Monday, October 10, 2011

Conquering the Thrift Store

I have recently started reading DIY blogs. The one common denominator for most of these blogs is thrift store shopping. All Things Homie is the specific blog I have to thank for this new inspiration - or obsession, however you want to look at it.

So last weekend, against her will, I dragged the wifey to the Goodwill. We did this after spending hours in Bed Bath & Beyond. While I love that store, I always leave that place feeling overstimulated and a little frazzled. Off to the thrift store we go, frazzle and all.

We get there and as soon as we step foot in this place, I know it's going to be a failure. There was stuff everywhere... I am sure there was some kind of logic in how they set the store up, but it just seemed like stuff was thrown all over the place. And it was dirty... not the store, the stuff. There was a carpet cleaner that had years of someone else's funk and DNA caked in it. Gross. I am new to the thrift store scene, so maybe this is the norm, but it's my opinion that they could (and should) at least try to clean their products before taking them out to the sales floor. It was gross. Not to mention the people. It seemed like that place was as busy as an ice-cream shop on a hot summer day!

I decide I'm going to try and give it a chance instead of turn right around and exit the store as fast as I entered (which is what I really wanted to do). We start browsing the aisles and I am looking for pretty specific things, mostly frames, so I want to just find them and get out. My wife, however, is browsing other things (like the dirty carpet cleaner) that is distracting me from my mission and not helping my frazzle.

Not long into the adventure, the wife starts complaining about the smell and that was it. I was over it... we walked out of the thrift shop overwhelmed, defeated, and disappointed.

Then I remembered the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop over by our house. I am at my limit for the weekend so I decide I would check it out the following weekend. The girl who writes All Things Homie gave me a tip (well not me directly, but through a mutual friend). She said she never takes her husband with her. Ah, this makes sense. As much as I love my wife and I love doing things with her, I knew she didn't really want to go to the thrift store last weekend, so there was some added pressure, for lack of a better word. I would feel that way if I went with anyone that wasn't into the thrifting adventure.

This weekend finally came and I had a renewed determination to conquer the battle of Me vs. The Thrift Store.  My beautiful wife was leaving town on Sunday, and while I was very sad to see her go, I was excited to go in for my next battle. So, after I dropped her off at the airport, I headed to the Discovery Shop and...


As soon as I walked in the door, I found these bowls for $2. I love fall and the leaves on the bowl reminded me of fall. Not sure if they will be part of our everyday decor or if they will just become fall decorations, but I love them.

I looked around a little more and didn't find anything I couldn't live without so I headed to the cashier. As she was ringing me up, I was making small talk and told her what a great job they did with the store. Clean, organized, it was a breath of fresh air. She thanks me and says, "Did you check out next door?" Next door?! Well, no.. no I didn't.

There was another bigger shop right next door that was also the Discovery Shop. It held more of the bigger furniture items and small appliances. I didn't think I would find anything... and then I found it. A table full of frames. It was like in the movies when someone finally finds the mother lode and it's all illuminated in gold and there's glorious music playing in the background. My search for frames can finally be complete.

I have a project in mind for these frames, which is why I was on such a mission to find them. I didn't want just plain old simple frames... I wanted ones that had character. So, I found these five frames for either $4 or $5 each and I plan to do this project with them (which I credit to this blog.)

Finally! I left feeling accomplished and excited for the projects ahead! The prices at the Discovery shop weren't as cheap as they were at Goodwill, but I was OK with that because the money benefits the American Cancer Society. No better way to feel good about finding a bargain!


  1. Love those bowls and can't wait to see the frames all done!!!

  2. I'm glad you were able to get through your thrift store visit this time! It can be really fun sometimes!

  3. You live in a climate where garage and yard sales are an option year round. You'll get much better deals from a garage sale and you'll be able to do some negotiation. Check your local craigslists for listings and let me know how it goes.