Archive for January, 2010

How to Deal with Loss

January 25, 2010

Much to my family’s frustration, I have a tendency to lose things. Sometimes I lose big things, like my purse (Boy, was that a bummer.), but mostly I lose small things. I lose keys, sunglasses, reading glasses, hats, watches and gloves to name a few. There was a time when this caused me a lot of stress, but now I rely on Thrift Shops to ease the pain.

My attitude change came after leaving my gloves at a rest area coming back from a faraway family Thanksgiving celebration. (Argh!) As soon as I could, I visited all the local Thrift Shops to find a replacement. This caused almost as much strain as losing the gloves because of the hit-or-miss nature of Thrift Shops. I just couldn’t find what I wanted (and needed because it was cold!). But I would not consider buying retail. To me, that would be a double loss – the money and the item. At last, I did find a suitable pair, but the experience altered my thrift shopping practice.

Since I am aware that the sunglasses I’m wearing today may disappear tomorrow, I wander through thrift shops these days keeping an eye out for such elusive items. The great thing now is that while I am looking, I am under no pressure to buy. I am choosy and only buy the good stuff at a good price. I will buy almost any quality item that I, or my children, might lose.

Yes, this practice can lead to excess, but it is also very freeing. I have collected enough hats and mittens to lend out to the neighborhood – and I wouldn’t care if I ever saw them again. The larger lesson I have learned is that nothing is permanent; nothing lasts forever. That’s why I stock up at the Thrift Shop on all the items that are transient in my life, so that when they leave me – and I know they will – I don’t mourn their loss.

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A Breath of Fresh Air

January 17, 2010

Shop Review:      65 Roses
                             249 Rt 10 north
                             Grantham, NH 03753
                             603  863-3888

Tucked in a tiny shopping center in Grantham, NH in the shadow of interstate 89 is an example of a thrift shop that gets everything right. The not-too-fancy but likeable style of 65 Roses affords a refreshing shopping experience.

Sara Carr started this store in April 2007 to raise funds for the Cysitic Fibrosis Foundation. Her son has the disease and, when he was little, told his mom he had “sixtyfive roses.” Hence, a great name for a shop dedicated to a great cause.

This shop wins high marks for its variety and layout.  As you wander the one large and two small rooms, you will consistantly find a good selection of quality clothing, shoes and housewares. But they also have furniture, books, linens, videos and baby items. All of this is organized in such a way that carries you comfortably from room to room. Be aware, though, that because 65 Roses accepts a wide variety of items, the selection will vary with every visit.

This store employs unit pricing for adult and kids clothing. One must look high on the wall to see the printed list of items (pants, sweaters, shoes, etc.) with a reasonable price for each. The linens, housewares, furniture and other unique items are individually (and also reasonably) priced. Noteworthy are the book prices: hardcover books are 50 cents each. Paperbacks are ten for one dollar. Yes, that’s right. 10/$1. All day, everyday.

This store will have occassional, but not regular, sales. The sales are advertised in the local weekly shopper’s publication. Unfortunately, this can result in learning of the sale after it has started. So, if you enjoy being the first in line for a sale, get the inside scoop by giving the store a call during their business hours.

Besides being attractive and having a variety of great stuff, this shop has a special appeal. The devotion of a mom to her son is woven through every aspect of this store. With each donation, each customer and each purchase, that energy spreads and is shared by all who visit this fine shop.

Why Thrift Shops Beat Out Walmart

January 2, 2010

Let’s say you get a brilliant idea. You think of the perfect gift for your mother-in-law, or you invision a small shelf that would complete the laundry room. Now the way to act on that idea is to purchase the item. But where do you look first? I’d like to make a case for checking out your local thrift store before the discount stores.

 The first reason to shop at the thrift store is the price.  I know. That same claim is made about discount stores. But the real advantage to a thrift shop item is value. Let’s face it, the stuff you buy at the discount store is cheap. By cheap, I mean of poor quality, smells like polyurethane, and is primarily plastic. Yuk. The things you can buy at the thrift shop tend to be quailty items that have proven their worth and are ready for a new life.

A second reason to devote much of your shopping to thrifts stores is convenience. For example, I live in a rural area and my commerce choices are limited. I would have to drive 15 miles to the nearest Walmart.  But I don’t have to (or want to), because within a ten mile radius of my house, there are at least ten thrift or second-hand shops to serve my needs.

The final and best reason to choose to shop at thrift shops is the experience. Thrift shops are just plain fun. Discount stores are so predictable, boring and the lighting tends to give me a headache. At thrift shops, on the other hand, there is always something new and colorful and interesting on the racks and shelves. And chances are you will find that one item that will fulfill your brilliant idea.