Do you need to de-clutter your house but hate to throw out things that others might be able to use? Are you looking to furnish a new house with cheap (read: free) stuff that others don't want anymore?
A staging client turned me onto freecycle.org -- a recycling website with the goal of avoiding adding to landfills and finding free and useful stuff that can save you lots of $$. I'm helping my local RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) chapter furnish rooms in a new Covenant House for homeless youths being built in Montclair, NJ. I started hitting up friends and family, without much luck, for small furniture for the tiny rooms in this house. Then I went to a few garage sales and got some pretty nice stuff for $20 to $30. But that starts to add up. Then I signed up for freecycle.org and found a great resource for furnishing and decorating -- especially if you're willing to put in a little elbow grease.
Here are a few photos of items I've gotten -- yes, almost all need some sort of refinishing, painting, etc. But I'm willing (I think) to put in some sweat equity to save the $$, plus as a stager, I like trying to be creative with refurbishing things. (I may be eating my words in another month, but for now, it seems almost . . . FUN.)
It only takes a few minutes to sign up for freecycle.org, and then you can select either getting dozens of separate daily emails or a digest form sent 3 times a day . . . I opted for the latter to save email space. About once a day or every other day I found something useful I was looking for: furniture, lamps, mirrors, art, and curtains. There's also clothing, children's toys, small appliances, TVs, bricks, hedge trimmers, just about anything. One warning: it can be addictive!
A few of the items I've picked up in the last few weeks: