5 Tips for Shopping at Goodwill

I just recently discovered how amazing Goodwill can be, so I’m definitely no expert… YET! But I have picked up some techniques that make my shopping trips a little more efficient, so I decided to share those with you!

I mostly go to Goodwill expecting to find random decor items- baskets, pottery, etc. There have been a couple times where I’ve scored some great pieces of furniture which is a huge bonus! Most decorative items are priced between $1-$5, I remember my first time at one I really thought everything had been priced wrong!

Before I get into my tips, I’ll share some photos of my finds (I put black rectangles around the pieces I found at a Goodwill)!

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 This vintage MCM dresser is BY FAR the best thing I’ve ever found! It was only $15!!

This vintage MCM dresser is BY FAR the best thing I’ve ever found! It was only $15!!

 This chair was also only $15, and in fantastic shape!

This chair was also only $15, and in fantastic shape!

 A closer view of the decor on my dresser. That mini peacock chair was only $2 or $3!

A closer view of the decor on my dresser. That mini peacock chair was only $2 or $3!

 Mixing in Goodwill finds with newer items is so fun, and gives your space a collected look!

Mixing in Goodwill finds with newer items is so fun, and gives your space a collected look!

With all of the unique pieces I’ve found, Goodwill has quickly become my go-to whenever I need some new shelf decor! Here are the tips I’ve put together for making the most out of your shopping trips!

1.) TRY TO GET THERE WHEN IT OPENS. Since I work full time during the week, most of my trips happen on Saturday or Sunday. The aisles in some of the stores are pretty narrow and it can be tough to navigate when it gets too crowded. I also like having first pick over the inventory!

2.) HAVE SHELF STYLING PHOTOS SAVED ON YOUR PHONE. Goodwill shelves are usually packed to the brim with tons and tons of stuff! There is a lot of JUNK surrounding all of the good stuff. Everything can be pretty overwhelming and sometimes it makes it harder for me to decide if something is actually cool or not. That’s when I look at pictures of my favorite “shelfies” I have saved on my phone or in Pinterest to help me remember what types of decor items I’m looking for.

3.) ALWAYS GET A CART. I always get a cart when I first walk in- whether I’m planning to get a lot of stuff or not. In addition to getting a cart, I recommend to put anything in your cart that catches your eye. If you like something but don’t grab it, you could decide after shopping around that you do and it might be gone! I always fill my cart up then edit it down before checking out.

4.) FIND OUT ABOUT OTHER GOODWILL STORES IN YOUR AREA. After my first trip to a local Goodwill, I asked the cashier if there were any others nearby that had more furniture. He told me about another one about 15 minutes away that is larger- I went the next day and scored that awesome Mid-Century Modern dresser! I’m lucky to live in an area that has several all within a 10 mile radius. I’ve found that they’re all good for different things. One is better for shelf decor, the other is great for furniture, and the third one has a ton of great decorative books and baskets.

5.) SIGN UP FOR A REWARDS CARD. Their rewards card is quick to sign up for and every day different items are 25% off. It also makes you eligible for any random sales they might have. One time I went in and everything was 50% off for card holders.


Hope these tips are helpful! If you have any of your own, feel free to share!!