How to Sanitize Used Shoes

Stomping around in someone else’s shoes isn’t something I normally recommend, but from time to time I’ll come across a really nice pair of shoes at a yard sale that look like they were worn once. And when that happens, we’ll, they’re coming home with me.

Let me give you a few examples …

Black Keen Sandals

These Keen sandals were $4 at a consignment sale.

New Balance Mary Jane Sneakers

These New Balance Mary Jane sneakers were $1 at a yard sale.

Merrell Sandals

These Merrell sandals were $5.99 at a church rummage sale.

Coach Boots

And these Coach boots were $7 at a yard sale.

All of these shoes are from brands that are known for their quality, and they’re in great condition. And here’s the thing … these are all shoes that we’ve been wearing for a while, so they were even nicer when we bought them. If I can get shoes like this at yard sale prices, I feel like I’d be crazy to pass them up.

But buying used shoes (even worn-once shoes) means you’re buying something that someone else’s feet have been in. How can you ensure that you aren’t buying something with athlete’s foot?

You can’t, but you can sanitize them, so that it’s not a concern. Just stick your new shoes out in the sun for a few hours, and you’ll be good to go. Sunlight is a natural disinfectant. In fact, if you buy your shoes at a yard sale on a hot summer day, they’ve probably already been baking in the sun for a few hours.

How Do You Feel About Used Shoes?

Do you avoid them at all cost? Do you have times when you’re willing to buy them? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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College Move-Out Haul

College Finds

Living in a college town has its perks – especially at move out time. It’s amazing to see how much stuff gets left behind each year. The dumpsters quickly fill up; and then all the excess just gets piled up beside them. So, you don’t even have to reach into a dumpster to find good, usable stuff.

Here’s a break down of what we rescued this year:

  • (2) mini fridges (pretty awesome because our drink fridge died a few months ago)
  • A set of storage drawers (I plan to use them to organize my party supplies)
  • (2) binders (tucked away for next school year)
  • Pink duct tape and scrapbook paper (added to the kids’ art supplies)
  • A pair of Tommy Hilfiger sunglasses (my youngest daughter claimed them)
  • A Rubbermaid dish drainer
  • (2) Caddies (we’ll use them to hold art supplies)
  • (3) Ice cube trays (found inside the refrigerators)
  • A magnetic pencil pouch (perfect as a locker accessory)
  • A box of lime green thumb tacks

What do you think of our haul? Would you have rescued these things?

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Have Kids? What to Look for at Yard Sales

Yard Sale

Buying your kids’ clothes and toys at yard sales is a great way to save money, but don’t stop there. Here are other things to keep an eye out for when you’re yard saling:

Holiday clothing (Easter dresses, Christmas dresses, holiday-themed shirts and sweaters, tights, dress shoes, suits, dress pants, dress shirts, ties)
Holiday decor and gifts (Easter baskets and eggs, stuffed animals, holiday movies, stocking and basket stuffers and other giftable items)
Halloween costumes
Winter gear (snow suits, winter coats, boots, hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, ear muffs)
Rain gear (rain coats, umbrellas, galoshes)
School gear (backpacks, lunchboxes, school supplies, locker accessories)
Sports equipment (bats, balls, protective gear, uniforms)
Scout uniforms and equipment (handbooks, sleeping bags, mess kits, pup tents)
Musical instruments

Shoe Size Conversion Chart

French High Top Sneakers

Do you know what your shoe size is in Europe and Japan? Nope, neither do I. But it can be really handy information when you’re out thrifting or yard saling and you come across the perfect pair of shoes in a size that you’re not familiar with. Like these adorable French high tops that I spotted in a thrift store last year. I knew my youngest daughter would love them, but I didn’t know what her European shoe size was, and she wasn’t with me to try them on. I decided to take a gamble on them, and happily, they ended up being the right size.

Since then, I’ve picked up several other pairs of European-made shoes for my kids, and I’ve always been impressed with the quality. They’ve had leather uppers, leather insoles and all of the other details that were common here in the U.S. 30 years ago.

To make it easier to jump on a good shoe deal, I decided to create a shoe size conversion chart to take with me when I shop. Now, I can just look up a U.S. shoe size, and scan across the chart to see all of the international equivalents. Pretty spiffy.

Shoe Size Conversion Chart

And because I like to share, I’m making my conversion chart available to you, too. Just print a copy, and you’re all set to snag a deal.

If you’re using Google’s Chrome browser, our printables may not print properly. Click here for printing help.

Curb Find: Kitchen Cupboard

Antique Kitchen Cupboard

Last night, we had a few minutes to kill before picking our youngest daughter up from Girl Scouts, so we decided to curb shop our way there. So glad we did because this antique kitchen cupboard was sitting in someone’s curb pile. Seriously, who throws something like this out?

Antique Cupboard - Corner Closeup

The current paint job is a bit sloppy, but look at all the pretty molding at the top.

Cabinet Latch

Based on the style of the latch and a few other details, I think it probably dates back to the 1920s.

Antique Cabinet - Inside

And check out the inside. I was so excited when we opened the cabinet for the first time and spotted all of that gorgeous bead board …

Bead Board Back

and all of those shelves! It totally made up for its beastly weight. Old growth wood – it’s no joke. After loading it onto the top of our car, I didn’t feel the least bit guilty about skipping my push ups that night.

We stuck it in the basement, until we decide what to do with it. It’s big enough that it could be used as a standing cabinet, but I think I want to hang it, and return it to its former glory.

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