Goodwill Goodies

Design, Repurpose / Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

So on Sunday I said that a new post would be up tomorrow…it’s Tuesday and I’m just now posting. I will get better at making this blog consistent I promise!

Please tell me I am not alone in my love for Goodwill and all the treasures that come along with it. In case you have never explored the world of Goodwill, let me just tell you that you are missing out on the best bargains of your life. Yes, your entire life. It’s my mom’s fault that I’m so into the trash to treasure finds. She rarely buys at Goodwill, but she is always up to just go look around. While on vacation in Florida one year we decided to go to the local Goodwill “since it’s a tourist town, they will have all kinds of goodies.” It was a bust, but it was fun nonetheless. Goodwill is close to a weekly adventure for me and Evan isn’t far behind on that scale. When we are bored on a Saturday we may drive to our nearest Goodwill and take a look around. It’s so entertaining for us to search through the crap that they have in hopes of finding a gem amongst the rubble. Does it always happen? 9 times out of 10, no. But, that 1 time keeps us coming back.

I made a list of things that you need to keep in mind while shopping at Goodwill that I always find helpful.

1) Pick your store wisely.
There are plenty of Goodwill stores on the wrong side of town that you should seriously consider bringing a firearm for protection, pepper spray at least. Do some research before you go and find out about the area. Typically those stores in the “bad” parts of town don’t have a lot of good stuff there anyway. Look for stores that are in wealthier or on the nicer side of town. You are more likely to find a lot more potential merchandise there anyway. Just because it’s a nice piece of furniture doesn’t mean it will be marked up above what it should be because let’s be honest, it’s a hand-me-down store.

2) See through the ugly.
Let’s say you found a chair that was a solid piece and put together well, but it’s lime green and you’re feeling lazy. Your excuses start rolling in: But I don’t want to have to paint it. I don’t have time. It might not fit in my car today, I haven’t cleaned it out in awhile. Okay, the last one might just be me. There will never be another time that you find a cute chair for $5.00. Yeah, it’s ugly now, but if you like the design and construction of a piece just buy it! Paint is easy and it really doesn’t take long to make it aesthetically pleasing.

3) Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose.
I adore giving things new life and giving it a new purpose. Recently, I bought a ton of those old ugly wooden baskets for a $1.00 a piece and painted them white to put our food in. Our pantry is above our sink behind glass so it is all out in the open, which I hate food being seen unless it’s fruit. It’s just wrong. Picture frames are extremely easy change up and give new life also. If it has an ugly picture in it, but the frame is textured and awesome and it’s only $2.00. GET IT. In my opinion, you can always find a place for those things. Repurpose a bench into a coffee table, or coffee table to an ottoman. Make an old dresser an entertainment piece or a vanity. Just be creative when you are searching for the right pieces. They may not always look how you think they will. Have an open mind.

4) If it’s broken, leave it.
I never buy anything electric from Goodwill…except a lamp or two. And a grill. If we are being honest Evan bought the grill. Goodwill is good about electronic returns most of the time though. If you can’t try it out at the store, make sure you plug it in or try turning it on as soon as you get home. If it doesn’t work, just bring it back and get your money back. Thankfully, the two lamps that I bought (for $4.00!!!) both worked and I just bought new shades for them. But, the broken rule goes for furniture also. If it is wobbly or missing a part or piece, I usually just leave it. You can fix the ugly, you can’t always fix the broken.

5) Solid wood, solid gold.
When I come across pieces that are solid wood, sit level on the ground, and have all their pieces and parts, it’s extremely hard for me to walk away. This is because I know how much that piece would be at a furniture store and seeing the price makes me want to swipe my card immediately. Also, wood is so fun to work with if you are painting or if you want to give something a facelift. It’s simple to paint, sand, antique, or stain. The possibilities are endless.

So needless to say, be cautious, but be creative when shopping at Goodwill or any thrift store for that matter. Not everything will look perfect the first time you see it and putting your own spin on things is the best part about decorating and doing things yourself anyway. I hope y’all enjoyed this little update. We will have more projects coming soon!


2 Replies to “Goodwill Goodies”

  1. Ah – I love Goodwill too! In fact I’m a Goodwill Junkie 🙂 I love that you are encouraging others to reuse and repurpose!! I would like to say that there are wonderful treasures to be found in unlikely places… I live in St. Louis and frequent the Goodwill in Ferguson! Yes, the same place that all the riots took place in just a few months ago. No, I don’t need a gun or pepper spray and yes, I find wonderful things there 🙂 (and the staff are the best I’ve come across!!) Keep an open mind and don’t judge a place by other people’s stereotypes – I haven’t met a Goodwill I won’t shop at 🙂

    1. I’m so sorry, I just saw this! Thank you so much for commenting. It’s pretty much the experience that I love so much. Just searching for that next treasure that I have no idea what it will be. And yes, all Goodwills have all kinds of hidden goodies that have potential! 🙂

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