4 Steps to Thrift Shopping for Home

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

#1 Picking the Thrift Store
There are a couple strategies to picking the right thrift shop. In many cases, you can start your search online. Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are good resources for hunting.
Sometimes these unique finds are owned by private owners and other times they are sourced by a business. You can often follow one piece to a business that hosts dozens of thrifted pieces!
Local garage sales are another treasure trove of hidden gems. To maximize your time, try to plan your route the night before. This allows you to be more efficient and tactical in your shopping. Where possible, be sure to hit the “multi-family” sales. These are great “2 birds with one stone” opportunities and you never know what you can find in the mix of multiple family homes.
#2 Sorting Through Items
Again, go in with a strategy. Know what you’re looking for and try not to be distracted from things that you’re not interested in. If you’re looking to refinish a large piece of furniture (cool guide from HGTV on how to refinish a table), you can generally scan the area for just these larger items.
If you’re in the market for something smaller, it will take some digging. But stay dedicated. Head straight for the area that looks the most related to the item and start searching.
Small appliances can be a treasure trove if you know what you're looking for. Kitchen gadgets, smart home tech, air purifiers (guide on the best air purifiers), and other small appliances can be a big win. The key is to know what you're looking for in advance, or at least have a general idea of what brands you know to be worth the money.
If there’s an employee or private owner hosting the sale, don’t be afraid to ask if they have what you’re looking for. This can save you wasted time and allow you to spend more time digging at a different venue.
#3 Visualize an item in your home
Sometimes you can come across an item, but are not quite sure how it fits into your home. This is not an uncommon issue.
The trick here is to hone in on the aspects that you like about the piece. Is it the shape? The color? The function? If it’s “exactly what you’re looking for”, chances are that you’ve already imagined where this item belongs.
But if you’re unsure, think of the open areas you have in your home and how the shape, materials, and colors would fit in there. And when all else fails, snap a photo and bring it home first for confirmation before purchasing the larger item.
#4 What To Do Your First Time
If you’re new to thrifting, it’s important to understand that thrift shopping is a journey, not a checklist. Typical shopping involves simple “to-dos” and you can quickly walk through a store, grabbing the items you need.
Thrifting is just not like that.
It takes digging, searching, and many times visiting a number of thrift stores before you stumble across the perfect item.
Other times you don’t find the perfect item, but you find a decent item that (with a little love and some elbow grease) could BECOME the perfect item. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty and don’t be fearful of the long process it can take to get the results you're looking for.


  1. Thrift stores are fun, I could spend hours in them. This week I bought 2 candle stick holders. While I was shopping I mentioned to one of the employees I had a lawn mower to sell, and she came over and bought it.


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