How I Learned to Thrift Successfully

How I Learned to Thrift Successfully

Amber Byfield
Sep 3, 2009

I grew up with parents who thought it was "fun" to go to antique stores any time we went out of town. My brother and sister and I groaned when we'd pass by signs for antique malls and thrift stores as it could only mean one thing: a detour that translated to less time in the swimming pool at the hotel. But now I understand...

What I learned from all those detours is that buying truly interesting and worthwhile items at an antique or thrift store takes a little practice, a little intuition, and a lot of patience.

With that in mind, it's a little easier to understand why you might not find that perfect antique hutch on your first trip out. I keep the same thing in mind when I'm shopping for something on Craigslist or in a thrift shop. If there's something very particular in mind, I hold out until I find something that's just right--or close enough with a modification or two.

Some thrifting is a lot easier: if you're just browsing and happen upon something that strikes you (I have a weakness for kitchen gadgetry), then one person's trash truly will become another's treasure.

What tips do you have for walking away from a thrift store, well, fulfilled?

(Image: Amber Byfield for Re-Nest.)

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