7 grassroots websites to furnish your home for free
There’s nothing we love as much as a great bargain. Better still, when something is absolutely free of charge! With everyone tightening their belt in the recession, the web has added fuel to the trend of reuse and recycling, with many people becoming more creative in the process. This collection of recycling, and free exchange websites should provide bargain hunters with a much more sustainable approach to furnishing their home, as well as helping us all to become greener in the process.
Freecycle groups match people who have things they want to get rid of, with people who can use them, and thus helps to keeps usable items out of landfills. There are multiple groups in towns throughout Northern Ireland, and items listed range from everything from Kitchen tables to old computer gaming consoles.
Freegle started as a spin out project from Freecycle, with the UK users having problems with trading between U.S visitors, and confusion arising from some U.S. town names being similar. The outcome was Freegle, which is UK based. Again, Freegle contains a number of Northern Ireland specific groups that you can peruse at your leisure.
Gumtree should be a well known destination for many a homeowner, with service such as home removals and decorators available at your fingertips. However, buried under the commercial offerings are some corners of Gumtree that offer free stuff, that the creative amongst you will be able to put to great use. Both the Freebies listing available in Belfast ( and other towns across N.I. ) and the Swap Shop offer free goodies and barter exchanges for items people no longer want. Well worth a browse to see what you can salvage for next to nothing.
VSkips allows you to create your own virtual skip, and upload the things you don’t want into it. Others can browse the items you no longer want, and offer to take them off your hands. VSkips is part of the Vyouz Network a green initiative design to encourage recycling by leveraging a number of platforms and social networks.
Preloved offers a variety of free listing adverts with the ability to specify if the item you want shifting is free, for sale or available for exchange. There are a number of items available in Northern Ireland for various sellers and Preloved users. There is also an active community of frugal home owners listing there goods. For a £5 yearly membership, you can be first to be notified about any goods listed on the site close to your area.
FreeTradeIreland is a web service designed to facilitate and encourage the reuse of household and business items. Although operating primarily in the South, it may still be relevant for those looking to pick something up around the border counties.
Established in 1989 The Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) is the national co-ordinating body for 400 furniture and appliance re-use and recycling organisations in the UK that collect a wide range of household items to pass onto people in need. This direct link to the Northern Ireland section provides other relevant member and non charity links that offer recycling services.
Other Useful Links
Good guide on Recycling and what can and can’t be recycled.
NI Direct guide to waste and Recycling projects.
Learn how to donate unwanted electrical goods to the British Heart Foundation.
Find a Charity shop near you.