I realized I have a weakness for thrift stores. It's more of a love/hate relationship. I love that I can take almost anything that I want to get rid of to a thrift store and donate it. They resell it and make money. I get clutter out of my house and someone else gets cheap stuff. Win-win-win. High-fives all around.
Yet, I hate the temptation of buying the cheap stuff. I can rationalize it by telling myself that's how the thrift store makes money. I prefer thrift stores for local non-profit organizations like Habitat for Humanity or Kiwanis. I know (or at least hope) that if I buy something, they will use the money to help someone local who is in need.
With the baby on the way, we are moving our youngest son into his older brother's bedroom. This presents a lot of challenges. One of them is that they need at least one dresser for their room, so we headed to the two thrift stores mentioned above. At the first, we found a couple of dressers that were possibilities but nothing jumped out at us. But, I can never stay on track when I go in those stores. I had to wander around until I saw the whole place. I checked out the sports equipment, the kitchen supplies, furniture, and everything else. We finally decided to check the other thrift store and then decide.
The second store was much bigger but the dressers were terrible. They were beat up and in some cases outright damaged but still priced at $40 to $50. We knew none of them would do. Again though, I had to wander through the whole place but this one had more variety. I almost bought a Foosball table and saw a pile of used speakers that I'm sure I could use somewhere. I managed to hold back. In hindsight, I think the only reason I didn't buy anything was because my wife was with me and I expected she would give me a hard time. "Mr. declutter can't resist a bargain at a thrift store" I kept hearing in my head.
In the end, we managed to walk out of both thrift stores that day without buying anything. Instead we purchased two of those two-drawer organizers that you have to assemble. The fun part of that was that the boys put them together without any help. I answered a couple questions but that was it.
I'm not saying you should stay out of thrift stores, but the way to declutter your house is to gather up what you want to donate, take it to a thrift store and then leave. Don't go inside unless you have a very specific thing you are looking for. If you have trouble resisting the bargains and keep wandering off course, then bring moral support with you. My wife probably wouldn't have said anything to me if I bought something at the thrift stores. Thinking she might, though, helped keep me from buying things I don't need.
Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2022
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