thoughts on thrifting-itis…it’s really ok to let it all go sometimes.

How to Cure Thrift Store Shopping, I Hate to Pass Up a Great Deal-itis Disease Syndrome

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How to Cure Thrift Store Shopping, I Hate to Pass Up a Great Deal-itis Disease Syndrome

So this article (read it here) came across my google reader yesterday, and it was as if she was talking directly to me. What’s funny is that I had been thinking along the same lines the past few days. It is a little lot ironic since I just rolled out my new “Thrifty Tuesdays” segment here in AfroMartha. I felt I had to address this issue.

My feeling is, yes, I have at times been guilty of buying an (ultimately) useless ‘bargain’ due to the thrill of “thrifting-itis”. Finding bargains is a thrill, but a good deal is ONLY a good deal if it is something you NEED or LOVE. If you end up throwing it away, you’ve just wasted your money. It’s a little like when department stores lure you with a 70% discount on something, by telling you to imagine all the the things you can do with the money you are saving. What they want you to forget about is the 30% you will actually be spending. If it’s on an item you really need, love and were going to buy anyway, hurray for you, you just score a good deal! If it’s on a dress that you will end up carting to the thrift store, congratulations, you just blew 30%

I just did a big purge of my fabric stash. Some of these fabrics I’d been holding on to for 5 years or more, just knowing I would use them for something, someday. Guess what? 5 (or more) years later, I still hadn’t used them.

My fabric stash ultimately became a barrier to all the wonderful things I could be creating.  Whenever I wanted to make something out of fabric, I would look through my stash, rejecting piece after piece of fabric for one reason or another. I would get then get (mentally) tired and frustrated and forgo the project.

Case in point, I promised my fabulous S-I-L that I would make some place mats for my equally fabulous M-I-L. I have been putting off the project because I could not find suitable fabric from my stash. I feel too guilty about spending new money on new fabric, so I have not completed the project.

Had I not spent the (miniscule amount, really) money on the fabric that I now have (that seemed like such a bargain at the time,) I could’ve purchased JUST what I needed for this project and moved on.

So off to the goodwill my stash went. I guess it’s the great circle of (thrifting) life isn’t it? Someone will likely find my stash and simultaneously question my sanity while thanking me for their good fortune. Lesson learned. No. more. hoardingofthefabric. No matter how good the deal. Only buy what’s needed for a particular project.

Now when ‘thrifting-itis’ hits, I try to make sure I purchase only what I need. So far the projects I’ve planned for “Thrifty Tuesdays” have all been things I NEED in my own home. I’m sure at some point I will run out of things I need for my home. If/When that time comes I will phase out Thrifty Tuesdays as a regular feature.

The whole point of “Thrifty Tuesdays” is to get you to see the potential in freebies/cheapies to satisfy a NEED, not to lead you down the path of clutter of epic proportions a la “Hoarders.”

So go ahead, find the bargains. Fix them up to your liking. But make sure it’s something you NEED and LOVE, not something that will become an albatross around your neck.

3 thoughts on “thoughts on thrifting-itis…it’s really ok to let it all go sometimes.

  1. Libby says:

    Yeah, I read that article too. The thing about my thrifting experiences is that when I’m standing in the store, at that moment I can tell you exactly what I’m going to do with whatever is in my hands. Sometimes I help myself by grabbing everything that catches my eye and putting most of it back saying “What do you really need” before I head to the cash register. It’s the same way at the Dollar Tree. Yeah, everything is a dollar, but those dollars add up fast.

    I started by purging out all my closets and drawers at the first of this year and I’ll continue with anything else. At worst, I won’t have anything to wear outside the house or anywhere to lay my head. lol

  2. AfroMartha says:

    I hear ya. I’ve gotten a lot better at editing myself at the thrift store. There was a time I was going a couple of times a week…it became like a drug. Now there are some days that I go and I pick out a few things and end up putting them back one by one. Usually with no regrets.
    Purging is good for the soul (I tell myself). Don’t worry, you’ll find some more (lol)

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