It's New To Me: Uniquely Odd Thrift Store, Elkton, MD

I just checked out a new-to-me thrift store today, Uniquely Odd Thrift Shop, in Elkton, MD. I was amazed at the size, the organization, and the prices, which were quite decent.

Tucked away in a strip mall, the store offers a huge variety of items and the inventory is organized by category. I like how they used to space to create category nooks.
This is one of the kids nooks.
View from the front of the store.
View from one side of the store. This place is huge.
This is what I purchased today:
I got 12 items for less than $22! The best deal, besides the $.25 each army guys/My Little Pony was a NWT sweater for just $1.33 (from the 75% off racks). Three of my finds were NWTs. The prices were very reasonable.

The cashier explained they have periodic sales and will post them on their Facebook page here.  Check out their website for more store pics and merchandise selection.
Stop in when you are in the area.

Uniquely Odd Thrift Shop
14 Commercial Plaza, Elkton, MD
Tues-Sat. - 10am-6pm
Mon/Sun - Closed


The Charlestown Sale Spring '15 - Trip #1

I attended the Early Bird Preview at The Charlestown Sale yesterday.  I did get there a few minutes past the 9:30am opening and immediately noticed I had missed out on some cool deals, but, alas, I did not go home empty handed.

As noted, in previous posts, I am in purge mode, so any thrift purchases I consider are carefully scrutinized. At this sale, I came across more glass canisters (not Pottery Barn this time, but possibly Crate and Barrel), but again, I walked away from them and their $1 each price (seriously an amazing deal), because I do not have a use for them. I know, I know, "But Janis, at that price, you FIND a use for them!". Please don't be too disappointed in me, I did purchase other items.

The first thing I picked up was this:
Yes, I know, an over-the-sink colander is not very exciting to others, but to me, it has been something I have held off buying due to price and because I do have a perfectly fine colander. At a price tag of $4, this baby went right into my bag. Normally, these run $19.99 and up.

Next up, I found some decorative boxes (two wooden - in their original packaging, two metal) in a box under a table. If you learn nothing else from me, learn this:

                   Always look under the tables and in the boxes. Always.

I cannot emphasize enough how often deals are lost under those tables, hidden in dark boxes. Ahem, under a table and in a box was where I found those glass containers I mentioned earlier. Just sayin'.

Here the decorative boxes in their new homes:
The $2/piece decorative metal boxes are a nice touch to the bathtub ledge
and complement the faux planter I already own.
$2/piece for these decorative boxes on either side of the bench.
The boxes complement the wall art above.
Next, I found this quirky peacock and pushed scrutiny aside to put him in my bag. I did not notice he had a piece missing from his tail. When I got home, I simply touched him up with my gold metallic Sharpie pen and he looks just fine in his new spot.
Moving on, I purchased some boys clothing (pj sets for $2/each and shirts for $1/$2 each) and sandals ($2 each). I checked out the toys and a sealed Melissa and Doug Rainforest puzzle. I mention it was sealed because that means I couldn't check to make sure all 100 pieces were there. At $1.50, I took the risk. I am happy to announce the box included all the pieces. The boys are studying South America as part of their continents lesson, so they were eager to put this together right after school yesterday.
Next, I saw this mug and just had to buy it for a friend of mine. She and her partners run a local website, Brandywine Buzz. Even if you aren't local to the Brandywine area, check out her blog for her funny insight on life, parenting, family/friends, etc.
Then, I found this travel mug and immediately thought how perfect it would be for my husband. He drinks his coffee while mowing the lawn, so this will make him feel Super productive.
Well, that concludes round one of my Charlestown Sale visit. Yes, I do rounds during each visit. Round two was dedicated to the jewelry section. I decided I wanted some "new" costume jewelry to liven up my outfits. I purchased 14 pieces of jewelry for under $45. Yep, a teensy bit over $3 each for a lot of necklaces and earrings. These are just two of my favorites.
Yes, you should zoom in on that price at the bottom there to remind
yourself what great deals can be had second-hand.
I normally don't buy giraffe necklaces, but my kid likes giraffes and . . .
 . . . it will be a fun accent to my planned outfit for the kids upcoming school zoo field trip I am helping to chaperone. Psst, I bought that sweater at a consignment store, on sale of course.
Round two done, now onto Round three.  Round three, I did a more detailed search. Checked out the book section, dug through the electronics bin, scanned the clothing racks, perused the kids games/dvds, etc. Round Three was my least expensive round with my tally totaling a mere $10.75. I did score a few items: some hardcover books (including Dr. Seuss' The Sneetches & How Lucky You Are), a beach coverup for me and these:
The clock is for my basement closet. I can lose track of time in there quite easily and for $1, I couldn't pass it by. The Sony Walkman - well, that is for ebay. That model recently sold on ebay for $24.99 and I bought for less than $2.

The Charlestown Sale continues through 4/26. The sale is closed today and tomorrow for consignor drop off and merchandise organization. The sale re-opens this Saturday. Check out their calendar here for the schedule. I hope I get a chance to go back for Trip #2.


Garage Makeover Series - Part I (Kids Outside Toys)

I am in the process of revamping our garage in a big way; however, I know my limitations and have to do the job over the course of a few working sessions. Today's working session revolved around the kids outside toys, not including their bikes or big wheels as that requires other sections to be done first.

I know, I am terrible at "before" pics, but I did manage to take this picture. What's missing in the picture is the rickety changing table I use as shelf storage.


The wire shelf unit was previously against the other wall with the changing table next to it.
GAH! I know it is a bit overwhelming but now we can see everything.
Additionally, I was able to make enough room to include the basketball hoop which was previously on the other side of the garage.
This exercise ended up being more organizing than purging. Now, containers are labeled and nearly every nook is being used - hidden on the side are seat cushions/badminton game set and underneath are water table parts and a bocce ball set.
Most of the sports supplies in one area. Thanks rickety changing table.
You've done fine work since being salvaged from someone's garbage.
These items don't get as much use so while it is disconcerting how jammed up they are, all is good.
The plan this summer is to really observe what the boys choose for play. They really have not used those big Tonka dump trucks at all, but of course, they promise to use them this summer. Uh-huh. If they are not used this summer, they get sold. The water table, while clunky, still gets used, even if it just for cleaning toys or loading up their water squirters to give my car a wash (wink, wink).
A wonderfully productive day for the whole family. I tackled Part 1 of the garage makeover series. My husband took down the remaining Christmas lights off the house (yes, I know it is April) and packaged all the outside lights away. The boys got several hours of outdoor play on the swing set, in the bounce house (a freebie from a friend), and of course, testing out all the toys I was organizing.

Here are the parts of the Garage Makeover Series:
1) De-clutter and organize the boys outside toys.  Done.
2) De-clutter the work bench and move it to the basement
3) De-clutter the yard equipment/supplies cabinet.
4) Clean the windows (I am so grossed out by these) and maybe, MAYBE, paint the garage wall
5) Improve the layout - storage of the family's bikes and kids big wheels, placement of hanging yard tools, etc. This is a challenge because 1) we have a two car garage and we actually park both our cars in the garage (I know, some people don't do that), 2) we have an garage fridge that really can only go in one spot and 3) our lawn mower resides in the garage since we don't have a shed.

Now for a much needed shower.  Those stink bugs were none too happy with me disturbing their peace so they sprayed me, repeatedly. Lil buggers!

Oh, and for those of you wondering, if I am able to open my backseat car door on the side where the toys are stored, technically, yes. But admittedly, it is a bit tight. Eh, as my husband suggested, the boys can both get in on the opposite side.


Saling Saturday 4/11/15

Today, I checked out 6 sales today (3 of which were found on my April/May list of sales (see post here):

Posted Garage Sales: 3
Drive-by Garage Sales: 1
Church Rummage Sales: 1
Consignment Sales: 1

I spent $30 and purchased 19 items.

A few things I noticed while I was out and about:
1) I live in a beautiful county with acres upon acres of rolling meadows, an abundance of horse and agricultural farms, stately stone barns, and covered bridges built over meandering streams.  Just breathtaking. I love how my saling takes me on paths I wouldn't normally roam.

2) Garage sale season is off to a slow start in my area. While it is already April, our weather hasn't caught onto the fact that Spring means warmth. We had sun out today, but the wind made for some trying times for those who hosted garage sales today and those of us attending (brrrr!). 

3) I am becoming more selective with my purchases.  I walked away from a trio of Pottery Barn glass jars. The seller priced the set of two medium (tall and short) and one small jar for $25.
Photo credit: Pottery Barn
I thought the $25 price tag was more than I cared to spend, especially since the seller had just sold a VCR for $5. The pricing seemed a bit unbalanced.  She indicated she paid well over a $100 for the jars (which is possible after checking prices online in my car), so I figured she wasn't going to budge too much. Besides, while I liked the jars, I didn't need them, even if $25 for all three was a decent price.

Out of all the purchases, I couldn't wait to try out the Microwave Popper. I usually just use a paper bag in microwave to pop corn, but I figured for $3, this popper might be better for the long haul.  After a good scrubbing, the popper test was a success.  Yeah, to healthy popped corn!

Now, onto cleaning the other finds and finding good homes for them in the house, whether it's the clothes being put away in the boys room or the decor finding new homes throughout the house.

OH, did you notice I did not purchase ANY toys?? Yep, it can happen.


Making Progress On My Work in Progress

My basement is always a Work in Progress.  Ever changing in its layout and contents. I am currently purging items from my basement office and either finding new homes within my house, selling them or donating them.

I've already sold our matching his/her Sauder desks. We purchased them over 10 years ago before we had kids. When we moved and had kids, we saved them so our kids could use them as they grew. Well, that plan changed when we could no longer sell our drop-side cribs due to it being against the law and all, so we decided to convert the pricey cribs into desks for the boys. My husband has a desk courtesy of his job and I have a functional desk in the kitchen. So, no need to keep the his/her desks any longer. Most of the desk contents were moved to the art studio (craft supplies), my kitchen desk (office supplies), and my husband's office (important house files).

Along with the desks, I sold an extra office chair, a chair mat (the ones used on carpeting so your chair can roll freely), and a metal/wood shelf unit. The next items to go are these:
These were great for a time. I used them for many things. The shelves for books, magazines, vhs/dvds, paper products, gift bags, etc.  The drawers have always stored my gift wrapping supplies: bows, ribbon, tissue paper, bag fillers, cards, misc. hostess gifts.

Well, I finally cleaned out both units today and will be posting them for sale soon (I just need to get hubby on board with a time frame since I need his help to move them from the basement to the garage for a buyer to pick-up).

So, what did I do with all the items once stored in the fine shelving units above? Well, I did buy something to make the transition easier. Yes, I know, I know, I spent money and bought more things during my purge mode, but hear me out.

I saw a seller post "2 IKEA bookshelves with lights".  Not only were they priced well, the shelves were in good condition, matched, and the lights were a nice bonus. These bookshelves are your traditional style bookshelves - tall, slim, and with adjustable shelves. I like how they can easily work in another space and if needed, should be an easy sell.

Here are the shelves in their new home and with new purpose:
This is my new "ebay/gift wrap center".  On the left is my ebay station (some items have already been added) and the right is my gift wrap station. Between the two, is my photo/gift wrap table.  Right now, the table is set up for taking photos of my "for sale" items; however, the table leaves can lift up so I can use it to wrap gifts. Love the 2-in-1 adaptability!

A close up of my gift-wrapping station:

Top shelf:  Basket with gift bags and boxes. Bin with birthday, baby, thinking of you cards.
2nd shelf:  Basket with tissue paper. Bin with holiday, sympathy, thank you cards.
3rd shelf:  Rolls of gift wrap (I plan to get a better system for these, but that is for another day.)

4th shelf: Bins of ribbons, ribbons, and more ribbons, and package add-ons (stickers, tags, etc)
5th shelf: Bin of bows, bin of bag fillers, and basket of hostess gifts.
Note: All the bins and baskets were all in-house. No new purchases were made for this exercise.

At some point, I will de-clutter even more and clear out a lot of the unused gift wrap supplies, but until then . . . Ta da! My newest gift wrap station:

Ah, making progress feels so good!