Wednesday, January 16, 2013

An Unexpected Adventure

Earlier in the week I told you about an unexpected junkin' adventure I had.  Last weekend we had some business/errands to do about an hour away from where we live, so we packed the family in the car and made a day trip of it.  I knew there was a large Goodwill retail store there and I was secretly hoping I could sweet talk Hubby into letting me stop in.

Well...our errands took us to a part of town we had never been to and before I could even make my wishes known, what did we just happen to drive past?  A Goodwill OUTLET store!!  Thankfully my sweet Hubs was willing to keep the kiddos in the car and let me run in.  I had heard of these outlet stores before, on other people's blogs and also from my junkin' buddy.  She had actually been to this one and told me all about it, but I had completely forgotten it was there.  So, I had heard the "tales" and just had to experience this for myself.

I took these pictures with my phone while I was on the go, so they're a bit blurry.

It was HUGE in there and everywhere you looked were these large rolling bins that were just piled with stuff.  I did a quick survey around the store to assess the layout.  Clothes in the left corner (no interest there at the time), shoes and purses in the back left (no interest there either), large furniture in the back right.  Everything else was lumped together smack dab in the middle.  I grabbed a cart and headed in.

It was pretty busy that day and maneuvering the cart around proved to be a challenge.  There was absolutely no rhyme or reason to these bins, anything and everything was piled in the carts and you just had to be brave enough to dig through it.  After only about 5 minutes I was starting to feel overwhelmed and ready to just tuck my tail and head back for the car.  And then I spied it.  

My first treasure.

A vintage grey tweed train case!!  And in good condition, too!  

That energized me and gave me the courage to continue on through the madness of it all.  I finished that aisle and went up around to the next aisle.  About halfway down I lifted a duffle bag and part of a shelf out of the way and found my 2nd treasure.

A matching grey tweed suitcase!
 Woohoo!!  I was getting pumped!  I searched and searched for a 3rd piece, but never could find one.

After that I covered almost the entire store without another find.  And mind you, I knew my family was waiting in the car and I was feeling the pressure not to take forever.  I was skimming as quickly as I could.  I kept getting held up when I'd get stuck behind someone who was really digging and couldn't get my cart around them.

When I was almost to the end I was stuck behind a little old lady when I spied another treasure.  I watched in agony as Little Old Lady reached for it and my heart sunk.  I couldn't bear to see someone else get to it before I did, so I looked away.  I spotted an opening where I could finally get around her and keep moving.  As I walked away I looked back for one last glimpse and realized it was still there!  She had only been reaching for it to move it out of the way!  I saw a flannel clad, pot bellied man with greedy eyes coming up the aisle and I left my cart where it was and swooped back behind Little Old Lady.  I waited a second to make sure she didn't change her mind about it and then I grabbed it up.

A wooden ice cream maker in great condition!  

Ok, here comes the interesting part.  As I was finishing up that aisle I realized that workers were coming and removing the aisle of bins that I hadn't yet looked at.  People were swarming the area like sharks at a feeding frenzy!  That's when I realized they were fixin' to bring out a row of new carts!  I'm not much on pushin' and shovin' and confrontation so I headed to the back of the store where they had a table and outlets set up to test electronics.  I gave my ice cream maker a thorough inspection and plugged it in.  It worked perfectly!!

By this time the carts were out and the noise level in the place had increased dramatically as people ransacked those carts.  I debated.  Do I just ignore the "new" stuff and all the ruckus and just go check out, or do I brave the masses and see what I can find?  My love of  addiction to junk won out of course and I decided to make my way to the registers by going past the new carts and just doing a "peek through."  I peeked in between people's elbows and over their shoulders as I squeezed through and did my best not to run over small children.  I kid you not.  I also had to squeeze past a wheelchair.  That was unoccupied.  The owner of said wheelchair was very ably standing at the bin energetically digging through its contents.  I found that ironic.

I finally got past the throng of people and noticed a gap between the first throng of people and the second.  So, I pulled my cart over to see what people were passing up...and spied this.

I didn't even take the time to read the words. I didn't know what it was, but I knew it looked antique and I knew I wanted it.  It was on the other side of the cart with a large bench in between us, a REALLY cute bench I might add!  I hated that I had to pass it up.  Anyways, I heaved my muscles and yanked that bad boy up and over that bench and onto the top of my cart.  Then I squeezed my way to freedom so I could see what I had found.

An antique laundry bench wringer!  

The wringer part was missing, but I still thought the rest of it was really neat.  I stood there and debated with myself about whether or not to buy it.  I didn't even know how much it was.  I knew that a lot of the stuff was priced by the pound, but I wasn't sure about the larger items.  I snagged a passing worker and asked her.  The price was good, so that wasn't a problem.  I texted my husband and asked him if he would kill me if I bought it.  He assured me he would not.  Nothing was said about his level of frustration with me however.  That must've been in the fine print.

In the end I bought it.  I just couldn't leave such a neat old piece behind.  It's in rough shape and needs a good thorough cleaning and a rub down with some Murphy Oil, but I think it would make a really neat planter bench.  Something along the lines of this.

Can't you just picture those wash tubs full of pretty flowers, sitting nestled in the corner of a porch?

Now, I bet you're wondering how much I paid for all of this aren't ya?  I rolled my cart up onto the scale.  Yes, you read that right.  A scale...with a ramp.  You just roll your cart up on it and they weigh it.  It automatically deducts the weight of the cart, and then you pay per pound for the items you found.  However, that system didn't apply to my items because they were larger.  They had set prices.

So how much for it all?

The answer is....$9.

Train case - $1
Suitcase - $2
Ice Cream Maker - $3
Bench Wringer - $3

I was doing the happy dance!!  Hubby...not so much.  He isn't always on board with my junkin' ways, lol!

Would I ever brave that madness again?  In a heart beat.  Would I take my kids with me?  Absolutely not.  Would I like to have plenty of time to really search and not just skim?  You bet your boots I would.  
I don't know if I'll ever get the chance to go back again under the right circumstances, but it would be another great adventure if I did!


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  1. No way you got all that for $9, now I just can't wait to see what you will do with it all. Thanks for bringing it to the party at the Cabin!

  2. I'm sitting here shaking my head in disbelief. HOW do you find these kind of things!? I would love to go to that place but I keep telling myself that I probably wouldn't find anything; Stephanie's just charmed. :)You found some AWESOME things.... that wringer stand was a steal, even in it's condition. I have seen MUCH higher prices on those things. Way to go! I 'need' to go to IKEA for some things to finish my bathroom; I think I'll have to plan a midway stop in Dayton. :)

  3. Love the wringer stand. Oh, how I would love one for my back porch!

    I think there might be an outlet an hour or so from me. Maybe I can talk hubby into a roadtrip!

  4. Wow! You found some amazing stuff! How fun. I have a wash bench something like yours, without the wringer. It's meant for the two tubs to sit on, though. I used it for a coffee table with a couple of trays on it, but now it's on the wall with birds nests on it. I like it!
    Those train cases are just fabulous!
    Hugs, Cindy

  5. Oh my goodness!! My heart beat has started racing just reading this post!! We don't have anything like that in the UK - it looks AMAZING!! I know how you feel about the crowds - I'm the same (plus crutches) making me very unsteady too!! I especially love your suitcases. So LoVE them!! I had some bargains at the charity shop this week and have blogged in the linky party too! J9 x

  6. wow it sounds like so much fun, I can't believe more bins and more bins, those luggage pieces are so perfect, I just love them...sometimes no treasures then sometimes great finds..who knew.,I am a new follower of yours, hope you come for a visit,

  7. I love it all!
    And love my local GW outlet as scary as it can be at times.


  8. My GW bin store moved over an hour away :( If I lived closer I would be your "bin buddy" for sure. I have cruised through in 30 min, but stayed as long as 4 hours. Highly NOT recommended for children or impatient spouses. Now I am going to get the "itch" to go again :)

  9. Great finds!! Oh how pretty that old bench wringer will look with flowers in it on your front porch!!
    We have a Goodwill Outlet about 40 minutes from here, but I've never been to it. Heard it can be crazy there. We have 2 Goodwills here in town, so I just go to them.

  10. Okay just need to come and stay with us for a few days!!! We LOVE kids!!! RedNeckChic lives in the next town...and you would love her!!
    AND..........we have a Goodwill outlet about 1/2 mile from where I am sitting at this moment!!! I could bring you lunch and snacks, and the kiddos and I could go to the zoo which is right around the corner!!! ;^)

  11. Oh WOW!! You paid $9 for all that!! I am amazed. That's some loot you came away with. Can't wait to see what happens with it next. Keep on junkin. I can only dream of prices like that where I'm from... :)

  12. Wow...what amazing finds at amazing prices! Wish there were an outlet near me--I did a search and they seem to be in eastern part of state--rats!

  13. You scored! Target donates bunches to our Goodwill stores...I happily picked up three new-merchandise grab bags for. 99 cents each and now have about 75 ornaments/gift tag decorations. Need a red or gold plastic hippo?!? : ) Funny finds sometimes!!

  14. You are the best junker I know! I've been looking for that table for years...years!!!! I have the tubs, I have the wringer, just no table! I missed one earlier this year that was 30 and I thought that was good!
    What fun you have!

  15. Love the suitcases! That is my latest 'kick' too @ Goodwills. I hope they bring an outlet near me soon!

  16. great finds! you had me googling to see if there's one near me. Looks like no :(. Maybe it's just as well, though--I don't handle crowds terribly well!

  17. Fun, fun, fun, Stephanie! I have only been to the outlet once and that was years and years ago and they do it differently now. I can't imagine those items making it to the outlet here, but it would be fun to go and see. Thanks for sharing your adventures. How exciting to have found those treasures for so little!

  18. What great finds!!! Love the bench thing. I'm working on revamping my laundry room (in my head) and this would make a great addition - a big basket on each side to separate clothes before the wash. :)

  19. I was dying when I seen that little train case you found! THEN, the matching suitcase?! I could also see that wringer stand sitting on my garden shed porch too.

    I've heard that there's one of those places in Indy, which is about 2 hours from us, but I'm so tempted to go look. I'm also afraid of what ALL I might find! ;)

  20. Stephanie,

    You are a great storyteller! I read every word of this post. Many times, I'll skim the printed word and get right down to the photos but you so skillfully drew me in. Maybe it's because I'm a kindred junker and love scouring goodwill and other thrift stores to find bargain treasures. After all, it's the thrill of hunt! I love everything that you scored and the laundry bench will look great in your garden this year with a couple of galvanized tubs of flowers!

  21. DANG! I'm jealous. The one time I went to a place like that you paid according to weight. Needless to say I haven't been back because I didn't think it was a good deal, but DANG you made out like a bandit! AWESOME, AWESOME stuff. I see you make garlic bread like us:). And how you cut up the chicken, I think you need to teach my students! We are cutting up a whole chicken next week...always an experience.

  22. We have one of these Goodwill Outlets where I live too. I visit it at least once or twice a month. They can be very addicting! Ours here is the same as Brooke said she went to and you are charged by the pound. You have to be careful when they charge by the pound, sometimes you can end up paying far more than if you went into a regular Goodwill.


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