This post is for all of you who LOVE free furniture…or are trying to save money! I can say I know a thang or two about how to obtain things for cheap…maybe even free. Who is kidding me? I know exactly where to go to snag a good deal for nothing! If we get to logistics, 80% of my furniture and decor from my rentals were free. Yep, you read that right. We were on a tight budget…and still am. Hehe.
Since I am such a pro at finding “Free” deals, I thought I would share some of my sources with you. Please note, these sources may not work for everyone. Geography is everything!!!!!!! Please take that into mind. This list is just a guide.
5 Places to Get Free Furniture and Home Decor
Not many people may know this but there is an organization out there called “Free cycle” where people post via email items that they want to give away or do not need any more. This is a GREAT way to find AWESOME furniture and home decor accessories. I secretly think that is the lazy persons guide to not donating to the thrift store. All you do is post what you want to give away, people respond, you choose someone, and they leave the item on their porch (near their mailbox, in their driveway, etc…). I have obtained some of the coolest things by joining this organization. Some of my decanters that I use in my bar area were from freecycle along with some of the glassware and dishes I use for tablescaping. I have also obtained some of the nastiest furniture pieces too. If you choose to use this service, be aware of your surrounding and it is a must to know your city and what constitutes as a good area and a bad one. Never go inside anyones home. In fact, you should not even have to deal with anyone unless you specify that you will need help lifting something.
Again, this is the lazy person’s guide to not physically going to the thrift store to donate items. Growing up I never heard of the term “curb alert”. In fact, I do not ever remember seeing people place furniture or items on their front yard if they were not having a garage/yard sale. It was not until I was a mother and living at my in-laws that I started taking notice. The first piece of furniture that I picked up from the side of the road was a shelf that I eventually brought with me to NC. This shelf was used in both of our NC rentals and although beat up I had a hard time giving it away because it was so functional.
Do note, not all curb alerts are winners. Rule of thumb if it has any upholstery on it larger than 18″x18″ LEAVE IT THERE. You do not know how long that “sofa” has been there or if there are bugs on it…maybe even a snake in it. Guys, I have read some stories and they are very disturbing. I have been known to take the seating off of dining chairs and leaving it and just taking the wooden part of the chair.
When I was in NC, I use to keep a set of tools in my car along with clorox wipes in case I ever came upon a good piece of furniture and needed to disassemble it. Take necessary precautions to make sure you being safe and healthy. Also, tools come in handy when the piece of furniture is ugly but the hardware are gems. Just saying…
Now, this one may seem like a reach…but did you know sometimes the thrift store gets rid of NICE furniture? Whenever I drive around to the back of any thrift store to donate items, I always glance over at their trash can or the furniture to the side of building not located by the drop off. I do this because they typically plan to throw them out. One time I picked up a set of 8 cane back, ethnic looking chairs that were sitting by the dumpster they were in great condition just missing the cushion (the workers did not know what to do with them so they decided no one would buy them as-is and dumped them). Prior to “dumpster diving” I would ask an employee if it is okay for me to take whatever it is I planned on taking, just so they didn’t think I was a weirdo. There are still some people that are iffy about you taking their things, you just have to read this post here to see that, and I didn’t want to end up in any legal trouble. As of recently, my local thrift store was trying to liquidate their art collection so they were promoting a buy one, get two free framed art, just to get rid of what they had. Trust me you, they had some good stuff.
Depending on where you live, people are either giving away free “stuff”, including furniture, or animals. I do not know what is up with people giving away animals for free, but every now and again you may find some gems in the free section of craigslist. If you live in a dense city you will probably see more stuff given away for free. When I lived in NC, I searched the free section of craigslist daily and could find something that could either be DIYed or used as is. If you do not find anything in the free section, try searching in the furniture section of craigslist and type in “free” into the search engine or a price range of no more than $20. I am not promising you will find something every time you do this, but I know this has worked for me. This is the same method I used when I found my MCM Console. If you have followed my blog for a while and my Instagram, you know I have even obtained some pretty large furniture using these techniques. *Dining table pictured above is also a free craigslist find.
Shop and Swap…ever heard of it? Most of the time is put on amongst friends or at church. I have been to a few and to be honest, it is one of the only church activities (other than Sunday meetings) that I look forward to attending. I know I sound horrible…eek! Anyhow, I have yet to actually pick up any furniture from shop and swaps, but I can say, I have actually brought some home decor pieces and furniture to shop and swaps before. The premises behind this is that everyone brings things they do not use any more (like an indoor yard sale) and shop each other stuff. I have found some make-shift halloween stuff this way, home decor accessories, and even some nice vintage pieces.
*Bonus: I am pretty sure if you help your friends move they would more than likely give you things that they cannot fit in their moving van. With every move my family has ever gone through we have given away a handful of furniture and accessories. In fact, during our last move we gave away a whole truck full of furniture (including some vintage chrome stools and my beloved black camelback sofa) away.
Looking for more hot tips on how to score free furniture and home decor, check out The Penny Hoarder.