Thrifting Gives Me Life
That sounds completely trite but seriously, I'd rather be thrifting. Always. Like right now I'm laying in bed typing this at eleven pm and I'm thinking about eBay and Craigslist. I thrift shop everyday. Every. Single. Day.
This is why: I'm on a quest for some magical thing no one else has or at least few others have. It is also kind of important that the mystical item is at an insanely low price, at least for me, all thrifters need not be bargain hunters. Now, this doesn't mean everything I buy is under $10 but a lot of stuff is. Another important thing to point out, is that just because I'm "shopping" everyday does not mean I'm "buying" everyday. I'm on a quest and if all that I encounter on any given day is a bunch of crap, well, I don't pick it up. There is some gray area between thrifter extrodinaire and hoarder, I am acutely aware of when I'm verging on "H' word status. Now, for the buzz word "curate". You should always be curating a collection. Not just picking up a bunch of junk cause it's cheap. This all sounds very no-brainer but I swear it's easy to lapse into 'wading in crap-land' in your own home. Here are a few base guidelines that help me not buy a gold spray painted turd.
*Have I been actively pursuing this item?
I have bought two sofa's off Craig's and I searched for both for awhile. One of my rules is actually pertaining to upholstered furniture: don't do it. HOWEVER, if you are able to go into a persons home speak with them get a sense of their cleanliness etc, and you feel at ease. I say, trust your gut. I got a year old West Elm sofa that way, at a fraction of the cost and a mid-century Henredon that looked as if it had never been sat on, for $100 from an old couple, the original owners. I thought about both for awhile before pulling the trigger. You should not impulsively buy couches. Chairs, maybe? But couches pile up pretty fast. As far as the no upholstered furniture caveat, this applies to the Salvation Army, etc. You just don't know what kind of creepy crawlys could be coming with it. Now, if it's some Adrian Pearsall masterpiece and you are certain of it, screw the bed bugs? Take it straight to a fumigation room, in the bed of your truck? I don't know? But don't pass that shit up. For every rule there's a situation in which it should be broken.
*Is it beautiful and/or unique AND you have a spot for it, or a plan for the thing it will replace?
I got this crazy one million pound marble lamp very recently, for a song. I need lamps and they can be $$$. Marble lamp (since named Viv) is super unique but also neutral, I could think of five places to try her out and Viv quickly found a home in my living room. Where she proudly serves her purpose of providing electric light and, bonus, looks super sexy doing it. This could just as easily have been a sitch where I had a lamp I did not feel affectionately for and Viv would be a better fit. Old sad lamp would then be demoted to a less prominent spot in the house or get shipped off to the thrift shop.
*Is it too crazy good, why is this in a thrift shop, un-freaking-believable?
In the case of the 5' fiddle leaf fig I bought at goodwill: YES!! Hell yes. At the time a fiddle could not be had 'round these parts. A person would have to drive to St. Louis and then it was gonna cost ya at least $100, or more for a tree this size. I had been plotting my acquisition of one for awhile and lo and behold as I approached my fave thrift store, there she was in the window in all her three branched, resplendent glory. $14 later she came home with me. I almost peed my pants. Seriously, I freak about this kinda stuff. Also, why was it at Goodwill? Well sadly, I believe it may have been orphaned but graciously the decedents of it's previous owner brought it to a place for adoption or it was abandoned by someone that could no longer care for it. À la dumping one's children at the fire station. Both are sad... but hella happy, because I got a well maintained, big ass fig tree for 14 USD.
There are so many more tips and tricks to being a stellar thrifter and not a hoarder, that there have to be more installments to come on the subject.
What about you all? Any 'rules' you have for purchases? Or just crazy awesome things you've picked up at the thrift store/Craigslist/flea market etc.?