Jolie Money | Lifestyle Editor
When scrolling through Pinterest and TikTok, it’s hard to miss the aesthetic pictures and videos showcasing the newest interior design trends of 2022, from vintage revival to Danish pastel. Whether you’re looking for moody antiques to make your apartment feel like a dark academia novel, or you’re trying to find some unique pieces to bring the cottage core aesthetic to your bedroom, there is one place everyone can find something to fit their own design styles: the thrift store.
The thrifting craze has been trending on social media for some time, but it has mainly focused on clothing. However, thrift stores offer a wide variety of home essentials that can add a unique touch to any space. Donated items come from different homes, eras or even countries, giving shoppers the opportunity to bring special pieces home. Finding a secondhand treasure brings the many other lives it has lived to your home. It is much more fascinating than a straight-from-the-factory lamp, or vase from IKEA or Target.
If you are new to the world of thrifting, it may seem a little daunting, but here are some tips to help find the best items:
- Look all around you: While shopping, make sure to look on the top and bottom shelves, endcaps and dig. It isn’t uncommon for people to hide great items or for items to get moved to the wrong area, don’t be afraid to look in different places and get your hands a little dirty. (Extra tip: make sure to bring hand sanitizer with you.)
- Go often: Since thrifting has become such a popular activity, go to your local stores early in the day before the inventory gets picked over. If you start becoming a real thrifting pro, consider visiting stores once or more a week. This way, you can take advantage of sales on certain color tagged items (a practice made popular by Goodwill) or learn the stocking schedule of the stores.
- Know what you need: One of the main purposes of thrifting home décor is to reduce waste, so just because the prices might be cheap, it doesn’t mean you have to buy items you don’t need. Before shopping, create a list of needed items. Pinterest boards are also fun ways to get ideas of how to decorate with your thrifted items.
Interior design trends can change just as fast as fashion trends, so thrifted home décor not only helps you stay on budget and on trend, but it also reduces waste. According to America’s Thrift Stores, a thrift store chain, their stores alone keep over 45 million pounds of denotable items out of landfills every year. Furthermore, a study by Green Story commissioned by thredUp, shows that buying one used item reduces its carbon, waste and water footprints by 82%. While this study was conducted on clothing, imagine the reduction of waste by buying furniture secondhand.
Thrifting is both a fun treasure hunt for new-to-you home décor and a sustainable practice. The next time you need a refresh of your space, grab some friends and make a day of searching your local stores. Here are some suggestions for shopping secondhand in Tuscaloosa:
1735 Skyland E Blvd, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
This thrift store donates a portion of its profits to Southern charities, including Make-A-Wish Alabama. It offers items from clothing, home décor, furniture, books and more.
1140 Veterans Memorial Pkwy, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
The famous thrift store chain has recently opened a new store in Tuscaloosa, and it boasts an organized inventory and even a boutique section.
311 Skyland E Blvd, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
Looking for a more curated selection and vintage décor? Skyland Antique Mall boasts a variety of vendors with fair pricing.
3929 Rice Mine NE Rd #1523, Tuscaloosa, AL 35406
Prepare to spend some time in this mall, as the huge store offers many different vendors. They even have road signs for the aisles to keep customers from getting lost.
- Yard Sales
On weekends, keep a look out for signs advertising yard sales. Whether sellers are moving or just cleaning out, they are likely to make a deal on décor or furniture.
- Facebook Marketplace
Some of the best secondhand finds (including a brand-new sofa for $50) can be found on Facebook Marketplace. Check out your local page frequently, especially around times when people are moving out and looking to quickly get rid of bulky items (mainly late April-early May and December).
When out shopping, remember to have an open mind and look at items through a creative lens. Something that might not be completely your style in the store might be easily turned into your perfect piece with a few tweaks. These transformations have become a huge category on YouTube, with creators like Lone Fox and XO, MaCenna vlogging their thrift flip adventures and creating trendy pieces from secondhand items.
Jolie Money currently serves as our Lifestyle Editor. She is a current senior, majoring in English with a minor in public relations. The Headland, Alabama native loves thrifting, yelling at reality TV shows, and personality quizzes. She has previously served as a writing contributor.