores:) I grew up with my mom taking me to thrift stores and since im so use to it i still find it crazy that some people have never gone! lol im slowly getting my boyfriend use to it. He will get stuff but never clothes...not yet atleast;);)

  3. Great tips! Thanks for posting this! I feel more confident and prepared going now! I usually get so overwhelmed!

  4. i love Love LOVE thrifting. thanks for such a well-written post. i reposted on my facebook in hopes of finding some more "patient friend" thrifting partners. =)


  5. So I think for next Tucson Tuesday you should dish on where to go thrifting. I have only one or two places here in town that I really like. One on Grant and the other being 22nd Street Thrift Store.