Ah HomeGoods, mecca of housewares and knickknacks we never knew we needed. It’s the place that finally allowed us to graduate from white plastic storage blocks to adult things like gold-rimmed mirrors and table runners. Here, seven secrets to navigating the store like a pro.

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Go Shopping During the Week
Specifically in the morning, since most stores do the bulk of their restocking on weeknights. By getting there early (we’re talking within an hour of opening time), you’ll score first dibs on the newest stuff without the hassle of the weekend crowd. (Plus, we hear this is when interior designers shop the store, so you just might run into somebody fabulous.)

Use the App
We apologize in advance for the battery loss you’re about to experience, but it turns out that our favorite place on earth (second only to our beds) has an app that posts photos of new items that come into local stores that day. Set your preferred locations and let the scrolling begin.

And Use the Hashtag on Instagram
Search the #HomeGoodsHappy tag for thousands of photos of the great treasures people have found in their local stores. You just might scope something fab that’s coming to your store soon, and you'll get loads of decor inspiration from fellow HG addicts.

Think Outside the Box
Navigating the store can be a bit tricky, especially when some of the best gems are used as decoration in counterintuitive departments. For instance, say you need a teapot. Instead of heading straight to the aisle where all of the cups and mugs are, check the bedroom section. There, you may find the perfect one perched atop a dresser as decor. And say you’re looking for a new print for your gallery wall. Instead of going to the art section, take a detour to the kitchen aisle for more interesting substitutes like a giant leaf-shaped gold plate.

Always Look Behind the Larger Items
Speaking of prints, large pieces of artwork (and decorative mirrors of all shapes and sizes) are typically layered on shelves; take the time to check behind each one to find even better goodies.

Shop for the Seasons (And Holidays)
Need a cobweb-covered sign for your kid’s Halloween party—or decorative gourds for Thanksgiving? HomeGoods has it. Either go a few weeks before the holiday in question to get the most selection or try scoping out the wares a week after it's over so you can get a discount.

Always Buy Up Front
If you like something but are ever so slightly on the fence about it, buy it for now and return it later if it doesn’t work out. Things move quickly at HomeGoods, so something you saw on Tuesday could very well be gone by Wednesday evening. And if you do run into that heartbreaking situation, check your nearest TJ Maxx or Marshalls. (They’re owned by the same parent company and have similar inventory.)

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