7.24.2009

born again thrifter

True confession: I've never been much of a garage sale queen. In the past, the mere thought of a second-hand shopping spree would leave me cowering with the urge to scrub my hands and sanitize my clothes. Not that I've never visited my local thrift stores or scoured over Craigslist. It's just that consignment stores and clearance racks were not my forte. I found the chaos of unwanted, surplus, and used items to be completely overwhelming to say the least.

But that was then, and this is now. I am officially coming out of the closet and proclaiming myself to be a born again thrifter. Second-hand, reused, re-purposed, rediscovered, vintage, antique, you name it, I appreciate it. The past year has really changed my perspective on the value of stuff.

Exhibit A: Martha Stewart Crafts glitter + cards kit, clearance aisle
Some of this stems from Graham's entrance in the world. Kids gear is soo spendy! Once I found his nursery furniture on Craigslist, I was on fire. Yesterday I visited my first kiddy-consignment shop and left with a grin. I'm officially hooked. I found the most darling down jacket and snowpants that will fit him perfectly this winter! Bring on the Minnesota snowstorms, we will be set.

But the thrifting bug bit epecially hard when our budget shrank like my pre-Graham jeans. Leaving cosmopolitan San Francisco, its outrageously-inflated standard of living, and our dual full-time incomes and moving to rural Minnesota jobless has been a dramatic lifestyle change, to say the least. (Not jobless for long--more details soon!) Not to mention, we're house shopping, and all of our loose change is being stashed in the down payment fund. :)
Exhibit B: Antique immigrants' trunk spied at an estate sale $40
Plus, thrifting has become just plain chic. In a culture where it's hip to go green, in an economy where it's wise to pinch pennies, and a society where things sold at Wal-Mart and Ikea are designed to last maybe 5 years, it's a smart choice to reevaluate what is truly needful and make an effort to live a bit more simply. Packing up and moving sooo many boxes made me feel completely disgusting and materialistic. Pretty sure we could live without 80% of that stuff.
Exhibit C: Giant shoebox of rick rack, every size, every color. Thanks to this find at a g-sale, I'll never have to run to the craft store or pay full price ever again.:)
To me, it's exciting to live for less, not to mention addictive. Finding a bargain gives me such a rush. You just never know what treasures are in store. In the right circles, thrifting stories can be like fishing stories. Soon everyone will be getting together to score bragging rights about who found the biggest deal for the smallest price. So go forth, get your thrift on. There are deals to be scored and cash to be saved!

10 comments:

Jennifer said...

now that's a good score Jessica!!! Love ric rac and you gotcha some good colors there!!

Secondstreetdesigns said...

you can find the best fabric and vintage trims at thift stores. I don't know where you are in MN but the Unique Thrift Store in Northeast is a real winner. Although maybe I shouldn't have told you..........

Pixie said...

Oh how I miss a good thrift store. the ones around here are more consignment stores and don't really care vintage-y ric rac. :(

Elijah's Mom said...

Speaking of discoveries, I just discovered fat quarters!! I am equally hooked. :-D

Leslie said...

Im a total thrifter, but that rick rack is a score, for sure.

Lisa said...

I have recently undergone a similar conversion. I had to laugh- I can so relate to your comment about how thrift stores once made you want to wash your hands and sanitize your clothes. Retro/thrift clothing stores still creep me out a bit (why must they smell like they do?), but I am now OBSESSED with flea markets, especially since the ones here in London are so good (antique European jewelry could probably make anyone love thrifting).

Adventures of Supermom said...

I totally agree! I love shopping the yard sales for cute little dresses. Just today my sister found a toddler bed for $25. I have the same bed I paid for in-store $100. Go figure!

Chelle said...

oh what splendid finds...and I wanted to tell you what a charming little read this post was...for a moment I felt like I was reading something straight out of Country Living mag. only better.You have a real knack Jess, have you ever considered pursuing it?

From Sunday to Monday said...

Hey I recognize that card! Thanks for thinking of me! I am so glad you have come to your senses and started thrifting! Welcome to a world of fun!

Anonymous said...

OMG, that's a gorgeous trunk--and what a price! I'd love to find all those trims somewhere, too. I love secondhand...

(for some reason I'm getting an error when I try to put in my Wordpress i.d....)

Lisa
www.lisazahnwrites.wordpress.com