One of the things friends tend to ask me about a lot is my “junkin”.
What have you found lately!? What did this cost? eventually become Will you take me with you? I never find anything like that! and I am happy to oblige. I am kind of evangelistic about shopping secondhand. I think it has huge benefits that most people just don’t stop and consider.
The cons are:
1. Thrift stores can be dirty (so? you just bring hand sanitizer. Don’t be a big sissy!)
2. It takes time (so? treat it like any hobby such as knitting, gardening-an investment that is also rewarding. it’s a treasure hunt and some days you leave the store with zilch, other days you are staggering under a cart full of bargains!)
3. Sometimes thrift stores smell funny. (Well, duh. They are full of old stuff. Have you smelled old peoples houses? It’s kind of that smell. Ask anyone…I am the lover of scented candles, perfumed lotions, and potpourri-I appreciate a good smell more than most! But even I get used to it. Besides, lots of things smell and we accommodate, even grow to love them, despite the stink. My kids, for example.)
and the worst one–
3. You can accumulate too much, easily. (So? you learn to EDIT. Try to give (to friends or back to the store) as much as you take (into your house). I almost always drop off a bag at the back of the store, before I drive around and go in to shop there. We lovingly call this “the circle of crap” You can also re-sell. I have had booths at antique malls, and sold on ebay, and on craigslist, and even had big old yard sales to clear out. The point is, you ARE going to grow tired of that picture or that shirt or those boots EVENTUALLY. If you pay $1 for something, it is a lot easier to pass it on when you are done. It is paying $78 for something that causes hoarding, because the guilt of getting rid of it is too high. Have open hands, for stuff to come and go! I think thrifting makes you more generous. You can happily give something away, because you know from experience that something even better is “just around the corner”
1. You bless your Spouse. Something that stresses out my husband? When $$ is tight. We choose to be a one income family but it doesn’t have to mean the working spouse carries the heavy load, all alone. Clipping a coupon saves .75 cents of his paycheck. Getting three kids, $50 coats for $2 each? That helps a whole lot more. Give your husband the gift of a wife who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, who isn’t afraid to use Lysol and laundry detergent to give her familynew-to-you but still fresh, clean clothes and is willing to not just accept but embrace less-than-perfect home decor and happily calls it “shabby cottage chic”.
2. You bless the earth. God set us as stewards of this planet, and the materialism and waste and GREED of our generation is shameful. Opt out of what the mall and the catalogs and the neighbors say you need, and choose more wisely.
3. You get to be creative. It’s a gift that improves with use! Start looking at things with new eyes, (and with spraypaint in mind! Spraypaint covereth a multitude of the 1980s decorating sins)
4. Your faith grows. Seriously! Ask God for what you need, or even just want. Tell Him you don’t want to waste the money He has given your family to use, and then look for what you need WITH EXPECTATION. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve found the perfect size shoes, for the boy who had just outgrown them-or the final piece of a collection, or the kitchen item I saw in Williams-Sonoma but couldn’t afford and can-you-believe-it’s-in-red?! I call this “God, blowing me kisses!” The other day, Claudia found just the right thing, that she really wanted, at a really low price and she said, with delight “So, why do I ever doubt that He will bless?!” and I knew what she was saying! Because that’s exactly the feeling of AWE you get when your Abba gives a personal, perfect gift. And for some reason, He likes doing it at the thrift stores!
In my attempt to make hesitant friends into die hard thrifters, I am going to start posting my favorite finds of the week, with what I paid and where I got it! I’ll call it “thrift store finds”
a new (huge!) vintage cream vase for my collection $2.99 (Goodwill)
and tucked it in next to the couch and my Mamabear Chair, where most of school happens. It can roll into the dining room, if we need more table space. I love it!
a rod iron necklace holder for $1.59 from St Vincents helps tidy up the dresser:
a pair of linen canvas Danskos found a month or two ago but are just now being worn, since the flip-flop season is done. These were expensive, for a Goodwill buy, at $30 but that is still $90 less than retail! Plus they are so comfy, and I can wear them without worrying about scuffing up my “good” Danskos…
This vintage wicker chair is in mint condition, the perfect cream color (for once, I don’t have to paint?) and came with its cushion in tapestry fabric that matches-so I splurged and spent $34.99 on it at Goodwill. I am certainly not raking in the cash at my part-time job (just dropped down to just 8 hoursa week! woohoo!), but its nice to have a little “fun” money for impulse purchases like this one. I wanted extra seating in the living room, and what sold me is the light cottage feel and the wicker texture…it lightens up the dark wood and brown leather heavy room really nicely!
Those are the deal-ios…now get your antibacterial lotion and get on out there and score one or two of your own!