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5 Reasons to Shop Goodwill for Home Decor

September 14, 2010

Editor’s Note: Please join us in welcoming our newest contributor, Emily A. Clark, to the blog! Emily will stop by regularly to share her insights on thrifting and home decor.

I’ve been a Goodwill shopper for many years, but admittedly, I rarely wandered over to the housewares side. I usually did a quick run-through for children’s clothing and was out the door.

That all changed a couple of years ago when I became addicted to design blogs, and eventually started writing my own. I was amazed at the creativity of these bloggers and how they could re-purpose a $5 nightstand to make it look like something straight from the Pottery Barn catalog.

When the opportunity came to team up with Goodwill as a blog contributor, my mind raced with project ideas that I look forward to sharing with you. But, for those of you who may be reading this thinking you can’t possibly create a beautiful room using other people’s second-hand items, I’m here to convince you otherwise.

While there are lots of great discount home decor stores out there, Goodwill may just be the ultimate shopping destination for affordable design. Here’s why:

  • It’s the best resource for one-of-a-kind items.

Chances are you’re not going to end up with the same blue lamp that everyone ordered from one of the major chain retailers this year. And that’s a good thing. Your treasure may just become the focal point of the room and a wonderful conversation piece.


  • Buying from Goodwill means you can take a risk.

Have you always wanted to try your hand at repainting a piece of furniture but didn’t want to ruin your great-grandmother’s china cabinet? Start with a $5 chair or a $10 table from Goodwill and test out your skills. You may surprise yourself and love the results. (And, if you don’t, you can always re-donate!)

The 15 cent chair

After some new paint and fabric:
The 15 cent chair

  • You can instantly give your space an eclectic feel.

As an interior decorator, I always encourage my clients to mix and match and avoid buying anything in sets. Using mis-matched end tables, different styles of chairs or a variety of accessories will give your space a more eclectic, collected-over-time feel. It’s not only more interesting, but will usually result in a room that better reflects your personality.

Another bedside bouquet

  • Shopping Goodwill is a great way to build or add to your collections.

Want to make a big impact in your room? A big collection, whether it be plates, frames, candlesticks or even globes, is a great way to create a statement. And when you need lots of something and don’t want to spend a fortune, Goodwill is the way to go. Plus, scouring your nearest Goodwill stores for similar pieces is lots of fun!

  • You can improve the look of your home and improve other people’s lives at the same time.

This is perhaps the best reason to shop at Goodwill. It’s really a win-win. You buy great stuff for your home, and Goodwill gets to provide job training and employment programs to those who really need them.

Ah Goodwill.

All images are from actual Goodwill shoppers (via the Goodwill Hunting group on Flickr).

-Emily A. Clark

Editor’s Note: This post was written by guest blogger and Goodwill shopper Emily A. Clark. Stop by our Contributors page for more about Emily.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. ViKi permalink
    September 14, 2010 7:31 pm

    Thrift stores in general are a WEALTH of wonderful fines! Unfortunately the Goodwills in our area down here in Southern Alabama is nothing more than a “bad junk store”. It’s filled with stuff that you wouldn’t even put in a garage sale!

    We have Water Front Rescue Misson & it is AWESOME! Not only do you find incredible bargains (32″ flat screen JVC TV for $98) you are also supporting an organization that helps the homeless & those with alcohol & drug addiction! So it’s a super win/win situation!

    The old saying is true, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasures”!!!

  2. September 15, 2010 8:13 am

    Emily, you have a great eye for digging through and finding those great pieces!

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