How Goodwill Underwear Cheers Me Up

by Katy on July 14, 2010 · 19 comments

I was on my way back from dropping my son off at his life guarding class this morning, when I  started to have a minor anxiety attack. This came complete with waves of nausea and a feeling that maybe I should start hyperventilating.

It wasn’t a good feeling.

I knew I had a ton of stuff to do in the next couple days, so much so that I had no idea where to start. So instead of heading home, I decided that a trip to Goodwill was in order. I’ve been really good about limiting my Goodwill trips, and haven’t set foot in my home away from home for a month or so.

I knew the timing of my day was tight, but frankly, I wasn’t up to facing my adult responsibilities without a little something something for myself.

My heart rate started to beat at a regular rate as soon as the automatic doors swooshed open.

Ahh . . . .

I ended up going to two different Goodwills, and here’s what I bought:

  • A pair of Nike brand basketball shorts for my younger son. They’re very cool and reversible. $2.50

  • A new looking pair of Crocs for my younger son. $3.99

  • A package of brand new Jockey brand underwear, marked $14.99 on the packaging. $2.99

I am fully aware how strange it may seem that I find it relaxing to shop for used underwear, shoes and shorts. Very few women would admit that this is their me time. But I can get a little nutso when I go too many days doing nothing but ferrying kids, cooking, cleaning, hostessing and housekeeping.

And to fully place me back in control of my sensibilities, I pulled the mini-van over to glean a nice big terra cotta flower pot from a free pile on my way home. (Which I promptly filled with compost soil and a handful of hens and chickens.)

I came home feeling somewhat in control of my life again. And all it took was a packet of Goodwill underwear.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie Jones July 14, 2010 at 5:13 am

I get it. 🙂


Beth D. July 14, 2010 at 6:09 am

I totally understand what you mean. Often, I feel depressed because I think “is this all my life is going to be? Will there ever be anything different and new?”. Going into a store (even if I don’t buy anything) or going to the library to see the new books, etc. gives me a feeling of finding something new which always cheers me up. When you feel stuck in a rut, you just need to do something so you can say you did something new today.


Jenny July 14, 2010 at 10:14 am

I get it too. I haven’t been lucky enough to find good unworn underwear at the thrift shop. My me time is being spent right now buying Hubby his special brand of undies online while there is a sale/coupon/extra ebates percentage. Undies are a very timely subject apparently.


connie July 14, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I think Goodwill is great… I was there today also -when I should have been studying Spanish. I found a very cool hot pink metal ice chest with lid that will make the perfect under counter scrap/compost holder. I also found a tabletop foosball soccer game made out of beautiful woods in pristine shape. I also found a small bedside clock for the guest bedroom and a cool votive holder that is needed in the boys bathroom. Back to homework…


Kimberly in So Cal July 14, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I get it! Today started stressful (lots of planning and doing to do, and I’m running out of time to do it) and then it ramped up when some jerk started calling and sending harassing text messages just because my 11YO accidentally misdialed me last night (off by one digit). We spent almost an hour on the phone with AT&T trying to get it resolved because the phone is a 5 year-old RAZR, we don’t know the unlock code, the default didn’t work, AT&T couldn’t help us resolve that, and we didn’t think it would be fair for us to pay $5 a month to have the ability to block certain numbers when we are the ones being harassed. My DH finally got AT&T to give us that service for free for a month while we try to figure it out.

But I was a stressed out mess, totally feeling violated by the words in the texts and overwhelmed with everything I need to do. Rather than attacking the to-do list I spent an hour and a half wrestling an old (non-working) sewing machine out of a table and installing a cradle to put in a different machine. There was lots of carrying heavy machines, undoing stuck screws and bolts, puzzling it out, and refastening everything. Now my second-hand vintage sewing machine is in a thrifted vintage cabinet that I can sit at on a given-to-me vintage sewing stool, and I am in a *much* better place mentally than I was before.


magdalena July 15, 2010 at 5:40 am

I too would find that restorative and fun! Yea!


Heidi July 14, 2010 at 2:31 pm

That’s funny because I just got back from Goodwill. It was raining so we couldn’t go swimming, so I dragged my girls along to do some early school shopping. I had to bribe them with an icy/slushy drink afterwards, but it was well worth it. We found some fabulous jeans, capris, khaki cargo pants and shirts for them. Total – 8 pairs of pants and 3 shirts for $62. All in new or near-new condition. Buying jeans for teenage girls is really hard, they’re all cut with low waists that sit 2″ below the belly button, yuck. We found 2 pairs of more traditional Levis for my 14-year old. I’m thrilled with our haul.


Benjamin Bankruptcy July 14, 2010 at 4:48 pm

It wouldn’t say it’s USED underware, that would be a little too frugal:) My underware goes from new, to gym to cleaning rag:)


Jacquelyn July 14, 2010 at 7:10 pm

AMEN! And you will never feel that horrible remorse when the credit card bill comes in and you realize how much you spent to ‘pick yourself up’. Yay for Goodwill!


Nicolle July 14, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Oh, I love, love, love the ‘me’ time I get at our local Savers (a huge charity store). I ship my eldest off to daycare one day a week & off I go.
This week I brought two floral tops, a dress, a bracelet, a necklace, two pairs of baby pants and some toddler shoes worth well over the $50 I spent.
It isn’t about the purchases some days, more the relaxation and challenge to look stylish.


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl July 15, 2010 at 2:46 am

A little Goodwill balm is healing to the soul. 😉


pat July 15, 2010 at 4:11 am

If it is still in the package it is unused. And congrats on snagging those unused undies for so little! And Crocs for only $3.99!


Molly On Money July 15, 2010 at 5:15 am

I relate…I’ve been trying to mix it up lately when I get that feeling. I’ll take a walk, write in my journal or just allow the feeling to be there. It certainly is not the substitution a nice walk thru Target gives me but I’ve been walking through the aisle of Target for the last 10 yrs when I feel like this and I need a change!


magdalena July 15, 2010 at 5:44 am

You know, I need to do the same thing – soon! I’m struggling with a huge stress-related life chore (husband’s disability pension) as well as the weekly drudging through housework, cooking, grocery shopping, sewing, phone answering, etc. for our extended household. A mild anxiety attack is lurking somewhere out there! My birthday is Saturday – we may take a little time to “spoil” Matushka (me) and head for a good thrift store.


Tracy Balazy July 15, 2010 at 6:39 am

Love your hens and chicks, Katy! Good find on that terra cotta pot! And I agree with all of you that a good trip to a thrift shop is invigorating! When you think about how in many cases, you’re saving something like 75%-90% off what you would have paid for this stuff new — FABULOUS!!!!

A friend e-mailed me this morning and said she bought a pair of like-new Born wedge sandals at a garage sale this week, and despite wishful thinking, she has to admit they are a half-size too big on her, so she asked me if I want them, since they’re my size — score-o! Yes, indeed!


psmflowerlady/Tammy July 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

On my way home from work yesterday, I got a bagFULL of DMC floss, a retro, 3-bulb on post floorlamp and a rectangular baking dish WITH lid all for $5. Quite the deals!


R July 15, 2010 at 9:52 am

You are one low-maintenance woman!


Karen July 15, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I love our local GW. My last haul there was a pair of unused Born Mary Janes in a really cool brown/red color that fits me perfectly, 2 brand new bottles for my homemade cherry vinegar to give as gifts, and some textury yarn for various projects. I always come out of GW feeling a bit of a lift.


Robin July 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Funny – I feel really good when I DROP stuff off at Goodwill 🙂


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: