Furnishing Your Place for Cheap

Even minimalists need a few things–so where should you go for furnishings? If you move to town with basically nothing, where can you buy the essentials–besides the big-box stores? Search for these options on a Nashville Google map to find what’s close to you. NOTE: I did not include Yahoo classifieds or Craigslist–I figured you already knew about those. (Photo above: Flickr/SimonDoggett)

Thrift Stores

You’ll find the heaviest concentrations of stores on Gallatin Road, Nolensville Road and Charlotte Avenue including many of these:

Goodwill has 35 locations around Middle Tennessee, some far larger than others. Daily discounts on items and the first Saturday of the month pretty much everything is half-price. Expect crowds during those sale days.

Southern Thrift operates three locations around town. It’s clothes-heavy (including used underwear–why??) but also sell housewares, furniture, furnishings, books and a curious collection of off-beat items. Rogaine for Men, anyone? Well-organized, 50% off items marked with the Color of the Day.

Music City Thrift has two locations, Madison and Nolensville Road, near the zoo. Pretty much a ditto of Southern Thrift.

Shopper line up for the arrival of new bins at Goodwill Outlet Store.

Goodwill Outlet Store in Berry Hill, near Melrose. Here you buy stuff by the pound. Yes, I said “pound.” Merchandise that doesn’t sell in their regular retail stores ends up here. Lots of mangled or stained but you’ll also find usable items like clothes, pots and pans, vacuum cleaners, Christmas decor–and that’s just for starters. Stuff is piled on dozens of long, rolling tables (see photo). When they roll out new tables, a hush falls over the place. The rule is that you cannot touch a new table until the store employee says, “Go!” Then watch people descend on the wares like locusts. Located at 780 Berry Road Nashville, TN 37204.

Our Thrift Store. In Franklin but it will be relocating to a new address.  Merchandise seems a bit more upscale than others.

Thrift Smart. Nolensville Road. Very much like Southern Thrift or Goodwill but benefiting a different set of charities.

This’n’That Thrift Shop. Located in The Nations, the little store has a little bit of everything–furniture, linens, books, china.

Salvation Army Family Store. Located at 1202 Gallatin Pk. S. in Madison. They also maintain a Facebook page with occasional updates. Visit Music City Thrift while you’re in the neighborhood.

Unique Thrift Store at 4802 Charlotte Avenue across from the Richland Park library. Same mix of clothing, furniture, furnishings, bric-a-brac and toys you’ll find at other thrift stores. No website.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore created a superstore on Nolensville Road in a former K-Mart. (Yes, it’s that big.) In addition to housewares and decor, HfH is THE place to go for paint, hardware, cabinets, appliances, light fixtures and other things you might want from Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Ladies of Charity Thrift Store is only open at select times. This store seems to be noticeably more upscale that your standard thrift store and is heavy into clothing. Be ready to pounce the next time they open their doors.

Garage, yard and estate sales

In addition to signs in the neighborhood, you can find many sales by visiting the Nashville map at http://garagesalefinder.com and similarly http://www.estatesales.netAnother option is www.craigslist/nashville/garagesales.

Most postings provide an overview of what’s for sale and some post photos as well. TIP: If you don’t mind a limited selection, arrive at a sale 30 minutes before it ends; often items will be drastically reduced because people are desperate for their stuff to go away and never return. If you arrive early, you may be asked to stand clear until the sale officially begins; it’s not unusual for the true sale addicts to arrive at 6:30 for a 7:00 am opening.

Online auctions

eBid is essentially an online auction for all sorts of things that the government no longer wants. However, the constantly changing inventory also includes items confiscated from criminal offenders. Mostly you’ll find office-ish stuff but I’ve also seen computers, TVs, music equipment, boats and cars online too.

Goodwill Online is the far more obscure sister of the retail stores. Not every item makes it onto a shelf including better quality and fragile items. When I checked today, merchandise on auction included all sorts of jewelry, boxed CD sets and other collectibles, designer clothing and power tools.

Online classifieds

I’m going to assume you know about the items posted on Craigslist. Lately the Facebook Marketplace has been coming on strong with a variety of offers for things like clothing, furniture, vehicles and today, homemade tamales.

Once you’ve selected where you’ll be living, see if there’s a NextDoor service in your neighborhood. In addition to posting classifieds in your immediate area, you can learn about community events, ask for recommendations (ala Angie’s List), get reports about crime and other valuable info.


Other blog entries for furniture and furnishings:

Buy for Cheap at Nashville Liquidators

Consignment Stores: Better Furnishings at Good Prices

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