I’ve been thrifting / antiquing / etc. for many years now, and I feel as though I should share some of my insider knowledge with y’all, kay? I’ve broken things down into 5 buckets.
When you first start shopping in secondhand stores, your tendency is to go ham. With clothing items priced 4 bucks or less, it’s easy to just grab everything you think you might wear. Same goes for dvds or homewares, just because you see something that gives you a sense of nostalgia, it doesn’t mean you need to buy it. Keeping an eye on your thrifting spending is important, especially if you’re not buying to resell. A decent budget to start out with is about 50 bucks a month. There are exceptions if you are looking for bigger furniture pieces, but for the most part 50 bucks is pretty fair. Also, do your research! Certain locations have percentage off days, and restocking days, so make sure you’re getting the best deal!
Need v. Want
This one is simple, do you really need that 2XL sweatshirt with a cartoon Bugs Bunny on it, just because “that’s hillarious!”? No, you don’t. Learn to become very focused on what you really need, especially with clothing and nic nacs, or else your house will become one of those mismatched hoarder homes. Which leads into the next category.
The best example of this is what I personally do. My aesthetic is very antique. Older wood pieces and religious oriented objects are what I tend to decorate with, and what I primarily buy thrifting. Choosing a theme will help you hone into your personal style and how you want your home or wardrobe to look.
Similar to theme, I use a color filter when looking for clothing items from secondhand stores. Only buy colors and silhouettes that you wear consistently. Yes, that 80s wedding dress for $20 is ridiculous, but don’t buy it as a joke. For me, I typically wear black, white, gray, and blue. That helps me not overbuy or spend too much on items that I like in the moment but will never wear more than a few times.
You can not go into a flea market or start a day of thrifting thinking “I need to find a specific item today”. Some days you make out like a bandit, and others you come out with nothing at all! It’s all about the experience of the hunt, for me. With that being said, I always keep a list on my phone of things I’m always looking for, just in case I forget. Right now the list is pretty short: a vintage Nascar tee, old Bowie records, cool puzzles, etc. (wow so interesting). It’s a good idea to keep a running list, just to have on hand.
I hoped these little tips helped you out! Let me know how often you thrift and what you’re favorite thrifted item is!