As we welcome a new year, many of us are purchasing new planners or organizers, making goals or resolutions, starting new habits and excited for a fresh start and a renewed perspective. I am someone who loves to buy a new paper planner and flip through the empty pages anticipating all that the year holds for me and my family. I make goals and set intentions for the year and ask friends to keep me accountable for new habits.
Another tradition that I have done for years now, is each January I make a Thrifting Wishlist. As an avid thrifter, it is easy to shop weekly and aimlessly buy and consume things I do not love, do not need or have too many of just because it is a name brand or a good price. Many people choose to thrift to live a sustainable lifestyle, to save money on clothes and household goods, and/or to support the mission of the thrift store they are shopping from, and some simply love the thrill of the hunt.
Right before the pandemic, I realized that I was thrifting a few times a week and finding great deals and things I liked, but my closet was filling up with clothes I wasn’t wearing and my basement was becoming a catch-all of treasures I had nowhere to display. I did not have a goal, a vision or a guide for when I thrifted and I could feel the clutter creeping up on me from all of my thrifting treasures.
After the pandemic, I realized after not thrifting much due to stores being closed or not wanting to go shopping in public, that I really was content with most of the things I had but I did miss adventuring into the thrift store with an empty cart waiting to see what I could find. This is when I started to make a thrifting wishlist. This is not a new concept by any means, and many avid thrifters have one of these saved to the notes app on their phones, but it is something that has helped guide me as I thrift and bring things into my home. By now, most of us are familiar with Marie Condo’s method of if it doesn’t “spark joy” to thank it and let it go. This also goes hand in hand with thrifting. I do not always stick to my wishlist, but when I am shopping I will put everything that catches my eye in my cart and when I am finished shopping I will inventory the things I have picked up. I look on my wishlist, and if the item is not on there, I have to visualize how I will use it. Do my children or myself have this item already? Do we need another pair of shoes or a coat in this size or style? Do I have a place on a shelf, wall, mantle or table where these items fit well? Do I like the way this fits my body? Is this something that fits my style and home decor? Will I really reach for this item for a special occasion?
If I can walk through making sure that this item will complement what I have or add to what I have, then I will get it, but if it is adding more to a closet, more to a pile of home decor items in the basement that do not see the light of day or shoved in closet or drawer to wait for a special occasion that I will forget about then I put it back for someone else to find joy in.
How I make my annual thrifting wishlist is that I think of items I have had in my Amazon cart, things that I have seen on social media that have caught my eye, trendy items that I do not want to pay full price for, things I need to replace, things that are pretty pricey but hope to find at a deep discount at the thrift, gifts, things I can DIY or repurpose, etc. I write these down and save them to the notes app on my phone. Some years my lists are long and advantageous but I have been so surprised at how many things I can find by thrifting and the amount of money I can save! Living in an Amazon Prime world where things can be mailed to us in hours or a day can be hard when we have to wait, but I love the delayed gratification that thrifting brings and it makes that item that much more special. Another thing to keep in mind is that going thrifting once a month will not check off that wishlist fast. If you want to look and find specific things, you need to thrift often and consistently. Most times I only have 20 minutes after a doctor’s appointment or during a one hour sports practice but once you make it a habit and know where to look and what to look for, it makes it a fun challenge to see what you can find!
Another tip is to share your thrifting wishlist with your thrifting besties! I have a text group of girlfriends who we all will share our lists and things we need, and when one of us is out thrifting, we will text if we find something on their list and pick it up for them. There have been a few times this last year when a friend picks up something for me and then I find something for them!
In 2023 I found most of the things on my list and some that will carry over to 2024. Some things that I would love to find that may be a little too hopeful would be a Berkey Water filter, a Lululemon long puffer coat, a pair of black Doc Marten Boots in my size, a pair of 20lb dumbbells, A pair of like new or new UGG Tassman slippers in my size, American Girl Doll accessories for my daughter, Baseball pants for my son, An espresso machine, a dutch oven in like new condition, and some clothing items. Here are a few of my favorite finds from my thrifting wishlist that I did find and use weekly or often:
Long Puffer Vest With A Hood
I know cropped puffer vests are in and I have one from years ago but I had been eyeing a long puffer vest at a couple different retailers and really wanted to thrift one. I wanted it to be black and I really wanted a hood. I did a little happy dance when I found one and I have worn this more times than I can count! I wear it dressed up, I have worn it for walks or to the gym, I have worn it with jeans and leggings. It is one of my favorite pieces and so versatile. I paid $3.29!
A Black Crossbody Purse
My other purses were showing some wear and I really wanted a back purse that was a crossbody style. I hunted for months and then one day, I found it! I have used this all Fall and Winter and it is the perfect size! It retails for over $70 online but I paid $4.49!
A Faux Fur Coat
I have a few types of Winter coats but I really wanted a fun statement coat. I was thrifting one day and saw this and it fit like a glove! It was half off that day too so I only paid $5 for it! It looks brand new, is really good quality and is so fun! I have worn it a few times and always get compliments on it! This will be in my Winter wardrobe for a while!
A New Carry-on Bag
I desperately needed a new carry-on bag for traveling and I did not want a bookbag. I had looked for a while and either it was too worn or it was not what I was looking for. One day, I saw this on the endcap and it looked brand new! This brand runs $79-$100 but I got it for $3.50!!! I used it the past two times I have flown and I love how chic it is and how much it holds and organizes all of my things.
Bissell Steam Shot
I have seen these for a while on Instagram and I wanted one but really wanted to see if I could thrift it. I found one this year and it is amazing! I use it all the time to clean and it cleans so well with only using water! I found it for $5 and it is just as good as everyone claims it is but at a fraction of the cost of retail!
These are just a few of the many things I have found in my thrifting adventures in 2023. I found a Barbie plane for my daughter, some beautiful pieces for my gallery wall, Ugg boots for me and my daughter, winter coats for both kids, a Patagonia pullover, a new CHI curling iron and some new athleisure clothes I wanted to replace from SPANX and Vuori.
My challenge to you is to sit down one day soon, think of the things you want or need and get that list out anytime you go thrifting! When you thrift, make sure to have a plan and a goal and only bring things into your home that have a place, a purpose and that spark joy in your life! I also highly recommend having one or a few friends who understand the joy of thrifting to share lists with and share finds throughout the year!