My favorite activity is shopping. I could go every day, literally, every day. But beyond the shopping, is the digging. That’s the true thrill. I’ll scour endless shelves, aisles and racks till I find that single gem that I simply cannot bear to leave behind. You know when you find it right? You kind of get that high, that funny feeling in your stomach that you’re on to something good, that rush to get it into your cart before anyone else discovers it. I love that!
Thrift stores are one of my favorite places to shop for kitchen and table goods. You just never know what you’re going to find. Sometimes I walk out with nothing, other times I walk out with a couple bags, but never have I spent a whole lot of money.
I’ve heard a number of friends say that they just get too overwhelmed by the hunt. There’s too much junk to sort through before finding the treasure. And yes, that’s true for me too. So here’s what I suggest for making the dig a bit more successful.
When I find something that catches my eye, I immediately pick it up off the shelf. I need to see it out of it’s messy context. Imagine it now in your home. Does it fit? Are the colors cohesive with what you’ve got already? Is the style what you would see in your home? If the answer is yes, then put it in your cart. If it’s a no, it may be a beautiful piece, but put it back. You will never use something that doesn’t work with the rest of what you’ve got. My husband and I found this scale and immediately loved it. Plus the colors and style fit in our kitchen where it’s displayed. Win win.
Always look through the silverware bins. Often the cheap stuff is mixed with the nice stuff for one flat price. I’ve found a number of real silver forks and spoons, as well as silver plated, in those bins. I paid 39 cents a piece for them. These are great to pick up if you are throwing a party or shower with a vintage look or theme, or if you are hosting a large group and need additional flatware. Notice they don’t all match, at all. That’s what I love about them. It makes using silver seem a bit more casual.
Walk around the store twice. I always find things the second time around. This is often because I went in looking for items for a specific gathering and then find something that takes my imagination in a new direction. I want to make sure I don’t miss those treasures that could work for either. I went searching the other day for playroom and art supplies, but then I found these pink plates and was inspired to create a little girl’s Easter table when I found these compotes. So I circled the store again only to find two more pink plates, which I had overlooked the first time.
Know who you are. Recently I found these awesome little mugs that were a dark grey/black kind of pottery. Imperfect in many ways, yet really cool. I could just see them being used in foodie photography, all dark and moody. But… that’s just not me. They didn’t fit into my white kitchen. They weren’t something I would like seeing stacked in my cupboard next to milkglass. They didn’t fit my style, so I put them back.
Think creatively. How can I use this differently than the last person? How can I change this? Once I saw these adorable jello molds hanging from a cute chain in a kitchen window, painted white and filled with succulents. So when I saw this jello mold, I bought it. It was less than a dollar. I have it on my list of summer projects when I can get outside to spray paint again. Had I not read that blog, I would have never thought to buy a jello mold because, really, who eats jello anymore anyways?
Reevaluate what you’ve got in your cart before you check out. Think about each item again. Would you regret leaving it? Did you already forget it was in your cart? Don’t be afraid to put things back. Even though it’s cheap, it’s really just cabinet filler if you won’t use it and giving up that space is just not worth it. I went back and forth on these tins. I ended up getting them, not knowing for sure what I would do with them. Now (a year later) I love them in our playroom, but really I could have just waited a year to buy them again at Target. I’m not sure it was worth storing them all this time.
There you have it. Good luck, and if you see me at Ark, please be sure to say hello (I’m likely to be there).