5 Things Not to Buy at the Thrift Store (in which I compile the perfect list of white elephant gifts)

31 Days of Lists 400px graphic no subtitle



This month, I’m participating in The Nester’s “31 Days of Change” project. The challenge: to write every day for 31 days! Click here to read more and to see what other listy-things I’ve been up to.




It is no secret around here that I love a good thrift store find. Even if something isn’t perfect, if it is the right price, I can justify the purchase to myself pretty easily! It’s the best.

But there are a few things that simply must not come home with me. Here are the lines that I will not cross.

1. The obvious. Secondhand undergarments.* (I will not subject you to a picture of this. Mainly because taking a picture of the used underwear section of the thrift store is not something I can pull off gracefully.)

*Possible exceptions: none.

2. Anything related to toilets.* This includes (but is not limited to): artwork (cross stitched, painted, or otherwise), plumbing supplies (read: plungers), and actual toilets themselves.

*Possible exceptions: name brand toilets. Duh.


3. Food.* The same goes for TJ Maxx. Never purchase food at either place. You don’t know where it’s been. Also included in this item is those decorative jars (popular about 10 years ago) that are filled with canned peppers or whatever.

*Possible exceptions: If you collect Coke bottles, you may purchase those–filled or unfilled. But. DO NOT INGEST.

food filled jars a

4. Framed artwork of dolls.* It’s pretty creepy.

*Possible exceptions: If you really like the pictured doll. But think good and hard about this purchase.


4. Paintings of clowns.* The time when which clowns were cool is LONG OVER. Again, creepy.

*Possible exceptions: If you are accessorizing a haunted house, then perhaps…


5. Going along with the clown theme…other people’s collections.* I actually see this a lot. Having a collection is about the thrill of the hunt. If you purchase a collection someone else has painstakingly amassed, that’s cheating, right?

*Possible exceptions: lighthouses paraphernalia, fine art (emphasis on fine), Precious Moments figurines.


So, where do you draw the line? Anyone want to provide some feedback on possible exceptions to this list? And what else can we add to it? I have a feeling many of my readers have seen some pretty disturbing things at thrift stores. Please share, for the good of the community.


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