This is what I told myself before I started the task of organizing my closet…

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.

~Mark Twain

…more on closet organization later….

Pretty view of the ocean

Ah….summer!

Just a thought…

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.  ~Dr. Seuss

i Phone Apps for Thrifty Shopping

I found some fabulous Smartphone apps to help with thrift shopping!!

iLocate is a comprehensive searchable database for all the charity and thrift stores wherever you are with contact info,directions and more.  View by list or by map for easy decision-making.  One touch search– no typing. Call with the iPhone with one click.  (negatives on this app– it does cost $1.99 and reviews were on the poor side)

The Find-Shopping By The Find— Scan barcodes.  Find the best prices.  Search for deals. Save money.  This is an add-free app that is also totally free how awesome is that!  Detects your location and identifies coupon codes and shipping deals available for each item. The app also synchs with The Find website so if you don’t want to use your phone you can always use your computer.  Highlights stores you have “liked” on Facebook.  (a free app with decent reviews)

ThriftBuddy— with the economy tight and people looking to save money this app is the ultimate tool for you to become a thrifty shopper.  With 10,000+ locations listed in the United States it’s the most comprehensive collection of thrifty spots you can find. Looks up any of these locations by zip code, city or state.  (a free app with outstanding reviews)

Cleaning Vintage Items

  • Vintage clothing requires special care. Check first to see if the care tag survived. If it did,  follow the instructions to the letter.  Likely, the garment does not have a legible care tag, or if it was hand constructed, never came with one.
  • Determine what fabric the garment is made out of. If in doubt consult someone more knowledgeable or take it to a dry cleaner.
  • Hand washing is the safest option. Fill a clean sink or plastic tub with cold water for natural products like cotton and use warm water for synthetics like polyester.
  • Add gentle detergent. Brands to try–Ivory Snow, or Woolite. Use ¼ cup of powder, or one cap of liquid detergent for every gallon.
  • Gently scrub stains with an old toothbrush. If there are stubborn stains, OxiClean seems to work when cleaning vintage clothing. Create a paste to treat collars or underarm stains. Rub on and then cover with plastic wrap to hold the moisture in place for several days.
  • Rinse out all the soap. Drain the sink, or empty the plastic bin, refill with clean water and swish the item.  Gently rinse until no soap remains.
  • Dry your vintage clothing on racks instead of the dryer. If you do not have drying racks, lay out on clean white towels. Use another towel to blot up some of the moisture.
  • Machine washing is possible with certain vintage items. Heavier retro garments, cottons, denim and thick polyester can be put in the washer. If you decide to go this route, be sure to turn the item inside out first and use cool water. Vintage denim should always be washed in cold water.
  • When in doubt, dry clean. Vintage clothing made from suede, wool, velvet or an item with lots of decorative embellishments should be sent to a reputable dry cleaner-preferably one who specializes in vintage clothing.

Quick Tips For Thrift Shopping Success

  • Shop the same places… This may be the best tip – visit the shops in your community often–you’ll learn when the new shipments arrive and when the sales occur.   You’ll score the better stuff and probably get better deals if you learn these basics.
  • Yes… you can negotiate… Many shops, such as Goodwill, may not let you negotiate prices but others will.  It definitely never hurts to try!  You will likely have more luck if you’re willing to buy multiple items or more expensive items.  Shops are more likely to deal on slow-moving merchandise.  Bring cash, as many resale shops don’t take credit cards.
  • Don’t be afraid to travel… Take a trip to a different neighborhood or even a rural area and see what’s there — the merchandise mix will differ and it gives you the chance to break out of your comfort zone.
  • Take your time… Relax and enjoy the hunt.
  • Don’t go crazy… Shop carefully and choose wisely. Remember tip #1 – you’ll be back soon, right?

Baras Non-Profit Thrift Shop

I stopped at this place on the way home from work one night this week.  The parking lot was an obstacle course of randomly parked cars, odd characters meandering about and construction equipment.  At the entrance to the store there was a hodge podge of ancient furniture that has clearly seen better days.  In addition, there was a rusty bike,  some kind of old lawn mower and a grill.  Once I punched my way thru the plastic (yes, heavy plastic) door– the store itself was even more bizarre and crazy.  This place has a little bit of everything– golf clubs, old vintage board games, crafts supplies, dishes & glassware.  They did have quite a good collection of paperback books. And most surprising– they had several wedding dresses in like-new condition.

Bottom line this is the kind of place to maybe find something surprising and wonderful hidden among the junk.

Location: 4792 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.  San Diego.

Animal Protection & Rescue League Thrift Store

Tonite I visited the Animal Protection & Rescue League Thrift Store located at 5497 Clairemont Mesa Blvd in San Diego.  All proceeds from the store benefit the APRL cause.  I’ve donated my own items to this store and have shopped here on occasion mostly because it is close to my neighborhood.

There was plenty of parking which is always good!  The hours at this place are awesome– Monday thru Saturday open 10 am to 8pm; Sunday open 11 am to 6 pm.   There was a free Dell computer monitor sitting in front of the door next to a mannequin with a long black sequined dress. Interesting combination.  Also out front I found a box of 1/2 price frames and a box of random stuffed animals. Once inside the store I saw a sign advertising 1/2 price on any purple tagged clothing (good deal I guess though I never actually saw an item of clothing with this purple tag).  The shoe selection for women was a mish-mash of dusty styles from the mid-1980’s and a few really stylish selections.  The clothing was decently organized this is a small shop so it doesn’t take long to scour what they have.  The selection for men was slim and a bit scary looking and the kids and baby clothes was super old.  Random/surprising items in the store—  a massage table for $99; a whole barrel full of crutches and tons of Adult Diapers (un-opened packages).

Hello Thrift Shoppers!

I’m going to blog about my many shopping escapades. Whether it is a used book store, a thrift shop or a consignment shop– I’m here to tell all about my experiences.  When I find great stuff– I’ll let you know. If the parking lot was crazy busy- you will hear about it.  I can fill you in on all the odd & interesting things I find while out and about.

I’m sending good karma to all the thrift shoppers out there!