Friday, April 22, 2011

And The Winner Is…

As a way to thank all of the followers and fans of Let’s Go Thrifting! and to celebrate our first landmark accomplishment, I decided back in February to have a giveaway in honor of the 50th follow.

And after plotting, planning and waiting it out, the time is finally upon us.

So I whipped out my favorite thrifted hat…

The Thrifted Hat Giveaway

…assigned everyone a number from 1-50, wrote the numbers on little scraps of paper, tossed them inside…

Giveaway numbers

…gave them a shake, closed my eyes and plucked out lucky number 25.

And the winner is monogirl from Vintage Spinster!

Book Freebie

Congratulations! As promised, you have won The Complete Book of Small Antiques Collecting by Katharine Morrison McClinton from 1965.

This vintage read, and a few other surprises will be shipped to you free of charge as my little token of appreciation.

Thanks everyone for reading, liking, following and sharing your thoughts.
Stay thrifty.

<3 Jackie @ Let’s Go Thrifting!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On Hoarding.

Hoarder Car Edit Resized
A station wagon is packed and parked outside 2nd Avenue Thrift.

In the last few years, the term “hoarding” has been a booming part of vernacular with regard to mental disorder. This is due in large part to the  look into those affected through TV shows such as Clean House, Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive. But in the grand traditions of saving, collecting, thrift and clearance shopping, a grave situation much like those horrifying hoards on TV is not entirely uncommon.

In a struggling economy where bankruptcy, foreclosure and unemployment are at an all-time high, an eye for frugality and a thrifty resourcefulness are typically positive attributes to possess.

However, I also have certain qualifiers… a test, if you will. If tBut when it comes to the seemingly endless variety of items found at the thrift store, estate sale or flea market, how does the average secondhand shopper know what limits to set?  And just how much stuff is too much? 
It’s a quantitative term, signifying a spatial reality, the words “too much.” But at what specific number is the border between collection and hoard crossed? 5…25…50?

As for me, I have varied interests in music, movies, books, hobbies and decor. And this hunger is in part, satiated by the diversity thrifting brings to the table.

As a diehard thrifter and vintage enthusiast, I can find several reasons justifying an impulsive secondhand purchase. For instance:

  • It’s vintage. It’s kitsch. It’s completely bizarre.
  • When and where will I ever come across something like it again?
  • It’s dirt cheap.
he following criteria isn’t met, I cannot in good conscience make the purchase.

  • Does the item serve a purpose? And will it likely be used for that purpose regularly?
  • Do I have a space that could be reserved for the item without difficulty?
  • Is the item appealing beyond the low price? Or is it a “must-have” just because it’s a can-have for the low price?
Of course there will be exceptions to these personal shopping habits. After all, every shopper begins with good intentions: finding affordable goods that serve a purpose.

And this is exactly why thrift stores serve as a potential danger for the shoppers who just don’t know when enough is enough. The goods are cheap and potentially useful, when kept contained to a reasonable amount. But for the compulsive shoppers who buy, buy, buy without cleaning and purging unused items already in the home, it’s a virtual black hole.

This is especially true if he or she identifies as a crafter. Crafters, artists and creatively inclined folks see the world a bit differently. Items at the thrift store don’t just have a purpose…they have a desirable aesthetic and potential re-purpose.

And I am all for breathing new life into tired items and for healthy creative expression. But when there’s too much stuff and not enough space, the up-cycling or re-purposing of those goods is a task never completed.

This seems to be the cycle of a hoarder who has thrifted too much.

If you haven’t yet subjected yourself to the scares of excess acquiring and saving through the safe distance of the television,  I suggest that you do (if nothing for the visual shock).

After witnessing floor-to-ceiling piles, bags, boxes and crates of “treasures” as they are often referred to by the subjects of Hoarding: Buried Alive, my stomach drops. My eyes nervously dart around the room, scanning the amount, size and space of my own possessions for early signs of hoarding.

I have the sudden urge to clean.

And since it’s that time of the year for what must be universally known as Spring Cleaning, the issue of hoarding cannot be discussed at a better time.

Today I tore apart the garage, cleaning and sorting. Tomorrow I’ll be working on the bedroom and upstairs hall closet.

So I guess I answered my own question. Perhaps the best weapon in the battle against hoarding is prevention.

What are your thoughts on hoarding as a mental disorder?

Do you worry about hoarding tendencies?

What rules or limits do you set to monitor your shopping?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Thriftin’ Network

Mustache Man Resized
This mustached gentleman would love to make your acquaintance.

Greetings, thrifters and bloggers! While I like to think that Let’s Go Thrifting! has a lot to offer in secondhand wit and wisdom, we are still relatively new to the scene. So we’d like to expand our network and keep well-briefed on all things thrifty. And we would just love to meet new people out here in this great, big blogosphere of ours.

So stop on by our blog listings on the Let’s Go Thrifting! Resources page and take a gander at our personal favorites.

Maybe you would even be so kind as to make some suggestions of your own! And there's no shame in self-promotion, either. If you have a fun and thrifty blog, I want to hear from you!

Basically, we would just love to know: What secondhand, thrift and vintage-inspired blogs do you follow?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

An Assortment of Impossible Things To Likely Never Happen, aka The Thrift Wish List

When you are scavenging the aisles of your favorite thrift, flea market or estate sale do you have a mission in mind? Do you have a specific set of needs or wants? Or is it all just hunting and gathering for a good price?
While it’s always nice to find a pleasant surprise, that certain something you never knew you’d want or even come across in your thrift travels, but it never hurts to have a list. Not just any list, mind you. THE list.

So here it is, my personal Thrift Wish List:


Johnny Cash’s original Sun Studio recordings would be just awesome to thrift. I’ve seen the LP in record stores, at record collectors’ prices. Not the same, though.


I could totally rock a pair of saddle shoes with little white socks. Too bad I have clown feet. No joke. I’m a size 11 wide, which makes shoe shopping a less than stellar experience. It also makes thrifting shoes in my size a distant possibility.

Still, secondhand saddle shoes…and while we’re at it, a pair of brown leather cowboy boots, definitely make The List.

Blythe Style

Blythe. I love her. At 12” high, this dainty fashionista would be the star of many a photo shoot. I’d shamelessly parade her around cities and suburbs, modeling all of the teeny, tiny clothes I would make for her. Seemingly available exclusively in Asia, these little dolls retail at $80 and above, plus the cost of international shipping. I could just kick myself for not buying one in Tokyo when I had the chance. Maybe, just maybe, one will magically appear at a Goodwill someday.


This exact Royal typewriter would be the centerpiece of my desk. While it wouldn’t necessarily work for blogging, I would make a point to clang away all hours of the night, working on what could only be considered “my masterpiece.”


This, Mac Boook Pro, on the other hand, would greatly aid my efforts in the blogosphere. It would also mean that I could take my incredibly slow, uncooperative HP laptop to a field and smash it to bits with a baseball bat, Office Space style.

VW Minibus

And of course, "An Assortment of Impossible Things to Likely Never Happen" wouldn’t be complete without somehow finding and by some fateful turn affording a VW Minibus. I can picture it perfectly: Sitting there at the side of the road, in all of its gleaming vintage glory…an aging hippy holding a sign that says, “Dirt cheap and all for you, Jackie Jardine.”

And just think of all the people I can take on road trips and of all the incredibly kitschy things we would find and comfortably fit inside. Sigh.

Well, there we have it, folks. The Thrift Wish List. Notice how the ridiculousness grew from album to automobile in just easy five moves?

Dare to dream, I guess.

What about my fellow thrifters out there...Do any of you have high thrift ambitions? What must-have items top your Thrift Wish List?


Only 3 more followers until our first Let’s Go Thrifting freebie!