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other recent LOUNGE articles:
o the Incredibly True Confessions of a First-time Homeowner
o crafty crafty: Make a Throw Pillow Cover

o On Weeding: School Stuff

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10 tips for 
Furniture Foraging  
a secondhand-shop-a-holic 
spills her secrets
  1 2 3 4

Back when I was thirteen, "What, did you get that at Betty’s?" – delivered with a snootily-adolescent sneer – was the biggest put-down you could possibly bestow on anyone. Betty’s, as everyone in the whole school knew, meant Betty’s Thrift Shop, the one and only secondhand boutique in my small suburban Boston town, and heaven help your standings in the eighth-grade social hierarchy if anyone ever spied you actually walking into or out of its ramshackle little brown door. 

If anyone had ever dared suggest back then that I would one day scour moving sales and estate sales, Salvation Armys and Goodwills and yes, even dank and musty little places just like Betty’s, I would have shuddered in revulsion and publicly proclaimed my disgust for all things less than shiny and new. Funny what a difference a decade (okay, plus some) can make. Most Saturday and Sunday mornings these days, you can find my boyfriend and I tooling around all over town, hopping from estate sale to moving sale, then making a final pit-stop at our local Value Village. There's not a whole lot in the world that can provide sufficient motivation for me to get my lazy butt out of bed at 7:30 in the morning on a weekend, but the promise of unearthing a potential treasure amidst the junk is too thrilling to resist. Yes, I’ve wholeheartedly embraced the Church of the Secondhand Shopper. And like all religious converts, I preach its teachings with zeal.

Buying secondhand is time-consuming, frustrating, and utterly, undeniably addictive. It’s also the best way to get those apartment necessities (sofa, tables, bookshelves, lamps) without completing depleting your bank account. Estate sales, moving sales, yard sales, thrift shops, and-- don't cringe now -- even the good ol' dumpster (particularly on large item garbage pick-up day) are all prime sources for the budget-conscious twenty-something on a home decorating mission.  A few tips for those beginning the bargain hunt ...

chop chop ... hurry this way please!


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