8 days of Junkukkah

The local thrift store is an important part of helping 1-800-GOT-JUNK? divert reusables from the landfill. The world’s largest junk removal service is also one of the biggest contributors to not-for-profit second-hand stores. 1-800-GOT-JUNK? does everything it can to find a good home for junk that could have a second life.

I love a good thrift shop! I definitely have my local favourites. No, I’m not revealing my secret spots, but I will let you know what common thrift store finds can help brighten up your gift list. A gift for everyday of Junkukkah!

1. Trays

I know they don’t sound especially special but trays go a long way. Use them to showcase candles with greenery. Use them to serve drinks at your holiday party. Place your collection of perfume or cologne on a tray in your bathroom. If you’re like me, the toaster never leaves the counter. Use a tray to contain crumbs – easy clean-up! Trays are your friends.

2. Silver

Second hand stores have a surprising amount of silver home ware. OK, it may not all be sterling, but it shines nonetheless and tarnished silver can be beautiful in itself. Fill a silver jug with branches and artificial berries  – makes a great hosting gift. Fill a silver bowl or plate with potpourri for the bathroom or bedroom. You can imagine what I think about silver trays! Love.


Have you gone shopping for Lego lately? It’s not exactly cheap, especially when it’s so easily lost. If you find LEGO or Duplo, throw it in the dishwasher, put it in a cool tin or box and gift it to the lucky kid in your life.

4. Glassware

You can find some amazing glassware at thrift shops. I hosted a New Year’s Eve party a couple of years ago where I bought a bunch of champagne glasses from a second-hand store and filled them with candy or nuts. Because of their narrow spouts, guests have to poor the goodies in their hands instead of reaching in. This is a great solution for a germaphobe like me who cringes at the sight of a communal party bowl.

5. Table Ware

It’s hard to find a complete serving set, but it’s not necessary to create a stunning place setting. Put “colourful tableware” on your second-hand shopping list. A collection of mixed-matched colourful plates on a black table cloth is dramatic and festive.

6. Tins and Mason Jars

Tins and mason jars are plentiful and make the perfect container for holiday baked goods. I love gifting a mason jar stacked with cookies, with a ribbon around the top. Tins are reusable, beautiful and keep your baking fresh. Unlike unmarked plastic, mason jars and tins don’t leach harmful chemicals into edibles.

7. Holiday Cards

Most thrift stores will have boxes of unused holiday cards. Yes, it may take some time to find some you like, but it’s worth it. I love finding cards that are obviously vintage and by vintage I don’t necessarily mean from the 1950’s or 60’s. Cards from the 80’s have their own flare too.

8. Piñata Stuffing

Everyone loves a piñata, trust me.  Bring out a homemade piñata filled with candy and cute second-hand finds like toys or cheap jewellery and your party will be a “hit” (haha couldn’t resist). The content is secondary, people just like the thrill of taking a whack at something. I recommend using a short stick to prevent injury or damage. I still miss a lamp that fell victim to a passionate piñata party – arriba!


Shopping at thrift stores is socially and environmentally sustainable. You’ll also end up scoring unique goods that are inexpensive and memorable. And when you do, you just might have 1-800-GOT-JUNK? to thank. Good hunting!

Andrew Sutherland is PR Manager for 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and You Move Me. 1-800-GOT-JUNK? inspired Andrew to regain space by saying good-bye to 1/3 of his possessions. Andrew is a mountain man in training who appreciates an awesome view, a good story and organized closets. Connect with Andrew on Google+ or LinkedIn.

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