There is a little thrift shop near my apartment building that is only open on weekdays, between the hours of 10 am and 3:30 pm. When I was younger and we’d come to Philly on vacations, my mom would often stop in there while my sister and I were at day camp, rarely finding much but enjoying the looking all the same.
When I first inherited my apartment, I filled bag after bag with things to get rid of. I was the one responsible for disposing of all my grandmother’s clothes, shoes, coats and handbags (I actually kept most the handbags, she had really good taste in fine leather goods) as well as some of my grandfather’s clothes that were also still tucked into the corner of a closet. In addition to clothing there were random items like a personal coffee roaster (which was odd since my grandparents were devoted Chock Full ‘O Nuts drinkers and never roasted a bean in their lives), bunches of fake flowers and a set of graduated metal canisters from the 1970’s.
I had all this stuff to get rid of but could never take it over to this conveniently located thriftstore because they were NEVER open during the hours that I was home.
I’ve been in a purging mood again lately. The spaces I created when I cleared out my grandparents stuff have long since filled up and about a week ago I felt the itch to have less. I started with the drawer of sweaters and quickly moved to the laundry basket of sweatshirts. Half way through, sweating slightly from exertion and excitement, I ran to the kitchen for a stack of brown paper grocery bags. I filled six before I was done. A couple of nights later I found myself sitting in front of my living room bookshelf, removing cookbooks from the bottom shelf that I knew I was never going to cook from. Three more bags filled.
I spent today buried deep in homework, forcing myself to complete the assignments that were due for my journalism class. Around noon I surfaced, needing a break and a little fresh air. Looking around my apartment, the bags of clothes and books cluttering the entry way caught my eye. And I was struck by inspiration. For the first time ever, I could actually take things over to this little thriftstore nearby. I loaded up my squeaky folding shopping cart and headed out. Within minutes the six bags of clothes were gone and I felt lighter. Tomorrow, I take the books!