How to Thrift Shop for Your Home

Preloved goods, charity shops, 2nd hand stores, thrift stores, what ever you call them - these guys are your friend. They have rad things. Fashion is a cycle so you’ll often find things that are on trend even though other people have got rid of them. I recently had to kit out our entire kitchen in KL, as we didn’t get the chance to pack our things from home. I’ve since learned that fully furnished doesn’t mean fully ‘kitchened’. I hated that I had to buy new things when I knew we had everything stored back home. It feels so wasteful. I decided the best thing I could do to help the environment and save my budget was to shop at a preloved store. I headed to Jalan Jalan Japan (I get the giggles every time I say it) which stocks preloved items from Japan. I had a lot of fun but it can be overwhelming so I thought I would share some tips with you.


1. Allow time

You’ll need around 2-4 hours depending on how much you need to buy. You need time and patience to sift through the good and bad things. Rather leave yourself more time so you don’t end up having to make impulse decisions.


2. Lay it out

The best thing Tanja taught me when shopping for homeware was to lay everything out. If you see a few sets of plates you like or if you want to mix and match your crockery, gather all the items you like. Don’t hold back, take every single one you like. Lay them out on the floor or a table. Look at them. Take a photo. Briefly analyse how they look together on an image. I find this helps me to be more objective. Put away the items you don’t think work together. Continue shopping and building your collection of things. Again don’t hold back. Lay them out. Repeat the quick analysis. Doing this 2 or 3 times helps to make sure you’re happy everything works together. Only once you’re completely satisfied head to the tills.


3. Hold back

Just because the goods are cheap, doesn’t mean you need them. Being a Japanese store, they had loads of ceramic tea sets. Despite how pretty they looked, I like drinking a big cup of tea so I practised restraint to not put a set in my basket.


4. White wins

When in doubt, go for white. When I was shopping I had three options for my dinner plates, white, pink or a handmade blue plate. The pink or blue options were funny and I almost went for them as our current home is temporary. I thought I could afford to go for a bit of a quirky look but in the end I chose white. With a white base, I’m able to bring in accent colours one other items. I chose yellow glass breakfast bowls and on my side plates I went for a hand made ceramic option.


5. Supplement

You don’t need to fill your entire kitchen from the 2nd hand store. Yes it would be great, but don’t feel pressured. There were a bunch of things I wasn’t in love with, so I decided to purchase them new instead. If you don’t love an item or if it’s damaged in any way, leave it behind. You’ll probably end up replacing it anyway.

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