Thrifting is not something that I grew up with in my life. My mother always enjoyed the finer things in life. We weren’t rich by any means but she sometimes acted like we were and would spend so much money shopping. I think she passed on the habit down to her girls because it’s definitely something that I like to do as well. I spend many hours on Amazon each week looking for new things to try.
But in an effort to remain “frugal” and be more conscious of how much money I’m spending, I suggested that my bestie and I go thrifting today. I’ve been so excited for this, that I went to bed at midnight last night and woke up bright eyed at 5:00 am. I sat outside for a bit but it was so cold – I bundled up and went back to bed.
I’m sitting here with my morning cup of coffee, a bowl of Special K cereal, my water, almond milk and some piano music in the background. This – is my new happy place.
My bestie has a booth at a local antique mall. We’re going to hit that and then check out some garage sales. She’s the one who got me into thrifting a few years back. We would head to the mall after work or on Saturday morning, go for brunch and have some quality time together.
Because of the pandemic, we really haven’t been able to do that in a couple of years. It’s been since 2019 at least and I didn’t realize how much I missed thrifting and looking through people’s treasures until this month.
The Hygge life and thrifting
My journey to a happier life is a work in progress. Something I learned this week about being Hygge, is decorating your home with things you love. One YouTube channel I discovered suggested that finding vintage items like canvas art, candles or other decor items adds more history and character to your home. So, that’s what I’m on the hunt for today.
We’re going to hit Good Will as well. And before anyone jumps down my throat and accuses of being “trendy” – I’m still on disability leave. That means I’m taking home less money than I would if I was working full time. I can’t afford to buy new artwork right now at the prices they charge on sites like Amazon.
And besides, I’ve found some great furniture over the years via places like Marketplace and Kijiji. It’s where I got my last piano. And the piano I have now is one we bought for the church in 2005. It sat in storage unused for many years when we got an acoustic piano and so I asked if I could use it as a practice piano.
There’s nothing wrong with buying second hand items. Especially if money is tight – which this year especially, that’s the case for a lot of people. Most of my living room is full of second hand furniture and items from my parent’s house. The only new item I have is my sofa. And as you know, the reason I bought that is because my last couch broke a few years ago. I haven’t bought new furniture since 2008 save for a few things for my bedroom from Ikea.
What not to buy
If you are new to thrifting and are looking to bring items to your home, do be forewarned. Some items are better to buy brand new. Things like sofas, mattresses and even clothing can have bedbugs in them or worse – cockroaches. Those suckers get into everything. Mattresses are definitely not something I would ever buy second hand. Unless you know the home it comes from – I would highly recommend getting a new mattress and linens.
Other things to consider when buying second items:
- Look for yellow or black stains. This could indicate that the item came from a smoker’s home. The smell of smoke can linger on fabric items and can be hard to clean.
- Check for holes in wood or fabric of furniture. Look for rodent droppings, white stains (urine) or tiny little black marks which could be from bedbugs.
- If buying from Facebook Marketplace, ask for the history of the item. If you can, check out the seller’s profile and their other listings. I’m more inclined to buy from someone with a well kept home. A well kept home, is a good indicator that the item you are buying has been properly cared for as well.
One of the reasons I prefer thrifting or garage sales compared to using Marketplace is people play too many games on Facebook. I gave up trying to sell anything online because of the 20 question game people play and then decide they don’t want the item. And then there are the low ballers who will offer you half of what the item is listed for. I wound up giving away so much stuff when I moved because of that.
Things you definitely want to buy
Today I’m on the hunt for vintage artwork, lamps, lanterns, and anything I can decorate my home with. More specifically, the bedroom and balcony.
Things that are definitely worth buying at thrift shops or garage sales include:
- Vintage artwork (canvas art, photo frames)
- Vinyl records – these have made a comeback
- Art supplies (scrapbooks, paint brushes, paints, etc)
- Books – I’m definitely going to be looking for old music books to replace some I’ve lost
- Decor items – garden gnomes, lanterns, statutes, etc
- Jewelry – rings, gems, stones, beads, (sanitize before wearing)
- Signage, and posters
- Trading cards and other collectables (stamps, coins, etc)
- Dishes (plates, bowls, etc)
You just never know what treasures you might find in a thrifting store or antique mall.
The pandemic is still going strong here in our city. The city council brought back a mask mandate and so we will be wearing masks today. I strongly recommend that you wear masks and gloves when going thrifting at best of times. Or carry hand sanitizer and wipes with you.
While many shops are really strict about the quality of items they accept, shelves can become incredibly dusty. Plus you just don’t know the history of the item you’re picking up. If you have allergies or are sensitive to dust, then gloves are definitely recommended.
Cleaning and sanitization
Wash your item as soon as you get it home from the shop or garage sale. Wood furniture can be wiped down with a wet cloth and cleaning solutions – or just vinegar and dish soap. I did this with my sofa when I ordered it from Leon’s because it had that musty warehouse smell. The smell has disappeared from the cushions. I used a wet cloth and warm water and will do this about once a month to keep the sofa clean.
Wood, metals and hard materials are easy to clean. Use products like vinegar, baking soda, dish soap or ammonia for deep cleaning.
Follow cleaning instructions for clothing and fabric items. Check insides of bags and purses for signs of bugs. Machine or hand wash all clothing items before wearing them. One tip I learned is to toss in some vinegar with your laundry. This helps to get rid of some stains and lingering smells.
Saturday Thrifting Adventures
And that’s it for today. I’m excited to just go out for a few hours and be social. My bestie just texted me so I should get ready for our day. I’m hoping to get to see dad later but might have to wait until tomorrow or Monday. There is a COVID case at his residence so maybe we need to be careful of who visits him.
I’ll come back later this week and share my finds with you! I think we’re planning on stopping for lunch today. We have been trying to get out to Elk Island park to go for a walk and take some photos but my knees haven’t been cooperating for that. Hopefully we at least get out for a drive to take some amazing fall photos. It’s a glorious day outside right now with the sun shining and the golden leaves outside my window.
Have you ever been thrift shopping? What kind of treasures have you found at an antique mall? Let me know in the comments.