How To Thrift For Good Furniture: 7 Tips


Photos via

Thrift stores in Canada are sometimes hit or miss, but they can contain some of the greatest items you could have in your home. Whether you’re looking for antiques or just searching for something to fill a space in your home, you’ll likely find a few good things at different stores.

When looking to furnish a space on a budget, second-hand stores are the best way to find items you can dress up or alter to fit your personal style. Just keep these things in mind when heading out to shop second-hand.

1. Stay Open-Minded

When you go shopping, try to see things as what they could be, not what they are. You could work on totally transforming a piece of furniture via paint or other means. A dresser could turn into a reading chair for a child. Tapping into your creativity can help you make something useful out of a piece of furniture you wouldn’t have looked twice at otherwise.

Plus, creativity is useful in all areas of your life and can lead to greater success, so it should be worth it to flex your imagination once in a while.

2. Listen To Your Gut

You should always trust your gut when looking at second-hand items. If something doesn’t look stable or sturdy, pass on it. It might require too much effort to get that piece of furniture functional, and you could spend that time doing something else.

With rare finds, though, you may want to spend the extra time and effort required to fix them up. If it’s something you can find elsewhere, you can confidently leave it at the thrift store.

3. Think Of Other Uses

When buying second-hand, you usually favor thrift stores because the furniture is cheaper than newer options. You might also wish to give something a second chance and extend its life span so it doesn’t end up in a landfill. Even after your piece of furniture has served its purpose in your home, you should try to figure out something new to do with it before throwing it out.

Try to imagine how you can expand your items’ life spans before you buy them. For example, you might choose to use things you bought from a thrift store as pieces for a creative costume later on, when they have served their initial purposes. They could function well as props, or you could use the cloth to sew together clothing that will meet your needs. Take care of your items and they’ll last you a long time.

4. Discern Real From Fake

When you know what you’re looking for, you should have blinders on to guide you in that direction. Wood items are a great find at second-hand stores, but before you jump on the deal, you need to know if it’s real.

Look out for laminate, which is made of combined materials to look like wood rather than actual wood. You should be able to tell whether something is solid wood by how heavy it is. Wood weighs more than other materials, so if you have a difficult time lifting a desk, you might be certain that it’s made of wood rather than a laminate or particleboard material.

5. Have A Checklist

You should always have a checklist when going second-hand shopping. Too many things may catch your eye from the moment you enter the thrift store, but a checklist will help keep your thoughts on track.

Another reason not to spend more than necessary is so you have funds left over to spruce up the furniture you find if it needs a little TLC.

6. Look For Good Deals

Sticking to your budget is one of the most important parts of thrift shopping. You’re likely perusing second-hand stores in Toronto because you want to stick to a certain budget. Creating a budget specifically for second-hand shopping can help you build greater financial security and stay on track, hopefully ending in a positive cash flow that’ll leave you with enough funds to use for fixing up your pieces.

Searching for good deals will help you adhere to your budget, so you should research your most highly desired items before going shopping to know what they usually sell or appraise for.

7. Understand Your Skills

These days, having DIY skills is an admirable and even marketable trait. You may think that you can step into these DIY skills without any practice, but you’re bound to get frustrated when you run into an obstacle you didn’t foresee.

Knowing your limits is a great way to understand what you still need to learn while leaving certain things to the professionals. With time, you can tackle a similar project in the future by yourself.

Have Fun Thrift Shopping

Your Toronto thrift shopping excursion should be fruitful if you know what to look for and what to avoid. Above all, you should prioritize having fun and not stress too much about finding deals. If you don’t see any furniture you’ve fallen in love with, wait until you find something you like. You don’t want to waste your money on the wrong thing – and your hunt for the best furniture will feel much more successful after finding just the right piece.

About The Author:

Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded, where he writes about cars, fitness, the outdoors and more. Check out @TModded for regular updates! 

This blog post may contain links to external websites or products. We encourage you to do your own research to make sure a company or product is right for you.

Like this post? Leave your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.