shopping,  Thriftstore Thursday

Thrifty Thursday! Edition 3: STUFF, when is it too much?

thrift store loot

The other night I woke up in the middle of my night for some reason or another and ended up walking into my office to work on my laptop. (I do that to cure insomnia. It works like a charm.) Somewhere between my bedroom and the dining room, I stubbed my toe on a box of something I had out in preparation for the big princess party. I stopped, grabbed my toe in pain and looked around me in the dark. I was suddenly overcome with how much stuff I had in my house. Even in the dark (or maybe more so because it was dark) I could see shadows of stuff EVERYWHERE.

How is it that in one month I have fillled up an entire mobile home with STUFF? It made me sick.

Granted, it’s a small mobile home and I had a lot of things out and about that I was using to set up for the big birthday bash but still. When I moved in here it was empty. I didn’t even have a bed. It seemed huge. There were cupboards and drawers everywhere completely empty. I’ve never had a place to myself before and for the last five years I haven’t even had a room or a closet that I could call my own. So it seemed like an incredible luxury of space.

How is it that I have filled up this space in just one month? It took me aback.

This got me to worrying. Shopping for all that furniture at once was a heady thing for me. I’ve never had that much money at my disposal all at one time before. On top of the Ikea shopping and the thrift store shopping I was also setting up new accounts for internet and utilities, gardeners and a new dog that required things. It kinda felt like money was flying out of my bank accounts like leaves from a leaf blower. Sure, I wasn’t out blowing crazy money with credit cards or anything but it was A LOT of shopping for me. I’ve been scrimping and saving for a long time. This was a big change in behavior. Enough to kind of scare me.

So it is with that new fear that I bring you today’s post. When is stuff too much stuff?

Today we hit the mother load of stuff at thrift stores. Lots of neat stuff. Stuff that maybe I don’t even need and I’m willing to sell if anyone takes a fancy to anything. I’m trying to figure out what is valuable and what I just really like. I wish I had a huge warehouse where I could keep every random thing I take a fancy to and then maybe someday someone would hire me to decorate their house for them. I’d get a call and then I could go find that perfect thing in my well-organized and cataloged warehouse. I’d have sections set up by genre, time period, color etc etc… Oh what a dream that would be! I could be the Queen of Stuff! Ha!

But the reality is I can’t do that. At least not now. I like a home that is a little on the sparse side. So the stuff needs to be curbed. I’m not renting any storage space. That’s not in my budget or my life plan.

Onwards! Shall we?

new end table! and a mexican blanket

First I found this end table. I couldn’t even believe it. This is exactly what I had been looking for for weeks to put beside my bed to put a lamp on. I had scoured Ikea in vain. Thrift stores had nothing. Why is it that now that I have settled for an old red metal toolbox for a bedside table that I find the PERFECT side table? It’s small! It has straight lines! It’s mid-century or something near that! Why?! Why? I shouldn’t have bought it. But it was only $20. I figured I could fit it somewhere. So now I have a table that I don’t entirely need. It’s not that big so I’m sure it will fit somewhere without me stubbing my toe on it but the warning alarms have started ringing. This might be a sign of a problem.

And hey! It came with a Mexican blanket or serape in the drawer!

Mexican blanket

Just kidding. I bought the blanket separately and stuck it in the drawer. I don’t feel too bad about this blanket because it cost two bucks and I’d been wanting to buy one ever since we threw the Actually’s their Mexican-themed farewell party. I wanted to make throw pillows out of one but I just couldn’t justify cutting up a blanket I spent $30-40 on. Well, now I can! A two-buck blanket can get cut up. Unless of course it looks prettier all in one piece which this one might. I’m kinda digging it. I don’t need it but I do love it.

red shoes!

And then I found these shoes. Swooni-swoon-swoon.

red loafers

You know how I am about red shoes…

Valentine's Day Shoes

These are so red and so shiny and sooooooo not my size.


Kill me now. Should I have left them there to rot with all the other outcast misfit shoes: the awful chunky ankle boots, Grandma Edna’s nurse shoes and the leopard printed stripper heels? Would someone who does wear a very narrow eight and a half come along and buy them and maybe land that job because they looked so smart? In the sticks? Not likely.

Nobody but me knows the real value of these wonderful red shoes. I must buy them!!! So I did. And now I have to sell them. Because even though I can fit them on my feet and admire their beauty, I cannot really walk in them because I will trip. I wear a size seven. I really wear a size six and a half so an eight and a half is just plain clown-shoe silly on me. Just like my friend Deb always says, “Josephine crying in a bucket!” That’s me. I am crying in a bucket over these shoes.

Hopefully these will be listed in Etsy (if I can call them vintage, not sure) or ebay tomorrow after I measure them and document every last scratch and scuff.


I also bought this belt. It’s nice. I don’t really wear belts but maybe I should. It doesn’t take up much room so my guilt meter is low on this one. I should illustrate that. Maybe that will be a regular feature from now on.


There. That should come in handy in the future.


Next up: tongs. Boring but I totally needed them! They’re heavier and nicer than any I’ve seen in stores too so, no guilt here.


Phew. If I was smart this is all I would have come home with. But what kind of post would that have made? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……….

Paris teapot


Next, I bought this teapot. I bought this purely to resell. I love the color but I’m not really decorating my house with turquoise right now like everyone else is. My only problem is, it looks kind of cute on my Paris cafe shelf. I don’t know… I think I should etsy this one. I just need to research and see how valuable it is. Same with the funny green pitcher and the yellow bowl and green cup from the top photo. Though, I am getting my groove on with the 70’s green in my trailer these days. It’s very trailer chic. Everything was very cheap of course. Under $5. Some of it is Bauer, some just stamped with USA so I need to read up on my pottery.

new dress


And lastly, we have this yellow sundress. I wish it was vintage but its H&M. Oh well, cute is where you find it, right? And I will need a sundress out here in the sticks where it’s 80 degrees in January!

summer dress is it Summer?

I think I’ll keep it.


  • LaurenC

    Those red shoes ROCK!
    I am curiously wondering how much it would be to mail them to Australia? Probably silly expensive. But oh goodness they are so RED.
    I wear a size 8, in aussie sizes. I think it’s the same in US. I could be wrong.
    If you seriously want to sell them, and don’t mind finding out how much they are to ship + of course how much you want to sell them for, I would seriously be interested.

  • SAJ

    I’ll find out how much shipping is. It would make me super happy to send them off to someone who loves them as much as I do! :)

  • Ruth

    Oh, I can’t even remember what it’s LIKE to be that warm and sunny! I’ve got about two feet of snow in my backyard and more on the way….

    Great finds!

  • brenda

    Since you settled on the toolbbox and adore the dresser, why not but the dresser in its rightful place and ditch the toolbox? Just a thought.

  • Clownfish

    If those shoes are ‘truly’ Farragamos, you may wish to price accordingly :) Did a quick search and found new Farragamos ranging from $300 to over $500!!

    Fun finds B. It is too funny to think sun dress in January.

  • KelleyD

    I love the teapot! If you do decide to sell it I miay have to take it off your hands for you. It would look great in the kitchen I don’t have just yet :)

  • Olivia C

    I had to laugh at the section about the red shoes. It was totally a “Steel Magnolias” moment. Dolly Parton’s character says, “I wear a six but a seven feels so good I buy an eight!” Love all the finds.

  • bethany actually

    I was gonna say, Ferragamos are high-end shoes! Those, maybe you should try to sell on eBay, unless you just want to send them to Lauren and not deal with the headache, of course, :-)

    I also say use the table and find another use for the tool box.

  • Ami

    Wow, you did hit the jackpot! By any chance, were you shopping on a day you missed Bug b/c she was out with her Dad?
    Your hoarding question hit home with me — my mother is a compulsive hoarder. It started out just getting “stuff” that was a little/lot cluttered. But now it’s out of control. Anyway, I suggest you read Jessie Sholl’s book “Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother’s Compulsive Hoarding.” It’s a very well-written memoir that isn’t in-your-face lecturey and it’s full of interesting information about hoarding and how it starts.
    Sheesh. I just reread that and I realized it could come off as me calling you a hoarder. SO NOT DOING THAT! Please know it was just a “hey you might find it interesting” kind of thing.

    SAJ says: Don’t worry! I’ve heard about that book and I’m very interested in reading it already because the pack rat gene does run in my family. This is a very interesting subject for me. Something I’ve been running from my whole life. I totally get what you mean though, shopping can be an escape and addictive. Thankfully I was not self-medicating with shopping on Bug’s Snow Day. We actually went on Wednesday. Me, my mom AND Bug. :) It was a fun mother-daughter-granddaughter outing but I am thinking of dialing it back a bit. Maybe Thrifty Thursday posts can be once a month or maybe I’ll just hit the thrift stores once a month and only write about one item every week.

  • Laurie

    Enjoy the sundress. As I read this it is currently -44 degrees Celsius. Yes. You read that right. Crazy cold. There is also so much snow here that we are having a hard time finding where to put it all.
    Wanna house swap for about 2 weeks (ha, ha)?

  • Felix

    Too funny…I’m wearing my new shiny red shoes today. I’ve always loved shiny red shoes. I even happen to wear an 8.5 but I’ll have to settle for my Ecco ones instead of the pretty Ferragamos :)

  • Ashley

    I LOVE that teapot! I’d absolutely buy it if you decided to sell. Especially since the dudes who move us seem to always break my tea pot and I’m again in need of one that holds more than 2 cups of liquid.

  • Tamara

    I have a solution for you…do theatre! I have two storage units, and a houseful and I can justify everything because I use everything! Let me know if you run across any swords :o)

  • anna b bonkers

    OK, but it is totally cute on your shelf so if you keep it that is ok….or you could bring it to me in the summer ;-) ha, ha…..anyway, I am so loving these posts and the meter and the shoes and the dress, ahhhh, thrifting, I love thrifting. And you get to do it in the sticks, there was this one neat little shop I went into when I was there with Johanna back in ’95 or ’97, Hmm, not sure which year it was but it was an awesome little totally packed shop and we were on the hunt for hats, (of course for Jo’s wall). I still dream of that shop.

  • Yara

    I love those shoes. I’d buy them from you, but I really shouldn’t. I can’t fit another pair of shoes in this house… besides, Lauren saw them first.

    That dress looks gorgeous on you. I have a pattern for one, but haven’t ever gotten around to making it.

  • Annika

    OMG that end table. You MUST use it. If you don’t I will come and steal it from you! (I’m kind of in love with the tea pot and the green pitcher, too. Ack! I need your thrift stores!)

  • nicole i

    love the shoes and they a re in my size but i get weird about wearing other folks shoes…is that bizarre? my favorite part of thrifting is the home goods kinda stuff…vintage hankies, linens and such.
    Hey we are going to Anza Borrego next month…maybe we can plan a quick meet up along the way.

  • Amanda

    Love the shoes…but sadly they would be too big and too narrow. Love the teapot too…because it is turquoise!! You have some pretty great stuff at your thrift shop…I haven’t been thrifting since before Christmas. Sad.

  • LaurenC

    Holy Smokes. I didn’t realise they were Ferragamo’s. Apparently I don’t pay much attention to what i’m looking at.
    Obviously if you wish to sell them for what they would actually be worth then don’t think twice about it.
    I just saw red shoes and my brain shouted OOOH RED!

  • Madge

    I think this is why I don’t go to thrift stores. I don’t know when not to buy. In the past year I haven’t been buying much and have been giving away a lot. Every time I think about purchasing something my first thought is “do I want to pack this?”

    The Steel Magnolias quoted by Olivia C is cracking me up. Love that movie.

    I agree with the idea of ditching the toolbox and using the new nightstand.

  • Ninabi

    I love the shoes- they are magically red. A girl could have adventures- those shoes just seem to want to go places. Except on my feet- darn, they are sadly too small.

    I love thrift shopping too- I sold a house last year after staging with a western/cowboy theme (we live in the southwest) and I scoured the shops for anything in browns/blacks/rust/copper/turquoise and “cowboy” and grabbed a lot of five and ten dollar items with the emphasis on large and dramatic.

    Like you, I wondered, how much was too much? I aimed for an uncluttered look, too. When I thought I had reached that point, I made a rule for myself- each new purchase requires the donation/sale of an old item in the house. Doesn’t matter what it is- a mis-matched plate, a shirt that got all spotty with bleach, an end table that was nice but no longer went with the theme. Yes, sometimes I cheat by tossing out a tatty pair of underwear in exchange for a new purchase but it keeps the collection of stuff at a containable level.

  • BeachMama

    You are killing me with that sundress!!! As I stare at the snow, as pretty as it is, I would rather be in a sundress.

    You rock the thrift stores, finding all sorts of fun stuff. I just see junk at ours and never go back, maybe I need to go back with fresh eyes. Although that would just add to all the STUFF in my house. I have no idea how it all got here or where it is all going to live eventually, I am feeling like we are in for a purge sometime soon…. I may need to call in reinforcements.

  • Peggi

    Obviously you need to put the teapot on eBay or someplace where the bids will go up. You’ll get a bidding war just amongst us readers! I, too, love the teapot, but am willing to let it go to someone who will actually use it for tea.

    I’m with you on “when is it too much”. I’ve recently become rather claustrophobic in my own home because we HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF. Hubby bought me a second-hand quilting frame, and I love it, but I had to move a couch into The Teen’s room and the tv on top of the piano to make room for it. Ugh. Too much stuff, not enough room.

    Hey – I know! I’ll trade you my piano for your teapot! lol!

  • gingermog

    Good morning, yep I’m catching up on my commenting today. I am a hoarder,clothes that are too big, crafts, old sketchbooks, hand me down silver pits form relatives, and most of all books. Jai and I are compulsive readers and we keep almost every book we have bought, mostly second hand. We have a constant battle in finding space for them, we have lots of shelving, but books are piled on most surfaces :)

  • Monica

    I want to go thrift store shopping with you…or at least rub your head before I strike out on my own. And I think you could not NOT buy that table: it’s gorgeous!

    We have been thinning through stuff in our house and I am truly shocked at how much we have taken out, and how much is still left. It’s an ongoing battle, but a worthy one.

  • Erin

    I am digging the blanket because we have the same one, I think! A couple throw pillows is an excellent idea for the new couch we are thinking about getting. I’ll mull this one over.