Thursday, April 7, 2016

7 Unexpected Ways Thrift Shopping Made Me a Better Person

Thrift shopping has become more than a past time or a way to stock my wardrobe for me. It has been moe than a form of retail and recycling. Thrift shopping has become a treasured teacher, giving me lessons with every visit and teaching me real value in every find. 

Let me be deep for a minute: I have learned so many valuable lessons from thrifting that I now apply to my everyday life. Here are some of the top ways thrift shopping has taught me something that helped me become a better person. 

Thrift shopping taught me the real value of a dollar:

Everyone knows that thrift stores are a great way to get good stuff for cheap. But what I now call convenience, I used to call necessesity. I only started thrift shopping because of hardship. 

What this taught me is that my hard earned money was worth way more than modern spending habits would have you to believe. The fact that the same $5 bill that I spend on a lipstick at a drugstore or a cup of joe at my favorite coffee shop could get me a pair of perfectly fitting jeans or a chic vintage bag kind of changed my definition of value.

Thrift shopping taught me to be thorough:

Not being thorough at the thrift is one of the worst things you can do. While I love thrift shopping, admittantly, there is usually more junk than treasure. That's part of what makes the treasure find so great. Just grabbing something and not fully inspecting it can result in purchasing something broken, irreversibly stained, doesn't fit right, or just isn't what you expected.

Being thorough is something we all need in our everyday lives. It is the difference between a sloppy and a chic outfit or an incomplete and astounding assignment. It never hurts to be thorough.

Thrift shopping taught me that not every deal is a good one:

A good deal is only good if its for something great that fits into your lifestyle. It's about more than just the price of the item, it's about the item's value in your life. Just because the dress is $2 doesn't mean you should buy it, especially if the dress doesn't speak to who you currently are. 

Thrift shopping made me look at things called deals completely differently. Just because something is cheap in price or easy to get doesn't make it a good deal. It just makes it cheap. 

And cheap things aren't what you necessarily want to surround yourself with.

Thrift shopping taught me amazing things can be found in the strangest places:

I would not have snagged that my vintage Fendi crossbody, would have completely overlooked that Goyard St Louis, and wouldn't have even seen my Manolo Blaknik mules if I simply hadn't been paying attention. All of my favorite finds were in weird, dark, or sort of dust spots. But because I was paying attention, keeping my eyes open, even in the weird places, I've found some lovely things.

Simply being aware will be rewarded with things of beauty and of value. Being present and being focus will always pay big. 

Thrift shopping taught me patience and persistence:

Digging through racks and bins for an hour or so only to come up empty doesn't sound like a fun time for anyone, let alone me! Going back to that place and doing it again and still coming up with nothing might make you think I'm crazy. Doing it a 3rd time and coming up with nothing? Yeah, now you know I'm crazy.

But what if I told you that entire visits, even weeks go by before I find anything while thrifting. 

Ah, but then that one day comes when I find 10 things at once. Jackpot. 

Thrift shopping isn't like regular retail. You won't always find what you're looking for. And you aren't guarenteed a find. You've got to be persistent and keep trying. You've got to be patient enough to wait for something great. Your reward? Hitting the mother load, simply because you didn't quit.

Thrift shopping taught me that nothing is wasted:

Thrift stores are comprised of items that were once new and loved, but, for whatever reason, became cast offs. Instead of throwing them out, their former owners at least had the sense to donate them. These items are then resold and given a second (or third) life. 

This a major lesson for me and my generation that toss out something, whether it works, still fits, or isn't even that old, simply because there is a newer version of it. 

There are countless ways that thrift shopping has elevated me, not just in style, but in values. And I'm grateful for my chic and cheap teacher.