Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Furniture Finds at the Thrift Store

We're buying a house!  Well, sort of... my dad owns a few rental properties and he is getting to the age where he wants to relax and only worry about what my mom is making for dinner.  Can't blame the guy!  To get the peace of mind he is looking for, he is selling one of his rental properties and...I will be buying it! (Hopefully with a daughter discount.)

Budget Furniture Shopping
The shelf, paintings, and bird cage were all
found at a second hand store!
The house has really good bones, but needs A LOT of work--new floors, new carpets, new siding, new appliances; the list I've started is getting looooooong.
However, I am totally up for the challenge!

I love to make things look beautiful and my boyfriend is a welder/fabricator so we are more than capable of taking on the challenge.

Since I'm semi-fresh out of college and haven't learned how to budget money too well and build up my savings account, I know enough to use the money I did save on those core structural items that need to be done.  Even though I would much rather spend it furniture shopping.

The money I will be spending on home furniture is coming from a box of savings bonds my mom has saved for me through the years, which adds up to around $2,000.  Does it sound impossible?  Filling a house with affordable furniture is probable with the help from local thrift stores.


Why Thrift Store Furniture?


It's Not Just Junk - There is a stigma clouding thrift stores that all they are is a roof on top of unwanted items.  So not true!  There are many reasons why these items--mainly furniture--are brought to second hand stores.  For example:

  • People move or have to downsize, the furniture that cannot be taken is deposited at thrift stores where people know it can be resold and go to a good home.
  • People pass away and family can't take or do not want any of their belongings, the thrift store is likely to gain those things too.  
Bottom line - it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the furniture, it just didn't have a home.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder -  If you pass by a dresser or shelf that catches your eye, but it's not the color you're looking for or it's missing a knob, don't let that stop you.  There is so much potential in used furniture if you don't mind using a little elbow grease.

Thrift Store Furniture
After stripping the layers of paint that were caked
on this dresser, refurbished furniture can look amazing!

Thrift Store Furniture Don'ts

Even though I'm all about thrift stores and would buy groceries there if I could, there are some things to keep in mind when you venture out to buy cheap furniture.

Mattresses- Hmmmm. You might want to pass.  Even though a new mattress is on the expensive side , mattresses are best when not second hand.  With the whole bedbug craze, it has taught us that we are never alone in bed!  I suggest splurging on new because peace of mind is included in the price.
  • Couches- Need a new couch? Proceed with caution! With the living room being the most used room and the house and the couch getting the brunt of it, make sure you zoom in on the couch you're thinking about buying.  If it visually looks like it's in good shape with no rips or stains and it's sturdy, you can make it yours if the price is right.  If it has a good frame, but has an outdated pattern, there is an easy fix.  Buy or make slip covers and it will look like a million bucks.
  • For more used furniture don'ts, check out this How to Buy Used Furniture article by Quickanddirtytips.com

More Ways to Fill Your House

Get to Know Craig and His List-  If you can't seem to find that perfect piece you are looking for, you should check out Craigslist.org.  It is a huge online community bulletin board where people post things they are selling in your area.  One of the categories hitting close to home for me is -- appliances.  It is often difficult to find appliances at second hand stores.  Plus they are heavy and it is not often worth the effort to take them to a thrift store.  We resorted to Craigslist.  I hopped on the computer and skimmed Craigslist.  I found an awesome stainless steel refrigerator that a guy was selling for $400 bucks because he bought a bigger one.  Being the thrifty person that I am, I negotiated the price down to $350 and we picked it up that night.   I looked up the retail price and the same refrigerator "new" would have cost over $1,000.  We are pretty sure we got a good deal!  You can find almost anything and everything on Craigslist.  If you're looking for a hard to find part for your car or even a Barbie to add to your collection, start here.  
thrift shopping
All these yard sale end tables needed was a good sanding,
white paint, and little black spray paint!

Yard Sales - I LOVE a good yard sale primarily because of the prices.  Thrift stores are often a resource for a charity to raise money and their items are priced accordingly.  And although the prices are low, they are high compared to the prices at yard sales.  People who have yard sales just want to get rid of their stuff!  The goal is to not have to bring it back into their house!  You can find really good deals at yard sales and they are the perfect place to try out your negotiating skills!

If you have some awesome thrift store finds or tips on buying second hand furniture, please share!

Krysta W.

5 comments:

  1. I found a real moulon lamb fur coat, worth probably a couple thousand dollars. Im not a fur coat fan, but I needed a warm heavy coat and this sure is. I paid 15.00!

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    Replies
    1. Mouton coats are very warm...and very heavy. I had my mom's for years and wore it on special occasions. Unfortunately, these days I don't eat meat, so wearing a mouton is definitely not my thing; but the fake fur is. I hope you enjoy it.

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  2. its really a good idea to use thrift store furniture. On the other hand, by getting this furniture remodelled with desired material can give noteworthy difference from rest Commercial Furniture

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is an excellent blog post and need appreciation for your wonderful idea. Alternatively, by getting this thrift furniture with the desired material it will give significant difference from the commercial furniture.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete