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  • Writer's pictureMadeleine Janz

Tips for a Successful Thrifting Trip

Entering a thrift store looking for one specific item or just to shop can be pretty overwhelming. Even with the expert organization done by thrift store staff, the sheer amount of clothing, homewares, and furniture can make the task seem impossible. But, there are strategies to make your thrifting trip successful and fun. With just a little bit of pre-planning and intention while shopping, you can be an expert thrifter in no time.

Before setting out to the thrift store, you'll want to make sure you know whether you're just shopping around or looking for something specific. The former can make for a really fun afternoon activity, especially on a hot day, and the latter can actually make for a really quick trip if you follow these tips.

If you’re looking for something specific:

  1. Go directly to that section (clothing, homewares, etc.) when you enter the thrift store; distraction is all around but focus will help you find what you’re looking for faster

  2. Have a list of deal breakers so you don’t talk yourself into buying something that isn’t quite right (i.e. you’re looking for a dresser but one of your deal breakers is that it can’t be blue)

  3. Try shopping on a weekday instead of the busier weekend so you have less distraction and potentially more help from the staff if needed.

  4. Keep trying! If you don’t find it the first time, try again. Thrift stores like ReUzit on State are always getting new donations and changing the stock on the floor.

If you’re just shopping around:

  1. Try things on! Vintage clothing (even just from a decade ago) are often a couple sizes smaller than our current sizing guides so you can’t just trust the size written on the clothing.

  2. Be aware of what you already have at home to avoid impulse buys of something you won’t actually wear or use.

  3. Become a pro at scanning aisles by looking at your closet or home before your thrift trip; what colors do you love to wear already? What kind of interior design do you love? If you like Pinterest, try making a board just for your personal style to inspire your next stop in at the thrift store. Knowing what you already like makes it easier to quickly see quality items while thrifting.

  4. Thrifting is an excellent time to move out of comfort zone and try something new!

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