How To Fill Your Home With Cheap, Beautiful, Interesting Things From Thrift Stores (Without Becoming A Hoarder)

You can find AMAZING home goods at thrift stores - if you know how/where to look! Click through for 4 super helpful tips. // yesandyes.orgFree 5-day money bootcamp

It brings me an immeasurable amount of joy to tell people how much my belongings cost.

Like my sofa? I’ll fall all over myself to tell you that it was $90 on Craigslist.
Those brass bookends? $5 at Salvation Army.
My red velvet flats (which are, amazingly, Crocs!) I got ’em at Goodwill for $7.
One of my biggest not-so-secrets to living the proverbial champagne life on a beer budget is buying many, many of my belongings second hand.
There’s an art to thrifting (my best tips are here and here) but there’s also an art to finding things that you really, really love … not just stuff that’s pretty-cool-it’s-cheap-and-funny, which then gather dust and suffocate you.

Here, are my best tips for creating a gorgeous space filled with wonderful, cheap things  – but not dying under a pile of bad oil paintings. 

1. Keep an on-going list of wants/needs and measurements

Thrifting is not necessarily for you if you’re trying to fill your closet and furnish your apartment, like, yesterday. But if you’re willing to relax into the search and enjoy the process you can find so many amazing things.
Want to make things easier for yourself? Set aside an hour or so and pad around your home with a measuring tape and your phone. Create a memo detailing all the things you’d (eventually) like in your space, along with measurements and details.

Things like:
Chest of drawers for living room – around 35 x 16 x 24
Hanging shoe rack for closet
Slipper chair for bedroom – neutral color, no taller than 30″
Vintage round table cloth – at least 50″
4 white saucers

And then if you’re reallllly serious, you get a tiny tape measure key chain so you’ll be able to measure all the slipper chairs you encounter.

2. Honor the ‘immediate yes’

Really, I think this is a good practice for, um, everything ever, but it’s particularly helpful when you’re convincing yourself that a $4 sweater would be a good investment. Because it’s warm and work appropriate and, sure, it’s not really your color and it doesn’t do much for your upper arms, but it’s $4!

Dude. You deserve clothes you lovelovelove and that make you feel like a gee dee super hero. It doesn’t matter how little the piece costs. If you don’t want to wear it out of the store or immediately rearrange your living room to accommodate it, leave it alone.

3. Practice one-in-one-out

Want to keep your closet relaxingly clear and your shelves not-overflowing? Each time you bring in something new-but-not-totally-necessary, swap out something else.

If your bookshelves are holding all they can and you really “need” that Little Women collection, maybe it’s time to get rid of those college textbooks. If all your hangers are occupied but you just found three vintage wiggle dresses, get rid of those sweaters you never wear. You get the idea!

4. Keep a donation bag going at all times

One paper bag in your front closet for catching all those duplicate vegetable peelers, the mismatched pillow cases, and the heels you never learned to walk in.

When it’s full, drop it off at your neighborhood thrift store, then come home and start a new bag. Each time you see it, you’ll think about winnowing and narrowing what you own down to only the best things!

Are you a thrifter? Tell us your best tips!

P.S. How to purge your closet and 4 things you always find at thrift stores + cool DIYs to make with ’em

Photo by Stephen Di Donato on Unsplash

12 Comments

Kate

Such good tips. I can't agree with the 'immediate yes' more.

I use Google Keep for my list!

And I would stress going when you're in the mood to shop. Then those yes' come easier.

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Sarah Von Bargen

Yes! Thrifting can be a bit draining. I usually can only go to two stores in one day and I have a specific 'thrifting outfit' I wear – pullover knit dress and ballet flats. So I can try things on super easily!

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Manisha

I totally have CPD. I'm so proud of my cheap finds. I have a clothes fetish so thrifting is the only way to sustain my habit. These are all good tips. I'd add that it is important to be realistic of what you can accomplish if you happen to find something that needs a little fixing up. And I believe that if you really want something and you pass it up because of price, there is no doubt that that object/piece of clothing will show up in life again (and probably cheaper and in the case of boots, probably Italian-made). Oh, and I never ever buy a bag/purse full-price. There is always a great selection at the thrift store!

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Erin

I super want to buy a couch from the thriftstore/craigslist/side of the road one day, but I have no idea how you go about cleaning a couch! I know you can take off the slipcovers on the cushions and wash them, but what about everything else??
Part of me is like "bleach…lots of bleach"

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Francine from Callaloo Soup

I so love this post. I am all about thrifting! I had an "immediate yes" experience just yesterday while buying shoes at my local thrift store. The first pair I tired on was a YES! Just from putting on one side. The second pair I hemmed and hawed over it being a bit hard to put on, and a bit tight around my toes, wondering if they would stretch over time. Finally I decided not to take them even though they were only 6€!

And a kind of related tip: if you leave something at the store but can't stop thinking about it 24 hours later, then you should go get it! Like that sweet silver grey sweater dress I saw yesterday. I hope it's still there!

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Mary

I like to go to thrift stores on their 50% off days! It turns things that are already a great deal, into amazing deals! Some stores don't have everything at 50% off but it usually about 75% of the store! And yes, only buy what you LOVE!

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