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Never Underestimate an Op Shop – does it spark joy?

In case you’ve been living under a stack of toppled newspapers, you could hardly have failed to notice that the KonMarie method is all the rage. Marie Kondo has been teaching people how to fold and tidy for several years but the world has hit peak KonMarie since her series dropped on Netflix. Her catch cry is ‘does it spark joy?’. Tidying and decluttering is at such a fever pitch across the nation that charities have asked people to STOP DONATING their goods as they are overwhelmed with ‘stuff’. By going op shopping, you can help ease the load.

red floral dress with red cotton tassels purchased from an op shop
Coming to a party near you very soon – $7

I’ve written before about ‘stuff’. In particular, about ways of conscious donating so you are not contributing to the pressure already placed on charities and op shops in particular. Read about it here.

I’ve also talked about how we stopped buying ‘stuff’ in our household, quite some time ago. Having said this, we do still need things from time to time. We try to re-purpose or repair where we can and buy second hand when necessary.

bamboo steamer basket with lid purchased from an op shop
Use and then at the end of its life, it can be composted. $2!

I am here to tell you that there has never been a better time for op shopping. There is so much of everything dripping from the racks and tumbling from the shelves of every op shop across the country. Clothes with the tags still on. Clothes in real people’s sizing.

pink and white skirt with pink belt purchased whilst op shopping
Perfect for work – $5

Homewares that have never been opened, let alone used. All things that have clearly not sparked joy. It’s an absolute bonanza.

brown and orange stoneware plate with Greek design purchased when op shopping
Electra Stoneware – Athena pattern $2
black and white checked cotton dress purchased from an op shop
A simple top or dress, still with swing tag – $5

So, shoppers, zero wasters, fashionistas and homemakers – get out there and get op shopping! Put some money in the coffers of community organisations and save something from being diverted to landfill.

7 comments… add one
  • Lyn Riddett March 10, 2019, 4:16 pm

    ABSOLUTELY! Love Op-shopping, but at my age it is really nothing more than browsing these days. I have a good friend in Melbourne and back in the day we used spend a whole day criss-crossing the city in trams, hopping for one op-shop to another – op-shop hopping! BLISS! Another winner this blog – thank you.

  • The Joyful Frugalista March 10, 2019, 4:17 pm

    I agree, NOW is a fantastic time to go op shopping!

  • Mae March 11, 2019, 12:04 am

    Funny thing: I had one of those bamboo steamers for years. Never used it. Someone must have been happy to get it at the Salvation Army store. I’m at the stage of no room for any new stuff too. Every little new item requires a half-hour of rearranging.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  • ladyredspecs March 11, 2019, 10:30 am

    I hear people complaining they are short of $$$ in one breath then next they’re telling me how much they saved on a bargain they didn’t really need. There is such a disconnect between consuming and waste, it scares me. I sew, so makeovers are my thing…

    • Fiona Ryan March 31, 2019, 9:32 pm

      And of course, op shopping can be an addiction too. I only go when I really need something otherwise I’d still have a house full of stuff I don’t need. I sew a little (good old grade 8 home economics) so mend when I can and also repurpose. Nice to freshen the wardrobe now and then of course.

  • Sherry MacKay March 11, 2019, 3:28 pm

    yes i’ve been reading that too about op shops being inundated with stuff. and having to pay to get rid of people’s junk that they dump on them. modern life can be hard sometimes. where do you get rid of things? things that are not loved anymore but still work etc? not easy. good on you for frequenting these places:) cheers S

    • Fiona Ryan March 31, 2019, 9:35 pm

      It’s a challenge. You really have to wean yourself off shopping totally and that includes op shops. I have far too many cake tins as a result of buying them at op shops. It’s a work in progress though – today I bought a beautiful 2nd hand lithograph that had been reframed. I love it but I really didn’t need it and as a result, moved a picture that I now need to find a home for.

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