Thrifting Like A Pro

If you've been following along for the past six or so months, then you know I've been working with Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio to help promote their highly anticipated (by me :D) Last Tuesday Sale! You can get 50% off EVERYTHING at all 10 of their locations on the last Tuesday of every month - how can anyone pass up a sale that good?! In December with the holidays I was unable to attend, and instead wrote a blog post listing my 8 best thrifting tips and I wanted to share the information with all of you here as well.

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Thrifting List

My business is built on the idea of using and repurposing every single salvageable scrap to make something new and useful. The primary material that I work with when creating is t-shirts. I take them and turn them into a number of products including baby bodysuits, infinity scarves, pillow covers and much more. A single t-shirt can provide materials I need for up to six different projects and Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio is my absolute favorite thrift store in Ohio to get my supply!

MAKE A LIST
If you’re a thrift-a-holic like me, a list is necessary or you’ll walk out with the whole store! Having a list helps me keep focused when there’s so much to see. I’m usually looking for specific team shirts or colors for my projects so keeping a running list of what I need at home and taking it with me ensures that I get everything I’m looking for in one trip.

TAKE NECESSITIES
Every time I thrift I make sure to bring recyclable bags, hand sanitizer, a stain remover pen (to quickly get an idea if stains on an item might easily be removed), and my list! If you’re visiting Volunteers of America for the last Tuesday sale, I’d also recommend taking some sort of portable rolling cart because sometimes getting a shopping cart that day is impossible.

SHOP WITH A BUDDY
Kelly and I love thrifting together because as I previously mentioned, there’s so much to see! It’s almost inevitable that you’ll miss something. We share with each other what items we are looking for that day and keep an eye out for those things for one another as we are perusing the racks.

BRING A PATTERN
Buy with confidence! Once purchased, items CAN NOT be returned to Volunteers of America, so you’ll want to make sure you’re picking up items that you 100% know will work. One of Kelly’s best tricks is to trace the outline of her kiddos shoes onto a piece of paper prior to coming to the thrift store. She will cut that out, slip it in her purse, and pull it out to measure when she comes across a pair of shoes that she thinks will be perfect for one of the kids. From time to time, I might also bring one of the sewing patterns I’m using with me to make sure that the graphic on a shirt will fit into the allotted area.

STOCK UP
Don’t be afraid to buy in bulk. Volunteers of America has the best prices on many of their items and if you know you’ll use something eventually, take the risk, buy the thing - because chances are it will be gone when you go back for it! Some of my favorite things to stock up on when I find it is yarn, fabric yardage, and picture frames.

CHECK FOR TAGS
Make sure that each item you select has a tag attached or wrote onto it. If an item at Volunteers of America is missing the price you will not be able to buy it that day, unfortunately. You will have to wait for the item to go through the production process and be priced. Production is usually during the week so if you shop during normal business hours Monday through Friday, you might be able to get an item priced for you within a few hours, instead of having to wait over the weekend.

REMOVE HANGERS IN LINE
Speed up the checkout process by removing hangers from all items while you’re waiting in line.

WHEN YOU GET HOME
Pop those tags and bask in all of the goodness you found! I also immediately wash all of the clothing items that I bought that day so I can start making with them as soon as possible.

I had to laugh to myself putting this together because the thing that my mom always took us to do on the weekends was thrifting and I HATED IT, no joke! On Saturday's after we got the house all cleaned up, going to the thrift store was like our little treat and my mom wanted to look at every single thing in the store. She, my sisters, and I would spend hours there and I remember always wishing it was time to leave. Funny how things change as we get older. I live to go thrifting now and I want to live vicariously through all of you! I always want to see your best and most exciting thrifting finds so DM them to me on Instagram or send photos to hello@craftinistagirl.com so we can relish in these treasures together!