Thrift store shopping can be a fun and affordable way to find unique items, but it can also become a compulsive habit that leads to clutter and overspending. If you’re ready to break the cycle of thrift store addiction, read on for tips on how to stop thrift store shopping.
Hold on… I know what you’re thinking. “Isn’t this whole blog about thrifting and repurposing? Why is she telling me I should stop thrift store shopping?”
Yes, I love shopping at thrift stores and I probably always will. But there have been several times in my life when I’ve put a hold on my shopping. Today I’ll explain why I did it, when to know that you should, and what we can do instead.
This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay any more when you use these but I will earn a small commission on any purchases you make after clicking on them and I greatly appreciate it. Thanks for helping support my little blog!!!
Why I Decided to Stop Thrift Store Shopping
As I mentioned, there have been a few times in my life when I decided to stop thrift store shopping. Some were even back when thrifting was just a hobby and not part of my job:
- When we lived in California and my closet was so full I couldn’t put any more hangers
- After reading Marie Condo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up — (Read my review HERE)
- When my storage unit got full
- During the COVID-19 pandemic. (We won’t count this one since it wasn’t my choice to stop!)
- Last week when I read a book on simplicity… lol…
Please note that I’m not saying that you should NEVER again go thrift shopping. But you may need a temporary reprieve… just a little break. Maybe for one of these reasons:
- better options
Back when I was working in an office and did more used clothes shopping at thrift stores, I found myself buying more outfits than I needed just because they were a good deal — a high-quality brand name at a low price. If that’s you, OR if your weakness is home decor or other collectibles, these tips may help you.
Set a Budget for Clothes & Home Decor
One of the best ways to wean yourself off thrift store shopping is to set a budget and stick to it. Determine how much you can realistically afford to spend on clothing (for you & your kids) or household items each month and make a plan for how you will allocate that money.
Once you have a budget in place, make a list of the items you need and prioritize them based on importance. Be specific, ie, “long sleeve black t-shirt”. Stick to your list and avoid impulse purchases, even if you come across a great deal at the thrift store. Over time, you’ll find that you can still build a stylish wardrobe and decorate your home without overbuying.
NOTE: This is great advice if you need to stick to a strict budget but if you have a little leeway and run across something really unique… buy it, especially if it’s a good name brand. Otherwise, stick to your list!
Shop your own closet and get creative with what you already have
Another way to break the thrift store addiction is to shop your own closet or home and get creative with what you already have. You don’t always need new items!
Take some time to go through your current wardrobe and accessories and see if there are any items you haven’t worn in a while or that you can style in a new way. You can also try swapping clothes with friends or hosting a clothing swap party to refresh your wardrobe without spending any money. Freshen up your home by moving things around or decluttering.
By getting creative with what you already have, you’ll not only save money but also reduce your environmental impact by consuming less. It’s good for the planet!
Donate or sell items you no longer need to declutter and make room for new purchases
One way to break the thrift store addiction is to declutter your current collection of secondhand items. Go through your closet, bookshelves, and home decor and donate or sell those treasures that you no longer need or use. This will not only help you make room for new purchases, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment and control over your belongings. Plus, donating or selling items can give them a new life and benefit others in need.
These articles may help you in this area:
- 5 Things I Learned from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – KonMari
- One Simple Trick for a Clutter-Free Home
This can also apply if you’re a reseller selling on eBay, Poshmark, antique mall, or other online or in-person venues. You still need space to sort, clean, and store your inventory.
Focus on quality over quantity and invest in pieces that will last
Instead of buying multiple cheap items at the thrift store, focus on investing in high-quality pieces that will last. Look for well-made clothing, durable furniture, and unique decor items that will add value to your home. This may mean spending a bit more money and time upfront, but in the long run, you’ll save money by not constantly replacing cheap, low-quality items. Plus, investing in quality pieces will help you create a more curated and intentional style in your home.
NOTE: I still wouldn’t buy these garments new most of the time… see the next section… You still don’t have to pay retail prices!
3. Other Options
Find alternative ways to satisfy the thrill of the hunt, such as garage sales or online marketplaces
If you’re struggling to break your thrift store addiction, try finding alternative ways to satisfy the thrill of the hunt. Garage sales and online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace or Poshmark can offer similar experiences without the overwhelming amount of options that thrift stores often have. Plus, you may be able to find unique items that you wouldn’t have found at a thrift store. Just be sure to set a budget and stick to it, as these options can still lead to overspending if you’re not careful.
Should You Stop Thrift Store Shopping?
I don’t think you should stop thrift store shopping altogether. Maybe just take a short break and do some of the tips I mentioned above. I do still recommend shopping at your local thrift stores; Goodwill and Salvation Army, but best of all your local thrift stores.
Fast fashion is causing so many clothes to be produced that I don’t think that we need to worry about low-income shoppers not having enough clothing on the racks to purchase. Even with trends of vintage resellers on social media, there are STILL clothes and home goods going into landfills!
Maybe I should write a follow-up article about sustainable fashion or the gentrification of thrifting… anyone interested?
More Thrifting Tips
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like these:
- 25 Things to Buy at Thrift Stores
- 10+ Things You Should NEVER Buy at Thrift Stores
- 10 Tips for Buying Thrift Store Clothes That Will Save You Time & Money
- Another blogger’s view – Why She Stopped Shopping at Thrift Stores
- The Gentrification of Thrifting — Sharing this info, even though I don’t agree with the entire idea.
Thanks for reading this far! Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org — Thanks!
‘Til the next project,