How to Get Free Furniture to Fill Your Home on When You’re on a Budget
Is your furniture looking rather rough? Are you ready for some new furniture, but you’re on a tight budget? Check out this list of ways to get free furniture so you can update your home without spending a dime!
When we bought our new home, we started shopping for new furniture before we even moved in. The furniture we already had was about 100 years old and starting to fall apart or sag.
Let me tell you, furniture shopping is not as fun as you think! Prices skyrocketed during the pandemic. And apparently, there was a foam shortage due to increased demand for furniture and a lack of supplies. So shopping for furniture during the first half of 2021 proved to be very difficult. And pricey.
We started turning to online auctions for furniture pieces. So far we’ve been able to get a large dining room table and chairs, a China cabinet, a dresser, and a few more items for really cheap. And, most of these items come from older homes so they’re older pieces. Which means they are made a lot better and more durable than today’s furniture.
Online auctions are great for finding cheap furniture. However, some places give away free furniture, saving you even more money.
And if you want to make some extra money, you can flip the furniture you get free and sell it.
How to Get Free Furniture
There are two main ways to get free furniture: locally and online.
How do I find free furniture near me?
Upcycling furniture you already own is a great place to start when you need new furniture. It’s not hard to give an old dresser a new coat of paint. You can even spray paint the drawer pulls for a refresh. There are tons of DIY tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest to give you some ideas.
If you put something on the curb for collection in our neighborhood, it’s usually gone by morning. Many neighborhoods have certain days each year where everyone can put their unwanted furniture out for collection. Find out when those days are in your area and go “curbside shopping” for free local furniture.
Tip: Head to the wealthier areas in your city. You’d be amazed at what people get rid of!
Ask family and/or friends
There’s no shame in asking family and friends to let you know if they plan to get rid of anything. It would benefit them as well because you’re able to take it off their hands easily. They don’t have to bother listing it for sale or taking it to a donation center.
College campus move out day
College campus move-out day can be a goldmine for getting free furniture. Most college kids leaving for the summer (or permanently) don’t have room to take their dorm furniture with them. Or, they simply don’t have time to sell it and just want to get rid of it immediately.
This can be a great way to get some free office furniture like bookshelves, desks, and chairs.
Ask the previous homeowner/tenant
If you’re moving into a new home, ask the previous homeowner or tenant if there’s anything they don’t want to take with them. This can be a great way to score some free furniture. Luckily for us, the previous homeowners just left a lot of nice furniture behind and we didn’t even have to ask!
You may be able to grab a bargain if you go to a yard sale when they’re about to pack up. Sellers are usually at the point where they just want stuff gone by the end of the day. You may be able to offer a cheap price for everything that’s left or grab some bigger furniture pieces for free just to get it off their hands.
The Salvation Army usually provides free furniture vouchers for those in need. Most of the furniture pieces have been donated by people in the community. Check the Salvation Army website to see if you qualify or visit their nearest office.
Furniture banks are run by charities that accept donations of used, unwanted furniture that’s in good condition. If times are tough for you right now, check the Furniture Bank Network website to see if there’s a furniture bank near you.
How do I find free furniture online?
Checking for free furniture online is probably the easiest way to find something you’re specifically looking for. Just keep safety precautions in mind!
Facebook Marketplace is a page where people share goods they are selling or even giving away. You can filter by area, type of furniture, and price, making it easier to find free furniture near you.
Craigslist is similar to Facebook Marketplace. You can narrow your search to find free furniture in your area. Sometimes you may be lucky enough to find someone who’s moving in a hurry and can’t take everything with them. In this case, you can get a lot of furniture for your home for free!
Yep, it is possible to get free furniture from Amazon. It takes some time and effort on your part, but it’s possible.
How? There are a lot of apps out there that let you earn money by playing games, watching videos, completing surveys, searching the web, or uploading receipts. My favorite one by far is Inbox Dollars. If I have downtime in the evenings, I’ll go on a play a game or answer a few surveys. I have $54.60 in my account right now, which has only taken me a few months to get. I have even used my earnings to get free patio furniture!
OfferUp is another online marketplace where people can sell their unwanted items. You can filter by location, so you can see what’s available nearby. OfferUp isn’t as well known as Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, so you may notice some items have been on there for a really long time. In this case, you can ask the seller if the item is still available. If so, see if you can get it for cheaper than listed to take it off their hands. They may be so desperate to get rid of it, they’ll give it away for free if you are willing to go pick it up!
Freecycle is a site for people who are looking to reduce waste by reusing goods. This means you can find just about anything on there, including free furniture. Just sign up for the Freecycle site for your location and you’ll see a list of groups in your area. Then you can browse through listings.
Nextdoor is a site (and app) where neighbors of a community can advertise local events, share tips, and more. Sometimes people share when they have free stuff, including furniture, to give away.
Things to Consider Before Getting Free Furniture
While getting free furniture either online or locally is awesome, there are some things you need to ask yourself beforehand. This way you’re making sure you are staying safe while saving money.
Is it safe for me to pick up this free furniture?
Don’t let the idea of grabbing some free furniture blind you from staying safe, especially if you plan to pick up something from someone’s house. If that’s the case, try to only go during the day and take a friend or family member with you. If that’s not possible, let others know where you are going.
How am I going to get the furniture home?
Before you consider requesting a piece of furniture from a listing, ask yourself how you’ll be getting it home.
See if a friend or a family member has a truck or trailer that you can haul your furniture home with. If not, you may have to pay someone to do it for you, which of course, swipes out the fact that you got the furniture for free.
If you have no way to bring the furniture to your house, it may be cheaper, in the end, to buy from a secondhand store that has free local shipping.
Does this free furniture include “guests?”
Finding a couch free online might make you feel like a money-saving winner, but what “guests” are coming home with you and that couch?
By “guests”, I’m talking about creepy crawlies that come out of the woodwork (literally) or any other bugs that may be living in there.
But don’t be so quick to blame the owner. They may not even know themselves that bugs have found a home in their furniture.
I personally would never bring home a used upholstered furniture item, such as a couch or chair, even if it is free. If it’s a wooden chair with a cushioned seat, that’s a different story. They can be easily replaced for cheap.
Can I live with any “quirks” this item may have?
More than likely you’re not going to find a perfectly brand-new piece of furniture that has nothing wrong with it. After all, there’s a reason someone is giving it away.
For instance, if the furniture smells like cigarette smoke, are you going to be able to deal with that? Will you be able to handle any stains or squeaks, or stuck drawers?
Only you can decide whether or not you can live with your “new” furniture’s little quirks and imperfections.
Final Thoughts on Getting Free Furniture
While there are plenty of ways to get furniture for free, you need to ask yourself if you’re ready to take on the responsibility. Are you able to get it home? Will it be an upcycle? Can you deal with any imperfections?
Remember, a little sanding and paint can bring new life to an old scratched-up piece of furniture!
Have you been lucky enough to get free furniture before?