With brand new furniture being so expensive, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t at least consider getting furniture for free instead.
You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find out there. Sure, some of it is complete junk. But there are also some absolute diamonds in the rough – usually when people are desperate to give away free furniture to make space or when moving house. And that’s exactly when you swoop in.
Never has “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” been so true!
And while it may be more convenient to buy everything you need during one Ikea trip, you can save literally thousands of dollars by getting stuff for free near you instead. This makes it more than worthwhile to put in the bit of extra work it takes to get free furniture.
How can I get free furniture online?
Checking online for free furniture is probably the easiest way to find stuff for free, especially if you’re looking for one specific piece. This way, you can set up email alerts in case someone advertises what you need.
If you end up using one of these options, make sure you read the section further down in this article on things to keep in mind when getting furniture for free. As with any online exchanges, your safety is always more important than getting some free stuff.
1. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is a page where users can either sell or, in some cases, give away their goods. It usually defaults to showing what’s available in your area and you can filter by price, making it pretty easy to find free furniture on Facebook near you.
You’ll obviously need to have a Facebook account to access Facebook Marketplace, so it’s a good idea to check your privacy settings before contacting people to make sure you’re ok with what strangers can see about you.
You may be surprised to see Amazon on this list, but it’s absolutely possible to get new furniture for free on there.
How this works is that there are a number of apps out there that let you earn money by doing various tasks on them, such as watching videos, playing games, completing surveys or simply searching the web.
Our top pick for these money making apps is Swagbucks. It’s completely free to use and is easily one of the highest paying apps out there. Plus the free $10 welcome bonus is a great start.
Your earnings are then paid out in various ways, including with Amazon gift cards. These can then be used to get brand new furniture on Amazon for free.
For example, this bookcase is just under $24 – and with that welcome bonus, you’re almost halfway to buying it. Simply play some games or do some surveys while you’ve got some time to kill and, before you know it, that new free stuff will be yours.
And if you’re looking to get your free furniture from somewhere that isn’t Amazon, you can also convert your Swagbucks earnings into PayPal money or Visa gift cards (which can then be converted into cash themselves).
Craigslist is similar to Facebook Marketplace in that it lets people advertise their furniture for free. The prices are usually pretty good and you’ll even often find people looking to give away their stuff.
Sometimes, you can even see people doing furniture giveaways of almost everything they own, especially if they’re about to move out of their home and can’t take their stuff with them.
All this makes it very easy to find furniture for free near you on Craigslist – although the quality can sometimes be a bit questionable. You’ll also probably have to move everything yourself, although there are usually plenty of advertisements for offers of a “man with a van” service on there.
OfferUp is another online marketplace where users can sell basically whatever they want. They also have a section of their site specifically devoted to things being offered for free, which you can filter by location, making it very simple to find free used furniture near you.
Because OfferUp isn’t quite as well known as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, you may notice some items that have been on there for quite a while. In those cases, there’s no harm in reaching out to the sellers to see how desperate they are to get rid of their stuff. You never know what you’ll be able to get for free, just so they can get rid of it.
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5. Facebook Groups
There are plenty of Facebook groups out there where people sell things to other users, including lots of people looking to give away items for free. You’ll often find offers like this especially when people are about to move houses.
It’s best to look for groups that are specific to your local area to help you find free stuff near you. It can also be a good idea to check for “no waste” or “buy nothing” groups nearby. Members are often those who are committed to sustainability rather than saving money (or clearing out their homes).
But as there’s definitely a positive environmental impact in getting used furniture instead of new, the outcome is just as good!
Freecycle is a site for people looking to reuse goods and reduce waste, meaning you can find all sorts of things on there, including free furniture.
How it works is that you search the Freecycle website for your location and it will show you groups in your area, which are literally all over the world. From there, simply click through to see the free stuff near you that’s available.
Based on what’s there at the time of writing, this could be anything from a waffle iron to baby formula to lamps to all sorts of free furniture, like bookshelves, sofas, armchairs and tables.
Nextdoor describes itself as the “neighborhood hub” in that it’s a site that seeks to bring people together from the same area. This includes things like sharing babysitting tips or advertising local events, but can also include those who are trying to sell items or even giveaway furniture for free near you.
Where to get free furniture near me?
There are plenty of ways for you to get unwanted furniture for free near you if you know where to look. And the options on this list are great places to start, whether you’re looking to furnish one bedroom or an entire house.
8. Salvation Army
The Salvation Army provides free furniture or furniture vouchers for those who are in need, with the specific pieces usually being based on donations from people in the community.
If you believe you may qualify, find out how to get free furniture from the Salvation Army by visiting your nearest office or check their site to find one in your area.
9. Furniture banks
Furniture banks are operated by charities and involve them accepting donations of used, unwanted furniture that’s usually in fairly good condition still. This means that if times are tough for you right now, a furniture bank may be a great place to look.
The exact way to get furniture for free from a furniture bank will depend on your local area and which charities are operating there. To find one near you, check out the Furniture Bank Network.
Getting free furniture by upcycling what you already own is definitely not as hard as it may sound at first. This is especially the case now, with hundreds of DIY tutorials on sites like YouTube and Pinterest showing you how to turn one thing into something else.
For example, wooden pallets can be easily converted into a coffee table, bookshelves can be put on their side to become a TV stand and side tables can have wheels drilled into them to become a drinks cart or a rolling kitchen island.
With a bit of creativity (and some inspiration from those who’ve done it before), you may find your free furniture already being right under your nose.
11. Yard sales
While yard sales usually involve people trying to sell their stuff for a low price, you can often grab a bargain if you go later in the day.
The risk is that all the good things will be gone by then, but if there is anything left, sellers are often at the point where they simply want things gone. That’s when you may be able to swoop in to get some furniture for free – or negotiate them down to a price that’s a steal anyway.
12. Ask the previous tenant or homeowner
If you’re moving in somewhere new, asking the previous tenant or homeowner if there’s anything they don’t want to take with them can be a great way to get some free furniture.
Sometimes taking that massive table or incredibly heavy wardrobe just isn’t worth it to the person moving out. In which case, they may be thrilled to have you take it off their hands to avoid having to move it out.
13. Curbside furniture
Many places often have certain days each year where people can put their furniture at the curb for collection by the city council. However, that also means that this stuff is free to take for anyone who gets there first.
You can find some incredible things by doing this from people who simply want to get rid of some things and can’t be bothered actually selling it. And a good tip is to head to the wealthier areas in your city, as you may be amazed what’s left out for collection there.
You’ll have to get in quite early to take advantage of this, as this isn’t exactly a secret strategy. So check with your local government when the next curbside collection day is in your area, mark it on the calendar – and happy hunting.
14. Ask friends and family
There’s no harm in asking around your network if anyone is looking to get rid of anything. People often have something that they mean to get rid of but simply haven’t gotten around to advertising it or finding someone to take it away.
Meaning that if you’re there, offering to take it off their hands, you could be doing them a favor – with the added bonus of you getting furniture for free! This also helps to remind them to keep an eye out for anyone in their own network who is giving away free stuff, such as on their office noticeboard.
You may also be interested in: 12 Simple Ways To Get Free Shoes Sent To Your Door
15. College campus move out day
Much like curbside collection days, college campus move out days can be a goldmine for picking up some free stuff near you. With college students leaving for the summer (or permanently, if they’re graduating), they often have nowhere to store the stuff they keep in their dorms or don’t have time to sell it and simply want to get rid of it.
You clearly won’t find a three-piece lounge set with this tip. But if you’re looking for some things for your home office, such as book shelves or desks, this can be an easy way to find what you need.
16. Thrift stores
Thrift stores are mainly interested in selling stuff rather than doing free furniture giveaways, but you can sometimes pick up things for free from them. This is sometimes on offer if you buy something else from the store, but some charities also offer thrift store vouchers to help those in need get some free furniture.
Check your local area to see whether this is on offer near you. For example, this program is available for those in Central Florida.
If you’re looking to save money, why not check out: Where Can You Find the Cheapest Way to Live?
17. Dumpster diving
Dumpster diving to get furniture for free is a similar idea to taking advantage of curbside collection days. If someone dumps something that they don’t want, then you may be able to take it for yourself.
You may not get the best free stuff ever by doing this, but checking in wealthier areas or near furniture stores could see the occasional great find. Just make sure you’re aware of dumpster diving laws in your area, as this can be considered theft in some jurisdictions.
Things to keep in mind when getting furniture for free
While getting free furniture is great, there are a few things you should ask yourself for each piece you find.
That way, you’ll not only save yourself spending money in future if things go wrong, but you’re also making sure that you’re keeping your safety in mind.
Is it safe for me to pick up this free stuff?
Don’t let the idea of getting stuff for free blind you from the need to exercise some caution.
This is especially the case if you plan to pick up your free furniture from someone’s house, such as if you’ve found it on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
In those cases, try to only go get what you’re collecting during the day and bring friends or a family member with you. If that’s not possible for some reason, at least let someone know where you’ll be going.
How do I get my furniture home?
Now that you’ve found that amazing new-old piece, you’ve got to think of the next main question: how do you get your furniture home?
Even if you’re looking for free furniture near you, you might not live close enough or be strong enough to carry it home yourself. This means that you could be facing some furniture removal costs, even if the stuff itself is free – unless you have a very generous friend with a car big enough to help.
It’s up to you to figure out if that cost is worth it or not, depending on just how much you need or want the piece. You’ll often find people (i.e. “a man with a van”) on the same sites where you can find this free stuff, but just make sure that the total cost, including the removal fees, makes it worthwhile for you to take the item for free.
In some cases, you’ll find that it may be cheaper in the end to buy from secondhand furniture stores that provide free shipping.
Does this free furniture also come with free “guests”?
You may have found where to get a couch for free, but it’s good to make sure that it’s free in every sense of the word – including free from any surprise “guests”.
By this, we mainly mean bed bugs, but other creepy-crawlies can also come out of the woodwork (literally) depending on what you’re bringing home.
This may not even be a case of the previous owner hiding this from you, as they may not know themselves that bed bugs have taken up residence inside that amazing new free living room furniture you just found.
All this means is that you should be very careful when considering taking some upholstered furniture for free. If you’re in an area where bed bugs are a problem, consider sticking to hard items where they’re less likely (but still possible) to have taken up residence.
Can I live with any quirks this free stuff has?
You’re unlikely to find the perfect item of your dreams when you’re getting furniture for free. There’s a reason it’s being given away, after all.
At the same time, only you can tell whether you’re able to look past any quirks that the pieces may have.
For example, if it’s just got a few minor stains, you may be ok with this – and could even work to get them out yourself.
But if that unwanted piece of used furniture smells like cigarettes which you can’t stand or has a distinct scent of dogs which someone in your house is allergic to, that may be a no go.
Final thoughts on getting free furniture
There are plenty of ways to get furniture for free near you, whether it be online or by searching local places in person. And some of the stuff you’ll stumble across can be seriously incredible.
But even if something isn’t exactly what you had in mind, most items can be done up with a bit of elbow grease. That table someone’s giving away may be more scratched than you’d like, but sanding it down and giving it a coat of paint can often make it look brand new.
Sure, buying new furniture may be easier, but it simply isn’t necessary with the amount of free stuff that’s on offer these days, especially online.
And not only can you save literally thousands of dollars by finding free furniture yourself, but you’ll be doing your part to reduce waste – which is definitely icing on the furnished cake.
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About the author
Anna is the founder of LogicalDollar and a personal finance expert, having been featured on Forbes, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, CreditCards.com and many more. She’s committed to helping others get on the path to financial freedom using the experience gained from turning $60,000 in debt into a six-figure investment portfolio. Find out more.