Sunday, 8 September 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure: Sustainable Thrifting Adventure..

I honestly believe I was born a collector.. For as long as I can remember, I've always had little stashes of treasures in my world.  I've traced this collector's disposition back to my grandfather, who had a special storeroom filled with his wondrous collections.  I remember as a child the flutter of excitement I'd get every time he'd open the storeroom's magical door and I'd sneak a peek inside to marvel at the boxes of treasures, paintings and sparkling crystal decanters, imagining the stories they could tell and longing for a collection room of my very own.       

These days after many years of treasure hunting and weekends searching thrift shops and garage sales, my own collections tell many stories as I work to create a little sustainable home and wardrobe. I just love a good adventure, especially if it's to search for old typewriters, vintage crockery, and just about anything retro and orange.  So while in the last few weeks of pregnancy, many suggest to make time to go to the movies, or a date night, but something I really wanted to do before bub joins our world, was a spot of good old fashioned thrifting. So Ben and I took the Ford Focus Titanium* around the beautiful Sunshine coast on a sustainable thrifting adventure.  

Being new to the area, this truly was a first time adventure.  Thanks to a handy little website, we found the addresses to many of the local thrift shops and using the Ford's fantastic built in navigation system and eco route feature, we were able to take the most fuel efficient and eco-friendly route to our destinations. Our thrifting soundtrack synced and playing to get us in the mood for fossicking, we set off on a lovely Spring day, through little towns and main precincts on the lookout for handy treasures and a few quirky delights.   

Whilst driving between our destinations, Ben and I began to reminisce about our past thrifting adventures, road tripping through country Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales on the search for pieces to create our eclectic pre-loved home.  We realised, what we really enjoyed about thrifting, was not only  hunting for unexpected treasures, but breathing new life into unwanted and lonely wares, whilst supporting the local communities that we visited.   

Ideas for Sustainable Thrifting
While thrifting is of course a wonderfully sustainable practice in itself, it's always great to be a little bit more environmentally conscious and make your treasure hunting adventures rewarding not only for yourself, but for our beautiful earth.  Here are a few tips for enjoying your own sustainable thrifting adventure. 

Plan Your Trip: To make your trip quicker, more cost effective and more eco-friendly, plan your route for the day.  Keep addresses handy, find out opening times and don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for unexpected treasure troves and garage sales. 

Write a List: Write a list of the items you truly need and think outside the box for items that could possibly be upcycled to fit a new purpose.  Having a list will help you stay on track, so you don't find yourself coming home with items you don't really need. Consider having a budget for the day so it's easier to keep track of your spending. It's also really handy to have loose change and cash with you, so you don't have to use your card and spend unnecessarily.

Enjoy a Stroll: If you're lucky enough to find a few thrift shops located reasonably close together, park centrally and walk.  You never know what other electric nooks you might find along the way.  Extra Tip: If you're a thrifting mumma to be, make sure you wear really comfortable shoes, have plenty of water and snacks on hand, enjoy some rest stops and take along a wonderful partner in crime who can carry any heavy finds for you.   

Donate some Goodies: With a new season upon us, it's the perfect opportunity to have a clean out and donate some goodies to a new home.  You'll be perpetuating the cycle and leaving lovely treasures for someone else to find.  And just think, that will leave your cupboards nice and free for any lovely finds you uncover. 

Use Your Own Bags: It's really handy to take your own bags or even a basket for your treasures.  The lovely volunteers will be delighted and you'll cut down on plastic.  If you're after crockery or fragiles it might even be worth stashing a few pieces of bubble wrap or some old newspaper in your bag too.  

Once again we filled the boot, this time with a collection of fruity hued treasures, which will soon be put to good use around our home.  Canisters and pyrex for the kitchen, golden books for the nursery, vintage linen for crafty projects and a blanket just right for our living room. And my favourite find for the day.. a perfect little teapot, now patiently awaiting herbs to be grown and harvested to brew lovely pots of homemade tea. 

With our final adventure as just the two of us now complete, our nest is ready and we now wait patiently for our little adventurer to arrive.  We can't wait for all the family treasure hunts we will embark upon in the future.

Much Love

PS. For more thrifting ideas, check out our thrifting road trip tips and my top five thrifting tips.    

*Thanks to Ford and Kidspot I'm delighted to be taking part in the Voices of 2013 - Ford Choose Your Own Adventure Challenge. This is the final of three blog posts I'll be sharing about our pre baby adventures featuring the black Ford Focus Titanium.  Check out our previous adventures, our Babymoon Roadtrip and Our Precious Cargo.   


  1. So darn jealous! What wonderful finds!! Thrift shopping kid free is definitely better when I can! I get to fossick more!
    You're looking fabulous! :)

  2. What a wonderful final thrifting outing you look to of had before bubs arrival. As a true op shopper they are all fantastic tips. Taking a close peek at your finds, I'm personally crushing on that atomic footstool and that retro lamp you're carrying up the road. How I would love to find a perfect pair that look like that......I can dream.

    1. Awww thanks so much lovely lady! You are indeed the op shop queen! You'll have to give me some tips about thrifting with little ones in tow. Yes indeed the lamp was a delightful find. Now we have a not quite matching pair, a real treat!
      Have a beautiful week xx

  3. Soph you look amazing pregnant defiantly suits you!

    I have been away from blog land of a while and I have miss you!

    looks like baby prep is going well you found some great stuff! I wish we could hit some op shops together!

    sarah xx

  4. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, can't wait for the next part of the journey. You look so relaxed and beautiful pregnant. And also I think I will start thrifting, there are some wonderful stuff out there :)

  5. The tea pot is my favourite too, it has a very orla kiely look about it. A bit of a come down after thrift shopping in a ford focus, but an ergo baby carrier would be my thrifting-with-baby transport tip. Hand-free mama, happy baby, prams are just to akward for the aisles x

    1. I thought the very same thing about the tea pot! Drew me in straight away. And we'll definitely be enjoying some baby wearing thrift outings very soon.
      Sophie x

  6. We have the collecting gene in our family. My seven year old trotted up a few months back and said longingly that he hoped he would be a collector like me when he grows up. I snorted and promptly pointed out his quartz rock collection, stick collection, australian bird ornament collection and octonauts collection. Love your boot full of goodies, especially that glorious tea pot and that lovely blue stool. Enjoy these last few weeks. mel x

    1. Oh I love little collectors, it's amazing to see what they put together.
      So cute! Hope he keeps it up. x

  7. These are good tips and what a great haul you guys had! My husband and I are both born collectors too and enjoy nothing more than a day of thrifting together.

  8. I love to collect and find lovely things, but lately I'm focusing on more clean space. I'm getting rid of things that I don't need and give lots of stuff away while I avoid buying new things.
    It creates some freedom in my head :-)

  9. Inspired for my next op shopping adventure. Just deciding where to go - I often browse the same places because I regularly get treasures. I'm also time limited. With school runs and a nearly two year old in tow it can get tricky. Oh I long for the days when hubby is home and I Get a few hours to op shop :)


Thank you for stopping by! ~ I just love receiving your comments! I'll be sure to pop by your place too. Much love ~ Sophie x