Thrifting tips (so you don’t become a hoarder)

22 May

When most people think of summer activities, family BBQs and days at the beach come to mind. For me, it’s art fairs and garage sales! Not surprising considering my first and foremost love is decorating! Or my husband (if you’re reading this!)

Everyone has a wish list of items for when they go thrifting – I’m always searching for tea cups, vintage industrial spools and letter As. However, it’s very easy to deviate from your list when prices are ridiculously cheap. I’ve gone rouge a few times lately while shopping at local rummage sales, ending up with items I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with (like 12 red beaded napkin rings – I don’t even like red!).

Thrifting has the tendency to bring out the hoarder in all of us, making it very likely you will come home with items that  you will either – 1. store for 10+ years, 2. resell at a garage sale, or 3. donate. I always kick myself when I realize I’ve purchased something that falls into one of the aforementioned categories. Luckily, (except for the red napkin rings…) I have gotten much smarter at thrifting and try to stick to the following rules:

Don’t buy items that are broken – This tip may seem obvious, but there are so many great before and after transformations on the Internet that it’s hard not to feel wildly optimistic when looking at a piece of junk. Many of us forget that we don’t have the necessary skills and/or tools to make the item fantastic again. Also, things that need a lot of TLC drive up the cost of the project and becomes less of a bargain.

Don’t buy items you won’t repurpose right away – I find myself guilty of this quite often.  Every time I see a really great piece of furniture, I’m tempted to purchase it, even though I know it will likely sit in my parent’s garage for months until I have the time to restore it. I’m sure many of you are like me and have good intentions, however life often gets in the way of time intensive DIY projects. If you can’t start right away, then you probably should pass on the piece, otherwise you run the risk of you garage looking like the furniture section of the Salvation Army.

Stick to buying classic pieces – Like classic wardrobe essentials, there are certain items that are usually a safe buy and can be put to good use as soon as you bring them home. Here are some classic items I always pick up if the price is good: decorative vessels (bowls, plates, vases, etc.), ornate picture frames (to be painted bright colors!), silver or white serving pieces, planters, books and jewelry.

Need more tips? Here are some great ones from Kelly at View Along the Way. Having a garage sale? Here are some great tips from Laura at Lolalina.

How do you avoid thrifting impulse buys? I would love to hear your tips!

xoxo, Andi

4 Responses to “Thrifting tips (so you don’t become a hoarder)”

  1. Kelly @ View Along the Way May 22, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    The tip about not buying stuff you won’t repurpose right away — I SO need to learn that one! 🙂 I have a garage full of stuff that’s just waiting its turn. Thanks so much for the link to my post!

  2. Linda Shafer June 14, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    I liked your tips. I am often tempted to pick up some pieces but I’ m unsure I could really pull it off. I think I will take a chance this summer. Thanks Andi.

    • allputtogether June 14, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

      Thrifting is always a risk – we all have craft fails. However, it can be so rewarding especially when you get a piece for a steal!