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Unearthed // Vintage Excavations From My Basement

It all started here. One of my favorite things in the world. Thrift shopping. I was lucky that when I met Greg, I found a kindred spirit. He loves collecting and vintage as much as I do. In fact, our second date was actually an afternoon of thrifting (and then dinner and a movie). We’ve been together 10 years now. So that’s 10 years of joint thrifting. Not to mention all the stuff I had collected the years before I met him. In other words…..we got STUFF. Most of this was in our old Mission flat. Which had that kitschy cool charm of a San Francisco apartment. But when we bought a house we wanted it to look a little more “grown up cool”. Still funky, but less cluttered. We boxed up a lot of stuff. And tucked it away in the basement. So now our basement is filled with vintage clothing and bric-a-brac and miscellaneous stuff. Our garage and side storage room are also overflowing with STUFF……stuff like…well. THIS:

The problem is, while we have a mini hoarder sitch going on over here, it’s all cool stuff. Things that just make me happy to look at, but had forgotten about. Like this guy:

And our collection of vintage 70s 8-tracks and radios. They’re all so colorful and cool. “And they only play tunes from 1974!” Heh. I wish.

There were bins full of vintage magazines I didn’t even realize I had….

Magazines, dolls, dishes, lamps, books. BOOKS! So many books. I mean, who could resist the NEW COMPLETE POODLE??

Oh and vintage dance costumes?? Yeah. We have those too.

It’s starting to look a LITTLE cleaner. At least you can see the counter on the side storage room now.

If I’m being honest, there is also a lot of crap down there too. Papers. Books. Old suitcases (not pretty vintage ones). Camping gear. Random tools. Clipboards (we found EIGHT clipboards. WHY??) .TONS of empty boxes for toys that I saved “just in case we want to re-sell them”. I went through every single box that was stored on the shelves and we filled THREE recycling bins worth of paper. It’s still unclear why I saved an entire year of JANE magazine….or all those Vanity Fair magazines…or Martha Stewarts. Or that Rolling Stone issue with the Spice Girls on the cover (huh?) and every Rolling Stone with Nirvana on the cover. Or THIS:

HELLLLLLP!

My mom and dad came out here this week and have been helping sort and clean and take trips to the thrift store to donate and “put it back in the system” as I like to say. Ultimately there is a lot of pretty awesome stuff down there. Some of it I’ll keep. Much of it I need to sell. My mom always says, “You don’t need to ever go shopping again, just go thrifting in your basement!” She’s kind of right.  Most of it is just fun to share….so look for some followup posts on the craziness in my basement! (or follow me on instagram: @galexina….i tend to post lots of it there!)

I still have a TON of work to do. And to the untrained eye, the place still looks like a wreck…..but the piles are all organized. And i’m SO happy I went through all those mystery boxes and got rid of a ton of random things. Then again, so many things are soooo hard to get rid of!!

As I took my mom to the airport I couldn’t resist a quickie drive by at the thrift on the way home. I was going to take a joking photo of my out front and send it to her and Greg (because I am sort of forbidden from shopping there for a while). Of course as I walked in I spied an amazing vintage children’s book I have been on the hunt for for EVER (A Child’s Garden of Verses, illustrated by the Provesens) AND……a Pucci Scarf. $1.99. Sigh. And so it continues.

Do you have a collection problem??? Please share. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this….

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Posted in Real Life : Alix.


24 Responses

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  1. Jody says

    Having lived in a one-bedroom for so long (with only an 8x8x8 storage space) we could only collect so much. But the moment we moved into our house, we began acquiring! We’ve tried really hard to stop acquiring non-functional items. well, unless they’re REALLY small. Like we found a hollow R2D2, and he holds our epsom salts. And the traffic pylon keeps the kiddie away from our new 1969 floor lamp.

    But the Mon Mothma action figure is just for fun. Everyone needs a little knickknack now and then!

  2. Eartha Kitsch says

    Are you kidding me? To the untrained eye, your basement looks like HEAVEN!

    • Alix says

      I didn’t post the really bad photos. haha. I’ll take pix of the TRUE disaster zones and post!

  3. Dottie says

    I love this post for so many reason. First off–I totally remember that Jaws game! FREAKING AWESOME!

    And thrifting is so much fun I wouldn’t want you to stop. You already made a HUGE dent in it and it totally shows.

    I of course have my hoarder attic which is really appalling because it is all craft related. I have book cases of fabric and some I’ve had for ten years plus. I’m not proud of that fact… Crafty people are the worst hoarders because where some people see trash, the crafter sees a great thing that could be taken apart and blah blah blah. Which is EVIL.

    So, I give you credit for doing it, lady! I hope you treated yourself to a massage after this!

    • Alix says

      I think maybe we need a spa day eh???? I still have that gift certificate and would LOVE to use it!

  4. Arianne says

    Oh that is such a magical collection! I think taking a ton of pics and then selling a lot of it (so you can bring home more, natch) is a brilliant idea. Also: I die for that tall lamp in the first pic. DIE! <3A

    • Alix says

      hahaha,,,,,,my kinda thinking!!!! xoxox

  5. kristin says

    HELLOOO! Yep, I’m (or I should say “we”) a collector for sure! Funny, we are sort of going through a bit of a basement purge too. Chris unearthed “My Friend Mandy & Jenny along with Baby Beth. I’m sure you know who I’m talking about. Chris & I had our first real date in Seattle going to our favorite antique malls for the entire day. We’ve been together for 13 years so we have our share of basement issues. He actually has boxes labeled “Chris’ Crap”. Plus we have the added crates of art school supplies & art! We somehow feel we can make art out of EVERYthing so we keep Everything! However, all I want to do is go to your garage sales :)! You are not along my fabulous friend! Have a great weekend. Hope you find some cool thrift treasures.

    • Alix says

      LOL I love “Chris’ Crap” hahahaha. I know…..it’s so hard to get rid of anything. So far I’ve only gotten rid of modern “crap”. The vintage is all still there. But i do need to purge. I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted!! xo

  6. kristin says

    Oh & that would be – you aren’t alone (not along).

  7. lisa-gabrielle says

    Aw…honey…you are so adorable!!! Honestly…I hate the idea of you getting rid of any of it!…but I have a version of the same prob here at my house. When we last moved ,I had 3 big storage bins jammed with vintage doilies!!! I remember being worried that the movers would judge me.
    ….and please tell me you are going to display those groovy radios!

    • Alix says

      There is soooo much more…..3 Weltron 8 Tracks. 2 Videosphere round TVs. Three little panapet radios, 3 other 60s TVs. Um……it’s a problem!!! They are all safely packed up for now. We have two of the eighttracks in our living right now (i’ll find a photo!). Our old house had ALLLLL of them displayed. Sigh. I’m thinking Wolfie might dig some of it. But who knows! (And yes, I have about 4-5 bins of old dollies too. mostly 70s celeb dolls. Sigh.) I knew you’d understand!

  8. Kristen says

    We have the same problem. Our house & basement is full & we also have stuff stored in 2 attics in our rental houses. What we don’t sell on ebay, we throw in a booth at a local flea market… we will probably have to get a 2nd booth soon =)

    • Alix says

      Bravo! I’ve done the flea market too and its fun but EXHAUSTING! We have to get there at like 5:30am to set up and i’m always dead tired by the end!

  9. Felicity says

    That’s totally our garage and some of our house. Husband and I are both avid thrifters/collectors of toys, mcm, you name it (I’ve got Evil Knievel dolls and kiddles too). Totally understand. I just purged an arsenal of old magazines (except for Martha Stewart, Ready Made, and Domino). It’s gonna be an awesome yard sale if you decide to purge.

    • Alix says

      haha…..you know me well! I saved the Dominos and the Martha Kids mags!!!
      We can get together for an Evel Knievel play date!
      ;-)

  10. Paola says

    Tell me again why you don’t have an Etsy shop?

    • Alix says

      Because I’m lazy. Sigh.
      It’s “in the works”.
      ;-)

  11. Paola says

    Oh and our basement looks the same. Except the crap it’s filled with is not even cute.

  12. Emma says

    My man would kill for that Evel Kenivel doll! Well not kill, but he would love it! Great collection.

  13. cora says

    Sometimes when Im just hanging around the house and the wee one is down for a nap, I enjoy taking in a little me time in the basement to just take in all of our wonderful stored junk. I say the word “junk” loosley because we all know there are some fabulous gems in there that we forget about. 1980′s Jesus vs Godzilla action doll set? Hell yes I still need that! I geek out down there at all my retired vintage thrift finds but ya know, it makes me happy.

  14. lishyloo says

    oh man, i had that book in my shop!! poop!

    http://www.etsy.com/transaction/75487378

  15. Ammarie says

    First of all I love & am a regular follower of your blog!! Secondly I never leave comments but felt you should now that apparently there are people out there who are even worse than you(me) because all I could think of when I read this post was OH NO- Don’t throw out all the Jane magazines. Rofl:)

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Spring cleaning one step at a time. – Modern Kiddo linked to this post on May 10, 2012

    [...] by the amazing clean-out and organizing bonanza my girl Alix did with her basement,  I walked up to my attic which is full of SO MUCH STUFF and turned right around to ward off the [...]



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