A Beginners Thrifting Guide for Minimalists

5 easy-to-remember tips to get the full advantage of thrift shopping.

Do you want to learn how to thrift shop like a pro? If so, be forewarned: thrifting can be tiring and overwhelming — often to an extent that makes you say, “it’s not worth it…”

Thrifting is a skill. As such, it takes time, effort, and guidance to master it. But despite all that, the rewards far outweigh the challenges.

Once you master this skill, you can buy your favorite items for 10 times cheaper, and save the environment too. But how can you master this skill?

That’s what we’re going to teach you today. You will put in the time and effort, and we will provide the guidance to turn you into a thrift shopping pro.

Let’s dive right in.

5 Tips to Thrift Shop Like a Pro

1. Avoid the Common Traps

When it comes to thrift shopping, there are two deadly traps you must avoid:

  1. Thrifting for the sake of thrifting: When people shop just for the sake of shopping, they end up mindlessly wasting money on things they don’t need. While the shopper’s high may feel good in the moment, buying things to feel good usually leads to regrets.
  2. Failing to see beyond the price: When you’re thrift shopping, it’s easy to get blinded by the unbelievably low prices. That enticing discount is exactly why we sometimes buy an item with loads of excitement but then fail to find an occasion to wear it. So don’t let the discount blind you.

To avoid those traps, we recommend making a list of things that you actually need. A great step to start with is by making a list of all the items in your wardrobe.

Furthermore, you need to change your mindset on savings. While your mind may convince you that you’re saving 75% by thrifting, you can save 100% by not buying anything in the first place.

2. Clarify Your Goals

Before you set foot inside a thrift shop, you need to make a plan that clarifies what you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to pay for it.

If you walk in without a budget or an idea of what you’re looking to buy, then your chances of overspending are extremely high.

To avoid overspending, one of our favorite tips is to leave your credit cards at home and carry just a small amount of cash to avoid the urge to splurge.

3. Focus On Quality

To practice minimalism, you must place quality over quantity. Here are three ways you can find quality items in a thrift store:

  1. Since the right clothes for you depend on your personal style, we recommend looking for brands that you know and trust.
  2. If you find a damaged piece of cloth that you like, ensure that it is in a repairable condition. This way, you can grab it for cheap and then fix it easily at home later. For instance, clothes riddled with pills look unsightly and hence go for cheap. But with our fabric shaver, you can bring them back to life in no time!
  3. Quality is more than the fabric alone. The way something makes you feel is often an overlooked but a critical part of the equation. An easy way to determine whether a clothing item is worth buying is to hold it for a few minutes and see if you still want it: If the answer is not “hell yeah”, then it’s a no.

4. Dress to Test

Ask any seasoned thrifter and they’ll tell you how hard it is to find the perfect fit in a crowded thrift store. That’s because many of these stores often have limited, if any, changing rooms available — especially the smaller shops.

The only way to get around that challenge is by dressing to test. Here are 2 examples to show you what we mean:

  1. Let’s say you’re going to the store to buy some shoes. Instead of wearing lace-up boots that take forever to put on and take off, you should wear something simple like slippers. This way when you want to try a pair of shoes in the store, you can slip out of your slippers in no time.
  2. Similarly, if you’re going to buy pants, then put on thin leggings so that you’ll be able to tell if an item fits you properly.

5. For Every Item You Buy, Give One Away

Overcrowding your wardrobe with excessive items is the last thing you, as a minimalist, want to do.

So for every item you buy, try to find an old one that you can afford to give away. Give it to a friend, family member, or even to a complete stranger.

Being generous will not only keep your wardrobe balanced but will also make you happier — according to both modern scientific evidence and old-age wisdom.