Have you visited your local Goodwill lately? If not, you just might be missing out. Here is how I shop at Goodwill and find good stuff!
Are you a big thrifter? I’ll admit, I’m what you might call a mediocre thrifter. I love antiquing and thrifting, but only when I’m in the mood for it – which can really depend on what season of life I’m in at the moment. As a hobby though, I always seem to come back to it.
I love the idea and look of mixing something thrifted with higher end items in our home. Just a handful of thrifted items can help create a naturally curated home and keep it from looking like you’re trying too hard. And quite honestly, it’s good retail therapy without a hefty price tag 😉
I’ve found some great items over the years at Goodwill and various thrift stores. All it takes is a little bit of patience and timing. Here are the tips and tricks I use when shopping at Goodwill to find good stuff!
Paint Can Fix A Lot Things
When you’re shopping for furniture, remember that paint can change everything. Remember this chair makeover? It’s still one of my favorites, and it’s all because of paint. Paint can cover a multitude of imperfections and bring new life to furniture. Make sure you look at the lines of the furniture versus the finish or color. Beautiful lines could be hiding under that 70’s orange wood finish.
A good example of this is the wooden children’s chair I came across at Goodwill. It was only $5 and in great condition, but the finish had seen better days. The best part? It was handmade. Yup, you heard me right, someone built this chair by hand for their child. How cute is that? So while I wasn’t in love with how it looked in the store, I knew a can of paint could change that!
Shop on Tuesdays & Wednesdays
I’ve come to the conclusion that Tuesdays & Wednesdays during the summertime are the best days to shop for great finds at Goodwill. I think this is due to a couple of factors, one being weekend garage sales, and the second being that people move in the summer. Both of these things mean lots of donations to Goodwill and other local thrift stores over the weekend. Which equals lots of new inventory early in the week!
Note: Mondays can be good also, but often times store employees are still sifting through donated inventory from the weekend, so it doesn’t always make it out to the sales floor that quickly. Check your local thrift stores to see how fast their inventory turn around is.
Make Sure It Has Good Bones
Before you buy anything (and this goes for everything from toys to furniture) make sure it has good bones. A chair with a cracked leg or other structural damage that’s not an easy fix isn’t worth your time or money. I’ve learned this the hard way a couple of times by thinking I could make repairs to furniture, but instead ending up with an unusable piece that I had to re-donate. Lesson learned, now I only buy pieces that are sturdy and will stand the test of time (like this french armchair).
A few things to check before you buy:
- Make sure the legs are sturdy and well attached.
- Check for any damage to the seat or back.
- If you plan on reupholstering, make sure the seat cushion is removable.
Only Buy What You Love
Buying something just because it’s a good deal is a trap that’s really easy to fall into. But do you know what that gets you? Clutter. A home full of stuff you like but don’t love. A life full of things that distract you. So beware, and only buy the items that you love. Ask yourself:
- How will I use it?
- Where will I put it?
- Am I going to love it a year from now? 3 years from now?
Tip: One of the ways I keep myself from buying something just because it’s a good deal is to have a list of things I’m looking for before I go into a store. The vintage silverware collection above is a good example of this. Vintage silverware is something I’m always on the lookout for, the more mismatched the better! Over years of collecting, I’ve acquired a charming selection of vintage silverware with this approach. 🙂
Donate as Much as You Buy (If Not More!)
This kind of goes along with the above “only buy what you love”. I like to take a donation to Goodwill every time I go to shop there. It’s kind of my own personal “one in, one out” rule. It’s a good way for me to carefully edit our home to make sure we aren’t just bringing more stuff into it without anything being removed. It also makes me take a hard look at what we already have, and what we need and don’t need.
And those are my top tips and tricks for shopping at Goodwill and finding good stuff! Do you ever shop at Goodwill? I would love to hear about any tips you have or great finds you’ve made!
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