It’s no secret if you know me that most of my clothes come from thrift stores. I have been thrifting for over a quarter of a decade; first out of need and now because I like getting more bang for my buck when shopping. I do buy things brand new although most of those investments are because I found an item while thrifting and deemed it worth the price.
While I was out thrifting with my younger daughter one day I realized that her style of picking items was much different than mine was. After declining a few items that she thought would work for me based on the fact that they fit me she asked why I was dismissing everything. As I shared various reasons based on each item she presented me she was shocked to learn that I have a set of guidelines that dictate my thrift store purchases. I was equally shocked that she had no rules and sort of just shopped willy-nilly.
I decided to share my Rules of Thrift Club after she conducted a poll and found that over 80% of the people that saw her Instastory also just shop aimlessly in thrift stores without a (very flexible) list. I wasn’t shocked by this fact given that my daughter who had thrift shopped with me for the entirety of her existence had no idea how I decided what came home with me during each thrifting excursion.
The First Rule of Thrift Club
The first rule of Thrift Club is to throw out all of your preconceived notions of thrifting and be prepared to walk out of the store with nothing. There are days when you will come home with nothing and other days where you will have hit the thrifting jackpot. Think of thrifting as an elusive treasure hunt; the treasure is out there you just won’t happen upon it each and every time you go out hunting. My first thrifting haul video was over the course of two days and three stores.
The Second Rule of Thrift Club
Before you go out thrifting take stock of what you already have in your closet. Go through your items and try everything on getting rid of items that don’t fit or are in need of mending. If they don’t fit well or you find that you take the item off each time you try to wear it put it in a pile to drop off at your thrift store. If the item is stained or in need of repair do not donate it to the thrift store. The thrift store drop off isn’t a trash bin and you’re doing no one any favors by donating items that aren’t useable.
I know you have that pile of stuff that you love but you don’t love on you. It is okay to love and appreciate clothes for what they are, it is also okay to love an item and not love it on your body. It’s also okay that you have items that still have their tags on them that you can’t or won’t wear. This is me giving you permission to release these things and not let guilt consume you about it. Think of the releasing as you helping it to find it’s true home; you were just the vessel to get it there. I know that many of us, me included, use shopping as a coping mechanism to deal with our feelings and to establish control over things when life feels like it is spiraling out of control. I find if I am not in the right mindset when shopping I come home with all sorts of things that I would have never picked up otherwise. This is one of the biggest reasons that I instituted rules for myself so I don’t regret purchases later.
Just like you took stock of what you had in your closet, look around at your house. Are pieces you would love to add to your home or blank spaces on your walls that need something filling them up? I like to take measurements of spaces I want to fill so when I am out and see a potential piece I can measure it and see if it will fit the space. And if you have pieces that aren’t suiting your needs or you really dislike them it’s time to pack them up in your vehicle with those bags of clothes and shoes to drop them at the thrift store before you go shopping.
Now that your car is packed and ready to go to the thrift store, let take a minute to rest before we start on the next installment of the Thrift Club series.