How I set up my new home Buying Nothing

This is a really quick post on how I set up my new apartment almost for free! This was my first time ever participating in the circular economy and buying secondhand. Until 2020, I had barely any idea how easy it was to get clean, matching, tasteful furniture that's been purchased by someone else.

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I hope you find some valuable resources below for your next move. Buying secondhand has brought me so much joy โ€” it's helped me feel spontaneous because I don't have an exact furniture plan, it's saved me tons of money, and it's brought me closer to my neighbors while fighting climate change.

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My house has been coming together really well and it's as if the furniture gets to decide the look and feel of the place. Finding ways to be sustainable is giving me joy during the pandemic!

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"The info is always timely, actionable, and never stale." - Aishwarya Borkar, Change.org
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"Making social change always felt so overwhelming until I started reading this newsletter."ย - Meghan Mehta, Google

Here are the main ways I furnished my 1x1 house. We have a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and living room that we've sectioned into half-living half-dining with a desk in the corner.

  1. The Buy Nothing Project. Okay, so I didn't exactly buy nothing in my move as I implied in the title of my post, but I did go through the Buy Nothing Project for most of my stuff. It's an entirely gift-based economy!

    Buy Nothing has been amazing for so many reasons. First of all, you join a neighborhood-specific group, which means you can basically walk to most places to get stuff. I dragged 5 IKEA chairs from two neighbors' houses โ€” coincidentally, they formed a matching set and it was totally unplanned!

    Second of all, it's free. I don't need to explain that too much, but it's made me feel more generous with my possessions. Buy Nothing has been a far more positive experience than Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc. because you give and receive with no strings attached. It's ย amazing.

    Third of all, it's the only place I know where you can give/receive stuff that wouldn't be acceptable in something like Goodwill. Opened spice bottle only used once? Check. Sewing supplies that are out of the box? Check.

    What I got from Buy Nothing so far:
    Buy Nothing honestly changed my life. I'm not exaggerating. I got a queen bed, two nightstands, a bookshelf, the cutest corner desk in the world, a monitor, coffee table, five matching chairs, nails, puzzle mat tiles, herb scissors, a toaster, and a yoga mat within a month. I've given a ton of stuff too.
Bed and nightstands from Buy Nothing

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  1. Facebook Marketplace. If you've spent any time on Facebook, you've probably had the Marketplace feature increasingly intrude onto your feed and navigation buttons. That used to be a pain in my butt, but now I go on Marketplace all the time to pick up local items. It's really convenient โ€” it's not as great as Buy Nothing because it's often draining to negotiate a price and have people flake on you, but we got some amazing dishware and rugs through it!

    What I got from Marketplace so far:
    two awesome rugs for $40, an entire dishware set (bowls, mugs, plates, small plates) + Pyrex measuring cups + a spatula for $5, other random kitchen stuff like an electric beater and dish towels for $7, a HUGE dining table for $20, and an entertainment center for $20
Dining table from FB marketplace. It expands into a giant circle!

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  1. OfferUp. OfferUp is the same concept as FB Marketplace but it's its own app. They have more verification in place and I found it to be less flakey than Facebook.

    What I got from OfferUp so far:
    Our beautiful sectional couch + delivery for $175 and a TV.
Couch from OfferUp. The rug is from Marketplace.

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  1. Craigslist. This one's pretty obvious and you might know all about it, but we got some stuff like a used-once Instant Pot from Craigslist. They have an entire free section too, if that's your thing. Craigslist is the last place I look because it's much harder to navigate and the free stuff on there often looks like garbage, but it's worth a shot.

    What I got from Craigslist so far:
    an Instant Pot and a mesh strainer for $30

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If you're looking to be trendy and sustainable on a budget, hope this helped!ย I'll update as Iย get more stuff/find more resources.

Fight climate change in a way that works for you.

๐Ÿ’Œ Thinking about sustainability can be overwhelming after a busy workday, so we're here to help. Join over 4,000 other busy people and subscribe to Changeletter, a bite-sized action plan that'll take you 3 minutes or less to read every week.
Take action
Headshot of Ash Borkar (a woman with glasses and a cardigan)
"The info is always timely, actionable, and never stale." - Aishwarya Borkar, Change.org
Headshot of Meghan Mehta speaking at Google with a microphone in her hand
"Making social change always felt so overwhelming until I started reading this newsletter."ย - Meghan Mehta, Google