Christine Lee loves HomeGoods so much, she’s made documenting her finds at the store her side-gig.
“I often describe it as my adult version of Disneyland, or slice of heaven – a place where they have it all,” Lee, the California mom behind Instagram account @HomeGoodsObsessed, tells PEOPLE.
Lee – who describes her home decor style as feminine and pretty, yet classic – says she’s snagged endless deals at HomeGoods, though her personal favorite find is a set of gold flatware that closely resembles a style sold at West Elm.
Want a brag-worthy score of your own from the store? Check out Lee’s expert tips and tricks for finding the best stop at HomeGoods.
1. SHOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY, TUESDAYS – FRIDAYS
“I like to go shopping during late morning/early afternoon hours when people are in the office working, specifically Tuesdays through Fridays,” says Lee. “No one likes to shop in a crowded space, so I find this time to be on the quiet, calmer side where I can take my time to comb through everything, aisle by aisle.”
She adds, “I avoid weekends at all costs because of the mad rush and bumper to bumper shopping cart traffic. By the time Monday rolls around, the stores seems to be busy recovering, re-shelving, and re-stocking.”
2. BROWSE THE BIG STUFF FIRST
Advises the 37-year-old, “I usually like to go from big items to small — furniture, rugs, lamps, mirrors, and art, then kitchenware, small gifts, and stationery.”
“Items do go on sale at HomeGoods, and you can identify them by a red sticker,” she says, but waiting for something to go on sale is a risky wager: “Smaller items are hard to keep track of, but if you see a bigger furniture item sitting in the store for more than a few weeks, it will likely go on sale at some point.”
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3. BUY FIRST, THINK LATER
“Individual items are not well-stocked at HomeGoods, which gives the whole experience the ‘thrill of the hunt,'” Lee says. “My advice is to go ahead and just buy it! I’ve had one too many moments where I’ve kicked myself for sitting on the fence about something. Their 30 day return policy – with receipt – gives you some time to think about it, so there’s no risk!”
4. VISIT THE WEIRD SECTIONS
HomeGoods is for more than just furniture.
“Very recently – like within the past year and a half – HomeGoods really upped their game with stationery, cards and notes,” says Lee. “I’m talking letterpress, gold foil. It all rivals PaperSource for a fraction of the cost.”
5. CONSIDER THE PROS AND CONS
“Make sure you’re still always doing your shopping due diligence,” says Lee. “For example, the prices on rugs [at HomeGoods] are comparable to other major furniture websites, but those outlets sometimes offer free shipping.”
She explains, “The hassle of purchasing a huge rug from HomeGoods, is that you have to figure out the transportation to take it home, or pay for delivery.”