There’s something about the Fall that makes me want to get organized. Some say it’s because our natural nesting instincts kick in. Cooler, shorter days. Leaves turning color. Pumpkins appearing on front porches. A big pot of hot stew cooking on the stove. Fireplace crackling. Whatever it is, Fall certainly is in full swing around here.
One of the hazards of being a natural-born thrifter is that you do start to accumulate things. A friend recently asked me if my house was like a hoarder house where you have to walk sideways through narrow pathways piled six-feet high with stuff. At first, I was a little taken aback, but then I realized that most people don’t really get the whole “thrifting” thing. When I’m thrifting, I’m not just looking for things to buy for myself or my husband, I’m constantly on the look-out for great gifts for friends and family. A lot of what I find, I give away. Take this gorgeous hand-painted porcelain serving dish I found recently at the Assistance League Thrift Store in Long Beach. I was immediately drawn to it for it’s stunning color and the fact that it was from the Art Deco period. It just so happened that I was getting together with some friends later that day at a friend’s 1920’s Art Deco childhood home that she and her husband were lovingly restoring. It was perfect. But, the best part was that when I turned the platter over, I saw – much to my amazement – the words “Limoges, U.C. France.” Limoges just happens to be one of the most prestigious, sought-after makers of high-end porcelain in the world, and it has been since 1797. Here’s a photo of the platter, so you can see what I’m talking about.
Sadly, the ladies at the thrift store hadn’t noticed that the platter was signed on the underside of the plate. When I got to the register, I kindly pointed it out to them so that they could take note of it. One of them jokingly replied, “Quick, mark it up and put it back out on the shelf!” We all chuckled. Now, you may be thinking to yourself: Why would she tell the store that they undersold something? Well, for a couple of reasons. Non-profit thrift stores are in the business to make money so that they can fund their programs that help those less fortunate in our communities. If they are underselling their items, they are losing money everyday that could better be going to fund their great programs. Also, truth be told – I kinda wanted to boast a little. After all, this is one of the perks of going thrifting in the first place, right? To find that amazing deal! Lastly, I felt it was just good karma to let the store know.
I took the plate home, washed it really well by hand (hand-painted ceramic like this with gold gilding is not dishwasher safe), then headed to Trader Joe’s to fill it with an assortment of nuts and nibbles. Needless to say, it was a huge hit. And, guess how much I paid for it? Well, I’ll leave that to your imagination. Here it is adorning the table later that day (lower left in photo).
So, the next time you’re headed to a get together, consider heading to your neighborhood thrift store to see what kind of unique platter you could find to spiff up your appetizers. The holidays are coming, so this is the perfect time to go hunting for one-of-a-kind treasures like a beautiful vintage serving platter for your Thanksgiving table! Just like this one I found just last week, which I will also be giving away!
I’ll be dressing this little cutie up with some appetizers, taking it to my sister-in-laws house for turkey day, and telling her to ‘keep the plate.’ Moral of this story is: be sure to look at the underside of the items that catch your eye to see if it might be a hidden jewel, keep your eye out for seasonal items you can give away as hostess/host gifts and also – get in the habit of giving away your amazing thrift-store finds as a lovely way to stay organized and not collect too much clutter.
P.S. If you missed my previous post about tidying clutter, I’ve re-posted it below…