Making secondhand become second nature: tips for shopping secondhand for a year

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Shopping secondhand for an entire year may sound like an ambitious goal, but with a little planning and goal setting, it’s totally possible. If you’ve ever considered the idea of shopping secondhand for the year, here are some steps to help you get started: 

Set a goal 

Having a clear idea of what your plan is will help you set realistic goals and expectations.  Consider these questions as you plan: Are you hoping to shop secondhand for all of your family’s needs? Perhaps just clothing? Or housewares? Toys? Furniture? Gifts? Are there certain things you won’t buy secondhand? What’s your motivation for achieving this goal? Perhaps it’s for  financial, environmental or even creative reasons. Whatever the case may be, setting a plan will set yourself up for success.

Get organized 

Organize your home or closet in a way that makes the most sense for your lifestyle. This could mean decluttering or simply restructuring a space.  Starting with a clean and organized space helps you take stock of what you already own and prevents you from buying things you don’t need, even if they are secondhand. 

Create a thrift wish list

Now that you’ve set a clear goal and organized your spaces, begin adding all of your needs and wants on a running list and prioritize the items in order of importance. Having a clear idea of a shopping plan will help you stay focused when you’re thrifting. 

Create a thrift route

Make a list of 2-3 stores that you frequent all the time and go there when you need to shop for items on your list. Be sure to update or refresh your route every few weeks to keep the thrill of the hunt alive!

Put “secondhand first”

Make thrifting a lifestyle. Find yourself browsing big box retailers when you need something? Try replacing that habit by browsing secondhand stores online or in-person first. This habit of putting “secondhand first” is the best way to make thrifting a lifestyle and not just a hobby.

Focus on progress not perfection

Don’t expect habits to change overnight. Have fun and enjoy the journey. It does not, will not, and should not be a perfect journey. Check-in on your journey and allow yourself to make changes as needed. 

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