Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thrift Shopping Tips

Today I broke through a barrier that has lasted long enough: I went shopping at a Goodwill Outlet (I know, I'm one of those weird people that LOVES to see how much stuff I can get for just a few buckaroos;).  Ever since I was young, I have just straight-up avoided Goodwill.  The smells, the feels.....I'm one of those people who washes my hands after touching carts and coins........every time.  But today I made the long-awaited trip to the GW Outlet.  And yes, I mean digging through piles of random clothing for two hours, pulling out some awesome finds along with half of an ancient "Hulk" costume and 21 random socks.  But it was totally worth it.  Wanna see?  Ok, you convinced me;)
[Sorry, just grabbed some Instagram pics for this post]

This pile of lovelies is going to be turned into pacifier clips, a sundress, and whatever else I can come up with!:)  I found all these prints in the form of 3 pillow cases, 1 sheet, 1 shirt, 2 table runners, and 1 random remnant.  There is also a men's t-shirt that I didn't get in this pic.  I'll be using it for baby hats:)

Also found these three lovely sweaters and a pink skirt to welcome spring!!!
Although I'm not exactly a seasoned expert at thrift shopping, I thought it might be helpful to share some tips for others who are new too!:)
{Some of these are "outlet" specific, but all just general guidelines that are helpful to follow:) }
  1. Bring gloves and hand sanitizer.  If you are going to an outlet, you will definitely want gloves.  Some people use regular thin cold-weather gloves.  I grabbed some latex because we had some on hand.  Also, bring hand sanitizer for afterwards:)
  2. Have some ideas of refashions or projects that you want to make.  If you are a crafter, I'm sure you've seen plenty of clothing refashion ideas out there.  It is nice to just have these stored in the back of your mind to give you ideas as you are digging.  If you need some inspiration, check out my thrifting board on Pinterest.
  3. Notice prints and patterns.  I think every shopper's tendency is to find clothes that are the perfect fit and exactly what you are looking for.  Not so for thrifters.  If you see a shirt that is mens XXXL, but has an awesome pattern, grab it!  Believe me, for $0.25, you can afford the time to find an easy tutorial and turn it into your new favorite staple!  Also, if you are grabbing a big tablecloth so that you can make pacificer clips, a few stains aren't going to hurt anybody.
  4. Dress comfortably.  Don't worry.  This isn't like Target, where you have to dress nicely just to shop;)  Nobody cares what you look like, and you probably won't either.  Just dress comfortably!  A t-shirt and jeans, an old sweatshirt, whatever suits you best.  And most importantly, WEAR GOOD SHOES!!!!  You will be standing for however long you want to be digging, so make sure that pain doesn't keep you from grabbing some more awesome deals!
  5. Notice care instructions.  It is enough of a pain to buy a brand-new shirt that has to be dry-cleaned.  Even worse when you get it second-hand.  If you find a stain, you can't just scrub it clean, or cut up into some project that has been floating in the back of your mind.  Although you will only lose a gumball's worth of money on an article of clothing, it would be sad to think you've got an awesome shirt only to have to send it back out to Goodwill.
I would love to hear your stories of succes and failure while thrift shopping!:)



  1. Oooooh! Ooh! everytime you go thrift shopping you should write a post about it and call it "adventures of thrift shopping"! I can't wait to see what you make with those cute finds;)Also, great tips. ♥ xoxo

    1. Yes I'm definitely going to do that! Thank you:)

  2. Awesome tips! And yes, I would love to read your future posts regarding your own experiences at this. Have a good one!

  3. I am a Goodwill Outlet shopper too. I've been to the one in Tacoma, Seattle, and Kent, Washington. Also the one in Portland and Medford (don't bother with Medford!), Oregon. I have found the coolest stuff. Don't go with any expectations of finding exactly what you want but the other treasures and incredible finds will blow you away. Where do you go? Oh, btw, a Picaso was found at the Tacoma, WA Goodwill Outlet! Check out the story about it.

  4. Gloves, really???

  5. Yes, it can be a bit icky. So it's totally worth the extra hassle:)

  6. Wow! I felt the same way, would never have imagined I would shop at Goodwill. I even use to tease my Dad for buying stuff from there. I stopped in a local Goodwill, Albuquerque, NM and found so much cool stuff, not to mention name brand. Since then I have been addicted to browsing and finding everything from clothing, new shoes, home d├ęcor, furniture, etc. We also have a Goodwill Outlet, which yes, gloves are necessary in order to dig through bins that contain either vintage and sometimes new merchandise. It's the thrill of finding the unknown, yet treasures. And when you get loads of merchandise for .40 cents a pound.....now that's a bargain!!! Just have to be smart about what you need and not becoming a hoarder!!! Lol


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