A SAVVY stay-at-home mum has revealed how she furnished the majority of her new home for free.
When Anya Brotnei moved to North Harrow from Wembley in June 2022, she was worried about how expensive it would be to furnish a new, unfurnished home.
With two small children, aged four and one, the 23-year-old didn’t have much to spend on brand new furniture, which is typically very expensive.
Anya had signed up to community-based platform Nextdoor when she lived in Wembley and a leaflet for the app came through her letterbox.
Initially, she used it to monitor goings on in the neighbourhood but soon realised the For Sale and Free Section was a goldmine for high quality stuff – and believes she's since saved herself over £1,000.
She initially found lots of stuff for her second baby including a pram, a Moses basket and a Chicco Next to Me basket plus loads of toys for her children.
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Speaking exclusively to Fabulous Digital, Anya said: “I’ve found that the best deals are when people are moving out so want to get rid of their unwanted things quickly.
"It’s so convenient as everything is super close.
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"When I go to collect smaller items like cushions and baby items, people offer even more things as they just want to get rid of it.”
“It’s cheaper for me to pay for a man with a van to collect larger pieces of furniture, like a chest of drawers or a dining table than it is to buy brand-new at the shop."
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Amongst her favourite finds include a free solid wooden table which fits eight people, rug and small children's wardrobe – all of which she got for free and in "fantastic condition."
Other freebies include a toy, which was brand new from Ikea and retails at £95, and a football net which was "still in the box."
She also nabbed a Next 2 Me cot, which can cost up to £200 brand new, for just £15, and paid £25 each for two sun loungers which were in "excellent condition."
In December 2022, she got a quality L-shaped sofa for free as someone who was moving out of an apartment needed to get rid of it quickly.
When we have guests, they’re always asking where I got things, people can’t believe I’ve got 90% of things for my home for free
Anya, who says everything she has got has been in "mint condition," has also collected smaller items like cushions and baby toys, perfect for both decorating and entertaining her children.
She's even managed to nab herself a chest of drawers which were "left on the street" by a neighbour, who then posted and asked if anyone wanted it.
As for whether she could've afforded to buy any of the items full price, Anya says: "Not at all.
"We moved to a new, unfurnished house. Previously, we lived in a furnished apartment, so we didn’t have anything."
But the mum-of-two doesn't only think about herself – she's even found items for friends including sofas for two, a tumble dryer for one and a cot for another.
"I’ve got so many free things for my family, Nextdoor has been a lifesaver for me, I’d recommend it to everyone,” she says.
"So many of these things are just going to end up in landfill, it feels good to know we’re recycling what people would otherwise throw out."
"The stuff we pick up is high quality too and my house finally feels like a home.
Don’t talk until you try it. I can’t stop talking to my friends about the great deals I’ve got from Nextdoor and they all then go and search as well.
"When we have guests, they’re always asking where I got things, people can’t believe I’ve got 90% of things for my home for free.”
So, if you're looking to finds yourself some freebies and follow in Anya's savvy footsteps, then look no further…because she's shared her top tips.
"Take 5 -10 minutes to scroll each day, great items go fast," she says.
"Look for people who are moving out, people are often prepared to give away good stuff for free as they want to get rid of it quickly."
And Anya also urges people not be be afraid to negotiate.
"People on Nextdoor are more receptive to offers than other sites," she says.
As for anyone who judges Anya for furnishing her home with freebies, she urges: "Don’t talk until you try it.
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"I can’t stop talking to my friends about the great deals I’ve got from Nextdoor and they all then go and search as well.
"Everything is so expensive at the minute and it feels like an accomplishment when you find something for free."
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