Finding rusty old junk is fun! Nevertheless, I have found that no matter how much "stuff" I find and collect, only God can fully satisfy my heart. Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

In Defense Of Junking: $25 Well Spent. The Rationalizations of a Junkaholic.

Christmas break came and went and here I am in the second week of back-to-school and do I have the new jeans and khakis and blouses that I so desperately need? Of course not! I put it off all break. I hate spending money on clothes more than anything! I like to look nice but I despise retail shopping, especially clothes shopping, since it is very difficult for me to walk around the mall and try on clothes for hours with arthritis and fibromyalgia. And I know some of you readers out there share my plight and understand exactly what I am talking about. It wears me out far more than laundry or household chores. Furthermore, if I am going to expend my energy on my days off I would much rather be with my family at home either decorating, cleaning, or cooking; if I am going to go out, I would definitely prefer to be off on a junking adventure.

When I do finally go shopping I can't bring myself to spend any money on clothes for myself because when I turn over the price tag I always think of all the junk treasures I could get for that amount of money, or how much money I could make if I bought inventory for the booth with that same amount of money and the profit that could be made. So I leave the mall empty handed, only to go through the exact same routine of mumbling and fumbling grogilly through my closet Monday through Friday mornings in hopes that somehow something decent to wear will magically manifest. When nothing does appear and I am wearing the same outfit yet again, I remind myself that the "aholic" in "Junkaholic" might mean that therapy is warranted. After all, I don't have any clothes but I have a zillion vintage Santas and Halloween blow molds in my basement!

MOVING ON... in reference to the title of this post:

I choose to spend my spare money this way!

I got $25 for Christmas from my grandmother and she likes for me to buy something for myself that I will enjoy, so instead of spending it on the clothes I need, I decided to hit the first estate sale of 2013 weekend before last. It wasn't the best ever and I was a bit disappointed overall, but once I got home and laid everything out, I did pretty well. Here are my pickins:

1. vintage Knox men's hat box in excellent condition
2. nice antique ironstone platter
3. set of 4 small antique Buffalo china bowls
4. vintage Halloween Pez dispenser
5. 3 strand vintage pearl necklace
6. old wooden ruler
7. vintage Little Golden Book
8. 3 large canning jars
9.  small 1928 jewlery company tin with a vintage garden/seeds graphic
10. wooden tube
11. old snuff tin that is super cool and made my husband very happy
12. stacking cabinet organizers and a plate holder/organizer
13. Frenchy looking picture frame
14. retro-kitschy ethnic child on a donkey toy/decoration/thingy
15. crochet purse

That's a nice loot for $25.

And the value is so much more than $25 both monetarily, aesthetically and emotionally speaking.

Just think of all I can do with the above items, things that I cannot do with a pair new pants, which I can wash and wear, wash and wear. Wow. How exciting. Sure I may get some use out of them but they will get ratty looking, shrink, or I will gain weight or lose weight, or the style will go out of fashion by next fall, or I will be too lazy to change into work clothes and I will paint in them and ruin them, but my junk treasures have lasting value I tell you!!!!! Long live the junk!!!!!!!!

What I can do with today's junk, and why it is $25 well spent:
1. Men's Knox hat box? My husband loves "mantiques," especially old hats and hat boxes. Also these types of hat boxes look great around the house and double as storage for ties, gloves, old pictures etc. In addition, old hat boxes tend to sell well in our booth and will turn a profit, so it was $3 well spent.

2. The ironstone platter will go in my collection. I decorate with these in so many ways and even use them for food service on special occasions by simply cutting wax paper to fit and putting the cookies, pastries, etc. on top. In the worst case scenario, I decide to part with it since I have so many, put it in my booth and make at least triple what I paid for it.

3.The four Buffalo china bowls are just adorable! I already have them on my winter mantel with a little ironstone creamer on top. I will use these again and again to display small treasures.

4. The old snuff tin was the best find of the day. My husband was thrilled with it, as he has started a collection of vintage tobacciana. He researched the tin, and similar ones are selling from $10-$30 based on the condition. Ours is pretty good with only a small bit of rust which adds to its charm. I paid $3 for it, and that was kind of hard for me because I wasn't sure if it was literal junk or actually cool junk. I would have thought $1 was more like it, but I had not seen one like it before so I took a chance. Turns out that the tin alone is "worth" most of what I paid for all the junk. I put "worth" in quotations because even though we deal in antiques, I find that an item's worth is totally subjective and has more to do with what a person values. My husband really liked the tin so it turned out to be "worth" the whole three dollars I spent.

5.Three canning jars? The possibilities are endless. Wonderful in a group with summer flowers, used as candle holders, to display pictures, Christmas bulbs, vintage marbles, buttons, jewelry, craft, actually can food! Everyone knows the uses of these jars, especially decorators. At $2 each for the large size, I couldn't pass them up!

6. Vintage Halloween Pez? Its vintage, its Halloween, it's mine. (See any of my Halloween posts or Halloween pinterest board to understand why).

 7. Vintage "Machines" Little Golden Book? I always buy interesting, vintage Little Golden Books, especially with little boy themes. I love the cover of this one, and it will look really cute on my husband's desk that he had when was a little boy, which is where we display some vintagy-looking little boy toys, books and games. The great thing about this particular book is that I didn't actually find this it, but my little boy did---my "little" 19 year old boy, who was home from college and got to go junking with me, just the two of us. For now I will keep the book and I will read it to my 7 year old, and one day  I can read it to my grand-kids, or my sons can read it to their children when they visit our home, or if my oldest son ever has a son of his own, I will pass it on to him since it was his find. So the book was definitely a treasure for $1!

8. Frenchy looking picture frame for a $1? Hello! A little bit of chalkpaint and its a small chalk board! Or of course I could just use it as a picture frame until I get around to painting it. Sell. Gift. Keep. Any way you look at it, its a deal!

 9.Vintage pearls? I love them, I collect them. I sell them. I decorate with them.They were fifty cents. Enough said.

10. Old wooden ruler? Even though I am a music teacher and rulers are not something I generally need in my classroom, I do have a Master's degree in general teacher education, and I have always loved to collect vintage "school days" themed items. Also I love having vintage items in my craft supplies and the aged wood and old numbers font on the ruler are cool and the ruler can add visual interest in my ecletic displays around the house.

11. The little vintage-looking gardening tin? I love to garden, I love vintage graphics. I love old-looking tins. I love fifty cent treasures! The lid is dented but I am thinking about planting some herbs in it which would be cute with the graphics on the side, or I can stack other tins on top and make a display. Anyway, the dented lid doesn't bother me.

12. The wooden paper tube is another one of those cool industrial nostalgia pieces. Like the ruler it will add interest to displays or it may be upcycled with some other vintage junk into something new. It was old, it was cheap, it was different. I liked it, so I bought it!

13.Stacking cabinet organizers and some sort or plate organizer? Just the day before the estate sale I went to Lowes and looked at the very same ones! I even picked one up and held it for a second but I was not going to pay $8 for just one of them. Found these today for a buck each. This is why I never pay retail. I always can find what I am looking for when I go junking.

14. As of the time of this post, I have no idea about the the little boy riding the donkey toy/decoration/thingy. To me it looks like something that would have been stuck down in flower arrangement or something. Its definitely 50's/60's, super retro-kitschy, with all the charming, cute tackiness that goes along with that era. I love it!

15. Pretty little crocheted purse. Looks vintage and praire to me. It will be so easy to embellish it with some more lace, fabric roses and brooches.

So there you have it. This is a pretty good example of the typical assortment of junk loot hall that I will find on any particular weekend, give or take a few good steals on antique furniture pieces, and most often I will have double or triple this amount and not necessarily have paid much more for it all.  I have been shopping this way for over 20 years and have completely furnished and decorated our home with second hand items, most of which have very sentimental or fun memories associated with them. I know many non-junkers who would take the $25 and go straight to Hobby Lobby to find a picture to fit a blank wall or to find a specific decorative element, but that has never worked for me as there is no thrill in the hunt, and I do not feel that purchasing mass produced will add any type of value to our home. I more often leave the wall blank until I happen upon a unique antique piece for $1 at the flea market or a yard sale. I do love Hobby Lobby though, and sometimes I will get lucky if I am my getting craft supplies and I spot something I really love at 80% off . In that case, I'll buy it.

As if all of the above was not enough to defend my junkaholic behavior, keep in mind that  I purchased 17 items for $25 if you count the 3 organizers seperately. Several of the items were actually vintage or antique collectibles "worth" more than what I paid. But why am I preaching to the choir? If you are a follower of this blog, you probably do the same thing.

By the way, I did break down and buy some new (clearanced) shirts since I started this post a couple of days ago,  but the pants are still eluding me...

Happy junking dear readers!

Linking Up: blogspot/bCGJMl (Common Ground)


  1. We are of the same mind happy to find someone who thinks like me. I'll wear these clothes until they're threads, lol but I'll never pass up an estate sale or thrift shop!

  2. Great choices for $25! Money well spent!

  3. I think there are quite a few of us that think like you. I could shop estate sales and antique shops every day of the year, but try on clothes? No thank you! I had to laugh at your hoping wearable clothing would suddenly appear in your closet. If not for work uniforms, my closet would be practically empty!

    Great finds, by the way!

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  5. GREAT stuff! I love the platter & Buffalo china bowls especially. I would have bought them plus the Pez and those jars. I HATE retail shopping also - give me an estate sale or flea mkt or thrift store any day over new clothes. :^) Mary

  6. I LOVE your Rationalizations for Junquing Hauls... now I don't feel so much like the Lone Ranger in my Justification in my own Head that goes on anytime I'm buying more Junque that I really don't NEED... and absolutely don't have anyplace to PUT... BUT which simply cannot be left behind because I fall in LOVE with it! *Winks* My Great Edit and Purge continues as I attempt to pare down, cull and organized the Hoard of Beautiful Stuff I have accumulated over a Lifetime. There's nothing quite like the Thrill of the Hunt!

    Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

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  8. I love the pearls and the French frame, really pretty! I come from a long line of thrifty women and I love hunting out little bargains too.


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