Just about every day, people ask us about where we find our stuff. Sometimes I feel like the real question should be, “do you have a problem?” That would be a hoarding problem and the answer is “YES!” But lucky for you, it’s not an illness where we want to keep it all to ourselves (this is how we rationalize it, don’t judge us).
Hoarding the good stuff
Seriously, the key to not crossing over to the dark side of hoarding is the ability to edit. It’s one thing to be the first person in line at an estate sale or to take the “I Brake for Garage Sales” bumper sticker literally (by the way, we don’t) but you have to always be willing to leave things behind. This doesn’t mean that you pass up good stuff, let’s not be ridiculous here, but as you buy more you should become more discerning.
A good rule of thumb is if you LOVE it, buy it. Don’t waste time thinking about where you will put it or if it matches something else you have. If it speaks to you, it should be yours. If you walk away, I promise, you will have regrets later. Case in point: it’s been years, but I am still obsessing about this fish I passed up at a flea market. What would I do with a big, giant concrete fish you ask? What wouldn’t I do? It’s perfection, yet I still walked away. I hate when I’m practical.
Shop with a friend
Another important tip is to shop with a friend. Better yet, a partner in crime. Chantelle and I have different tastes and we see different things. This is vitally important. Just when she is rolling her eyes at something hideous I have picked out, we bring it to the store and it is amazing! She will uncover a treasure to which I will raise an eyebrow, yet later I’m admitting “good thing WE got that!”
Also, if you have different tastes, you will not be searching for the same thing. This is key to eliminate any chick fights! Trust me, been there and done that. You do not want to get in the way of a girl after a bargain. Man, the stories I could tell you (okay, I will, but later).
First come, first served
Actually, I did hear something funny this morning at an estate sale. We got our numbers, politely got in line and scrambled into the house single file when allowed. Sometimes I have a mission of what I want and I go right for it, but this morning, I was meandering (which is never good at a sale, you must stay focused).
Two women near me, one clearly ahead of the other, grabbed some bowls shown in the preview. The woman who missed out yells, “hey! I drove 50 miles to get those!” which of course, fell on her deaf ears. Frankly I agree: I don’t care if you drove from the moon, if I got it first, you are out of luck. So tip #3, you have to be quick. Grab first, ask questions later. You can always put it back.
Tips for the flea market
I could give you a list of items to bring with you when bargaining but I don’t want to be predictable. Just plan to get dirty, stop obsessing about your manicure cause it will get ruined, and bring lots of mad money. I love my husband for teaching me early (in regards to shopping) that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. So it won’t be our spouses asking if we have a problem cause they know we do and they love us anyway! Read this post for tips on how to shop a big flea market.
And please follow our Pinterest boards where we can share great decorating inspiration for your vintage.
Happy hunting, Jill