When you sell your farmhouse and almost everything in it and move across the country and buy the house you grew up in….
….here’s a true fact.
There are a lot of empty rooms.
And now you’re probably asking yourself the same question I ask every day.
What’s a girl to do with all those empty rooms and a budget for the new house that she already spent renovating her kitchen?
Hello thrift store shopping.
Nice to meet you.
I’ve spent the last month stalking thrift stores and waiting for things to go on sale and learning more about colored stickers and measuring spaces and finding treasures.
And having SO MUCH FUN.
It’s like a game.
If you want to play, too, here’s what I found along the way and a few of my best thrift store shopping tips.
1. Never judge a hutch by its cover
This hutch was gold. Seriously. Gold all over with swirly pieces attached to the top and a cherub face right there in the middle of the top where it dents in.
No one had bought it.
I know you’re shocked.
It was all alone in the corner of the thrift store just waiting for a friend.
I was a little blinded by the color.
I almost walked by it. But then I took a second look and imagined it white and distressed and without all the swirls and cherub heads and extra pieces.
It still needs handles (hello Hobby Lobby 50% off drawer pulls this week) and a coat of glaze to knock down the white a little.
But we are almost there, my hutch and I.
2. Have patience
I needed a coffee table for the living room.
I saw this one, but the edges were really damaged and it was still a little too expensive.
So I waited a week.
And another week.
I waited for the color sticker to say 75% off.
GUESS HOW MUCH I GOT THIS FOR?
I painted it white and added these crystal knobs.
3. Measure, measure and oh wait measure
The white distressed hutch at the beginning of the post?
I actually bought it to go here.
But I didn’t measure.
I just eyeballed it and randomly walked it off with my feet.
When it was placed in the hallway, it was too big.
Way too big.
The door to the front room couldn’t even shute.
So I moved the white hutch into the dining room and found this smaller hutch to go in the space.
It’s painted SW Mindful Gray.
Now I have a little yard sale kit.
It has measuring tape and wipes and hand sanitizer and a list of measurements for places I’m trying to find things to fit.
Now I’m ready for the next great find.
4. Don’t let the style fool you
(total aside: are you thinking to yourself—girl—get some knobs for this furniture)
This piece was straight out of an episode of the Brady Bunch.
It was orange.
Even my mother-in-law raised an eyebrow when I told her I thought it might work.
The pieces weren’t even together.
They were scattered and orange and a little overwhelming and it wasn’t even my style.
But I checked and it was wood.
Orange, but wood.
I needed something for the bedroom to hold the television that would fill up a wall and come in under budget.
Orange bookcase for the win.
Primer was key here.
Lots and lots of primer to cut the orange color and prevent it from bleeding through.
Then it was painted white and styled with wood beads like these.
Do you have any thrift store tips?
Or something else I should keep in my kit in the car?
If so, can you help a budget shopper out?
I have a few more empty rooms that need a little thrift store. 🙂