the thrift list

the thrift list

One of the rules of thrifting is go early and go often. Some days you'll leave empty handed, while other days you might hit the mother lode.

Another rule is don't bother making a list, because generally whatever you find will not be at all close to what you set out looking for.

Since I'm a fan of breaking rules, I disregard that second one all the time. The trick is to keep a running list of items in your phone of items you're on the hunt for. I quickly review my list before I walk in so it's fresh in my head while I shop. I might not find the main thing I was looking for, but the list reminds me to check different departments I might otherwise skip. "Oh right, I better check linens because I'm on the hunt for a cute apron..."

The list changes as I find my treasures but there are a few permanent residents on there that I am looking out for 100% of the time. Read on to find out what makes my heart flutter when I spot them all sad and lonely on the bottom shelf.

vintage pottery

There is nothing like collecting beautiful old handmade pottery pieces and you'll find them if you keep your eyes peeled. I love them as vases or decor, and better yet if you can find food safe serving dishes to make your meals look extra tasty.

milk bottles

Milk bottles are one of the first things I started collecting. Like pottery, they're beautiful as decor or useful in the kitchen. Try pouring milk into a vintage milk bottle when serving coffee for friends (or just to make your morning cup feel special).

brass candlesticks

Brass has really become trendy in recent years so it's definitely getting harder to find. Local sellers will sometimes have a collection for sale for hundreds. Be diligent, and snag a single or a pair whenever you see them in a thrift shop and soon you'll have your own gorgeous grouping. 

ornate frames

I don't know what the heck has happened lately that frames have gotten so ridiculously expensive. Always take a moment to hunt the frames section. Keep an open mind; you'll see some truly ugly art that may just be in the perfect frame and just needs a new print. Always check the back before buying. If it has simple clips to remove the back you're in luck; just pop the back off and insert your print. If it's professionally framed and there's paper or covering up the back, you may have some work ahead to get the old one out.

milk glass

Milk glass is one of those things that used to remind me of a grandma's house but now I can't get enough of it. It's so delicate and feminine and for whatever reason I always feel compelled to use it at the holidays and in springtime. These are another item to always snag and start a little collection; before you know it you'll have an array and things always look so pleasing in multiples.


This is a running joke in my house because every time I bring one home my husband sighs deeply, knowing there are a whole bunch more in the basement. But here's the thing... last minute gift wrapping? Boom, basket. Creative way to store paper and notebooks? Boom, basket? Going to the farmer's market and feeling a bit extra? Boom, whimsical basket. But them all. You won't be sorry.

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