Today I am . . .

by Katy on December 7, 2011 · 29 comments

This $25 Pottery Barn rug is grubby, but without any significant stains or odors.

Waiting for my Ibuprofen to kick in. If I had to do it over again, I would not have fallen down my porch steps four years ago and broken my tailbone.

Itching to start vacuuming and shampooing the Pottery Barn Kids rug that I bought at the Goodwill Outlet yesterday for $25. I will list it on Craigslist for $200, as they sell for $599 on sale!

Enjoying my favorite fleece hat, as I washed it yesterday and it’s finally dry. It was all stretched out from constant wear, not to mention grubby. It is hands down the softest garment ever created.

Pleased with all the great stuff I picked up at the Goodwill Outlet yesterday, which includes:

  • The 8′ X 10′ Pottery Barn rug
  • A very nice cheese slicer, which unlike the one we currently use can actually go into the dishwasher.
  • A creepily realistic Folkmanis puppet of a rat that I will take to the kids’ consignment shop.
  • A Salton brand yogurt maker.
  • A soft-as-a-bunny pink J. Jill knit hat that reminds me of the pink kimono-style sweaters that ballet dancers wear. I always wanted one when I was in high school, (I went to a performing arts school) but this style of sweater only looks good on flat-chested girls.
  • A plug-in timer that I have already started using for the lamp in my entryway. (Our bedrooms are upstairs, yet our one bathroom in downstairs, so I keep this lamp on all night long.) Now I can set it to automatically shut off when it gets light and visa versa.
  • A tiny pair of Hanna Andersson brand cheeta-print footless tights, which I will also take to the kids’ consignment shop.

By the way, the grand total for everything was $32. I had hoped to find some Xmas presents, but finding a money making opportunity is even better, as I can then take that money and spend it I on the things I’m actually looking for, rather than the things I just happened to have come across.

Hoping that someone will want my huge chunks of styrofoam that I put on Freecycle. These came with the microwave we bought new last year, (another benefit of buying used!) and from a printer. There does not seem to a local recycler who wants them, and they would overfill our shared garbage service. It seems a long shot, but you just never know.

Going to tidy up the front porch, which is cluttered with soccer gear, sports stuff and some miscellaneous crap. My husband just pointed out that it looks like “a hoarder house.” And that, my friend are actionable words.

Not going to forget that my friend Dusti from Undefinable You is coming over tomorrow.

How about you, what are you doing today?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly December 7, 2011 at 8:26 am

Love my Salton yogurt maker. Love. Hubby got it for me for Christmas either last year or the year before. It has well paid for itself.


Kathy December 7, 2011 at 8:46 am

There are places to recycle the big blocks of styrofoam in the Portland metro area. I recycled a large load of it at Whole Foods when they did a big recycling event with master recyclers after the holidays. Super easy and free. It was in January last year.


Kate December 7, 2011 at 8:48 am

I may live in the boonies of PA, and have VERY few thrift shopping opportunities, but we actually do have a place to recycle styrofoam. Go figure.


karen December 7, 2011 at 8:49 am

Hmmm, don’t know. Buying and reselling? Some might say that is unethical 😉


Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares December 7, 2011 at 10:10 am

What? Hope that little smiley means you’re kidding!


Renee December 7, 2011 at 11:01 am

Haven’t we had that conversation here before? 🙂 Let us know how the rug sale works out. You are a very resourceful person!


Kathy December 7, 2011 at 8:57 am

Also the Recology facility on Foster takes styrofoam block. Total Reclaim also accepts styrofoam at their new location in Northeast Portland.


Katy December 7, 2011 at 9:32 am

Thanks! I have the styrofoam already loaded in the car, as I had hoped that Far West Fibers would take it, and there’s just no way I am bringing it BACK into the house.



Dogs or Dollars December 7, 2011 at 9:06 am

How do you find such good stuff?! I need a How To Thrift tutorial.


Shelley December 7, 2011 at 9:06 am

It would be a shame to waste the resource, but is it possible to hack the polystyrene into bits and trash it gradually?


Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares December 7, 2011 at 10:11 am

An online seller might take that. If someone posted that they’d deliver it, I would take it for packing. If you don’t get any takers, you might want to try free delivery to selected areas.


Reese December 7, 2011 at 10:26 am

Hmm.. or hack the styrofoam into small bits and then use it for packing things you send to others? Or each time you go to someone else’s home, bring a piece of it with you and tell them to do something creative with it? 😉


Mary December 7, 2011 at 11:14 am

You have amazing shopping skills – I can’t even find a pair of jeans that I like that actually fit!


Ruthie December 7, 2011 at 11:32 am

That place sounds like a nightmare for thrifty folks who are working toward a more minimalist mindset, like myself. I am both lucky and unlucky that I am surrounded by overpriced thriftshops with crap on the shelves. 🙂 When I lived 1 mile from an amazing thrift shop in Houston I bordered on hoarding.


Dusti Arab December 7, 2011 at 11:53 am

Haha! And I won’t forget either. 🙂


Nina Nelson December 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Fun! Hanging out with Dusti is one of my favorite things to do when I go to Portland.

And what is it with tailbone injuries? They hurt FOREVER.


Katy December 7, 2011 at 5:15 pm

No kidding. Falling down the steps was a life changer for me.



Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary December 7, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Yeah, I fell down my steps in March. Definitely haven’t been the same since.


namastemama December 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I guess I will try to Craigslist more. Is that word a verb too? I had a Pottery Barn rug. In great shape and I ended up giving it away. I have not had luck with Craigslist. All the swanky consignment shops are at least an hour from my house. I have taken many items and got a decent return but they won’t take toys or rugs.


Practical Parsimony December 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Okay, I have to find a Goodwill outlet! You made some good buys for good profits. Free enterprise is alive and well. Katy, I have some life-changing injuries as well. My post today was on my falling down after taking pain pills for other injuries. My Salton yogurt maker was free from Freecycle. I asked and asked over the years. Finally, I let my other small appliance make the appeal for me. That did it. Can you take a picture of your fleece hat for us?


Cindy December 8, 2011 at 5:44 am

Now I would have just thought that was a tacky looking old rug…


CanadianKate December 8, 2011 at 8:46 am

A Goodwill just opened last month on our second-hand shopping strip (it has a Mission thrift store, Salvation Army, Value Village and a church with a nearly new shop plus two pawn shops and a second-hand book store.)

I went on Tuesday, all excited. Left disappointed. The only item that tempted me were some gorgeous paper napkins with a music/Christmas theme (and I’m hosting a luncheon this weekend that includes choir members) but they were $3.03 for the pack of 20. They had dollar store candle holders (I know because I got the exact same ones at the dollar store) for $1.01. Everything I looked at was equally overpriced.

Obviously, our Goodwill is related to yours in name only.

Next door was the Sally Anne and I did a quick look around for something for my adult kids’ stockings and found nothing but dh picked up a matching glass to his” favourite Christmas glass ever”, for $.67. This Sally Anne also markets their good beautifully and I like to shop there regularly in order to support their efforts. Even if I don’t buy something, I always comment to the staff at what a wonderful job they do displaying their wares.

So I have access to decent used stores but Goodwill is not one of them.


CanadianKate December 8, 2011 at 8:53 am

BTW: don’t know what kind of timer you bought but the old fashioned ones have a motor in them to move a dial (and little pins that signal the start/stop time of the lights) use more electricity to run the motor than leaving the light on 24/7.

There are newer ones that have either a battery or rechargeable battery that open and close the circuit so use hardly any power (and don’t lose their settings or time if the power goes off for a while.) My house has a half dozen of those in use at all times (in order to provide lights when we come home after dark and a consistent pattern of lights so people will have a harder time guessing if we are home or traveling.)


Bonnie December 8, 2011 at 10:15 am

Hi Katy, so I too come up with styrofoam and sometimes those dreaded peanuts. I put them on freecycle and have two different people that want the stuff. One is a woman that has a mail order business from her home. She always comes right to my house and picks it up. We have a potter in town and he will always take it for shipping his pottery. So don’t give up. Someone will want/need it. I just always hope that the next person passes it on and doesn’t deposit it in a landfill.


Katy December 8, 2011 at 10:47 am

I bag the peanuts up and take them to the UPS Store down the block, where they repackage and sell them again. The owner is super nice, and when I was fundraising for our school’s new playground, she was super generous.



Lily December 9, 2011 at 2:11 am

Erm, they pay that much for that thing?… :p


Jen December 19, 2011 at 7:48 am

Hi Katy- Have to agree with others- I love buying used but our Goodwills are expensive in comparison. I usually wait for good weather and try my luck at garage sales. Wish I lived closer to you- we were given a second hand PB nursery bedding set that matches your rug exactly. I have been searching for over 2 years! 🙂 Love your me hope that I can simplify with kids and a hospital job. Jen


margot January 27, 2012 at 2:54 am

These lists of things you get at Goodwill are sort of exhausting and make me fear for the ever-building piles of clutter in your large home. Why not avoid Goodwill unless you truly need something? You’re a giant consumerist, even if you do buy things used. Practice contentment rather than accumulating more. Did you really need a cheese slicer? If you want to be more minimalist, ditch both cheese slicers and just use an all-purpose knife. Radical concept. One aspect of out-of-control consumerism is this idea that people need to own a sub-item for every function and whim in a household. No one needs a cheese-slicer. And no one who owns a cheese-slicer needs to get a different one just because the original can’t go in a dishwasher. That’s insane. Same thing with your hangers. Be content with and appreciate what you have rather than using your time and energy to accumulate wooden hangers rather than what you already own. So much buying and accumulating is a problem even if it’s free or cheap.


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