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score! where to get cool home stuff on the cheap
by Yee-Fan Sun
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continued from page 1

old stuff…

thrift stores
Because they’re getting their goods for free, charity-run thrift shops offer all manner of used stuff for insanely cheap. Yes, you’ll have to put up with the musty-dusty smell of the store itself and battle your way through a chaotic jumble of junk to get to anything halfway decent; chances are good that you’ll need a little bit of imagination and the willingness to invest some time into prettying up your find once you lug it home. But the money you’ll save will make your efforts well worth it. Thrift stores periodically have special sale days too, so make sure to keep an eye out for when these occur. Meanwhile, though the big name charities like Salvation Army and Goodwill generally have the largest stocks, pop into stores run by small local organizations too, which are typically less well-trafficked … giving you more opportunity to snatch up that way-cool vintage whatever before some other hipster gets to it.

Best for finding | Kitschy cool retro fabrics (sheets and tablecloths can be co-opted for all sorts of decorating projects); lamps; frames; bookcases, endtables and other non-upholstered furniture. (If you do buy upholstered furniture, give it a thorough vacuuming and flea-bombing before you kick back for your first nap on it … sadly, yes, I speak from personal experience.)

estate sales and moving sales
With thrift stores and regular yard sales, you often find that the stuff on offer needs a fair amount of work to make it all stylish for your abode; after all, the reason the previous owners were pitching them was likely because there was something wrong with the items themselves. They were ugly; they were broken; they were both ugly and broken. With estate sales and moving sales, though, you typically find that the goods are in perfectly fine condition; the reason they’re being sold has nothing to do with any problem with the item itself, but simply with the previous owner’s circumstances. While the prices generally won’t be as rock-bottom low as at thrift stores, you can get good quality items for your home at a much, much better price than if you were to buy new; you can also find cool older items in styles that they just don’t make today.

Best for finding | Big furnishings and electronics at terrific value, as well as all manner of smaller items for your home, like dinnerware, glassware, lamps – you name it. Estate sales are especially good for snagging deals on antique/vintage pieces, artwork and nifty collectibles.


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