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more secrets of a SECONDHAND shopper: thrift shops 1 2 3
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picture frames | If you're really lucky, you might even find a whole picture that's worth adding to your décor — but for the most part, the "art" found in thrift stores is only of interest if you're going for the "so bad it's good" kitsch factor. But the frames around said art are often in fine condition, and thrift stores often offer empty frames as well. You can easily replace broken plexiglass by getting new sheets cut to size, and paint frames to suit your fancy.

containers | Glass jars, metal tins, baskets… thrift stores offer all sorts of stuff that's good to help you get your odds and ends organized.

glassware | Looking for wine glasses for your next dinner party? Shot glasses, old-fashioneds, maybe some martini glasses for your next soiree? Then hop over to your favorite thrift store — if you're willing to forego the matchy-matchy set and go with the eclectic style instead, it's the best way to get real glassware for cheap.

records and record albums | The records in your average thrift store are generally in such a sad state that they're no longer good for their original use. But they're just perfect for home decorating purposes. Make a record bowl, turn a collection of wacky album covers into wall art, or make a funky storage box with album covers.

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Don't be dismayed when you wander into a thrift store for the first time and there's just junk, junk, junk everywhere. The plethora of dusty, dirty, decrepit goods can easily make the few quality goods in the store look crappy as well. Ignore the chaos. Two important things to remember: 1) anything worth buying will look a thousand times better in your clean, attractive apartment than it will in the dingy store, and 2) a quick cleaning and a new coat of paint can work wonders.

Of course, even paint can't transform something that's cruddily-made into a sturdy piece of furniture. Don't buy crap. In many ways, secondhand shopping isn't any different than buying new: you're looking for good value, and that means making sure you're getting the most for your time and money.


check out these related articles: 
10 tips for furniture foraging | estate sale shopping | variations on a theme| travel decorating

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