Sunday, March 27, 2011

Clothing & Stuff Swaps

I'm a huge advocate for 'stuff swaps'. A number of years back, I was introduced to "Spring Cleaning", an event put on by a group of friends I met through my now hubby. These gals are truly trailblazers. God knows how many years they've been doing this (9 years to be exact) -- and it only gets better with time. Everyone who attends brings their unwanted stuff (well at least, that's how it's supposed to work), and we break it out into two sections ... the presentation section (for cooler items) and the free-for-all display section (for smaller or less story worthy items). Each person takes their turn, presenting their items and onlookers get to place dips as we go. No set in stone rules ... but there is an unspoken balance encouraged. At the end of the presentations, each person draws a number, which represents the order in which you get to check out the display section and pick a few treasures. So much fun.

"Stuff" can range from clothing to household items to books to shoes to toys. The items that don't get claimed are then taken to a local thrift shop -- usually St. Vincent's or Value Village.

It's a great afternoon of swapping, gabbing, snacking, and a few glasses of wine. We love it so much that we have Spring Cleaning and Fall Cleaning. Not only is it an exciting, chic, and personalized free garage sale in your living room -- but it's a great way to keep your hoarding in check. And how gorgeous is the invite (courtesy of a very talent graphic artist in attendance) above?! So fabulous.

I think there should be more venues for swaps. Spread the word.

Spins and Needles held a really cool one a number of years back. In perfect Spins and Needles fashion, there was swapping, crafting, DIYing, food, and a great DJ. I hope they do this again. Until they do, I am a loyal patron, and plan to attend the upcoming Bricolage Brunch on Sunday, April 3.

Most recently, MILK, a boutique in the Market is doing a swap for discounts on their new merchandise. Basically, you bring in gently used clothing items in exchange for 20% off your purchase. Not quite the free "swap" concept... as I'm not sure there is actually swapping of the used items going on ... but cool nonetheless! I won't be able to make it, as I'm hosting CRAFT DAY here at my place ... but major props to MILK. Let's hope this feeds the trend.

Know of any swaps going on?

To swapping and crafting ... and thrifting of course.


My Spring Thrifting Mission

Spring is in the air ... which means it is garage sale and thrift season!! I cannot express how much I long to drive again. The mobility. The freedom. This city is just too darn disperse. The countdown (must) be on.

In preparation for this fine day, here is my Spring Thrifting HitList (in progress and in no particular order ... yet):

Thrift & Consignment Stops

1. GoodWill - 150 Robertson Road, Nepean

2. Salvation Army Thrift Store - 1010 Belfast Road, 333 Montreal Road, 1322 Carling Avenue, 1490 Richmond Road, 310 Moodie Drive, 2339 Ogilve Road, 4025 Innes Road, 2659 Alta Vista, 22 Carling Street

3. Value Village - 1824 Bank Street, 1375 Clyde Avenue, 1221 Cyrville Road, 4220 Innes Road

4. Maycourt Bargain Box - 228 Laurier Ave East (I have yet to find this one!)

5. St. Vincent de Paul - 1273 Wellington Street

6. Bibles for Missions Thrift Store - 1545 Merivale Road

7. Comptoir St. Vincents - 56 rue Principale (Aylmer), 102 rue Eddy (Hull), 751 boul. Saint-Joseph (Hull), 30 rue St-Onge (Hull), 165 ave Gatineau, 1291 rue Saint-Louis

8. Nearly New Shop - 36 Rosemount Ave

9. Village des Valeurs - 361 Maloney Blvd W, Gatineau

10. Generations (Waterloo, New Hamburg) - Incredible spot ... hope to hit it up when I'm home visiting the fam.

Consignment Shops

1. Heather's Designers Consignments - 401 Richmond Road

2. The Cats Meow - 1 Hobin Road, Stittsville

3. La-Tee-Dah Consignment Boutique - 1541 Stittsville Main

4. Three Bags Full - 501 Hazeldean Road, Kanata

5. Confignment Shops - 2034 St. Joseph Blvd, Orleans

6. Nickety Knack - 1979 St. Joseph Blvd, Orleans

7. Snazzy Seconds Decor - 2449 St. Joseph Blvd, Orleans

8. Echoes of Times Past - 25 Tapiola Crescent

9. Consignment World - 1500 Bank Street

10. Total Home Consignment - 1860 Bank Street

11. Ottawa Neighbourhood Services - 250 City Centre Ave

12. Treasures Anew - 747 Richmond Road


1. The Ottawa Flea Market - 260 McArthur Road, Vanier Columbus Club

2. Bentley's Flea Market - 7 Cleopatra (Merivale and Huntclub)

3. Carp Road Flea Market - 2079 Carp Road, Stittsville

4. Antrim Flea Market - 3636 Highway 17, Constance Bay

5. Rideau Carleton Raceway Flea Market - Albion and Mitch Owens

6. Hoffman's Gore St. Flea Market - 147 Gore Street E, Perth

7. Smiths Falls Flea Market - 65 Cornelia St E

8. Lampliter Flea Market - 30 Victoria Ave, Smiths Falls

Garage Sales, etc.

1. Great Glebe Garage Sale - May 28, 2011

2. New Edinburgh Garage Sale - Mid September (was on the 18th in 2010)

3. Elgin Street/Golden Triangle Garage Sale (Minto Park, between Gilmour and Lewis) - mid June

4. Lansdowne Garage Sale - Mid to Late April

5. Hintonburg Garage Sale - usually every June

6. The Wild Wild Westboro Garage Sale - first weekend in June

7. Estate Sales (Kijijii) - TBD

7. Union Street Sales (Estate)

8. Other Garage Sales (Kijijii) - TBD

Online Avenues

1. Kijijii

2. Craig's List

3. Used Ottawa

4. How Bazaar

5. Freecycle

Saturday, March 26, 2011

'Goodwill' Hunting

Nate Berkus is quickly becoming a member of my unofficial ThriftKitty club through his regular focus on how we can combine inspired thrifting with beautiful interior design. Amazing. And he's bringing this sense of permission and creative inspiration to such a wide audience!!

This week he brought "Mr. Goodwill Hunting" himself onto the show via the "House Proud" segment and introduced me to an incredible NY thrifter. He has great style, a brilliant treasure hunt spirit, dedication (aka patience) and some wicked good luck in his finds. Check out his blog.