Thrift Shop Mojo

I am a thrift store junkie. I remember when I was a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money. Every summer, my family spend a week in Auburn, WA at Lake Tapps. Auburn had tons of thrift stores and we’d go each year to pick up clothes for the school year. So, I wasn’t the most fashionable kid in the school, but I learned to love the adventure. That love for thrift stores persists today. I’d say about half my shoes and clothes come from thrift stores – a handful of handbags too! It used to be a necessity for money reasons, but today, I can afford new clothes. But I am used to thrift pricing now. ($100 for jeans?! HA!) And honestly, I just love the challenge and the hunt for a great deal.

Thrifting has become trendy recently. One of my favorite blog sites, Hello Giggles, has a whole series of posts about thrifting. The new CBS show 2 Broke Girls (which I find funny, but all my friends think it sucks) had a hilarious episode where the street-smart broke girl took the former rich-bitch broke girl to the Goodwill. Especially in today’s economy, and with increased sensibilities to ‘green living’, thrifting is a fantastic money-saving, reduce/reuse/recycle option. All it takes is some common sense and a sense of adventure. With a dash of patience. And hand sanitizer.

Look for these

Clothes. This is the easiest category. I only own one pair of jeans that did not come from a thrift store. Most of my dresses (I have a lot!) are from thrift stores. You will need to try things on – especially jeans. I have to try on 15 pairs for every 2 I go home with. But I have some nice jeans – Hilfiger, DKNY – and not a single pair cost more than $9.99. I have found cute tops, great sweaters – never spending more than $15 for any item. Here are some of my faves:
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Organizing your closet

A while back, I came across this 31-day challenge to a better organized home on the cheap. While I love this idea, I just don’t have 31 days in a row to devote to organizing. As, I had noted in one of my very first posts, I truly believe that keeping your home clean and organized is key to being a successful homemaker – in fact, I listed it as number one! In all honesty, though, it is the one I have the hardest time with. I feel like I am always playing catch-up on the housecleaning. Last weekend, inspired by Deb’s post on closet audits, I decided it was time to tackle my closet. Let me share how I did it, and some helpful hints on how to keep your closet organized!

Hanging Clothes: As you can see from the ‘before’ picture, my hanging clothes are really not that bad off. But the shoes are a disaster, and the shelves on either side of the closet are just overloaded. First things first, I emptied my closet of the hanging clothes, one clothing type at a time. Skirts, shirts, pants, etc. I tried on nearly everything, and following Deb’s instructions, divided into piles: Keep, Toss, Fix and “how do I wear this?”  I’m pretty good at tossing items I no longer use. But I had a few surprises. Of the 19 skirts in my closet, I tossed 11! But nearly all the shirts stayed.

HELPFUL HINT #1: When hanging your clothes, the hangers you use are key. A year or so ago, I got rid of all my clunky plastic hangers and replaced them with thin, felted hangers. These are great for three reasons: One is that they take up so much less space in your closet. Second is that the felting on the hangers keeps your clothes from slipping off the hanger. No more need for those annoying ribbon hangers that seem to be attached to every piece of clothing nowadays. Third is that they’re just so much prettier!

HELPFUL HINT #2: As you can see from the pictures below, I have this great second-tier hanger. It provides a lower hanging bar for a second level of hanging clothes. I love this thing. Be sure to hang shorter clothes from it, so as to not block the shoes on the floor!

HELPFUL HINT #3: Many people have different ways of hanging their clothes – by color, by what they go with, etc. As for me, my clothes are hung by type. My shirts are all hung together. And in order of type of shirt. Sleeveless first, then short sleeve – first the t-shirts and knits, followed by button up. Same with the long-sleeve – t-shirts and knits, followed by button up. Then, the sweaters, cardigans and pullovers grouped together. This may seem a bit OCD, but this will help you so much when you’re putting your clothes away. And it will help you to always find what you’re looking for.

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