Are you obsessed with being thrifty, but find yourself bringing home clothes that you never end up wearing? Perhaps you’re new to secondhand treasures, and feel a little overwhelmed with all the options. Maybe you secretly hate shopping and just want to get out of this store and back to being fabulous. We get it. No judgment. Here are some tips for how to make a trip to the thrift store feel a little less like a trip to Narnia.
Always have a Plan.
If you want to hop in and out of a thrift store, it’s important to be specific about your trip. Wandering around a thrift store is like being abducted by aliens. You snap out of a trance to discover that hours have passed and you’ve been poked by a stranger. The solution is simple – thrift with a purpose. Is there a certain skirt length that you’d like to try? Are in the mood for some cute new cardigans? Say something hat? The more you narrow down your search, the more likely you’ll be to walk away with a couple of great finds and still be able to enjoy the rest of your day.
Set your budget and stick to it.
How much are you willing to spend today? $25? $40? $6.37? Set a budget, and don’t give yourself any wiggle room. Add up your purchases (don’t forget tax) in the dressing room and eliminate any overhaul until your purse is happy again. Sometimes it’s mildly heartbreaking. You don’t want to say goodbye to anything, but remember that you didn’t even know that blouse existed 20 minutes ago. The world will keep spinning. If you’d like to dodge Non-buyer’s Guilt altogether, stop grabbing items when you reach your budget. You’re probably not going to like the fit of every item you’ve chosen, so this will absolutely guarantee that you don’t overspend.
Is this something you really need?
You’re going to see some really great deals, but you’re not saving money if you bring home bags and bags of clothes you don’t really need. Plus, where are you going to put all this stuff? Closets don’t get bigger over time. It’s a flaw in design, but that’s life. Be honest with yourself about fit. You’re not going to lose weight just to fit into this dress. Before you commit to something, ask yourself when, where, and how often you think you’ll be wearing it. Thrifting is about discovering treasures, not buying clutter.
Work from the Back of the Store to the Front.
Cute and affordable clothes can be mesmerizing, so sometimes you have to trick your brain into helping your future self. Starting in the back of the store means that you’ll be closer to the registers by the end of your trip. You’re more likely to wrap things up when you can see the front door. It reminds you that there’s a whole world out there beyond great finds and vintage knick knacks. It also lets you know what kind of line you’ll be dealing with. Cut it short when you see the check out situation starting to get a little cray cray.
Trust your Instincts.
There’s nothing more magical than sifting through a rack of endless possibilities, but it’s not very time efficient. You know your style. You know what colors and patterns you like. Just take a slow stroll down the aisle, grab the first few things that pop out at you, and walk away. There will be goodies that you don’t see, but you can’t buy everything. Leave it for someone else with equally fabulous style to discover.
A wise internet meme once said, “You have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce.” You know how Beyonce gets things done? Time management. Her songs have to be recorded by a certain day. Her makeup and weave people get just a couple of hours. And Blue Ivy is for photo ops only. You are the Beyonce of thrifting. Set an alarm on your phone to keep track of time. When that sucker goes off, that’s it. It’s show time. Now get in formation and slay!