I grew up going to Goodwill and I’ve always loved finding a great deal (maybe loved it too much) but I stopped thrifting for a while. Every time I went to Goodwill, I didn’t bother looking or I would skim the shelves and racks, hate everything, and leave, thinking thrifting wasn’t for me. Then I would log onto Instagram and see people posting their thrift shop finds and I would question why that wasn’t me. Then one day I changed my mindset on it all and since then, I love going to thrifting.
In fact, I usually end up at Goodwill at least twice a week. Oops.
I’ve found a lot of fun stuff and have gotten messages asking me how I did it. I finally did it. I became that person that people started seeking advice from. I’ve turned into the person I used to reach out to.
Thrifting for me isn’t just about finding a good deal. Ever since I started, I have a newfound love for fashion. I’ve always liked clothes but not the way that I do now. I love looking on Pinterest and finding similar pieces at a thrift store for less than $5. It almost turns it into a game. And since having these clothes, I’ve felt more confident in myself and my fashion sense. It’s almost like I’ve figured out a little of who I am as a whole. Cheesy I know but it’s a feeling I never expected to have.
There’s something thrilling about finding clothes or stuff for your home and scoring such a great deal on it. So how do I do it? Follow these few steps and you can do it too. Because when you thrift, you’re helping the environment, helping your wallet, and helping your fashion sense. I see that as a win all around.
I know not everyone has an open schedule but the key to finding great pieces is to go often. If possible, go at least once or twice a week. I don’t have any specific days that I go but if I’m free and in the mood to shop, I hit up a Goodwill. Their inventory is constantly changing. People are constantly donating new things. I’ve been to the same Goodwill twice in one week and have found different things each time.
Scout out locations
There are 4 Goodwills in my general vicinity. There are a couple that I rarely visit because I have yet to find things. After scouting a couple out, I landed on one of my favorites that’s about 10-minutes away from my house. Then one day I felt like switching it up and went to one that was 15-minutes. That one is now my favorite. They all vary in size and the things donated. Some are goldmines and other’s not so much. If you’re really curious, ask an employee when they typically restock so you can find the freshest items.
This is probably the hardest part. I was not one to go through every single rack and shelf. I hated going through the clutter. But when I learned to slow down and take my time, I realized that I had to in order to find the things I was looking for. Especially when it comes to clothes. Housing stuff takes a little less effort (if your location is organized). Do a walk-through and then do another. Don’t go if you’re limited on time. You’re going to walk inside, feel overwhelmed and unmotivated and walk right out. Trust me, I’ve done it multiple times.
Look for inspo online
This one has been a game changer for my thrifting game. I’m an avid Pinterest user and I love finding home decor and outfit inspo. Once I started that, I began creating a mental list of pieces that I wanted for my closet or my house. For example, I’ve been wanting mini peacock chairs to use as plant stands. Went to Goodwill on two different occasions and found two! The same goes for clothes. Goodwill is the place to find button-down shirts and linen pieces (two of my biggest obsessions right now).
Take advantage of sales
While this doesn’t exactly help you find the best pieces, take advantage of the sales that thrift stores have. One of my favorite days of the month is “1/2 price Saturday” at Goodwill. That’s when everything is literally 50% off. They also have $1 tag days when a specific colored tag is only $1. And if you want to save even more money (seems impossible, right?), Goodwill often has coupons online.
If you like something, grab it
If you’re visiting on a very busy day (like 1/2 price Saturday), you’ll notice that it’s pretty chaotic. So, if you’re searching the racks and you find something you like (even just a little), grab it and put it in your cart. Chances are if you leave and come back, it might not be there. You can always organize your cart later or try things on and see how you feel once it’s on.
Don’t just focus on Goodwill
Look at other thrift stores or consignment stores. Here in Phoenix, we have a bunch of different thrift stores. One of my favorite places to shop is Buffalo Exchange, a consignment store here in the valley. The best part is that I sell them my clothes I don’t like, get store credit, and buy new pieces for the season.
Check out Offer Up and Facebook Marketplace
If you’re looking to redo your home or find some staple pieces, check out Offer Up or Facebook Marketplace. Both are amazing ways to find great pieces of furniture and home decor. Sometimes I just like to sit and browse at all of the midcentury pieces, rattan pieces, and plant stands on there just for fun…. That’s normal right?
Thrift when you’re on vacation
I can’t tell you how much I love visiting new thrift stores when I’m traveling. One of the first things I do when trying to put together a rough itinerary is look up if there are any cool vintage stores or thrift shops. I went to 3-4 when I was in Joshua Tree a few weeks ago. You can find some crazy things depending on where you are.
Lastly, just have fun. Don’t view thrifting as something that is stressful. When you’re relaxed and enjoy flipping through the goodies, the good thrifting juju heads your way.
Do you thrift? Would love to hear your experiences with thrifting! XO