I'm here to share my best thrifting hacks. If you step into pretty much any thrift store, one of the first things you will see is clothes. Racks and racks of clothes. Sometimes they are organized roughly into types and sizes, but there are no guarantees and no helpful store mannequins to model the clothes. It’s overwhelming, but have no fear. For the best bargains, scan the racks and you won't be disappointed. Here are five thrifting hacks to make the whole experience manageable, and even *gasp* fun!
1. Like Real Estate, It’s Location, Location, Location
One of the best thrifting hacks is to choose your stores carefully. Pick stores that are in the more affluent areas around you. Higher income brackets mean better donations, which means better options for YOU!
2. Shop Often
Thrift stores rotate their stock – a lot. What may be there one week may not be there the next week. Even if you can’t spend a lot of time, taking a quick glance around can help you spot something worth a closer look.
3. When You Thrift, Take Your Time
Do not expect to walk in and find the perfect thing, in your size, in good condition, in 15 minutes. Thrifting rewards shoppers who will browse the ranks of clothes, pull out options, try them on, and if they fit you the way you want them to, inspect every inch. You do not want to take your new-to-you clothes home and then find a ripped seam.
4. Have a Plan
Fortune favors the prepared! Assess your closet, and make a list (I recommend writing it out, but not everyone loves living life from a bullet-point list) of what you need. Be as specific as you like! And then use that list to narrow down your search. Good on the shoe front? Skip the racks and head straight to pants. Or whatever you need.
5. Have Fun!
Don’t let the clothes overwhelm you. Think of it as a treasure hunt! With a little focus and some time, you too can experience the thrill of paying $5 for your new favorite gear. And maybe a fun book or two!
6. Bonus Tip
Look for natural materials like cotton, linen, silk and wool. These tend to be better made and will stand up to use (and reuse) much longer. And with some practice, you can use touch to help you sort through those racks faster. Just carefully run your hand along the clothes until you touch high quality fabric. Then pull it out and see if you like it.