Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The thrifting battle.

I love a garage sale. When the brown cardboard and balloons stand out from the highway, I can't help stopping by. Now as part of my thrifty challenge I'm only buying things from garage sales (with a few necessary exceptions) and it's always interesting trying to find the things I actually need. If I see something I love, then I grab it because I know I'll regret it later when I realise I need something like it. However I also need to be super selective or I'll end up with a house brimming with too much stuff!
Since I'm pretty much at garage sales every weekend, I do end up buying a bit and have some tips for enjoying garage sales but not ending up with a house full of junk.

1. Be very selective.
There are so many bags out there I waited it out until I found a leather bag I'd use over and over again.
I know that just because a tshirt is only $1 doesn't mean I'm actually going to wear it. I always sure I love what I buy and don't settle for just anything because it's cheap.

2. If you buy something new, you need to get rid of something old.

Everytime I buy something new, I get rid of something. I don't always get rid of the same kind of thing, for example I bought a new lamp and got rid of some old pictures frames.  But when it comes to clothes I always get rid of similar items when I buy new ones (so everything can actually fit in my wardrobe). If I get a new top,  I get rid of an old top that unflattering and I don't use. 

3. Have a garage sale/ market stand.
a section of my market stall
Now you might have heard that you can't get rid of stuff unless you actually give it away or take it to an op shop as soon as you've got a bag full. However... I love raising money to support charities I'm passionate about and in order to have a garage sale or market stand I've found that it's important to have a lot of stuff at the start to draw people in. 
In the last year I've had a market stand and a garage sale with friends and have raised over $700 for charities, including the Australian Tanzanian Services Foundation, which helps get medical supplies for a hospital in Tanzania. I find it so satisfying purging myself of things and helping out great charities. After all I'm so blessed to have excess stuff, why not share my blessings? In order to not have the junk in my house, while waiting until I have a garage sale, I peroidically sort cupboards and put the things I don't use in labelled boxes in the shed. Then if you accidentally throw out something I regret, I find it the next time I try and sell off things.

What are your tips for keeping your home clutter free?
Lisa x
*I'm not perfect and sometimes I can't follow my rules but usually these seem to work.


  1. I think I need to adopt your 'buy something, get rid of something' policy - it might reduce some of the clutter in my house!
    Faye x

    1. It's a good policy but sometimes hard to stick too. At the moment I still have lots of childhood stuff to clear (like tacky boxes and trinkets) but when I run out of that stock to clear, I might find it all the more challenging to part with things. x

  2. Your hand bag finds always make me so jealous- if they're as common as you say, I need to get onto this garage sale-ing :P I keep my home clutter free by choosing a room each holidays to go through and throw stuff out- our local op shop must loooove me! I never want to be one of those people who move in 10 years time to discover they've got 10 years worth of junk :s

    1. I like your plan samara- one room a holidays sounds like a great idea! I agree, I never want 10 years worth of junk built up in my home. x

  3. I agree -It' also all about the storage, trying to make sure your loft/attic is organised and stuff doesn't just end up being bunged up there...I think it's also really cathartic to accept change in your collections and shift things on each season xxx

    1. So true. Storage is really important. I have a serious addiction with the label maker and everything is in pretty boxes and labelled. My shed is the same too- though it's fairly empty at the moment. Everything is so much better when I actually know what I have and where I can find it! And I totally agree with your accepting change thoughts too- though it can be hard to part with (as example) a collection of childhood things; I might not even really like them and they don't look good, there's that deep sentimental attachment. I've started taking photos of all those things I'm too attached to, and then I feel slightly more comfortable parting with them as I can look back and still see them on the computer.
      Thanks for your comment x

  4. I totally have a thrift store handbag so similar! I've had it for a couple years and use it for everything. It's quality. It also was around $5. I see similar bags in designer stores selling for 20x that!

    Great tips!