I know, I know.  I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer.  Thrifting is fun, but you don’t want to find yourself on a future episode of Hoarders, Buried Alive.  All the people on that show didn’t get to their problem overnight.  It happened little by little, until they looked up and there was a mountain of ‘stuff’ overtaking their space.  Here are five tips to follow to not becoming a thrifting hoarder:

1.  Set a budget.
Create a monthly or weekly/biweekly budget.  Go to the local store where you purchase visa gift cards and buy one in that amount.  If you are disciplined enough to stick to the budget amount, then you can skip this.  However, put your budgeted amount aside in cash, as you see and feel the dollars leave your wallet with every purchase vs. swiping a card and trying to keep a tally in your head.  You also can’t overspend cash. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

2.  Create a thrifting list.
This is tough if the thrift run wasn’t planned.  On whim, you decided to stop in since you were passing on the way home. Before going in, sit a few seconds and decide what you want to hunt for, i.e. graphics tee, blazers, jeans, etc.  Go specifically to those sections only for browsing. This will cut down on the time you spend and save a few dollars for use on the next trip.

3.  Designate a storage area.
I found myself having thrifting bags all over the place – in my closet, behind a bed, in the car trunk, etc., specifically items I plan to resell.  After I got tired of stepping over bags or stuffing away, I finally purchased one plastic storage bin (about 60 quarts) to place it all in.  Everything must fit into that bin.  If I bring in something new and it can’t fit in the bin, that means something has to come out.  I need to gift, donate, or sell something immediately (a day or 2 at most) to make space.  This has definitely put an end to the overflow. 

For items that are for personal use, I try to follow the same philosophy – something in means something goes out.


4.  Thrift with a friend
When possible, set up a thrift meet up with a friend.  If you don’t have any friends that like thrifting, well…hmmm.  LOL.  Going in, tell your friend what’s on the list and hopefully she/he can help you stay on track.

5.  Take inventory of items at designated times.

Set a time: monthly, quarterly, seasonally, etc.  Put a reminder in your phone or planner.  Go through items and decide which no longer serve you.  Maybe you have five cookbooks, but constantly only use two of them.  Go ahead and donate the other three.  The same can really apply to any category.  I remember a few years ago I had 28 blazers!  Really!  They took up too much space and I found myself always reaching for the same black, navy, and maybe a one-off color anyway.  I am now down to five, at most. Now, I could apply this same philosophy to shoes, but I digress.

Following the above rules should help keep you from becoming a thrifting hoarder.  What do you currently do to keep yourself in check?