I love to op shop. Also known as thrifting. Browsing/shopping in a charity/secondhand store gives me great pleasure. I enjoy the experience/chance of finding something interesting/unusual and special at a reduced/affordable price. Mainly for my art. From useful household items to props. Cute knickknacks to clothes. Don’t judge a book by its cover. And don’t be embarrassed to walk into an op shop. It shouldn’t be underestimated nor looked down upon. There’s truly some good stuff to be found. The folks who work there are also super friendly and helpful. And you’re supporting your local charity/community. Love your op shop because it loves you. I’m a seasoned op shopper. And proud of it. Here’s some food for thought on how to op shop with some success.
Don’t go too often. You won’t find many good things then. Give the op shop time to replenish. If you know what I mean. And a chance for other shoppers to find good stuff too. If you’re lucky enough to have a few op shops nearby, pace yourself between them. Try once a week or fortnightly, perhaps. And go when your heart, mind and soul are in a good place. And as a reward for yourself after good/hard work. This way, hopefully, the universe will be kind and reward you with some extraordinary finds. But that’s just my theory. And sometimes, it’s just a matter of luck what you’ll encounter. Op shopping is fun. But it can also be addictive, expensive and counterproductive. And with side effects. (This applies to shopping/spending in general really.) It’s good retail therapy. But if you don’t need to go. Or if there’s nothing for you to buy. Don’t. Spend your precious time and money wisely. Paint and save.
If you see something that you like, grab it. Immediately. Don’t risk walking past it only to return and find that it’s gone! (And the lady walking around with a smile on her face has it tucked tightly under her arm. Argh!! True story. The pain is real.) Grab a basket from the entrance and shop baby. There’s no harm in returning an item to its spot if you’ve changed your mind. Just don’t do it too often. And you didn’t hear it from me. Always have a kind heart. If you find yourself reaching for the same item as someone else, you know what to do. Especially if they look a little mean. Or an old lady. If you missed out on something, don’t sweat. There’s probably a good reason for it. And it’s very likely that you’ll find a better item some other time. It’s usually the case.
Take only what you need. You might have a good eye for bargains and/or design/style. (And you might have a thing for vases, for example). But don’t be greedy. And don’t grab too many good stuff. Be kind/generous of spirit. And only take a few of the items that you need. Leave some good things for others too. This makes the whole experience so much more pleasurable for everyone. Be selective and wise with your purchases. Learn to control yourself. Do you really need all of that stuff at home? Do you want to be faced with the hoarder’s nightmare of having too many things? Tucked under the couch? No you don’t. But if you do find yourself in that situation, don’t fret. Just consider selling some of the items online/eBay. Or giving them back to charity. That’s how it works. Beats throwing them in the bin. This way, everyone wins. And you can op shop some more.
Op shopping is fun. And there’s some seriously good things to be found. Don’t judge it. And don’t be embarrassed to go there. It’s a charity store. A place for the public to find cheap/affordable stuff. And hope/inspiration too. Make the most of it! A mixed lot of people frequent it. From grannies to the arty types. And serious bargain hunters. While you’re there, don’t be a fool or rude. Be kind/polite and respect the other shoppers’ space. Don’t ruin the experience for them. If you have change left over, put some in the donation box. Practice kindness and give when you can. For me, op shopping is more than just retail therapy. It’s a chance to zen out and find ideas/inspiration and props for my art. Some of the items/objects that I’ve found are truly beautiful/special. To me at least. I consider them as gifts/signs from the universe for my art/life education/direction. Op shopping plays an important role in my art practice. More on this later. 1 smile