National Thrifting Day may be a made-up holiday, but we are all in! Or junking, or antiquing, or whatever you call it, it’s the hunt for something special, something with patina, something that evokes a childhood memory. Why would I want to go thrifting, you may ask? How do I start? Here are 5 proven tips and strategies for your flea market fun.
It’s fun! Whether you’re with your partner, an adventurous friend or quality time with your self, we all benefit from literally getting off the computer, out of our routine, and exploring with our eyes, hands and minds.
After 35 years of exploring flea markets, estate sales, junk stores together, Steve and I have developed a strategy. There are the categories we’re always drawn to, pretty linens, dishes (yes, I know we don’t need anymore), ephemera (see postcard above), and small pretty ashtrays or saucers for Steve’s paint brushes. You’ll find you gravitate to the same types of pieces as you explore. Then we’ll hunt for any specific pieces for ourselves or design projects.
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Touch stuff, turn it over, get out your flashlight to examine the nooks and crannies. Pack a small flashlight to examine any marks or repairs, and tape measure. You know the old saying, measure twice…
Next, look under the tables, inside the boxes, inside the baskets (another fav category). Sometimes the best stuff hasn’t been unpacked yet. Thrifting is a responsible way to shop too, as you are recycling old pieces into a new life.
Can it be repurposed? These vintage chairs got a thorough inspection for stability and reimagined with a fresh finish and updated steve mckenzie’s fabric.
Make a pile, walk around another loop, then give everything a second look. Does it speak to you? What else can you do with it? Check for any damage and repairs that might rule it out. When ready to purchase, be prepared to pay cash as sometimes cash sales get an extra discount.
Don’t know where to go? Besides Scott’s Antique Market, check out this listing of Atlanta’s best flea markets on Yelp. Another treasure trove are the Goodwill stores. Keep your eyes open for neighborhood garage sales and estate sales. *Bonus Tip* Sundays are usually 1/2 price day at estate sales.