There is nothing I enjoy more than a day spent thrifting. Long before Macklemore popularized thrift shopping, I was discovering the extraordinary world of thrift stores. There is just something special about searching through clothes, furniture, trinkets, books, etc. and imagining all of the memories attached to each piece. Over the years I have mastered the art of thrifting, and I would love to share my wisdom with you so that you can maximize on the potential of your local thrift stores.
You cannot beat finding old sweaters while thrifting. The more you look like Bill Cosby, the better. This is always my go-to section of the store because there are always tons of options to choose from. Bold patterns, obnoxious colors, random fabrics, over-sized — these are just a few characteristics of my favorite sweaters. Some old grandpa wore these sweaters in the 80s and 90s and the thought that his legacy gets to live on with me brings me so much joy. Price limit on a good sweater: $5
Some of my favorite mugs that I have accumulated for my coffee addiction have come from thrift stores. Cats, santa bears, family reunion mugs, and old church advertisement mugs are a few of the many that I have collected. Never spend more than $1 on a mug. I have found deals as cheap as one quarter for a mug, so don’t settle for anything less than a major bargain. One thing I have learned is that the larger and more obnoxious the selection you have, the more people want to sit down and have a cup of joe with you.
I am a huge fan of vinyl records. This is probably the most hit-or-miss item on the list because you never know whether or not a thrift store is going to have a large selection of records or what their collection will include. I have found some old classics as well as some random/fun albums such as: Hawaiian Sounds, The Chipmunks Christmas, and an Elton John record. I could spend hours sifting through the piles of old vinyl records that are found in thrift stores. My parents even enjoy going with me when I am going to thrift stores to specifically add to my vinyl collection.
Two of my favorite pillows that I have ever owned came from thrift stores.
Meet Pauline: my feline friend who currently inhabits my love-seat. I spotted Pauline sitting on the shelf from across the thrift store and knew that she had to join the Sandoval family. What can liven up a drab dorm room like a cat pillow? She has become a favorite part of Room 221, and life would not be the same without her company.
*One warning, be sure to wash all pillows and pillowcases before taking your first nap with them; just caution on the safe side, we don’t want any critters crawling around.
When it comes to where to shop, from my experience, the bigger the store the better. My favorite store and the one I have had the most success at is America’s Thrift Store in my home town of Decatur, AL. This particular thrift store contains an inventory of local donations as well as new furniture; all of my favorite sweaters and mugs have come from this store. The classic Goodwill is always a good choice with a solid selection of quality items. It is tougher to find items worth buying at smaller local stores, BUT you never know when a store might surprise you.
Take a day this week to go explore the thrift stores in your area. You might meet a plethora of interesting individuals, find a new piece of clothing to add to your wardrobe, discover the greatest mug in the history of ever, or find a cat pillow that changes lives. I have vowed to only buy clothes from thrift stores during the year of 2014, and I have had some great adventures searching for new fun clothing.
Go test out these tips and let us know how your experience goes. Happy Thrifting!
Hunter (lover of sweater weather, nifty thrifter, hipster in denial)