39. Discovering Treasure in London Charity Shops

For me it’s definitely the thrill of the unknown! The unexpected excitement of discovering something, anything, you never knew you wanted but now don’t know how you could ever live without it! And I am of the opinion that you don’t find it, it finds you. I am an eclectomaniac and charity shopping is possibly my favourite past time!!

I realised the joy of charity shopping in earnest when I did my first stint of community service, a very bright silver lining to a pretty dark cloud. Every Thursday for a year I would go along to the Salvation Army charity shop and help out, and as well as the glow of helping others, I would always leave with at least one bag of treasures.




I had been aware of charity shops previously but not fully aware of their true amazingness. The brilliance of bric-a-brack was truly brought to light! I now have gadgets and gizmos a plenty, oozits and whats it galore! The weirder the better for me! I am the proud owner of an enviable egg cup collection, and such weird wonders as a cactus shaped orange juicer and a pickled onion pot complete with a wincing sour face! I still live at my mama’s house, but I have a ‘trousseau’ in the attic - boxes full of wonderful finds to furnish my own future home.

I can literally while away hours rummaging rails of clothes, trawling through tops and trousers, deliberating over dresses and sifting through shirts. My taste in fashion is as eclectic as my taste in furnishings and charity shopping helps me to be truly original in the way I dress. For those with a more sophisticated taste, I have also found some true diamonds in the rough.

Now, in the modern day and age, where time is precious, people don’t always have the multitude of hours that I have the good fortune to dedicate to this pursuit. So I would like to mention that even if time is short, pop into a charity shop if you fancy, because some of my favourite purchases have popped out at me in the seconds I had to nip into the shop. I like to think of it as fate and destiny!

As with everything in life there is a small down side to Charity Shopping, for without this, the ups would not be so very uppy. And this is the devastating disappointment when forage has been fruitless. But then there’s the little voice at the end that says, ‘I’ll try again another time’. It is the potentiality of this deflation that makes the elation of success all the more exciting for me.

Buying books in charity shops has certainly broadened my literary (and culinary) horizons. Many a book I have given a go and loved, or if I find it intolerable I just return it and buy another. This is fundamentally the other bonus of charity shopping, that it is for a good cause - for charity! It’s estimable consumerism! I feel good, look good and am doing something good!

All around London, on the high streets and by streets, back streets and little alley ways are scattered and filled with charity shops bursting with treasures just waiting to find you…

Author: Katherine Mckenzie
Katharine started Third Time Lucky: Third Time Lucky takes  old and uncared for denim clothes and giving them another chance to shine and be truly loved and valued. Do check out some amazing threads!


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