Thursday, January 4, 2018

Thrifting Your Way To A Happy, Healthy & Productive 2018

It's that time of year again...when everyone starts with the best of intentions on the road to self-improvement. Resolutions, personal goals, a "new me." Whatever you choose to call this January endeavor, there's one thing for certain: It can get pretty pricey. 

After the financial crush of the holiday season, even a $20 monthly gym membership can feel like a burden if you're on a strict budget. And with that in mind, I've taken 4 popular choices for New Year resolutions and given them a secondhand spin.


Resolution #1: Get More Exercise
The resolution to end all resolutions. This is the reason that gyms nationwide are at 90% capacity for the first few weeks of January. But the gym scene isn't for everyone. Maybe you're on a budget. Maybe you prefer to exercise in private. Or maybe health concerns demand a low-impact workout. Whatever the reasoning may be, you can make the thrift store be your workout buddy. If you're looking for something choreographed, check the DVD section for exercise programs. Or maybe you just need some supplies, in which case you could look for free weights, yoga mats, or even used cardio equipment. Test any equipment in store prior to purchase, and sanitize any secondhand workout gear you find...and you'll be stretching your dollars and your muscles in no time.

Resolution #2: Take More Fashion Risks
So you've been flipping through fashion magazines, and you're tired of the typical trends. The average mall attire bores you and you're feeling aesthetically...stale. Why not hit up the thrift store for some fashion thriftspiration? You might not find all that you're looking for to amp up your wardrobe right away. But given the right place at the right time, you may just find some wardrobe staples, and some out-of-the-box ensembles that would make any mall shopper envious. The thrift store is an excellent choice to explore and expand upon current trends, or to ditch them entirely. And as opposed to "fast fashion" that is commercially available, you can actually feel good about your choices. You're saving usable items from ending in a landfill. You're making an economically-sound purchase, and your spending often trickles back into the community through whichever charitable organizations your local thrift store supports. Secondhand shopping is  a fun and guilt-free way to explore your style options. 

Resolution #3: Get Organized
Organization is such a broad and loaded term. It could mean prioritizing a workload, and self-reflection on personal and professional goals. Or it could simply mean keeping a clean and sensible space. And when it comes to the latter, thrift shopping could really be of assistance. If you're looking for storage solutions, it seems that going the secondhand route will not leave you short on options. I'm always seeing totes, baskets, crates, etc. at my local thrift stores. If you're looking to organize a specific space, like a bedroom closet, the bathroom, or your home office...you may have to get a little more creative and/or visit secondhand stores more often to find just what you need. But it's out there. I would first advise on organizing your piles/bags/boxes of miscellany into like categories to assess how much you have. Next, I would encourage you to purge the excess, by donating to your local thrift store of course! It will make organizing (and even decorating) your space all the easier. This resolution alone may very well warrant a separate blog post. And I would love to show you how I organized my tiny bathroom into a a more functional space without the clutter. So stay tuned!

Resolution #4: Read More Books 
Admittedly I spend more time (and money) at Barnes and Noble than anywhere else. What can I say? I just love to read. And I will never, ever enter a thrift store without at least perusing the book section. From classic literature and cook books to best-sellers and antiquarian finds...you just never know what will turn up. And if one of your New Year resolutions includes reading more, you really can't go wrong with secondhand shopping. Ever wonder why every Goodwill has at least one copy of Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey? With the sheer number of novels sold, it's no wonder why they (hopefully) are donated en masse to the thrift store shelves. And while neither of those titles would make their way into my home library, I have found a number of interesting reads in just the last few months alone. I've gone thrifting specifically looking for vintage books on ghosts, witchcraft, and the occult...topics that I just find interesting. And funny enough, I've found several. You wouldn't think that would be the case given the very specific subject matter. But hey, that's thrifting! You just never know. And if you're really looking to up your reading regimen, try downloading the free Goodreads app. It's a great way to search for topics, titles, authors, recommendations. You can even use it set goals. My goal for 2018 is 35 books. Do you think I can do it?

And there you have it, 4 resolutions and 4 ways the thrift store can help make them happen. And like I've said in my somewhat sappy previous post, whatever personal goal or ambition you have, I wish you all the best in achieving it. 

Maybe you even have a resolution that I didn't mention that might benefit from some thrifting...? Let me know in the comments! 


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