I was introduced to thrifting at a young age when I would accompany my mother to thrift stores. She would rummage and sift through things to find the treasures that caught her quick eye. During this process, I learned that the trick was always to look really deep and really far. That one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. That patience is truly a virtue.

There’s a science and there are mathematical laws behind thrifting, no doubt. The routes created based on store locations and when items hit the floor for consumer purchase. How much time you have to spend through each store. Setting a budget or grabbing cash so you don’t go too crazy with your spending. All that.

But there’s also an art behind thrifting.

When perusing the bookshelves, you see The Purpose Driven Life every 20 books. Harry Potter. Hunger Games. Tween dramas like when Twilight was a big deal. Books that have been turned into really awesome Netflix series (i.e., Mindhunters). The whole 50 Shades of Grey era that you never read but you unashamedly have no FOMO about. The infamous What to Expect When You’re Expecting, which is probably what followed after reading 50SOG books. I’m just the messenger.

More importantly, you can literally travel through time. You remember all the bullshit that followed certain presidential terms and think about how much of a breeze that was compared to our current political climate. You see books from your childhood and from English Lit that you hated and those that you loved. A timeline of how much tech has advanced when an outdated Computer Science tech book catches your gaze. Books that were once in a library’s circulation, still containing the checkout cards in the back that logged all the places one book has been.

goodwill metarie, LA

Underneath the sometimes musky scents and dust, are pieces that hold stories based on where they’ve been, how they were used, and the places they called home. You see pieces of art that you can’t even fathom why or how someone could part with. Or maybe they’re just like you embracing a minimalistic lifestyle, redecorating for the 20th time, or because the piece just doesn’t spark joy anymore so it’s let go. You write the last few lines in your story to end your chapter with this particular object, you pass it on for someone else to discover and bring it into their world, and a whole a new chapter begins.

And that, is that art of thrifting.

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  1. Yetti

    May 22, 2019 at 8:14 am

    So I can’t dig for clothes, my attention span won’t let me, but books, accessories, furniture? YES. And to be honest, I only got into thrifting when it became a thing back in like 2014 lol.

  2. Shannon

    May 22, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    This is something I need to do. Although I admit that I can be far too lazy for this. I can only imagine the patience it must take sifting through clothing.

  3. Amanda Nicole

    May 29, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    It’s been a while since I’ve thrifted but I love to find a good bargain.

  4. Mia J

    May 30, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    See this post is right up my alley, I’m always thrifting, looking on thredup, mercari, offerup, etc if my goodwill doesn’t catch my attention. I don’t know if you have checked out any of these sites or apps but you should love.

  5. April Rodea

    July 4, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    YAAAS! I agree to this. “That one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”
    I scored a lot of good stuff before that I’m still using up to this day. Oh, it has been years since the last time I’ve been to one. Going to thrift shops require patience though. One must look hard to find that “treasure”. x

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