Furnishing a house can be one of the most expensive projects people undertake. Even the most basic items such as beds and white goods can prove a struggle when money is tight. Help is at hand because it is possible to furnish a house for free with a few tips and tricks.
Start by understanding that when something comes for free it has to be taken as is. There’s no point being picky; a wardrobe is a wardrobe even if it isn’t stylish or modern. Free means take it and live with it; at least until better is financially possible.
Talk to family and friends. Older relatives may well have spare furniture that is cluttering their home and getting little to no use now family have moved on. They are often a good source of items such as curtains and sheets as they have built up stocks over the years. Friends may have relatives who are downsizing and looking for good homes for furniture they cannot accommodate and do not wish to store.
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, so don’t be ashamed to raid skips and dumpsters, even side-walks, if furniture is just sitting out in the open. The judgement is down to the individual, but most people stick by the idea that if it is out on the side-walk, looking to be trashed, then it is fair game. If feeling uneasy about just taking something in front of someone’s home, walk up to the door, knock and ask. Make sure to ask if taking things from direct neighbours yards or driveways; no-one wants ill feeling when they have to live in close proximity.
Look online, which is free at most libraries. Places like Craigslist and Gumtree often have furniture which is free providing it is collected. Freecycle has groups in the UK and in some parts of America and is aimed at people swapping goods, including furniture, in local areas. The Preloved site has a section called Freeloved where furniture also turns up.
It’s worth checking local newspapers and magazines for freebies, and remember to check noticeboards at church and in local shops. Consider the latter as an option too. Place a free advertisement in local stores stating what furniture is required, say it will be picked up, and see if anything free turns up that way.
Watch out for yard sales. Although stuff is rarely free, there is a small chance that people will put stuff up for free once a yard sale is over, if they are really desperate to get rid of it, especially big pieces like beds, sofas and cupboards.
Some churches, notably the Salvation Army, are able to help when people are in dire straits and need serious help with furniture. The Salvation Army gives out vouchers that are redeemed against free furniture in their thrift stores. Other churches and charitable organisations may also be willing and able to help. Talk to local government services and see if they have any leads on where to get free furniture or if they can offer any help. Remember though, these services are for those in real need, not for people who just don’t want to pay.
Free furniture is out there, it just takes a little initiative and searching to find it.