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Trash to Treasure with Maggie McGaugh

What started out as a hobby became a full-time job for stay-at-home mom Maggie McGaugh. The hobby? Flipping old unwanted furniture.

After leaving her office job during her pregnancy, then the pandemic hitting shortly after her son’s birth, Maggie felt the need to scratch that creative itch with simple DIYs. She began with a bread box she found at a local thrift store. The box took more time to retouch than she anticipated and took several tries to get just how she wanted—but she caught the DIY bug.

Maggie moved on to larger projects from there but was frustrated with conflicting information she found on the internet. So she became a woman on a mission to learn the furniture flipping business one flip at a time and to share her newfound knowledge with the world.

Maggie took her one-part DIY videos to TikTok and Instagram and became an almost immediate sensation. She has grown to amass nearly one million combined followers on TikTok and Instagram in just a little over a year by sharing her successes and failures with the world. Her hope is that they too can transform furniture finds into one-of-a-kind works of art.

One of the most fascinating parts of Maggie’s makeovers is her ability to find old furniture for next to nothing, and sometimes for free. As a result, many of her flips are enormous transformations. And where some may look at the piece of furniture and think it’s a lost cause, Maggie sees potential and dollar signs.

When buying furniture to flip, Maggie tries to spend the least amount of money possible. She shops thrift stores and estate sales, noting that she has the most luck on the last day of an estate sale because prices are often deeply discounted. But her most adventurous shopping days are trash pickup days when people in her area leave unwanted furniture on the side of the road. She saves these items from going into a landfill and brings them back to life.

One of my favorite makeovers is this dresser Maggie saved from the trash.

Here is my favorite estate sale find flip. Most would have thrown this cart out without a second thought.

With her newfound success, opportunities have started coming Maggie’s way. She has an e-course for anyone looking to get into the furniture flipping business. Each lesson focuses on specific skills such as where to buy pieces, painting and priming techniques, and deep cleaning (to keep the bed bugs from biting). In addition, she recently launched her website, where she sells wallpaper that she often uses to line drawers, drawer pulls, legs, and more. New items are added frequently, and each of them has its own hilariously unique name to match its design.

The future is looking bright for Maggie, and we’re excited to see what she comes up with next. Follow her flips on TikTok and Instagram to gain some inspiration for how you can turn your home into a magazine cover look for a fraction of the price.

Love all things estate sales? Us, too! Head over to our blog to learn about all things vintage, DIY, and more!

 

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