Thrifting in DeKalb is a fun weekend activity for all

Hayley Devitt

Having style and necessary home items while on a budget is vital to college students. Fortunately, DeKalb is home to an exciting number of thrift stores which have many advantages.

Thrifting is a fun activity for the weekend due to its exploratory nature. Everything in stock is one of a kind, but quickly comes and goes to make room for more old treasures. It takes some digging around, but the beauty of buying gently used is finding quality merchandise on the cheap.

Take a short trip down Hillcrest Drive and you’ll see a small but astonishingly clean gem of the resale world. Garry Lafever the co-owner of College Bound Thrifts, 122 E. Hillcrest Drive, explained that all items are examined and cared for before hitting the floor. They have good condition furniture which all gets steam cleaned, and all dishes and silverware have been thoroughly inspected and run through the dishwasher. College Bound is also attractive for its low-cost furniture delivery and 10 percent discount for NIU students with their One Card.

I would also recommend Lavish Thrift, 153 E. Lincoln Highway, for ambiance alone—that is, if it didn’t also have great stuff for sale. You walk in and see funky and eclectic artwork, decorations and antiques, as well as two bearded dragons in a cage. I was immediately attracted to the organized chaos of the store’s layout and the musical selection made by Cody Peterson, the manager. When asked what makes Lavish a good spot, Peterson said, “We get a bit of everything in. We try to keep our things higher end, unlike other places that will take anything.”

Many NIU students are also parents, and Kid Stuff, 149 E. Lincoln Highway, is one establishment I feel they should know about. Owner Vickie Obermiller buys items in new condition to resell at discounted prices. She stocks every size of children’s clothing, as well as maternity clothes. Additionally, Kid Stuff offers a rewards card; buyers get $20 off for every $200 spent.

Moxie, 230 E. Lincoln Highway, is an enchanting store which sells quirky gift items on its main floor. However, the upstairs portion is the vintage clothing destination. I could spend a whole day looking through its racks of stylish wardrobe choices from eras past.

Cracker Jax, 118 N. Third St., is packed with both new and vintage items, all with an artistic feminine whimsy. Picture your grandma’s attic, only trendier. The store houses a plethora of clothes, jewelry, accessories, knickknacks, cards and even kid’s toys. Taking it all can be overwhelming, but I would live there if I could. And although this little corner of hipster heaven tends to be on the pricier side, it’s still nice to look at beautiful things.

There are several other stops I could ramble on about. With seven thrift stores along Lincoln Highway alone, it’d be easy to do. Poke around DeKalb a little, or make a day of it; you never know what you’ll find.