Tips and Advice

Here's a bit of advice and some tips and tricks I've picked up along the way.

1. Only buy what you love. I've often been asked, "What is your decorating style?"

I answer, "I only buy what speaks to me." If it says "take me home with you and let me live among the other things you love," within reason I will.

2. Get to know your local thrift shops. They usually run specials on certain days and the longer an item has been in the store the more it's marked down. Most usually have "Christmas in July" special.

As far as Goodwill shops go, they vary from state to state and even within region there are different rules they follow. I am able to go to Goodwills in FL, GA, NC, and occasionally, LA. I have found the Goodwills in GA and NC to be the best as far as organization and ease of shopping. Items are displayed by categories and books are sorted by categories.

3. Don't be afraid to dig through bins or go around to the back of the store to see what they've thrown away...the old adage is man's trash, another man's treasure!

4. Japanese Markings...items can have several different marks, each of which indicates a different age. Items marked "Japan" are typically made before WWI. An "Occupied Japan" mark indicates it was made from 1945 to 1952. Things marked "Made in Japan" were made after 1952. With thanks to Tim Luke's "Show Off Your Age" article in Flea Market Style 2011.

more to follow...