Congratulations on moving into your first nicely renovated home. With a heavy price tag on the essential renovation works, it is challenging to set aside any additional budget for furniture costs too.
Luckily for my family, we got some of the loose pre-loved furnishings we currently own at almost zero dollar cost. Cost savings aside, opting for secondhand goods reflects your contribution to a sustainable and circular economy by reducing waste!
7 Ways to find free furniture in Singapore
Here are 7 tips based on my personal experience in acquiring free furniture in Singapore.
Buying a resale home
After going for over 50 house viewings, we landed on “the one”. The homeowners that we purchased our resale house from compiled a PDF document with a list of furniture that they would like to leave behind for us.
We gladly acquired a couple of furniture items including a study desk, shoe rack, bookshelf, movable storage consoles, storage drawers, and even a children’s wardrobe!
What’s great is that the style of the furniture is modern and mostly from IKEA, so it was easy for us to incorporate it into our home too.
Check your void deck for discarded items
With an almost empty unit, we were open to almost anything that we were still in need of.
One day, we walked by our void deck and chanced upon an unwanted coffee table that looked almost brand new. Needless to say, we grabbed the coffee table back home.
Upon closer inspection, the coffee table has some peeling edges on the borders, but they are not visible from a distance. It is a black oval coffee table with geometrical metal legs that is in the modern industrial style.
Search for “moving out sale” on consumer marketplace apps
My partner had this brilliant idea of collecting items from Carousellers that are relocating or in the middle of moving house.
We ran with this idea for the first few months and got quite lucky with our “moving out sale” haul. The things that we managed to collect ranged from a standing lamp with fitted bulbs, over 10 pieces of wooden clothes hangers, vases of various sizes, baby chairs, and even a live plant that lives next to our shoe rack.
Pro tip: Filter location and prioritise on listings within close proximity to save on transport costs.
Barter trade with your items on consumer marketplace platforms
It is common to see sales or giveaway posts of baby-related items on mummies community groups.
For this fellow mommy in particular, she added in the description that she was looking for a range of items to trade with, in exchange for the group of items that she hoped to contribute to the community.
Coincidentally, I had the storage bags that she needed and I was also looking to get rid of them. Negotiation is key in barter trades, do remember to justify to the other party based on the value of your item too.
Purchase homeware items to get promotional gifts
Like getting free luggage upon signing up for a credit card, you can also look out for free homeware items that big brand stores will likely giveaway.
We were given a knife rack as an accompanying gift with our kitchen sink, and we also got free cushions after purchasing our sofa too. Look out for such promotional messaging and big sale days to stand a chance at snapping up these good deals.
Scroll through listings on related P2P platforms
My friends shared about how they managed to get their bed frame, lounge chair, dining set, and floor lamp for free on P2P (peer-to-peer) platforms like Facebook Groups, Telegram channel, and Carousell.
However, the thing about preloved furniture is that they often come with some form of imperfection, and require general disinfecting as well as minor repair work. For wooden furniture, you might want to sand it down and give it a new coat of stain, or you can change the look with a fresh coat of paint too.
Larger furniture will need professional movers or truck delivery. Be sure to seize anything that catches your eye fast!
Give your family and friends a heads up
One thing I learned after becoming a homeowner is the fact that I always have something in my home that I am looking to let go of. It will be great if I get to pass on the homeware items to another homeowner that will get better use out of them them.
Just like how I have received a couple of homeware products from housewarming, I have also been gifted some legacy decor items like a vintage rotary dial desktop phone that is a great conversation starter among our guests.