Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I was checking out at Goodwill the other day and the woman there commented about all the nice things that I had found. I replied that I had been taught by the best. It was at this moment that I realized that I had been given great knowledge that many people don't have. I'm going to try my best to explain what my mother taught me about junking from the time I was a little girl. There is to much to learn in one posting so this will become a regular weekly post taking you step by step on becoming an expert thrift shop shopper...

First rule...never call it junking in a store...I made the mistake of doing this once and almost got thrown out by the owner. I quickly explained that this was a term that my mother had used meaning that what other people thought of as junk we saw as treasures...maybe treasure hunting would be a better term to use.

Where to go....if you want to find good junk, oops..I mean treasures, then you have to go to good neighborhoods. Rich people throw out perfectly good things where the poorer sections tend to use things more before getting rid of them. This can be tricky because really good neighborhoods don't want a Goodwill or Salvation Army on their block, so you have to go to the neighborhoods that border them.

Consignment shops are more expensive than thrift shops. At these shops the owners remember how much they paid for the item and they want some of that money back. They are also paying the store owner to sell it for them. Good deals can be found at these stores but you are best to go to the middle class neighborhoods. This way you can get nice things without spending a ton of money. I love to go to consignment shops when I'm on vacation. You can find some real treasures this way.

So your assignment for this week is to go hunting to see what kind of stores are out there in your area. Don't venture into neighborhoods that you don't feel safe. Go with a friend ....treasure hunts are always more fun when you can share the experience...but a word of caution...these stores only have one of each item usually...nothing out there is worth breaking up a friendship for. Just be happy for your friends find and move on.


  1. My daughter just connected me to you...LOVE treasure hunting. In fact we are going to do some this weekend, looking for old chairs I can paint or stain for our growing dining room.

  2. Elizabeth..thank you so much for are my first response and I don't even know you. How fun...good luck with you chair hunting. Don't forget to measure how tall your table is...I have bought old chairs to go with a new table and they were to short...a cushion works here but when a chair is to tall for a table that is another problem. I had one that the chairs got all banged up because the arms didn't fit under the table

  3. I already love your blog!! Very encouraging!!
    Also, I absolutely LOVE going to thrift stores. This is something I do with my mom and daughter-in-law! I get compliments sometimes and proudly answer where I got the pants or shirt or ??? I get a chuckle out of some peoples responses to find out I got it at a thrift store!!!

  4. Thanks for the tips. I will defintely be taking a tape measure with me.