Can we talk about thrift stores?

Books sit on a shelf at a thrift store, and a large brown book sits in front of them.

I’ve sort of mentioned this in passing here on the blog, but one of the things I like to do when I’m out and about is go thrifting. Whether you call ’em thrift stores, charity shops, or secondhand stores, they all share the same commonality: they’re flippin’ awesome. Since we’re in the pandemic, and money’s been tighter than it used to be, this is something I haven’t had the chance to do in quite a while. Recently I had the chance to stop in in and check out a thrift store that moved into what used to be a specialty chain retailer that went out of business several years back. The last time I was there, I was a day late and a dollar short to go in.

This time was different. I saw the lights on and people still inside, so I stopped in to look around for a few. This shop donated to both local and international charities, and while I saw some things I liked this trip, I needed to save my money for something else.

As a lot of people mention over the course of meeting their weight goals and start changing sizes, thrift stores become a lifeline for them, more or less. I was no exception, both in my first go-round back in college, and this time. Early on in the process this time around, I remember even skipping sizes. It doesn’t surprise me, since I started at a BMI within the obesity class 3 category.

The department store sales racks, old clothes from my previous attempts, and thrift stores quickly became my friends as I moved forward in the initial phase of my weight loss mission. To pay it forward, I consigned some of the pricier pieces I had, and loved to bits. I felt bummed when I couldn’t even salvage them, or find my (then-current) size in it on eBay. One piece that went to the consignment shop didn’t fit at all when I first got it. As I moved forward, it fit for like a nanosecond before it became completely unworkable for me, due to the way I carried my weight at the time. I will probably revisit that particular brand after I officially get where I’d like to be, and re-evaluate it then.

Other things, I donated to other thrift stores. These were the pieces that were too old for the consignment shop, or a brand they phased out of their hot list. I haven’t donated to this thrift shop (yet), but I hope to someday. Wherever I donated or sold things off at, I made sure it was in a condition I’d buy myself if I found it on the sales floor. Readers, if you don’t already take this approach with your donations, I encourage you to do so, pronto. It’ll make life easier for the volunteers and employees, and it’ll make whoever gets your old stuff that much more stoked to find something like this in their size. We’ve had our moment in them, now it’s someone else’s turn, and we want them feeling like a million bucks the way we did back when we had them (or did at one time during our ownership of them), don’t we?

Anyhow, I ended up concluding my thrift shop portion of my trip empty handed. If thrifting isn’t a common occurrence for you, just remember that trips like this are common. The stock changes daily, so either go back another day, try a different location if the shop has others in the area, or try a different shop altogether. I’m betting it’ll be a different story for you.

Now it’s your turn. Been to any thrift stores or charity shops lately? If so, did you get anything? If not, no worries! Did you see anything you liked otherwise? Either way, let’s talk and swap stories.

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