a beginner’s guide to power-hour thrifting

high plains thrifter // power hour thrifting

If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me “But I don’t have time to thrift!”, I’d be RICH. Hitting a thrift when you’re super-tight on time isn’t only doable, it can be downright fun (if you do it right). Whether you’re thrifting over your lunch break, as I commonly do, killing time before an appointment or sneaking away for an hour while the kids are at practice, here are my tried-and-true tips for maximizing your next thrift-store pop-in.

Preparation is everything.

When Roman statesman and philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca noted “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity,” I doubt if he was talking about thrifting, and yet, his words ring so totally true. If you want to get lucky on your next thrift-store power-hour, you’ve gotta have your ducks in a row.

Know where you’re going.

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If you’re visiting a new-to-you thrift, make sure you map out directions and so you don’t spend your thrifting time driving around in circles. (Been there, done that!) Most thrift-store websites, Goodwill included, should be able to link you directly to Google Maps. And for goodness sakes, check to make sure the store will be open too!

Bring a list.

high plains thrifter // power-hour thrifting

Just like grocery shopping without a list can turn into a train wreck, if you don’t know what you’re looking for at the thrift, it’s practically impossible to be in-and-out in under an hour. It’s simply too overwhelming! To avoid aimless aisle wandering, I review my running list of wants before I head out. (I keep my list on my phone, since I know I’ll always have it with me, but a small notebook does the trick too.)

I’ll also scan my Crafts, Projects & Plans Pinterest board so I can see what I’ve pinned recently and might need supplies for. Finally, I try to peek at my calendar to see if there are any events or holidays I should be planning or stocking up for. Having a detailed list in hand helps me stay focused, even at at big, busy stores.

Get to it.

high plains thrifter // power-hour thrifting

List in hand, get down to business! Since I wear dresses and skirts 99.9% of the time, that’s the section where I always start. Shopping stores that are organized like Goodwill, where clothing is sorted by size, makes it so much easier to be quick and efficient!

Be realistic.

high plains thrifter // power-hour thrifting

A thrift-store power-hour is not the time to:
-try clothes on
-check to see if electronics work
-dig through bargain bins
-read book jackets
-flip through piles of vinyl
-bid on silent auction items
-buy furniture (unless the store policy allows them to hold it for you so you can haul it home)

Go with your gut.

high plains thrifter // power-hour thrifting

Sometimes an item will present itself to you that you simply have to have. For example, a wicker serving tray wasn’t on my wish list, but when I saw this one, a fun makeover idea for it sprung to mind, and so I snapped it up. To avoid (impulse) buyer’s remorse, set a dollar-amount cap for spontaneous purchases. (Mine’s $10, for what it’s worth.) You can always come back tomorrow, you know?

It’s OK if you don’t find anything.

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Leaving a store empty-handed does not make your trip a failure! Being “lucky” in thrifting requires persistence and patience, and sometimes, it’s just not in the cards. Do not waste your money buying something just for the sake of “making your trip worthwhile.” You know it’ll just wind up adding clutter to your home, closet or bookshelf!

Armed with these tips, I hope you feel more ready to hit the thrifts, even if all the time you have is just one hour. If you have any go-to tips for thrift-store shopping on a tight timeline, please share ‘em in the comments section so we can learn from each other’s wisdom!

xoxo,

Meghan

P.S. A version of this post first appeared on the Goodwill/Easter Seals of Minnesota blog.

Photos c/o: Julia McMahon, LB Jeffries Photography

nice find: kara’s waylon t-shirt

Hello lovelies, and happy Monday! In my many years of thrifting, I’ve come to believe that some items wind up with certain people on purpose. Like when Kara posted her cute mug in this thrifted Waylon tee, I knew I had to quell my insane jealousy and accept that it was simply meant for her. Here she is with the full scoop on her Nice Find.

Name: Kara
Location: Minneapolis
My Nice Find is: Oh, nothing fancy—just a men’s XL Waylon Jennings tee! NBD.

9c1334b4b9cd11e3b7520ef2b06b89f1_8I thrifted it at: It came from Unique in Northeast. My bestie Amy plucked it out of the rack for me like magic.
I paid: $5? Maybe?
I’m going to wear it: Everywhere…if my brother doesn’t steal it first.
My best piece of thrifting advice is: Go with a friend who understands your style and you understand hers. You find double the stuff that way!
My favorite Waylon Jennings song is: This week? “Good Hearted Woman.”

So…who’s up next? If you have a #nicefind you’d like to share, I would love to tell your story! Shoot me an email (hpthrifter@gmail.com) about a thrifted purchase that made you giddy, along with a photo, and we can go from there!
I hope to hear from you soon!
xoxo,
Meghan

recently thrifted

Late Friday afternoon, I scooped my Mama up from the airport and made a beeline for her favorite thrift-store in the Twin Cities—ARC’s Value Village in Richfield. For nearly eight years, my brother lived a scant mile from this store, and let me tell you, it didn’t take long for a trip to “that nice thrift store down the road” to become an essential part of my Mom’s itinerary whenever she came to town. Now that he’s moved a little further north, I knew she’d appreciate a quick pop-in to her beloved old haunt. We spent less than an hour making the rounds of the bustling store, but I still managed to do quite a bit of damage. Here are a few of my favorite finds!

high plains thrifter // jello molds

high plains thrifter // mold

I blame this Southern Living piece for my new obsession with Jello molds. Mom also pointed out that the shiny silver one would serve wonderfully as an ice mold in a bowl of punch. Great point, Momma!

high plains thrifter / tin bowls I picked up these aluminum bowls to serve as props for work, but that didn’t stop me from serving afternoon snacks out of them today.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset high plains thrifter // sandals My love for granny sandals knows no bounds. Both of these pairs are the epitome of comfortable with ultra-cushy soles and sensible strap situations.

high plains thrifter // cocktail napkinshigh plains thrifter / cocktail napkins How could I pass up this bundle of cocktail napkins? I’m easily smitten with cheery ditzy prints and bright colors.

high plains thrifter // purse This Italian-made leather satchel is the bag I’ve been looking for. The style reminded me instantly of this J.W. Hulme Legacy bag I’ve coveted for eons, but could never justify buying. I also picked up this striped tank during our trip to Value Village, and I can already tell it’s going to be a staple this summer. I love the lace straps and stretchy material.

high plains thrifter // cowyboy boots Last but not least, can we talk about these boots? I spotted them from afar, and when I got closer, could not believe my eyes when I saw they were in the eight-and-a-half section. I picked them up, partly skeptical, partly overjoyed, and was like, “no way these are going to fit,” considering how cowboy boots can often look deceptively small. Lo and behold, they fit like a glove, making me the world’s happiest cowgirl.

Also found, but not pictured, a cream deadstock silk blouse from Carson Piere Scott. It has the most delicate pearl beading and details—so perfect for work. I also brought home a tan, long-sleeved Levi’s button-down to layer over dresses and tanks. (My Mom, no surprise, was content to look and not buy, given her jam-packed suitcase situation. She also remarked how much the prices had gone up since her last visit, an opinion I can’t disagree with.)

If you’ve been out thrifting lately, I hope you’ve had just as much luck AND fun as I had Friday.

xoxo,

Meghan

weekend sale circuit: april 17-19

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Apologies for the quietude around here this past week. I’ve been dealing with a super sick pup and some tight freelance deadlines, both of which have kept me from having any semblance of free time. Thankfully my ol’ Finnnie seems to be on the mend and my clients are sitting pretty with polished pieces in their inboxes, so it’ll be back to business as usual soon, starting with this roundup of secondhand sales (and a swap) happening this weekend! (Don’t forget: Most thrifts will be closed Sunday!)

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Easter Sale: In an effort to clear up some room on their sales floor, today through Saturday, all wooden furniture is 30% off and all entertainment centers and armoires are half-off. All Easter items and swimwear will also be marked down by 75%.

 Hidden Treasures Thrift Store Easter Weekend Blowout: Tomorrow and Saturday only, everything in-store will be 40% off.

Friedman Iverson’s Annual Record Swap: Tomorrow, on the eve of Record Store Day, the Twin Cities’ handsomest law firm will host their (practically famous) annual record swap. From 6-9 p.m., guests are welcome to bring unwanted vinyl to swap (not sell!) with other like-minded music lovers. Furthering sweetening the pot? Drinks, snacks and DJs. Be there!!!

Happy Easter!

xoxo,

Meghan

Photo c/o: Shelley Fabulous.

pinned it, made it: watercolor thank-you notes

Pinned this

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and then tried my hand at making my own! (One of my personal betterment resolutions for 2014 is to be better at getting thank-you notes out in a timely way. I’m super embarrassed of how terribly I’ve fallen out of the practice, but I’ve promised myself “no more!”)

thank you cards 3 thank you cards 2 thank you cards 1

My lettering skills leave quite a bit to be desired, but I am OK with that. Plus, I found all the supplies in my basement! (#bonus) Props to Scout’s Honor Co.’s delightful blog for heaps of inspiration. Have you been inspired to create from Pinterest lately? If so, I’d love to know what you’re making!

xoxo,

Meghan

heads up: one-day dress sale at Savers + Unique Thrift Stores

tumblr_msh9i3GjjE1qaujg4o1_500I don’t know about y’all, but I am beyond stoked that sundress season is back. And though I’m in no way in need of any new (old) dresses, that doesn’t make me any less  tempted by the 40%-off dress sale happening at Savers, Unique and Valu Thrift Stores today. The event, running at all area stores from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., includes dresses for both grown-up and little ladies alike (but excludes frocks with red tags). You must have an I M Unique Club Card or Super Savers Club Card in your possession to partake in the savings. (Do NOT try registering for a card today, they won’t allow it on sale days!)

xoxo,

Meghan

Photo c/o: Ghost Vintage Clothing.