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May 25, 2016

Found Furniture, and Other Free Stuff

This could be me on an early morning scavenging walk.
When I was in college, I coined the phrase "Free equals baller." If you're scientifically minded, the formula looks something like this:  $0 = :)
If you're still confused, I was basically saying if you don't have to pay for it, anything is a good value.
In this post I will discuss where to get free stuff and list some of the things we've gotten for free.

Friends and Family
Your friends and family are the best source of free things, and the stigma of used stuff is significantly reduced because you know where it's been. If your friends or family are moving, redecorating, or remodeling, keep an eye out for anything they are getting rid of that you might be able to use. By taking it away, you might just be doing them a favor.
Here's a list of some of the big hand-me-downs we have been given:
  • Clothes dryer
  • China cabinet
  • Day bed
  • Crib
  • Craft table
  • Three desks
  • Two dressers
  • Rocking chair
  • La-Z-Boy recliner
  • Two desk chairs
  • Coffee maker
Our baby's nursery, featuring a free rocking chair, crib, and shelves alongside a Craigslist changing table. Photo by Vu Banh.
Takin' it to the Streets
Another slightly less classy source for free things is in alleys or on curbs. You have to use some serious discretion, but we have actually found some pretty good stuff on the streets. The list includes:
  • Bunk bed
  • Plastic Adirondack chairs
  • Console table
  • Two coffee tables
  • Shoe rack
The best way to find free stuff on the streets is to go for walks the night before trash day, when everyone has put out their garbage for collection the next day. It sounds a little trashy (literally), and it may be, but it's amazing what some people will throw away.
Another good place and time to look for free stuff is in alleys behind apartments, preferably in nicer neighborhoods like Santa Monica, at the end of the month. This is when people are moving out and will likely be downsizing in a hurry.

If you couldn't tell after this and the last post, just about everything in our house was purchased used, given to us, or found, and we've never had any major issues.

A Word of Caution
There's one place I would be very careful searching for free stuff, and it's actually the first place many people look, the Free section of Craigslist. You can definitely find useful stuff there, but it is a vicious place where some shady characters lurk.
To give you an idea of what you will be dealing with, I once posted some gross couches that were soaked with cat urine for free on Craigslist, with a very honest description. Within half on hour of posting, I received about a dozen responses from people who couldn't wait to haul off the piss furniture. I don't know who all those people were, and I don't think I want to know what they did with the couches.

Have you ever found any good stuff on the curb? Let me know in the comments.

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1 comment:

  1. Haha that is funny on the urine couch going so quickly. I once got rid of a nasty old toilet for free on craigslist. It was gone in like 30 minutes from posting it. Crazy!

    Good tips on the free stuff!