Furnish Your Home For Free: 47 Ways To Get Free Furniture
Buying quality new furniture is wildly expensive. Add sales tax, delivery and protection packages to thousand-dollar price tags, and you’ve got a completely unaffordable situation for many.
Even buying used pieces locally runs into the hundreds or thousands of dollars, and being in a financial pinch could leave you eating dinner on the floor for a couple of months.
Luckily, the digital age has expanded the options we have – including many ways to score furniture without paying anything at all. It’s true: there are several routes to obtaining free furniture if you’re in a financial bind or just want to save money.
In the following article, we’ve carefully put together a list of 47 ways to get free furniture.
What Kind of Free Furniture Can You Get?
Almost anything you can think of! People get rid of furniture for lots of reasons. In the case of perfectly good furniture, it might be furniture that their kids outgrew or a piece that they were unable to fit up the stairs or through the doorway of the new place they moved into.
In the case of furniture that might need a little TLC, it’s largely because we live in a disposable society. A chair with a broken leg might be left on the curb because the owner finds it easier to buy a new one rather than use a little wood glue to repair the leg.
If you’re good at DIY things, you can really get some good free furniture finds and you’ll be helping to keep something out of the landfill. So where can you find all of these free treasures? Let’s make a list.
47 Places to Find Free Furniture
Free furniture is all around you, and you’ll find it if you know where to look. After reading this list, you may never pay for furniture again! And when you take your time to find free furniture, not only do you save a ton of money – but your home will be more carefully curated too.
Sure, you can go to any big box store and find everything you need, but don’t you want a more unique and eclectic aesthetic for your interior design instead of a cookie-cutter look?
Finding and decorating with free furniture makes your home original, and DIY fix-ups lets you put your own personal stamp on things. That’s what makes a house a home.
People put all kinds of furniture out on the curb. In some cases, a city will have a day for each area where large items like furniture are picked up for free. In some cases, that service has to be paid for, and some cities may not have that service at all.
So, people put furniture out on the curb to be picked up by the city or hoping that someone will come along and take it since they don’t want to pay to have it taken away. Once something is put out on the curb, it’s fair game.
If you need free furniture, walk or drive around and look for some – but be wary, as people often put soiled or bed-bug-infested furniture outside for the city to deal with.
Large apartment buildings often provide dumpsters for their tenant’s trash, since it isn’t feasible to have an individual trash can for each apartment. Putting furniture near the dumpsters is the apartment dweller’s version of putting it on the curb. And the same rules apply; if it’s near the dumpster, it’s up for grabs.
3. College Dumpsters
The dumpsters near a college dorm are even better than the ones near apartments for a couple of reasons. You never know when you’re going to find free furniture near an apartment dumpster. People move in and out all the time, so you have to check often and hope you get lucky.
But college kids move in and out of dorms just a few times a year, and you can look at the semester schedule for a college online to find those dates. You know precisely when to go to find the best free furniture.
College kids are also not moving out of their dorm and into an apartment. They’re usually just going home to their parent’s house at the end of the semester. And oftentimes just can’t be bothered packing all of their stuff up and transporting it home. They’re lazy, and they just throw it away because it’s easier. Their laziness is your lucky day.
Important: make sure you’re not trespassing and that you’re legally allowed to extract unused furniture from the locations listed in this article.
4. Ask Around
Let everyone you encounter, such as friends, family, co-workers, or the guy at the table next to you at the coffee shop (maybe not him, don’t annoy strangers who are just trying to enjoy their coffee) know that you’re looking for some free furniture.
People like to help, and they want to get rid of their stuff without having to pay someone to take it away. And most people would prefer their old stuff find a nice new home rather than end up in the city dump. This piece of advice goes for anything you need; dishes, small appliances, toys, books. Don’t be afraid to ask and you’ll often be surprised what you can get for free.
5. Ask on Social Media
You can ask your friends, sure, but when you ask for free furniture on social media, your friends can share the post, so their friends see it too. This makes your free furniture net much wider!
How did anyone find a job, an apartment, or free furniture before Craigslist came along? It’s still an excellent resource for all of those things. There is an entire section on the site for people giving away things for free as well.
And thanks to Craigslist success, a lot of Craigslist alternative sites have popped up. Check them out too when you’re looking for free furniture.
People list items they’re willing to give away at Freecycle, and those who are looking for an item can post too.
8. Buy Nothing
This is a site similar to Freecycle. On Buy Nothing pages, people can post for things they need or are giving away.
Reddit is a great way to locate free furniture in your local area. Check out the local subreddit for your city and the Barter and Recycle subreddits too.
10. Local Recycling Events
Some communities will have free recycling events where people can drop off a variety of items for recycling. Volunteer at such an event and you may be able to have first dibs on the items dropped off.
Nextdoor is a site where neighborhood busybodies love to congregate to pass around local gossip, but it’s also great for finding free furniture. Lots of people will create a post to notify the neighborhood of a “Curb Alert.” They’ll describe items they’re leaving on the curb and include the street and cross street where it can be found. The posts often include detailed descriptions and photos too.
There will be lots of options for finding free furniture on Facebook. Local pages for your area, a college nearby, recycling, and parent groups are all excellent places to scan for free furniture. Remember the tip about college dumpsters and be sure to check the college Facebook pages frequently at the end of semesters.
Bartering isn’t going to work in a big box or chain furniture store, but it could work at small local shops or garage sales. If you see a piece of furniture you’re interested in, see if the seller is willing to barter for it. Maybe you’re an accountant and can help with their books or a website designer who can build a site for them.
Or maybe offer to help get rid of all the unsold stuff from the garage sale in exchange for the furniture you want.
Have you ever noticed how many storage businesses have popped up? That’s because we love buying stuff and hate getting rid of stuff. But our homes can’t always hold all that stuff, so we need a place to put it.
Ask if anyone has some furniture in storage you could borrow. It’s just sitting in storage so unless it’s some valuable family heirloom, why not?
15. Offer a Trade
You may have a piece of furniture someone else needs more than you need it and vice versa. Offer to trade pieces.
16. Going Out of Business Sales
If a business is closing for good, they may try to sell off everything. This doesn’t have to be a furniture store. Most companies will at least have some office chairs, and some will have sofas and maybe a kitchen table or chairs from the break room.
You’ll have to wait to the bitter end if you’re hoping to score some free furniture, but once the last possible date the business is going to be open gets close, they may be glad to give away anything that didn’t sell rather than having to store it or pay someone to take it away.
17. Ask for a Present
Well, wait until it’s a present giving occasion like your birthday or Christmas. It’s pretty rude just to ask people to buy you furniture just because. But when those holidays do come around, add the (reasonably priced) furniture that you need to your wishlist.
18. Amazon Wish List
Speaking of wishlists! You can set one up on Amazon and then send a link to anyone likely to buy you furniture as a gift. Or you can be really shameless and post the link to your social media accounts, but beware of the image this might present of you online.
19. Ask for Gift Cards
A lot of people don’t like buying gifts because they never know what to buy. That’s why people love gift cards. The recipient can use them to buy what they want, and everyone is happy. The best way to make this work is to ask for prepaid, credit card branded gift cards rather than store gift cards.
If ten people give you a gift card, that can really add up!
20. Earn Some Gift Cards
There are lots of sites that let you do things like answer surveys, watch videos, and read emails to earn free gift cards. Turn those free gift cards into free furniture.
Click here to see 17 ways to score free gift cards.
21. Sell Old Gift Cards
If you have old gift cards lying around that are for stores you don’t shop at or restaurants you don’t eat at, dig them out and sell them.
22. Yard and Estate Sales
This tip is like the going out of business sale advice. Wait until the final hour or two of a garage or estate sale and see if the sale holder is willing to give away the things that didn’t sell. It takes some nerve to do this one, but nothing ventured, nothing gained!
23. Organize a Neighboorhood Swap Meet
You can use a local page on Facebook or the Nextdoor for your area to organize a swap meet. Everyone brings stuff they want to get rid of, and people make trades.
24. Throw a Housewarming Party
Everyone loves a party! It’s pretty traditional to bring a gift to a housewarming party. In order to get the free furniture you want, though, you’ll have to set up a gift registry for yourself – otherwise you’re just going to end up with five slow cookers, two French presses, and a whole bunch of candles.
25. Ask Your Landlord
If your landlord owns several rentals, ask him or her to let you know if they have any furniture that tenants have left when they moved out. The landlord will be happy to get rid of it, and you’ll be glad to have free furniture.
26. Ask Your Landlord Part 2
Some landlords offer furnished rentals. Even if you don’t need a fully furnished place, they may have a spare, whatever it is you need that you can use.
27. Ask Your Super
Everyone should make friends with the superintendent of their building, and getting free furniture is just one benefit. Your super will know what’s going on in your building including who has furniture they want to get rid of.
The super might also know supers in other buildings who know the same thing in their buildings. Be sure to tip well at Christmas.
28. Ask a Real Estate Agent
If you have a friend who works as a real estate agent, ask them about furniture that has been left behind in a home.
29. The Salvation Army
Some branches of the Salvation Army offer vouchers for free furniture for those who meet the requirements.
30. St. Vincent de Paul
St. Vincent de Paul is a Catholic organization that provides furniture vouchers for those who meet the requirements.
31. Furniture Banks
A furniture bank is like a food bank, but you can get free furniture instead of free food. Food banks are more prevalent, but many areas have furniture banks.
32. Turn to YouTube
You won’t find free furniture on YouTube, but you can find all kinds of instructional tutorials on how to turn a piece of furniture you already own into a good-as-new treasure. It might even be as simple as ordering a slipcover for a chair or sofa that is not quite store-fresh anymore.
33. Turn to YouTube Part 2
If you need something kind of simple like a bookcase or an end table, look for tutorials that will teach you how to build them yourself out of inexpensive or even found materials.
34. Check Local Bulletin Boards
Check out bulletin boards in coffee shops, grocery stores, or your apartment building to see if anyone is giving away furniture.
35. Ask New-ish Couples
If you know a couple, who live separately but are planning to move in together, ask if they’re planning to get rid of any furniture. It’s tough combining two households full of stuff into one new place.
36. Thrift Stores
Thrift stores don’t always give away free furniture, but sometimes they get a massive donation from something like an estate and they don’t have room to display or store all of the items. In cases like these, they may be willing to give away larger items for free.
37. Free Stores
Not every area will have a free store, but if your area does, they are just what they sound like. Everything in the store is free, and people can take what they need.
38. eBay Classifieds
Most of us only think of eBay as an auction site, but the classifieds section sometimes has free items that include listings for furniture.
39. Regular Classifieds
Some of you reading this are young enough to that you have never used the Classifieds section on a newspaper to find a job or an apartment. We tend to do these things online now, but Classified sections do still exist, and old-timers sometimes still use them to do things like list free furniture. Never hurts to check!
40. Ask Fellow Movers
You probably got rid of some of your stuff when you last moved, and everyone else who moves usually does too. If you know someone who is moving, ask if they’re getting rid of any furniture.
41. Ask the Current Tenant
If you’re moving to a new place and able to speak to the person who is the current resident, ask if they have any furniture they’d like to get rid of. They don’t have to move it, and you don’t have to pay for it. Win, win!
42. Use Your Rewards Points
If you have a rewards credit card, there are sometimes several ways to cash in the rewards points, including for statement credits or as straight-up cash. Instead of saving up those points for a vacation, turn them into store credit or money you can spend on furniture.
43. Open a New Bank Account
There is a lot of competition among banks, especially now that there are so many online banks offering better interest rates than brick-and-mortar banks. To entice new customers, some banks will offer cash bonuses for opening a new account.
44. Refer Your Friends
Some of those banks will also offer cash bonuses when you refer a friend, and they open a new bank account.
45. Open a New Credit Card
What is true of banks is true of credit cards too. There is a lot of competition, and some credit cards offer cash sign up bonuses. Only do this if you can meet the minimum spend to qualify for the bonus while paying off the balance in full each month. A sign-up bonus isn’t worth going into debt.
46. The Local Recycling Center
All of that dumped furniture has to go somewhere. It goes to the local recycling center, so ask if they are willing to let you upcycle that furniture. Keep in mind that there is often something wrong with discarded furniture – possibly including insect infestations.
47. Moonlight as a Mover
If you have some free time, get a part-time job with a moving company. People will sometimes offer furniture they don’t want or can’t fit into a new place to the people handling their move.
Where Not to Get Free Furniture
You do have to be careful when sourcing free furniture. If you’re looking for upholstered furniture or mattresses, taking things off the street can be a gamble not worth taking. Bed bugs are terrible, not to mention expensive and difficult to get rid of. And if they spread from your apartment to your neighbor’s, no one is going to invite you to the neighborhood block party.
Free Furniture is All Around Us
It isn’t hard to find free furniture. It’s just that people can’t be bothered and would rather walk into a store and pay retail. But you know better, since you now have 47 ways to get free furniture!