How to Shop Goodwill like a Pro

Last summer, my husband and I decided to put open shelves in our dining room. I loved the outcome of the shelves! Before we just had a flat, boring, mundane wall, and now, we have dimension with interchangeable decor! To be honest, interchangeable decor is what really got me. I’m always changing things around, especially when it comes to holidays/seasons. So, the shelves were a great idea for my ever-changing interior decor.

I hate to admit it, but, I really had no idea how to decorate them. NONE. I have no shame in that. Your girl needed some help. Anyway, in my first post about my open shelves, I had them pretty full of decor, but overtime, the shelves became bare.


Ya’ll, I looked at this every day. It was driving me CRAZY, until I decided to do something about it. Of course, my “do something” usually resorts to my two loyal resources, Goodwill and Pinterest.

I hopped on Pinterest and searched, “How to decorate open shelves” and a ton of photos came up. I picked three that I found inspiration from and screen shotted them.


Immediately, I noticed the layering that takes place in the open shelf game. I totally dug it. I also noticed the mix of white and clear glass. Loved it. Of course I could not NOT notice the greenery that is in each photo. I loved it all. I loved the mixture of texture and color. I loved the layering. It was exactly what I wanted. So I set out, with my phone and screenshots in handy and went thrifting and found these treasures.



The mirrored tray is just a piece I have on my coffee table, BUT LOOK AT EVERYTHING ELSE! I spent less than fifteen dollars on this spread. I love the vintage feel and varying textures of each piece I found, but how did I find them?

How to Goodwill Shop Like a Pro.

To get the most out of your Goodwill hunt, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for when you walk through those doors. Have a screenshot of your inspiration, wherever you may find it.

When you pick up a potential item, pull out the screenshot. Think about how it matches your inspiration. If it doesn’t match at all, put it away. If it matches, put in in the cart. If it’s a potential, put it in your cart anyway.

If you picked up a potential item, lay it out against the spread of items you already have. Does it match? Does it add texture? Does it add color? What does your potential item add to your spread? Those are the questions I always ask myself.

When you’ve finished picking your spread, pull out your screenshot again. Look at your items and make sure you feel good about what you are purchasing. Put your items up next to each other. Think about how you will use your items in your decor space.


I really love how my spread turned out!


Not all of this came from Goodwill, some of it are things I already had around the house.


The little glass cake cover is my favorite find. I love the glass dome and the wooden plate under it. It cost me a whopping two dollars. I also found the little white glass creamer for 77 cents. I decided to add a layering effect of the plates, which were my grandmothers. The straw tray was a hard treasure for me to commit to. I was worried about the color, honestly, but after I studied my screenshots, I decided variation in colors are exactly what I needed to make my open shelves look how I wanted them. The tray cost me five dollars. The little white pot was just the cutest treasure, and I knew I wanted vacations of clear and white glass, so of course I bought it! It cost me two dollars.


The pie plate was totally a surprise find! I loved the texture of the plate, and it was white!  I knew I would layer this with a cake stand I already had at home. The pie plate cost me three dollars. Lastly, I knew I wanted a vase to put flowers in. I found the coolest clear glass vase for one dollar. I knew the shape and size would be a perfect variation to the decor I had already found.

Of course I want to add some more layering effects. The project is not done, but it’s a total start to my open shelf decor!





Now, be inspired and go Goodwill hunting!

Happy hunting!




2 Comments Add yours

  1. Yesssss. Freaking love Goodwill. Pics are awesome, your house looks so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ellebhannah says:

      Me too! Thank you!!! 💕


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