Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Furnishing Your Apartment for FREE: For Students, Cheapskates, and YOU!

Framed art from books, local artists, or childhood. Couch FREE from Craigslist this weekend!

With highly rare exceptions every single thing furnishing this apartment was thrifted, scoured from Craigslist, bought from local artists or free! Over a lifetime of being a cheapass I've learned ways to furnish any pad on low or no budget. I hope this inspires anyone trying to make their pad rad, $0.00 can get you one swanky casa.

1. Ask Before You Buy: You'd be surprised what friends and family are trying to get rid of. Don't feel intrusive, a lot of times you're helping them clear out their garage or attics.

2. Craigslist Free Section: When I needed more guest seating  I found a free solution on Craigslist that'll work until I find my dream couch. Ha, and I actually considered spending $200 or more for the crappy retail solution! For shame!

I'd been wanting invisible shelves for months and found three of them for FREE at a yard sale!

3. Curbsides and Dumpsters: For the shameless, dumpsters can curbsides yield excellent scores. Drive around nice/historic neighborhoods and apartment complexes and college dorms where people move in and out often.

4. Get Creative, Make & Display: For impact, display your collections instead of keeping them in boxes. Make custom art and furniture pieces. When I have gaps in the walls that need filling I paint or craft a beautiful piece for impact. (See quick robot art or framing magazine pages)

5. Krrb, Freecycle, Etc: There are plenty of websites like Freecycle where you can get housewares, bikes, and more for cheap or free! What are websites you use to score the free goodness? Do share in the comments!

I hope this inspires you to get creative with decor and save your pennies for better things. There's too much second-hand abundance to consider the retail options and with patience and creativity you can yield a space better than you'd imagined. In fact, I prefer how a second-hand furnished home forces you to think outside the box and will always look completely unique!

Where do you scour the web for free goodies? Any tips to share on furnishing for free or cheap? Also, how do you feel about using church charities and related efforts to furnish a home? I think we should leave those for those truly in dire need.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

22 comments:

  1. Ask family!
    When my husband and I first got married,much of our furniture came from family.Between our parents, their friends, and elderly relatives that were downsizing,we furnished our little apartment for free.

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    1. Absolutely! My bed and many a bookshelf were acquired from my parents and my brothers still furnish their homes with my parent's cast-offs.

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  2. Check apartment/condo dumpsters right around the first of the month (a few days before up to a few days after). When people are evicted, the apartment management often tosses the stuf they leave behind. Also, people who are moving out often toss perfectly good things (when they won't fit on the truck, etc.). I have gotten lots of great stuff this way, from sofas to dishes. And I usually don't even have to dumpster dive, as these items are often just set beside the dumpsters!

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    Replies
    1. Agreed, people almost always dump the goods right next to the dumpster so you don't even have to get dirty. Nice touch. LOVE the tip to hunt around the first of the month.

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  3. It always surprises me how reluctant people are to ask for/look for free finds and giveaways... Like some kind of weird social taboo holding them back. I guess I have no shame!

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    Replies
    1. It literally pays to be shameless, my friend. I've had buddies who thought thrifts, dumpsters, and curbsides were gross 'til they see my cool pad. Some people haven't trained their eye to see the possibilities in free junk. Takes some fine tuning for the uninitiated.

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  4. If something is offered to us we nearly always say yes and find a way of making use of it. If we can't that's fine we have a van and will offer on to someone else or donate it. I accept nearly all offers of furnishings, clothing, toys etc. Saves loads of money. My daughters bedroom was furnished on $17. That's complete with bed, chest of drawers, storage unit/bookshelf etc.

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    1. I get lots of free-thing offers too, pays to have that reputation as the junk collector somethings ;D I just donate the extras I can't fit in or sell, too. Wish I had a van, too! My poor compact car is all scraped-up from squeezing things into it.

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  5. Smaller towns often have one or two days a year where their garbage collectors will take anything. If you have a wealthy town or suburb near you, find out what day of the year this is for them, and you can score nice stuff! My friend always waited for these days in our home town and generally found lots of things she needed and wanted!

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    1. Gotta check that out! Thanks for the tip :D

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  6. OMG I just found your blog and I am in LOVE! I think I have a bloggy crush on you! I've been posting about thrifting for a while now but your scores are so inspiring, I want to go to Goodwill tonight!

    I love the vintage chart of sea creatures(?) so awesome!

    I followed you on FB, blogloving, twitter and GFC! Can't wait to see what you'll post next!

    www.domesticblisssquared.com

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    1. Aw! Thank ya for the kind words! The chart features the anatomy of the glorious cuttlefish, one of the sea's most beautiful creatures. I adore cephalopods.

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  7. I just LOVE your apartment! You have a great knack for decorating!
    Wish I had some good tips for scoring free stuff, but around here it just doesn't happen much. We've gotten some great things from family and friends who were giving them away, especially when they're clearing out the home of a loved one who passed. But that's *very* rare. It's a good way to get genuine antiques for free, though.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! It changes all the time. I love me some freebies :D

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  8. Super inspiring& super cute!!! I too just found your blog and I am beyond inspired. One other place I get free stuff is reuse stores, SCRAP in San Francisco has a large free section right before you go in, win

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    1. Thank you! Glad it's inspiring!

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  12. It generally surprises me how unwilling consumers are to help inquire for/look without cost finds along with giveaways... Just like some type of unusual sociable taboo having all of them rear. Perhaps We have no shame!
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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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