Circuit shopping is the brainchild behind my plan for The Goodwill Project. There are five or more Goodwill Thrift Stores within a 10- or 15-minute drive from my house. I plan to shop one every other day or so for the next year in a methodical—or perfectly arbitrary—rotation. Just like the rest of life, I expect I’ll be five minutes late for the find of the century one day, and unearthing amazing treasure the next.
The thrill of the hunt has always been what stirs me, and I’ve been junking long before junking was cool. My Rodeo Drive is a flea market, garage sale or antique shop, and the junkier it is, the better I like it. I’ve popped in Goodwill stores a few times when I’m staging a house and have always had good luck, but oddly enough, its really never been on my radar until a few weeks ago.
The shelter-in-place months got me started. I sorted closets, re-thought clutter and filled my car 15 times or more for a dropoffs at Goodwill. About midway through those trips I started venturing inside to see what new clutter I might be missing out on.
What I found surprised me.
All Goodwill Thrift Stores are merchandised in the same way: clothes and shoes are in the front; furniture, lamps and art are in the back left corner; and aisles from left to right across the back are adeptly organized with glassware, dishes and serving plates, plastic things, baskets, holiday items, toys, books and videos.
Each row’s endcaps are merchandised by color. It’s adorable. Some stores do it better than others, but you’ll find a charming display of only purple items on the end of one aisle, only red items on another, and so on.
The prices are awesome—way better than you can find at a flea market or antique mall these days. Small furniture items can be as low as $7.99 and rarely more than $39.99. All books are under $3 and knicknacks can range from under a dollar to rarely over $5.
Even cooler? Music from their own Goodwill Radio plays throughout the store while you shop. I can always be certain to get my fix of Maroon Five while I peruse others’ castoffs, and that’s good because Adam Levine also stirs me.
I’m a newbie Goodwill groupie. And in my quest for a new project to stimulate the senses, I’m laying plans for The Goodwill Project. Next up, I’ll fill you in on the rules and the list of ultimate finds. Come along with me, y’all. Let’s see what we can ferret out.