I have lived in house shares for over 10 years, that’s right you heard correctly – 10 WHOLE YEARS. I have loved sharing a house; they have provided me a community of cherished friends, a high tolerance for dirty dishes and cheap rent across London, Manchester and Sydney. However, the time has finally arrived to grow up and my long-term partner and I are moving in together (a mix of love and… because rental prices have dropped to an affordable rate).
“If you think of a population of two million households in the Greater Sydney Region, this could add up to 48,000 tonnes of used furniture per year disposed at the kerbside…” –Kevin Morgan, Managing Director EC Sustainable on Handkrafted blog
Even more exciting, we can now buy our own furniture that someone hasn’t vomited on. Let’s be real though, I still can’t afford ‘real’ furniture and first-hand furniture (that aren’t tacky white IKEA cubes) are expensive. Furniture is also a mass waste problem, in particular for transient cities in Australia like Sydney and Melbourne. Just walking down the street provides an insight into the disgusting waste that people produce from moving house that ends up sitting in landfill. My street is consistently filled with chucked old mattresses, cupboards and wardrobes (mostly in good condition).
It’s time to fight the system and stop purchasing new, cheaply-made furniture, and opt for secondhand, to save money and the planet.
1. Facebook Marketplace
The greatest thing that Facebook has ever given us, besides memes galore, is Facebook Marketplace. It’s a very easy community selling and buying items, from furniture to clothing. It’s the perfect place to source items near you by category (you can set the radius) and browse cheap and unique items. All you need for this is a Facebook account and hours of time to go through endless lists of dreamy items. Just be careful when meeting people alone off the internet to swap.
The original and best – Gumtree is a free global site for local ads to buy and sell. It is a great place for used furniture and easy to organise pick-up and money. As mentioned before, be careful when meeting random people when buying preloved furniture you’ve found online – ideally go with someone else to pick furniture up.
Another classic site for both new and old goods – eBay. This e-commerce site was founded in 1995 and has not slowed down in popularity. Although not commonly used to buy and sell used furniture, there are still some good items to look out for if you’re persistent.
A second-hand trading store since 1977 including collectibles, old wares and antiques. If you aren’t near Sydney’s inner west to pop into the store, they do sell a lot of beautiful items online at reasonable prices. Buying from a second-hand furniture store is an easy way of purchasing decent items.
5. The Street (YES)
Honestly, one of my favourite things to do is walk around the day before council pick-up and find some absolute winners. I’d advise going to an affluent neighbourhood (for some expensive goods) and bring a car or friend to help move things.
This online marketplace is specifically for high-quality furniture to buy and sell (or swap). Browse the site for top furniture brands, order and they deliver to you (plus, they can also set it up!). This professional service is if you are looking for investment pieces that are second-hand and well curated.
A very easy community marketplace to buy and sell everything from clothes to furniture and books. There’s also an awesome app. I’ve used this site to sell clothes and I can vouch that it’s very easy to use!
8. IKEA take-back (Tempe only)
Ok now IKEA is definitely part of the problem furniture landfill issue, but they are trying to change. This service which has been rolled out in the Tempe store only (for now) allows people to bring back IKEA furniture in good condition in exchange for vouchers. This also means, people can go to the store and purchase these second-hand goods at a heavily discounted cost. They are also hosting DIY skills workshop in-store.
Related Post: How Sustainable Is IKEA, Really?
St Vincent de Paul Society aka Vinnies is a charity dedicated to the issue of homelessness in Australia. The charity has stores all across Australia, with many of them selling high quality furniture. Vinnies also provides a free service to pick up second-hand (high quality) furniture that you don’t want anymore. Go to your nearest store to find some furniture!
Furniture collection:1800 621 349 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Another great charity that supports disadvantaged Australians, The Salvation Army Australia, or Salvos for short. Local stores generally have high quality furniture on offer and also offer a free collection service.
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Feature image via Pexels.