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When we bought our house we upgraded from a 1/1 to a 3/2. Needless to say we did not have the furniture to fill it.
I had a lot to furnish but I knew the bank was watching our finances right up until closing. Aside from not wanting to upset the money powers that be, we didn’t have much to spare. #ClosingCosts. That meant being patient and looking to find free furniture in the meantime.
I could’ve driven around dumpster diving and hitting up yard sales but I hadn’t even started packing my bedroom yet so who has time for that? Luckily, technology has made finding furniture for free easier than ever.
How to Get Free Furniture
We used all these and have picked up good quality free furniture and household items from all of them. Let me know if you have more suggestions in the comments below. I’m always on the hunt for free goodies!
I love my local Buy Nothing Group on Facebook for free furniture. Since every group is hyper-local it’s my favorite way to get free stuff near me. You can get way more than furniture but the furniture I do see is usually good quality and always easy to pick up.
I’m also finding Facebook Marketplace to be the best place to find free and cheap furniture. While it’s not a standalone app most people have the Facebook app on their phone.
You can filter to see only furniture, filter to see the type of furniture, garage sales, etc. You can search for very particular specifications like “free dressers” and save your searches then get a notification when something comes up that matches. Of course, you can do all this by price, but Facebook makes it easy to sort out free with a “Free” button.
You can save your favorites, get alerts when prices drop and it’s my favorite place to make money selling stuff right now. As Facebook invests more into Marketplace I totally see it making Craigslist obsolete.
This App breaks all rules, and I love it. It’s a private social network for your neighborhood, almost like a forum. People mainly use Nextdoor to report break-ins, find a babysitter, hire handymen, or have people keep an eye out for their lost dog. In an age where asking your neighbor for a cup of sugar is unheard of, Nextdoor is bringing people together via technology.
People also post about yard sales and when they’re giving away free furniture near me and other household items. One weekend we got a ton of free moving boxes from a family that posted on Nextdoor.
You can’t hop around neighborhoods, though. According to the website, every neighbor has to verify their address and use their real name. Just like in person (or in police records.) And beyond that, you can choose which information you share. It’s one of the neatest free furniture apps I’ve seen so far.
OfferUp is also a great app for finding furniture. It’s similar to letgo but easier to use. You can search “free” and all their free items should come up. The premise is to find something you like and “make an offer” based on the asking price. All prices are negotiable on OfferUp.
A pro tip on getting the most out of OfferUp is when you find something you like, look at other items from the same seller and if you see something else you like you may be able to negotiate a package price or even get the lower priced item for free!
Letgo is a free app, similar to OfferUp, for finding local deals. The letgo free stuff section has all kinds of free things and you can filter by location and how recently the piece was listed.
I’ve got to include Craigslist because its still one of the most widely used classifieds service in any medium. It’s great for getting good quality free furniture and pretty much anything else! In college, I made some serious mistakes using Craigslist and while I was lucky, others are not. Here are some necessary precautions to make when getting free stuff on Craigslist:
• Never give out your real contact information. Craiglist lets you communicate via email with a proxy email address meaning you never have to reveal your personal email. Take advantage. The same goes for financial information.
• Always meet in a public place. Police stations will let you make Craiglist transactions right in front of their doors and Starbuck is a popular meet up spot. If it’s something bulky like a free couch, always bring someone along. And since not everyone on craigslist respects women, you should probably have at least one guy with you.
Do you use any apps to get free stuff? Let me know in the comments because I still need a TV stand!
Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.