Just a Little Love Affair with Thrift

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I am the queen of the unwanted; a collector of “orphans.” The truth is … I simply love to thrift!  Over the years I’ve embraced the flawed, snatched up rejects others snootily passed over, delighted in the blemished and greedily coveted any object that is defined or distinctive.

Like metal to magnets, garage sales, consignment shops and thrift stores continue to lure me into their murky depths. And, on any given day I can be found contentedly combing through the shelves and musty boxes within each hallowed hall of frugality.

Spotting décor that is unique or unusual is not only my delight, but has become my specialty …my signature talent. Dramatic objects that ooze style or demanded attention make me blubber with affection. I’ve learned to ignore defects and concentrate on simply spotting the potential within each item. And, to my everlasting amazement, I even relish fixing broken legs, repairing antique frames or mending holes in tattered throws.

Discovering that a peeling piece of furniture can be transformed with a brisk sanding or a new color is next to decadent. Oil stains have become my best buddies allowing me to renew battered furnishings with a swipe of a color-stained cloth.  I’ve learned what products take off rust, what spray transforms mirrors into bright reflectors, and what oils thirsty furnishings crave.

When considering a piece worthy of purchase, I ask myself, “What can I do with this interesting piece?  How would it look in a different color?  What would it cost to repair?”

In the final analysis, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I am a hopeless thrift-aholic. I’ve even perfected the art of forgiving myself for repeatedly falling in love with the latest trashy temptress. Despite my flawed journey, I’ve learned how to live fabulously … yet frugally.  And, I’ve turned my frumpy house into a fabulous home.


Barb Tobias is a professional speaker and inspiring coach who renovates lives, homes and wardrobes by sticking her curious little nose into other people’s “thrifty business.” After a lifetime of transforming trash into treasure, this savvy mistress of thrift shares her secrets to finding deals, repurposing before tossing, reconstructing the tattered and renewing things others view as passé in her recent release…Tossed & Found; Where Frugal is Chic. Her “tell all” book is not simply a journey of personal transformation, but teaches a newly frugal nation how to purchase, purge and profit from thrift.

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