16 Places to Get Free Furniture That Is Actually Nice
Furniture shopping makes for fun daydreaming material. You could sit there for hours imagining how beautiful your home could look if you had a limitless furniture budget.
But then reality sets in once you browse for furniture online or in a furniture store. Those price tags don’t exactly have small numbers on them, even for average, non-designer pieces.
So if you’re on any sort of budget, buying your dream furniture might be out of the question. Your best bet will be to seek out free furniture.
But wait, people just give away furniture for free? It’s so expensive!
Yes, there are actually a ton of places to get free furniture. It’ll take some work and potentially a few bucks on your part, as you’ll have to transport the furniture yourself in exchange for the convenience of getting it for free.
Is Free Furniture Bad?
When looking for free furniture, many fear they’ll get broken dressers, dirty tables, and couches with structural components sticking out in a dangerous fashion, to name a few problematic pieces of furniture.
You will come across these in your search, but you’ll be surprised at how many quality (if not fancy), good-condition pieces of furniture are being given away by people who are simply too lazy to move or sell the piece themselves.
Which is where you can swoop in.
Spend a little time looking around these places to get free furniture, weed out the damaged/broken/excessively dirty pieces, and you’ll find some hidden gold.
Places to Get Free Furniture
Free furniture is all around you in both your local area and online. Here are the best 16 places to get free furniture.
1.) Family/Friends/Friends of Friends
When you’re looking for free stuff, your family and friends are the first groups of people that should spring to mind. They are, after all, a large network of individuals you can trust and depend on.
Start with family. Ask your family members and relatives if they have any furniture they don’t need/use and would like to give away. Once you’ve exhausted that route, ask your friends.
To expand your options further, have your friends ask their friends if they have any furniture they don’t want and offer to take it off their hands. It shouldn’t be hard to find a few good pieces this way.
Unable to convince anyone to give you free furniture? Consider asking them if you could borrow it instead. If you just need to save enough cash to buy your own furniture, this is a good temporary fix; you get furniture, and your family/friends/friends of friends will eventually get their furniture back. Everyone wins.
After checking with family, friends, and friends of friends, the next logical place to look for free furniture would be your neighbors. If you live in a large neighborhood, you have a wide market of potential furniture to tap into.
Go around to your neighbors and see what kind of furniture they don’t want. Many of them probably have something they’d be happy to hand over to you.
What’s great about getting free furniture from your neighbors is distance. You don’t have to travel all that far to get back to your own house. Smaller pieces of furniture may be able to fit right into your car (or maybe even be carried home), while you could borrow a friend’s pickup truck to move larger pieces.
You can also check out Nextdoor which is a social networking site for neighborhoods. If your “hood” has one, this may be a great place to start!
Craigslist is perhaps the most well-known site for acquiring free stuff. After checking with your family and those that live around you, this should be your first online stop when looking for free furniture.
Searching explicitly for free furniture on the site is the most obvious course of action. You can look in your local area, or if you’re able to somehow travel further, extend your search into neighboring city’s Craigslist listings.
Another method would be to look for “OBO” (“Or Best Offer”) listings and ask if they’d be willing to give the furniture away for free. The worst that can happen is a “no”; the best that can happen is they decide selling it isn’t worth the trouble if they can give it away to you.
Take safety precautions when using Craigslist. Meet during the day in as public a place as possible. Never go into a stranger’s house, nor should you let them into yours. Bring a friend, and keep your cell phone on you.
4.) Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is basically Craigslist but on Facebook. The advantage it has over Craigslist is that you can see pictures and profile. This makes it easier to inspect items visually before going to get them; it also helps you with safety because the person has to have a real Facebook profile to use the Marketplace.
To find free furniture, run a search for “free furniture” while in the Facebook Marketplace. You’ll then be presented with several listings near you. Feel free to adjust and filter the results as needed to find the listings you want.
5.) Facebook Groups
Facebook’s got another weapon in its free furniture hunting arsenal: groups. Cities of all shapes and sizes have several buy/sell/exchange/swap Facebook groups where members buy/sell/exchange/swap items relevant to the group.
Hop on Facebook and type in “*your city*” + “furniture swap” and you should get a few results. Join the group, make sure to follow the rules, and have fun exchanging.
Oh, and sometimes, Facebook Marketplace listings end up in these groups. Cover all your bases by joining groups and browsing the Facebook Marketplace; you’ll never miss free Facebook furniture again.
6.) Set Up a Registry
Registries are held most commonly for baby showers and weddings. But who’s to say you can hold a registry for moving into a new house? After all, just filling a new house with furniture and decorations is expensive on its own.
Some stores let you create housewarming registries in case you’re moving to a new home. Throw yourself a housewarming party, set up a registry at one of these stores, and invite friends and family to celebrate your new place.
Fun times and free furniture; it doesn’t get much better than that.
7.) “Buy Nothing” Groups
Ever heard of the “Buy Nothing” movement? It’s a movement focused on hyper-local exchange of goods through giving, rather than spending money or trading items. The purpose is to encourage giving where you live and helping your local community.
As part of a Buy Nothing group, you simply ask for something such as furniture when you need or want it, and someone gives that item to you if they have it and are willing to part with it. You don’t have to trade something directly to them, as it’s strictly a gift economy, but participation in this group implies that you’ll fulfill other members’ wants and needs if you’re able to do so.
Buy Nothing operates primarily through a network of Facebook Groups. Your city or local area should have a Buy Nothing Facebook group that you can find with a quick Facebook search. If there isn’t, you may be able to form one yourself.
You can check out the Buy Nothing Project to learn more about Buy Nothing groups.
8.) The Side of the Road
You’re driving along one day, when you see a table or chair sitting at the end of someone’s driveway, perhaps next to their garbage can. It’d be such a shame to let good furniture go to waste…
Good thing you can take this furniture for yourself. If someone leaves their furniture outside by the side of the road, exposed to the elements, that implies that they don’t want it. Same with if it’s sitting next to a trash can.
Some people will even leave signs informing passers-by that the furniture is for anyone’s taking. In that case, you know what to do (as long as you have a method of transportation for the furniture).
But if there’s no sign, you can always ring the doorbell, give a friendly “hi”, and ask if the furniture at the end of the driveway is up for grabs.
Do your due diligence when picking up furniture off the side of the road. Stick to furniture that’s outside a house, not in an alley or a dumpster. In fact, avoid side-of-the-road upholstered furniture completely. Upholstery can hide unpleasant surprises like pests.
If you’re going to grab free furniture off the side of the road, grab something like a wooden chair instead of a leather couch.
9.) Furniture Banks
Just like food banks are a place for those in need to get food to eat, furniture banks provide free furniture to those who need it by accepting furniture donations from those who no longer need it.
Most of the time, you’ll be able to find a furniture bank near you by running a quick internet search. However, finding a good furniture bank with the pieces you need takes time and a lot of searching.
The organization FurnitureBanks.org, an organization dedicating to helping those in need of furniture acquire it for free, maintains a database of furniture banks registered with the association all over the United States. You can browse their map to see a registered furniture bank near you.
10.) Online Forums
Kind of like how there’s a subreddit for everything (see #11), there’s also an online forum for everything. Whether you’re a regular user of a particular forum or just poking around for the first time, see if there’s a buy/sell/swap section on the forum.
If there isn’t, find what you think is the most appropriate place to state your request for free furniture and wait for other forum members to reply.
There are various subreddits dedicated to gifting and exchanging items. For example, you’ve got r/Barter, a subreddit whose main purpose is to facilitate exchanges of goods between people. Some selling goes on there, but it’s mostly trading/bartering.
Another good subreddit is r/ecycle. On this subreddit, members can give away any items for free or an extremely low price (like $10 for a $500 mattress). Members can also post requests for certain items, leaving it up to other members to fulfill these requests.
One last good subreddit is RedditBay. It’s like a subreddit version of eBay, hence the name. Redditors can buy, sell, swap, or exchange items on this subreddit. If you’ve got something of value that isn’t furniture, try to trade it for something that IS furniture.
12.) Spring Cleanup Events
Every spring, people get right to their spring cleaning to declutter their house for the rest of the year ahead. Some communities take this a step further by hosting “Spring Cleanup” events where people can bring unwanted items to a central location, such as a public park.
As you might guess, larger items like furniture end up at these quite often because it’s such an easy way to dispose of it.
If you’re lucky, these cleanup events should be free furniture heaven. You’ll have a large selection of items to choose from – and while you’re at it, you can declutter your own house and bring some items down to the spring cleanup.
13.) Garage Sales (At the End of the Day)
Although money is a big motivator to host a garage sale, most do it just to clear out their house. The money’s a nice bonus.
At the beginning and middle of the day, people hosting a garage sale will be trying to sell as many items as possible. However, if there are items left unsold, the garage sellers might become more flexible on pricing.
Since furniture is more expensive and harder to move than most other items, furniture may be among the items that haven’t sold.
If the furniture is smaller and isn’t unique, there’s a good chance you can negotiate to get the furniture for free.
Alternatively, you can negotiate a BOGO deal. Maybe you see a chair you really want. Offer to to buy another small piece of furniture if you can have the chair in question for free.
14.) College Campuses
At the end of the academic year, college students move out of their dorms en masse to return home or travel to an internship; between studying for finals, saying goodbye/see you later to friends, strict move-out deadlines, and the actual moving process, few students have the time to properly dispose of their furniture by selling it.
Much of this furniture ends up in or next to a dumpster. If you’re willing to get a little dirty (and you aren’t breaking any rules), this furniture is all yours to take.
15.) People That Are Moving
Like the aforementioned college students who no longer need their furniture, almost anyone that’s moving will be throwing out a piece of furniture or two, especially if they’re downsizing. Selling it can be a pain, and so they decide giving it away is the easiest option.
Check with everyone that might be moving: family, friends, neighbors, Facebook acquaintances, and coworkers. Taking their furniture off their hands makes their move easier and saves you money on furnishing your home.
16.) Earn Free Money/Gift Cards
You can earn free money or gift cards to buy many types of items, including furniture, using survey sites and cashback rewards apps. On survey sites, you complete surveys and other tasks to earn points that can later be redeemed for gift cards. Swagbucks is a good example of this.
Cashback rewards apps pay you cashback for making qualified purchases through their site or app. Rakuten is one of the most well-known; they pay you a percentage of your purchase in cashback if you buy by clicking through a link of their site.
This is a long and slow method to get free furniture. You simply won’t be able to rack up enough points or cash to get a brand new couch every year.
However, the daily effort you have to put in is minimal; after many years of putting in a few minutes of “work” per day, you might’ve earned yourself enough to snag a free chair that isn’t even used.