Updated: Jun 3
I love thrifting. When I first starting thrifting back in Middle School (yes, I was that young when I started), I would hit up the Sunday Flea Market and antique stores in my home town every weekend. It brought me so much joy to wander the aisles and shelves of what other people might deem as junk. Hey, one lady’s trash is another’s treasure.
Old pieces tell a story. I remember finding a candlestick made in 1912, the same year as when the Titanic sank. I would dream of the backstory behind this hundred year old item. Now granted it didn’t come from the Titanic, but it sparked this curiosity in the history of pieces.
This fascination of thrifting grew from trinkets to more substantial items over the years. I’d say that over 3/4 of my pieces are thrifted, found, or off craigslist.com. While my space reflects that of a bohemian gypsy with its mismatched wood furniture, Moroccan rugs, and eclectic wall decor, I boldly believe that thrifted furniture can be anyone’s pursuit.
Not only can thrifting be for any design style, but there are other great benefits and reasons to thrift. So stop shopping box stores, and put on some Macklemore as you walk into a thrift stop.
Today’s insta-trash world has manufacturers cranking out low quality products. Most furniture today is made from MDF, veneers, and plywood. This is cheap material that will ensure that your furniture will be tossed in two years just to repeat the cycle all over.
On the other hand, thrifted pieces typically are pretty well built (as they’ve been able to withstand the test of time). Often times, they are made from solid wood. Solid wood pieces can be stripped, sanded, and retained/painted numerous times for multiple repurposing. MDF, veneers, and plywoods are one time deals.
If they’re made prior to the 1960s, then it is made of solid wood. After that, laminates and veneers became popular. You’ll still be able to find pieces from later decades made of solid wood of course, but that’s a good tip when thrifting.
Furniture is expensive! A dining chair at a typical box store can range anywhere from $200 and up. Most thrift stores are 3/4 that price. This means you’ll get more bang for your buck. Depending on where you shop, prices vary. Garage/rummage sales, estate sales, and barn sales are the least expensive. Thrift stores and flea markets are mid-range, and antique stores are the most expensive. Still, all these are typically less expensive than if you shopped new.
Per the fast-paced, trend induced society, tons of furniture get thrown away each year. If you’re eco-friendly and into sustainability, one of the ways to reduce our carbon footprint is by limiting the amount of consumerism we partake in. This means avoiding new box furniture stores and shopping for furniture that’s already in circulation. Hence thrifting!
Another tips is that if you’re looking for more modern pieces, Craigslist is a great option. You’ll be able to be more specific in your searching. Websites more catered to reused home furnishings are Chairish, Aptdeco, and Offer Up.
Tired of having the same living room as every West Elm and Crate & Barrel magazine? Thrifting, you find unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that set your space apart from the rest. Thrifted pieces can be great statements and conversation starters. And as I previous mentioned, they also carry a story. It adds character and individuality when you’re able to learn about the piece.
One of the best parts of thrifting is that you never know what you’ll find. It isn’t just furniture shopping…it’s an adventure! There is a joy and excitement in coming across the perfect treasured piece.
I’ve found that this joy raises the energy of our spaces because there is a positive association and memory from that piece. For example, I love my desk. It’s where I stage most of my social media photos. I originally got it at my neighbor’s garage sale when I was twenty or so. Now, it reminds me of my neighborhood and my Midwest roots.
NOTE | Being an energy worker, I will say that when you get a thrifted piece, you should ALWAYS cleanse it. Objects can take on and hold energy from previous owners. It’s important to remove this energy so it doesn’t affect you or your space.