My Go-To Goodwill Checklist

Whether you’re a seasoned thrifter or a newcomer to the world of secondhand shopping, knowing what to look for can make your experience all the more rewarding. Over the years, I’ve developed a mental checklist of items that I always gravitate towards first when perusing the aisles of thrift stores. What I find the most interesting about fellow thrifters, is that we’re all hunting for different things. Here are a few treasures I always hunt down before paying retail:


Wall Art & Frames

Decorating your walls with artwork is a great way to personalize your space and showcase your unique tastes. Goodwill often has a diverse selection of paintings, prints, and framed photographs waiting to be discovered. If I’m decorating a space or updating a room, I always check the thrift store first.


Home Décor

From vintage vases to quirky knick-knacks, thrift stores are my first stop for home decor, hands down. I love scouring the shelves for unique pieces that speak to my style, whether it’s a mid-century modern lamp or a kitschy wall hanging.



Whether I’m looking for a graphic tee, plain t-shirt, or a play shirt for my kids, I always check the thrift store first before paying retail. Goodwill has a diverse selection of t-shirts, ranging from band tees and vintage graphics to quirky slogans and unique designs. I love rummaging through the racks, searching for hidden gems that reflect my interests or simply make me smile. Plus, thrifted t-shirts usually come with a story, adding an extra layer of charm to your outfit. Whether you’re into retro vibes, pop culture references, or just appreciate a good bargain, the t-shirt section is definitely worth checking out on your thrift store adventures.



I vow to never purchase glassware retail again! From drinking glasses to stemware, thrift stores are bursting with affordable options.


Seasonal Items

As the seasons change, thrift stores often refresh their inventory with seasonal items, making it a prime destination for holiday decorations, costumes, and seasonal apparel. Whether I’m looking for holiday decor, or themed clothing, I always check the thrift store first. It’s much more sustainable and affordable, especially for something I’m not going to use year-round.


Common Mall Brands

While thrift stores are known for their eclectic mix of vintage and unique finds, they also often stock items from popular mall brands. This makes them a fantastic resource for scoring trendy or everyday pieces at a fraction of the original price. Whether you’re a fan of fast fashion retailers or mainstream clothing brands, Goodwill stores can surprise you with racks full of clothing and accessories from recognizable labels. Keep an eye out for well-known mall brands like Nike, Gap, and more, as you never know when you might stumble upon a fashionable steal that perfectly fits your style. Plus, buying second-hand from these brands is not only budget-friendly but also environmentally conscious, giving clothing a second life and reducing waste in the fashion industry.


Thrifting isn’t just about finding bargains—it’s a treasure hunt filled with unexpected delights. Each trip to the Goodwill is a chance to discover something special and give new life to pre-loved items. So, the next time you step into a thrift store, keep this checklist in mind and prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the hidden treasures waiting to be found. Happy hunting!