The Look for Less: Freebies

One of the most thrilling moments in life is when someone compliments something in your home and you can say, “I got it for free.”
Some people are burdened by freebies. But, that’s because they haven’t realized that freebies are the ultimate canvas for your creativity. Go nuts on them. Paint them, cut them, deck them out in whatever way you want, because, well, they were FREE.
If your freebie doesn’t work out you can get rid of it guilt-free. If you hate it, put it for sale on Craigslist, set it out on the curb (someone will take it) or slip it into your neighbor’s garage sale.
Here is a list of the best places to score some freebies.

  • Craigslist: This web site is our salvation. Troll their furniture listings during your lunch break and even if there is a price listed, email the seller and ask if they are willing to swap. Often, people are desperate to get rid of junk they’ll be willing to trade. Craigslist also has free listings too.

  • Grandma: Sure, you roll your eyes at her doll collection and you cower in fear when she says she wants you to help her clean her basement, but shape up. Your grandma needs your help and think of how sweet that orange wingback chair would look recovered.  Grandma’s house is full of treasures and memories, and if they can be repurposed and enjoyed for another generation, that will make grandma happy too.

  • Word-of-mouth: Tell people how much you love to fix old junk up. Lie if you have to. We get invited to the houses of the women from church when they need help picking wall color and they are always offering us their junky chairs and old desks. Don’t hesitate. Take them with a smile. Once word gets out, they’ll be lining up to get rid of their end tables and rugs.

  • The newspaper: I know, the newspaper is an antiquated medium, but old people still use it, right? And they are just dying to get rid of stuff, for (you guessed it) free. I know people who have found free farm windows, tables, and a desk all because it was in the paper.

  • Garbage day: Does your neighborhood have a trash pick up day? Troll around the neighborhood in the evening when the neighbors are pulling their junk to the curb, then dig. Sure, it might be humiliating, but once that footstool is repainted and sitting saucily in your living room, who’ll be laughing then? Or just cruise the alley the night before trash pick up, people put out the craziest things. Someone scored a free porcelain sink (from our remodeled kitchen) off of us when we set it out on trash night. We set it out, and then when we came out half an hour later with the actual trash it was gone. Those lucky suckers.

  • Picture thanks to Discard LA