Today in an effort to curb my boredom since there is only so much house I can clean in one day, and since I’m unable to work on any more of my furniture overhaul projects (mainly sanding and spray-painting) due to a massive rainstorm that’s been in the area since 8 am I’m going to let you all in on one of our favorite date ideas. We do it every so often, and we started it in college. What is it you ask? Adventure day. (you probably deduced as much from the title)
The simple logistics: pick any Saturday. Set a budget. Scour craigslist for garage sale listings, and pick 4-5 to hit in a morning, making sure they are near enough in proximity to make the driving worth the gas. The criterion for selecting the sales (for us at least) are that the ads list something we are interested in (basically anything other than clothing and children’s items), and we like to head out in new directions to see more of the country (only really necessary if you are relatively new to the area. The use of a smart phone is infinitely helpful on the go as you can search in the area for thrift stores and antique/consignment stores to check out as well. And of course, since it’s a date, lunch on the go is often part of the day.
Just like grocery shopping we start with a list. This past Saturday our list included: a shuttle, a mirror or two, books, decor items, a pair of lamps, dining chairs, art supplies, and any other odd or end that met our fancy.
We started off early, another reason, besides the budget that we don’t do this very often! Our first stop was an estate sale, which always kind of creep me out, but they had several key words in their ad that met our fancy. We found a mirror(check!) and a very old brass key (decor item, check!) for a couple of dollars. At the next place we found an air conditioning unit (perfect for the guest room!) and other art/decorating things that we liked, but stuck with a necessity for guests visiting and left with the air conditioning unit, leaving the other things behind. (That budget means we are selective.) Our next stop took us to some cheap art supplies for me, and a bit of a cool rock collection (I have a brother’s birthday coming up, and he loves rocks! Hopefully he thinks this is a great present.)
Of course you don’t always find stuff at every place you check out, but that’s part of the fun. It’s a grown-up treasure hunt. Our last planned stop was a cool old hole in the wall thrift/pawn shop run by a very friendly Turkish couple and we really hit the jackpot. I mentioned to Bryan I liked an old mirror, the owner insisted it was a gift and we should take it (it’s in my pile of things to fix-up, but it shouldn’t take much work.) He also had quite the collection of National Geographic magazines, he’d take a dollar an issue. I asked what if we took them all, and he said 50 dollars for all of them. (Feeling that was a good deal, but steep, I said we’d think about it. With that he said he’d give them to us for 40 dollars. We agreed and walked out of his shop with 120 pristine issues at .33 cents each.
Along the way we found some great old cloth-covered hardback books (also not smelly!) and some old oil lanterns to add some character to our built-in shelves in the family room, without it being cluttered. That shuttle we found at a three story antique store downtown, it the perfect size for my loom, and then I’ll really be in business. The lamps and chairs were a bust, but there’s always next time. Besides, there is a pair of lamps I’ve got my eye on at a consignment shop just down the hill. If they are there in a week or two maybe they will be picked up. Of course, they probably won’t be there. One bonus find, besides the rock collection, and the air conditioning unit was an old stool for the kitchen, and a steam powered boat for Bryan to tinker around with. Guess the loom last week and the boat this week were our unofficial one month married presents to each other. It certainly gives us something to do on a rainy evening.
The good news? We finished up with 1/5 of the budget still in our wallets. A successful day and quite the haul without even breaking the bank, and we were home shortly after lunchtime ready to set up, clean our new acquisitions and play house. I love adventure days.
The first mirror is already in use in the entryway, adding a bit of depth to the walls, the Nat Geos are on the shelves and prove to be good reading, and the old books and lanterns are adding some library/New England charm. The shuttle is wound and ready for me to weave, and Bryan’s already got the engine running on the boat.
Now that my house is clean, and this post is written I’m thinking it’s time to start working on that free mirror and seeing what I come up with. Then I’ll have to start taping of the master bedroom to get rid of that dreaded peach color. Bryan will be happy about that.
Thanks for reading, have a great day!