You probably know by now that I have a soft spot for anything thrifted. I think thrifting appeals to me for a number of reasons: I love making a purchase with a low or neutral environmental impact, I am a sucker for anything with a history or story attached to it, and I adore the aesthetics of decades past. I can’t help myself.
I’ve posted before, though, about having to be careful to wrangle my greedy inner accumulator. It’s an ongoing struggle.
Something I haven’t yet mentioned, however, is how the decision to purchase – or not purchase, as the case may be – can vary between an obvious NO to an epic inner struggle of should I/shouldn’t I/maybe I will/but I can’t/but I want to/but I don’t need it/but it’s so pretty/but what would I even do with it….and so on and so on.
I mentally categorize items before they make it into my basket (if they’re even worth considering). I’m a fan of the following categories:
- Collections – these are items I actually collect and use, including vintage Pyrex, depression glass, kitchen items, etc.
- Too Cool to Ignore – something unique and/or valuable that I wouldn’t come across often.
- WTF – kind of self explanatory.
- Is this a Joke? – these are the pieces that are way overpriced or shouldn’t be sold at all. I’ll often see items with a dollar store price tag that’s LOWER than the thrift store price tag. How does that even happen? This category also includes things that are threadbare, ripped, or broken beyond repair.
I’m going to just share a glimpse of my inner monologue while thrifting in the hopes that it will help others who are prone to accumulating or fall easily for items that are pretty but pricey or that aren’t really needed at home.
Collections: I have a weakness for depression glass but restrict myself for only picking up pieces in the pink variety. This can cause turmoil when I spot gorgeous collections like this yellow set of ice cream bowls I saw recently.
Too Cool to Ignore: Case in point, this super cool antique in-table sewing machine.
For less than $15, it would make someone a super cool conversation piece. The struggle was real with this one. Particularly because I found a similar piece for triple the price in a different shop just a few days later.
And, of course, we have the WTF category. Is this the creepiest thing you’ve ever seen? The answer is yes. What would you even keep in there? Human hair? Doll heads? Dead insects? So creepy.
A closely-related branch of the WTF category is the Is this a Joke? category. My favourite recent addition to this category was some garbage I found at Value Village.
Oh, excuse me. It’s not garbage if it’s recyclable. But yeah, it’s an empty frappuccino bottle selling for the price it would cost to purchase full from Starbucks. Seeing these items make me check over my shoulder for a hidden camera. Maybe the employee in charge of pricing was just playing roulette with the price tags. Who knows?
And sometimes I’ll pick something up and carry it around with me for a while before eventually forcing myself to rationalize putting it back or making the purchase. Other times though, I’ll make amazing finds that actually make it home with me.
A recent favourite find was this vintage Italian Ladi scale. It was amazing and I found it for a steal of a price. Then, because for me the thrill is in the discovery, I traded it with a friend for a couple of beers. It was a real thrifting win-win!