One of my favorite things to do is search for vintage treasures. Whether it’s checking out thrift shops, perusing flea markets, stopping by garage and estate sales, or obsessively scrolling through Facebook Marketplace, I love it. I love not knowing what I’ll find, I love transforming something old and broken into something beautiful, I love the thrill of the hunt. And I’m pretty good at it too.
I’ve been treasure hunting since I can remember. It’s a hobby that runs in my family. My parents used to drive us around the neighborhood the night before trash day and we would look for anything cool or unique. (We weren’t poor, we just liked to see what was out there.) Antique chairs, an old locker, and a giant model dinosaur were some of the things we saved from the dump. Even my grandparents were into treasure hunting. My grandpa has a garage and basement filled with awesome stuff he’s collected.
This knack for finding cool, old junk is in my blood and today I’m going to share some of my best tricks and treasure hunting secrets with you. Here are five of my biggest tips for thrifting!
Go to the nice part of town
If you want to find nice quality, antique, or higher end items, go to where people who have those items will most likely take them when they want to get rid of them.
Shop out of season
If you’ve been following me for awhile, this is something I say all the time. A big part of thrifting successfully is always being on the lookout. This is most applicable to holiday related items. If you only search for Christmas stuff in November and December or you only shop for Halloween in October, you’re not going to find much and if you do, you’re probably going to pay more for it. Always keep an eye out for seasonal items, especially right after said holiday or season.
Shop at the right time
There are definitely dry spells when thrifting where it seems like you can't find anything good. To avoid this, try thinking of when people will be making donations and plan your trips accordingly. This could mean a certain time of day or day of the week, but I tend to think bigger with this one. People make a lot of donations after the holidays when they need to make room for new things. They donate at the start of the year when they want a clean slate or while they're doing their spring cleaning. Lots of people move during the summer so that's a great time to watch for garage sales! You get the idea.
Don't give up and don't settle
Patience and persistence is everything when it comes to treasure hunting. Thrift shops get new things in every day. Listings are constantly popping up on Facebook Marketplace. If you’re searching for something specific, know that you may be searching awhile and don’t give up. Just keep checking back frequently and maybe expand your search to new places or new areas. You will find that perfect piece!
When searching for interesting and unique decor, you can't just see things for what they are. You have to see them for what they could be. Go through the art section for pretty frames you can use. Check out the scarves to find pretty table runners or a pop of color to drape over a blanket ladder. Look at the dishes for some new planters. Get creative and transform boring, old things into beautiful decor that stands out!
I have quite a few more thrifting and antiquing tips I'll share with you another time, but these are some of the bigger, more general tricks I use in my treasure hunting. If you want to stay up to date on all my latest finds, follow me on Instagram and check out my thrift hauls! And please tag me in all your cool finds! Or your crazy ones, I like seeing those too.