The Best Places to Find Free Furniture
If you want to decorate your home on a budget, there’s no better way to do it than by sprucing up free furniture. It’s amazing how a collection of disparate items can be pulled together by redoing them all in the same color paint or stain. Keep your eye out for freebies wherever you go; you never know when someone, fed up with their cluttered garage, will pile everything in the driveway with a FREE sign attached.
Ready to begin the hunt? Let’s get started.
Family and Friends
Let your friends, family, and coworkers know you’re looking for furniture to refinish. Many people have unused items sitting in their basements, garages, and attics and will gladly offer them to you if they know you’re looking. Most people will give it away free just to get rid of the stuff!
You might also try posting fliers in the break room at work, on your church or school bulletin board, or near the mailboxes at your apartment complex.
Grabbing discarded furniture off the curb or out of a dumpster is more acceptable in some areas than others. In many major cities, you can furnish an entire apartment with furniture discarded in alleys! Be careful if you decide to actually pull something out of a dumpster; it could be contaminated with old garbage or pests. Be careful not to cut or scratch yourself; dumpsters almost always harbor dangerous bacteria. And NEVER climb into a dumpster. If you can’t reach it from the outside, it’s not worth saving.
Moving Day Madness
No matter how carefully you pack, it seems that you always have to leave some things behind when you move. At the end of any given month, apartment complexes are crawling with moving trucks and littered with discarded furniture. In some, there are designated spots for people to leave freebies for their neighbors!
Check dorms near the end of the term, especially in the spring. You might not find anything solid wood, but particle board bookcases are common and can be painted with a variety of decorative effects. Also be on the lookout for shelving and dressers. Students heading back home for summer break may find it easier to ditch their old belongings than cart them back to Mom and Dad’s; recent graduates may be ready to ditch the papas an or futon and exchange it for “real” furniture.
Garage Sale Leftovers
Often people hold garage sales to get rid of clutter. When an item doesn’t sell, the last thing they want to do is haul it back into the house! At the same time, packing everything up and hauling it to the Salvation Army is a hassle too. So, many people will just leave the item in the yard and mark it free. The best time to check: toward the end of the day Saturday (as the sale is winding down), and early Sunday morning (before someone else gets to it)!
Search the Web for Freebies
Craigslist.org probably has listings in your city. Check out their “Free” section to score some furniture bliss. Just be prepared to pick it up fast; most people won’t hold a free item for more than a few hours.
Listia is an online auction site where you use credits, instead of currency, to buy. You get credits for signing up, for listing items, for referring friends, and as payment when your items sell.
There are literally thousands of online groups, nationwide, that allow you to post unwanted items and connect with people who want to give away free stuff. Find a recycling group here, or visit freecycle.org, freesharing.org, reuseitnetwork.org, freemesa.org, freeuse.org, or sharingisgiving.org to sign up.