5 Tried & True Thrifting Rules to live by

Welcome to the Thrifted Home Series....a collection of blog posts and photos I've compiled to help you expand your thrifting knowledge and confidence!  Yesterday I posted information about where to look for certain items! If you missed that post, you can see it here:  Try These Secrets For Your next Thrift Store Success   Thrifting is an acquired skill and one that takes time to develop.  With a start at some basic guidelines, plenty of patience and time, and of course a desire to go out "thrifting",  you too, could become a successful thrifter!   If that doesn't appeal to you, that is OK!  That is one reason my business exists!  

So you've browsed a thrift shop or two and found nothing.  Don't let that get you down.  Keep going back.  Trust me!    And also, remember these 5 "rules" when you do venture out "into the deep" of what we call "thrift shops" or "second-hand stores".  In today's post I am sharing with you 5 basic guidelines, or rules, to think about when determining whether an item is worth your time and money......

CRITERIA:

1.  Condition: consider the condition of the piece. No matter what it is, consider whether a "flaw" is fix-able, and even if fix-able, is it worth your time?  It might not be!  If you find yourself contemplating that question for a lengthy period, it most likely was not a "great find" for you. That is OK!  Move on.   You'll probably see that exact same piece next week, without any flaws at all (and for half the cost).    Also if a flaw isn't fix-able, is it "conceal-able"?    Would it be relatively easy to hide a flaw on the piece?  I once found a great vase with a chipped glass flower attached to one side.  I loved the vase shape and color, and was willing to look past the chip with a simple fix; I turned that chip toward the wall and no one ever knew it existed!  

2.  Price:  If you're a first-timer in thrift shops, you might think something is a "steal" but if you visit these stores enough, you will discover that what you thought was a steal, actually wasn't!   Experienced thrifters will even start setting their own max price limits for certain items.  You've reached this point when you find yourself questioning the cash register charging the FULL price of $3.00 on something that was clearly marked half off.   Take caution with what you pay for a piece, but after all, it is a second-hand shop and anything you find is basically a gigantic bargain!  If you're ever in question about pricing, just ask! I'd be happy to give my two cents.  

3.  Usage:  Ask yourself if it is something you WILL use.   If it is something you only THINK you might use, and if you find yourself contemplating that fact for more than a minute or two, proceed with caution. At thrift store prices you could probably talk yourself into buying a different fruit basket for every day of the week (for every room in your house!).  Be careful. Though this stuff is low-cost, it does add up quickly and soon your home will be overcome with items you don't necessarily need, or want!  If you are not attempting to bulk up your home decor inventory like I am, stick with  purchasing what you can USE, or what you KNOW you will decorate with NOW!  You can always go on another thrifting excursion, hence, more thrifting experience (see yesterday's post HERE).   On the contrary to the above point about USE,  if you see an item that you don't have to question yourself on at all, than that means snatch it up....like now.  If it caught your eye that quickly, it was meant to be yours and you'll find use for it somewhere, somehow!   

4.  Cleanliness Factor:  Is the piece "clorox-able", or machine washable?  This is a biggie for me. If it is something that cannot be easily cleaned than I may shy away from purchasing it.  Used items are great, and even even greater when nice and clean!   Consider the "clean-ability" of the piece.   Also consider the time factor in getting that item clean!  

5.  Multi-purpose Items:   Consider whether an item can be used in a non-traditional way.  For example, use a cute hand-made ceramic bowl for jewelry instead of spinach dip.  I have seen some of the cutest accent pieces when used in non-traditional ways.  Another great example is finding antique jars or toothbrush holders (there are usually tons of them!) for your pens/pencils, or kids' art supplies! On that note, I found a condiment/food "turn-table" that I used for jars holding markers, pens, pencils, etc.  I could do a entire post on #5 alone! And I just might.....

And those are 5 basic "tried and true" rules to live by when choosing your thrifted items!  They seem simple, but when we get caught up in finding random items that speak to us, we can forget them.   I've been guilty of that.   With a little practice, you'll learn what attracts your attention and what definitely does not.  And then one day, something awesome will be hiding among the "definitely does not" category!  I hope you've taken away a thing or two from today's post and put it to use in some way.    

Have you ever found a home decor item  that you loved?  Do you have any "rules" when it comes to making a purchase at a second-hand store? 

Tune in this week and next, for more posts on THRIFTING;  Get ideas for how to "transform" your thrifted items, learn tips for knowing when to leave a piece "as is", and pulling it all together for a complete look! And, the best part......see some fun room transformations that happened using these great tips! 

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