Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Our Good Will Tour

My mom, sister and I all had off work this past Monday. It was one of three days that I took off in order to catch as much Olympics coverage as possible (#officiallyaddicted). The fervor of the games, what with all their camaraderie and world unity, must have really gotten to us because we were inspired to go on a Good Will Tour. In 10 hours time we visited 14 different venues, over three different counties, with an untold number of nationalities represented. It was an inspiring and potentially life-changing experience. A tour truly filled with Good Will.

Alright, alright. So more than anything it was a tour filled with Goodwills. And Salvation Army shops. And thrift stores. :) And while it did encompass 10 hours, 14 stops and a lot of diversity, it was hardly noble or life-changing. But definitely fun!

A few friends have asked how I find so much at thrifts and Goodwills. The first thing I always say is that this is relatively new to me. Thrifting, I mean. My mom has done it forever. And as a kid (and even into my adult years) I hated it. With a passion. I liked new. I liked clean. And thrifting is neither of those things. But as my style has changed and become more vintage-focused, thrifting has become a necessity. So I've scouted the Goodwills in my area (there are 8 that I can get to with ease) and know which are the best. Same goes for thrift stores nearby. I visit them often - some weekly, others monthly - on different days of the week and different times of day. And I scour. As a kid it always boggled my mind how my mom could spend an hour or so at her then-favorite thrift store when I'd seen all there was to see in five minutes. But now I realize that if you spend a bit more time, you'll look past all the "special" stuff (see below) and be able to find the truly special stuff.

Our tour started at a Goodwill outlet (disappointing as it was much smaller than expected), followed by four other Goodwills, two Salvation Army stores, three thrift stores and an antique shop. We also threw in a Target, Home Goods and Hobby Lobby for good measure. Our main focus is always on housewares, books and linens. My mom loves old Reader's Digests, cigar boxes and anything she can use for crafting. My sister seaches out sports items and globes. And I am always after vintage sheets, old kids' books and just about anything kitschy. At least one of the three of us found something at each of our stops, with purchase prices ranging from as little as a dollar and change to thirty or so bucks. Our average was probably in the $10-20 range. And we got a lot to show for it. Check out my mom's loot:

For less than $30, my mom picked up a million embroidery hoops and old trims, plus a mirror, silver plate, candlesticks and angels. And some Reader's Digests, a lamp, a basket and some fabric samples. And let's not forget the super cute little doll (not pictured) in a trunk that came with about a dozen outfits and shoes. It's living at my sister's house for when her nieces come to visit. Speaking of, my sister got some good finds too:

Mandy spent about $60 total and snagged eight wooden tennis rackets to add to her collection (she's filling an entire wall with them), a couple globes (they sit atop her kitchen cabinets) and some milk glass. Oh, and an Anne of Avonlea book. Who doesn't love Anne Shirley!? And then came my finds:

Quite the haul, right?! I spent about $80 and picked up a ton. There's 24 books in that pile and a sheet, pillowcase, bedcover and tablecloth. I also found a small chalkboard, old toolbox, mail sorter, brass pheasant and a pair of kitschy owls. Not to mention a pair of tap shoes and raincoat for Charlotte. And how could I forget my favorite finds - the old horse trophy and an owl cookie jar (not pictured)?!

Now we'd never have found this sort of volume had we hit just one or two stores, which is why this day long event was so fun! I might even be thrifted out. At least until next week, when I start hitting them up all over again.

P.S. It should go without saying that you should ignore the crappy photo quality. All the photos, save for the one of my mom's stuff, were taken with a cell phone. Watching hour after hour of elite athletes show off the results of months/years of training hasn't done a thing to change my lazy disposition.


Jo said...

You all always find the best stuff. Can I pay you all to thrift for me?... Or would that kinda defeat the purpose? Haha.

marie said...

It was a great day!!

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