If you’re looking to get your home into tip-top shape yet are struggling to source organizational products that don’t break the bank, why not pay a visit to the thrift store? You might be surprised at what kinds of secondhand items you can use to totally transform your home.
We asked three professional organizers to share what types of items they always like to look for at the thrift store—you’re going to want to add their picks to your shopping list!
Wine Bottle Racks
Nicole Arroyo, the founder of Neatly Nic in Atlanta, Georgia, likes to pick up wine bottle racks while shopping secondhand, but she doesn’t use them for their obvious purpose.
“This item can be used to organize towels for guests,” she explains. “Towels can be rolled and stored in the bottle spaces for easy access.” So the next time you spot one of these, consider bringing it home and hanging it up in your bathroom—or even inside a hall closet. You can even spray paint a piece that’s seen better days to give it a little extra shine.
Who says you have to pay full price for your storage bins? New bins and baskets can cost a pretty penny, so you may as well save your hard-earned cash where you can. Arroyo always keeps an eye out for these types of storage solutions at the thrift store.
“These are easy-to-clean items because they have a non-porous surface,” she comments. “Acrylic and metal bins can be used in every area of the home for storage on open shelves, closet shelves, in cabinets, and under sinks.”
To ensure that your bins will indeed serve you, it’s best to head to the thrift store with a general sense of what size basket you need. “I encourage clients to have measurements of their spaces when possible to ensure the basket or bin fits well in the desired space,” notes Stacey Flood, the Washington, D.C., based founder of Stacey’s Organizing Solutions.
Flood likes to look for canisters while secondhand shopping, too. “I am a big proponent of removing food items from their original packaging to maximize space in kitchen pantries and cabinets,” she explains. “These items are pleasing to the eye and free up shelf space.”
When you bring a secondhand canister home, simply wash it out like you would a dish, and it’ll be good as new.
“You can use them to add decor to a space as well as corral items together on something decorative,” she notes. “For instance, in my closet, I have a thrifted tray that houses all of my perfumes in one central space that is pretty.”
When shopping for a tray, just ensure that it can withstand the weight of whatever items you plan to place on top of it, advises Williams.
If you’re in need of a new bookshelf or cubby set for your home, you may be able to find what you need for a great price at the thrift store, notes Williams.
“Make sure you go prepared with measurements if you’re looking for bigger items to organize and decorate your space,” she advises. “I’ve personally found bookcases and shelves I was able to source for my home or client spaces that satisfied our organizing goals of maximizing space and having a two-for-one piece.”
Note that if you’re not loving how a piece looks in the thrift store, you may be able to alter it to better suit your aesthetic using supplies from the craft store. “You can typically change the color or fabric if you like the piece,” shares Williams.
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