When we decide to make new resolutions for our lives (whether on January 1st or otherwise) there is naturally planning involved. Typically you are trying to find the time in your already busy schedule to fit a new activity or finding more time for emphasis on an existing activity you want to prioritise.
You are also likely to find that there is an investment in supplies necessary to make the most of this new resolution or activity.

A recent Washington Post article  suggested that January 3 may be one of the busiest shopping days of the holiday season, even named “holiday hangover day” by a sale-tracking website. This marks the first day that people are back to their usual schedule and typically back in the office in front of a computer.  Time to online shop for things Santa didn’t bring and those thing they need to help them tackle their new years resolutions.

What I would like to suggest is, before you hit your typical online retailers you consider that perhaps the best place to start your “resolution supply purchasing” is actually in your local charity shops.

I have listed below six of the more popular new years resolutions that people make and suggested how charity shop offerings might be the smart investment in your resolutions.  In fact, starting at the charity shop may even tick several of the boxes if you’ve made multiple resolutions for the year. So if you see any of your resolutions on this list have a quick read. You may find that this post gives you some inspiration and encouragement for your new year.

This year I want to…

get into shape

Getting into shape is rather generic and it’s likely that people have specific activities in mind when they say this. One person may say “this year I want to start running” and another may say “I want to work out from home”. Regardless of the activity there are likely purchases to make, sometimes necessary and other times they may just be a bonus to help us get excited about our new challenge.
How many people make this resolution and stick to it? I don’t want to be a pessimist but the reality is, not everyone will. Thanks to de-cluttering persons everywhere who have abandoned “getting fit” resolutions there are always pieces of practically new workout wear. In all honesty, I can’t remember I time I went into a shop and didn’t find workout gear on the racks in both men’s and women’s rails. There are also small pieces of fitness equipment in the shops all the time. Kettle bells, small weights, even new yoga mats appear frequently.

My splurge after finding bargains at the charity shops

I don’t want to suggest that you approach your resolution with a defeatist attitude or even start with little belief in yourself but, if it is a new activity for you and you really don’t know how it will pan out, wouldn’t you rather find out without the potential guilt associated with spending excessively to try something?
Starting to run was actually my resolution two years ago and the charity shops were the first place I started. I came away with three running tops (two of which I still have and use) and a great running jacket. I then was able to pick up a pair of new running shoes (not a place to buy used) and a pair of running tights without spending a fortune on something I wasn’t sure would be a forever thing. Two years later and I actually bought my first pair of “investment” runners to prepare for my first 10k run.

eat well

This may be an extension of getting fit, but could also be a stand alone resolution. There are great healthy cook books on charity shop shelves at a fraction of the price. They also have a much wider range of titles including old cookbooks and cookbooks from other countries. Eating well doesn’t have to mean super healthy (low carb, no sugar, no fat etc.) it can also be about getting into the kitchen and getting inspired with new flavours.

read more

Full disclosure, I’m a huge fan of the local public library so I know this one can really be accomplished for free. However, some people don’t have a convenient branch and other people are terrible for returning books on time. For the cost of the fees of a late returned book you can pick up a book at the charity shop.

Scope leaves friendly reminders right on the shelf!

I know I have never set foot in a charity shop that didn’t have a decent selection of books.  So not only can you take your time getting through a book, you can return it to the charity shop shelves when you are done for someone else to find.

save money (for…)

It may be you are wanting to have a financial cushion for emergencies or maybe it’s about saving for something specific, like a down payment , paying off debt or maybe once in a lifetime trip, but no matter the reason the charity shop can help. Unexpected expenses are going to come up and your “need” for a treat are realities you are going to face, it shouldn’t mean that you have to disregard your resolution to save and watch your expenses. Charity shop’s are full of bargain priced treasures whether you are looking for something practical or something to treat yourself.

give generously

My post Christmas donation bags

This is almost a no brainer, but it’s still worth mentioning.  Your local charity shops are very happy to accept your generosity all year.  They are also happy to accept it in whatever form you can manage.  Your time through volunteering in the shop, making purchases from others donations or bringing in your gently used and new (but unwanted) items are all very appreciated.

declutter my life

Perhaps you are a follower of Marie Kondo and the KonMari method or maybe another tidy-your-life coach.  Either way, make sure when you are ridding yourself of clutter in your life, you create a charity shop pile.  Just because it is a trifle to you and no longer has a place in your home, doesn’t mean it isn’t a treasure to someone like me – a dedicated charity shopper.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of popular resolutions but perhaps you might find your resolution here. If not, I hope it encourages you to get creative and perhaps find your way to your local charity shop. I happen to believe that your local charity shop is almost always a great place to start your shopping but, when I considered the more common resolutions people make and the unfortunate success rates, I couldn’t help but think, now is the time to give it a try if you haven’t in the past.

Happy New Year everyone and happy treasure hunting!