Friday, April 11, 2014

Secondhand Storage Solutions: How You Can Keep It Neat For Cheap

Vintage White Owl Cigar Box, $1.00. 

Thrift shoppers are often met with skepticism. Sometimes, thrifters are met with disgust. And on the rare occasion, we're faced with just honest curiosity. And since the advent and popularity of Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive, there's one curious questions I'm asked more frequently than others. 

"Where do you put all this stuff?"

While some thrifted wares, such as clothing, accessories, furniture or electronics have a functional purpose, others serve only as a decoration or display piece. These are always dangerous buys. Too much decor in a limited space can run the gamut from kitschy-clutttered to complete hoarded hell. 

The simple solution would be to simply buy less stuff. And while I do place more value on quality of vintage thrift store finds over the quantity, sometimes you just can't talk yourself out of sweet thrifted temptation. 

So how do I balance between the stuff I want and the space I'm working with? 

Talk about "vintage filler." Look how pretty and practical it is!

I've been making my thrift purchases do double-duty. That vintage White Owl Cigar box is cool. But it's super cool now that it holds my favorite ephemera. It's a functional display piece that stores my old maps, post cards and photographs. 

When you think storage solutions, your mind probably goes to that dark place in the corner of your closet that's stacked ceiling high with Rubbermaid totes and cardboard boxes. But the next time you go thrifting, think outside the boring old box. Instead, hunt for a beautiful vintage storage piece that you can display proudly.

Small Wooden Crate, $1.00.

Take this wooden crate. I'm planning on painting it a creamy egg shell color and using it for storing spices and dried herbs on the kitchen countertop. Can you see it in your bathroom holding clean washcloths? Or maybe it would be good for keeping craft supplies handy instead of scattered in that black hole of a junk drawer. (Don't worry. We all have at least one junk drawer).

Galvanized Pail, $1.00

Galvanized pails are secondhand gold when it comes to stylish storage solutions. I've always wanted a collection of vintage pool balls to display. And when the same rummage sale yielded that set of old pool balls for a buck and this galvanized pail also for a buck...I plopped those balls right in the pail and went skipping down to the checkout counter. 

You could use a pail for gardening supplies, for countertop cooking utensils, for storing all of the dog's toys when you don't want guests tripping over them...pretty much anything your frugal little heart desires. 

When looking for practical display pieces that can function as storage, there are three main things to consider: purpose, space and value. Is the item both aesthetically pleasing and a functional means for storage?  Will bringing the item into your home mean more usable space or less? And of course, does the form and function of the item validate its cost? When you take all of these factors and an open mind to the thrift, you'll find yourself making thoughtful choices of what to bring home and what to leave behind. 

So the next time you're fretting over space, stuff and storage, don't lose sleep over thrifting less. Just thrift smart instead. By making your secondhand hauls act as creative storage solutions, you'll never end up on Hoarders...Well, unless you hoard storage items. And in that case we might need to call a specialist. 

What secondhand storage have you found lately?
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Friday, April 4, 2014

Vintage Photo Friday: Double Your Vintage. Double Your Fun.

Vintage novelty photograph with frame,  99 cents. 

I had almost given up on my pursuit to keep Vintage Photo Friday a regular segment here on Let's Go Thrifting.  Family photographs and snapshots have become increasingly hard to find at the thrift stores. And outside of antique stores (with antique store prices at that. Hello, sticker shock), I fear that they're being forever lost to the landfills. 

But in a recent trip to the Goodwill of Warminster, PA I unearthed several quality finds, including the very subject of this post. While I love the nostalgic nod to yesteryear with staged novelty photos, this vintage-on-vintage photograph was a majorly surreal secondhand score. 

Then? It was faux vintage. Now it's vintage twice over. 

It's circa 1960 and these two couples are posing with a mock Oldsmobile from the 1930s, in front of a suburban landscape backdrop. 1960s and 1930s? It's doubly vintage!

And including the classy filigree frame, this might be my best find for under a buck. 

Have you spotted any vintage pics at the thrift lately? 
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