Thursday, May 27, 2010

The thrift store's thrift store

This evening the kiddles and I will be making our way to Salt Lake City, then on to southern Utah for my kid sister's high school graduation on Friday evening. I'll be hanging with my folks and siblings and other loved ones for a while, then heading back to SLC to work on a super special, ultra exciting project for my brother and his wife before coming home. I'll show you a little teaser tomorrow, okay?

Anyway, I hope to still have some posts for you to enjoy in my absence. They may be a little scarcer than lately, but I promise there will be something!

Not long ago I mentioned a thrift store in my area that is like the thrift store's thrift store. It's a place where donated items go that are either not in good enough shape to be sold in the regular stores, or that have been to a thrift store but just never sold. For most of the items there, I have a feeling it's the last stop before the dump.

The Bargain Center is just a warehouse-type of room with large wooden bins arranged into rows where everything is just dumped in. They try to organize things, so there are bins of just shoes, just clothes, just toys and games, etc. And of course there are several bins if just STUFF. They don't usually have much furniture, but I like to see what I can find anyway. I pop in every now and then and usually have mixed luck. Sometimes I'll leave with just an item or two, and sometimes I'll fill a cart. My most recent trip was definitely a successful one!

The chunky wreath and cute little basket I found are in great shape. They just need a little dressing up to make them special.

That suitcase was way too darling to pass up, but when I spied it a lady was opening it and looking it over. I think I actually whispered out loud, "Don't!". Luckily she walked away from it so I scooped it right up. Things like this are always interesting and useful items to decorate with. I can see this stacked with one or two other suitcases or even perched on top of a plain little table to create a unique side table or nightstand.

Luck struck again as I was heading to the register. An employee had just laid this in a bin as I was approaching so of course I snatched it. Isn't it beautiful?!

I'm not really into wrought iron myself, but I know how popular it is and this star burst clock is a real eye catcher.

Hopefully it just needs a battery, but if a new clock mechanism is what it takes to get this beauty on the wall, I'd say that's an easy fix.

The bin of board games and puzzles usually gets a quick glance, but this time I spotted an old Scrabble game. I love Scrabble (even though I'm not any good at it), but I'm sure it's missing a lot of tiles which makes it unplayable. I hope to be able to come up with a craft or two using the tiles that it does have.



This is the item I'm most excited about. I put the basket in the picture to give you an idea of its size. The top is only hanging on by a nail, so that will need to be fixed, but otherwise it's in good shape.

It stands about thigh high and has that cool worn-in character that I love. The "Taters" themed paint detail? Yeah, it's gonna go.

It's very Idaho, and as much as I love potatoes, I have other plans for this bin. I can see this being used to store pet food with a little scoop attached by a chain, or a pretty little place to throw newspapers or plastic grocery bags to be recycled. Can't wait to work on it!


The Bargain Center is definitely not your typical second-hand store. Only certain items have actual prices, like clothing, shoes and books. Everything else is sold by the pound. Seriously. Everything I'd found was just wheeled onto a giant scale while still in the cart, then the weight of my items was determined by subtracting the weight of the cart which was marked on the side of it. The more "poundage" you buy the cheaper it gets. I was in the 40¢ per pound range so I got everything I just showed you for $10 and some change. ☺

Seriously, if you live close you need to check it out. As much as I'd love to keep this place a secret, it just wouldn't be fair.

If you're local, here's the info for "the thrift store's thrift store".

Idaho Youth Ranch Bargain Center
2619 Sundance Blvd.
Nampa, ID 83651
208-467-9784

Store hours:
Monday – Saturday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday Noon to 5:00 pm

3 comments:

Maryhelen said...

Uh ~ hi. This is your friend who loves wrought iron. :D
And I have that suitcase's older sister. Or cousin. Or Dowager Empress..
And we have the "taters & onions" version of the bin....handmade by Kurt's dad for Christmas one year. We are oh-so-unoriginal and actually put potatoes and onions in it. But I love your ideas (of course!) and can't wait to see how the little guy comes out.
Have a great trip!

knolenik said...

Hi! I found your blog via Pinterest...the painted wood signs which I'm in the process of making. I saw this post and though it had an interesting title and turns out I'm in the same area as you!! and have shopped at the Bargain center! I love that place and your blog :)

the.beth said...

My Nana had a taters bin similar to yours. It didn't have a "colorful" painted look like that one. If I remember correctly, hers had a kind of burn-out type of technique spelling Taters or Potatoes, don't remember which. Brings back memories. I'm in Milwaukee and sure wish we had a thrift store's thrift store like Youth Ranch - it sounds awesome!