We’ve received a lot of questions on how we find free or nearly free furniture, where we shop, or other helpful tips & tricks to be able to stay on a budget while turning our house to a beautiful home. Therefore I thought I should prepare a Life Hacks series to give some useful information in detail, and this is the first of that series: How To Find Free (or Nearly Free) Furniture.
Put and Take: We mention Put & Take a lot in our posts. Put & Take is a section of our dump where people leave almost anything from books to toys to furniture which they don’t need any more but others might find useful. By having a section like that, our Dump not only encourages recycling but also discourages scavenging, dumpster diving and trash picking.
Put & Take is our favorite free tag sale. The best loot shows up on Saturdays, as that is “dump day” for most people. We know several towns in CT have a little section like our Put & Take in their dump, so you might want to check out if your town has one.
Curbside: If your town doesn’t have a section like Put and Take, then curbside finds might be an option for you. That said, not all furniture left on a curbside is a castaway, and in fact they still could be considered someone else’s property. As it is good to stay safe and legal, always proceed with caution and check if the curbside find has a sign on it that reads “Free” before considering picking it!
Craigslist.org: On Craigslist you can find great furniture at very low cost or sometimes for free. Just check out the “Free Stuff” section on Craiglist.org in your area and you’d be surprised what you might find for free.
Claz.org: Claz.org is another classifieds website like Craigslist and is great if you are looking for free or low cost furniture. After selecting your area, you can do a search in furniture the section or the “Free Stuff” section.
Facebook Local Groups: Nowadays Facebook is widely used for selling or giving away free furniture. Not only are there many “Tag Sale” Local Facebook Groups, but also Local Facebook Groups for those who want to give away their unused furniture, such as the Buy Nothing Project Facebook Groups. Click here to find your local Facebook Buy Nothing Project groups.
Freecycle.org: Other than Put & Take, my personal favorite is Freecycle.org. It is pretty much like the Buy Nothing Groups on Facebook. Once you create an account, you can search for free items offered in your area. If you can’t find what you need among the “Offered” posts, Freecycle.org also gives you the opportunity to put out a request with a “Wanted” post to notify other users of what you are in need of.
Ebay Classifieds: Ebay classifieds are similar to Craigslist or Claz as they also have a “Free Stuff” section. If you didn’t have luck on other places you can give Ebay Classifieds a try for finding cheap or free furniture.
Estate Sales/ Yard Sales: Estate/yard sales are not only great places for finding cheap furniture but are also really fun to go to. You can find the listing of an estate/yard sale in your local newspaper or on websites like YardSales.net or YardSaleSearch.com. You can even set up reminders on these websites to receive e-mails listing the estate/tag sales close to you.
Thrift Stores: Local thrift stores are another great option to find good furniture at a very low cost. If you have both small thrift shops and chain thrift stores in your area, then I suggest you try the smaller ones first as they tend to have better prices than the chain thrift stores.
I listed all places where we find free or nearly free furniture for our home. As I enjoy sharing good and useful information, I’d also like to share some Health & Safety tips which you might find useful during your hunt:
- In these uncertain times, I never go alone to an address given to us on an online forum/website (such as craigslist, claz.org, freecycle.org, local facebook groups, etc.) I make sure Greg always comes together with me and we always inform Mom and Dad where we will be going. I like playing it safe when it comes to meeting up with strangers.
- I don’t recommend buying or taking a secondhand mattress, because a bed bug infestation is just not worth the risk or any savings you might be getting.
- Keep in mind bed bugs can also come together with a piece of upholstered furniture, so make sure to check for bed bugs before rescuing a dump find or buying a second hand upholstered furniture. For more info on avoiding bed bugs please click here.
- I never pick any electrical item from Put & Take or a curbside to use as is. Electricity is one of the most dangerous things to mess with. If I happen to find a lamp or anything electrical for free, I make sure either to repurpose it or to change/renew all the cabling and other electrical components so it wouldn’t ever become a danger to me or to my family. I recommend following the same rule with electrical items you may find during your hunt.
- While I love Put & Take, I don’t go for dumpster diving, scavenging or trash picking. In many states it is illegal, and it also can be dangerous. With that understanding, I don’t pick anything from a curbside unless it has a sign on it that reads “Free”. I tend to approach free furniture with my eyes first, and my hands stay out of the picture until I am sure that the item is good to pick.
Play safe and be safe, because we love having you around as our reader! For even more exciting safety talk please visit our Disclosure page.
Happiness and Knowledge are two things that grow greater when shared, so if you know other sources for free or almost free furniture, please share them with us.
Wishing you good hunting!