12 Months of Thrifting: How to thrift furniture

We’re back with a new season and we’re kicking it off with a 12 Months of Thrifting segment on furniture and DIY with home decor and thrift blogger Elizabeth from the IG @serendipitouslizzie. From browsing Facebook Marketplace like a pro to cleaning your finds, Elizabeth shares her tips for thrifting the best furniture.

This episode is sponsored by Goodwill Akron. Save 25% your order on National Thrift Shop Day 8/17. Visit goodwillakron.org for a store near you. You can listen to this post of Allow us to Rethriftroduce Ourselves on a podcast app, with the audio player, or scroll down and read highlights below.

How to thrift furniture

If the thrift store is the last place you think of checking when you need furniture, think again! From matching sets to one-of-a-kind pieces, not only is buying secondhand furniture extremely sustainable and good for the environment, it’s also a way to add quality pieces that bring character into your home without breaking the bank. 

Some of my best furniture came from Goodwill. My most recent favorite is an emerald green velvet ottoman that fits perfectly in my living room. 

Five Furniture trends to look for at Goodwill this year: 

  • Mid-Century Modern
  • Velvet 
  • Natural materials, like wood or stone
  • Wicker
  • Bold patterns or pops of color

Whether you’re on the hunt for something specific or just casually browsing for your next treasure, these are my go-to tips for thrifting the best furniture at Goodwill: 

  1. Go often. Much like wall art, furniture is a popular department and items move in and out of the store very quickly. I highly recommend going often (about once a week or so) if you’re on the hunt for the perfect piece. Also, upon arriving at the store, always check the furniture department first before browsing other departments. 
  1. Visit several stores: Some smaller stores might not have as much floor space to display  large pieces of furniture, so I like to visit several Goodwill locations in order to find what I’m looking for. 

  1. Be prepared. Assess and measure the space in your home where you plan on placing the furniture before you head to Goodwill. This will take all the guesswork out when you’re shopping. It’s always helpful to have measuring tape with you when you’re shopping for furniture.


  2. Get inspired. Start a Pinterest board or save your favorite interior design images on Instagram before and during your hunt for furniture. This will help you see the styling potential in some pieces, especially vintage and bold furniture.

  3. Look for items with good “bones”: the quality in vintage and antique furniture outshines the quality of most new pieces.

  4. Repurpose and upcycle. Many items, especially vintage and antique pieces, can be given a new life with a little refinishing, a fresh coat of paint, reupholstering,  or new hardware. Beyond cosmetic updates, there are hundreds of creative furniture upcycling ideas online that will inspire your next treasure hunt.

  5. Thrift accent pieces. Look for things like accent chairs, end tables, and ottomans to complete your room. These items are usually readily available at places like Goodwill and they’re fairly easy to thrift and style. 

Allow us to Rethriftroduce Ourselves is a podcast about secondhand shopping hosted by two treasure-hunting friends, Dina & Shannon. Subscribe today. Follow on Instagram @dinasdays and @fatdontcrack. For more about the podcast visit dinasdays.com/podcast.