Furnishing your apartment on a college budget? Check Out These Philadelphia Thrift Stores
The time to start thinking about furnishing your college dorm or apartment may be right around the corner. And let’s face it: buying furniture is expensive, especially on a student’s budget. You can hope for the best and pick up some cool furniture from someone’s sidewalk. But, if that doesn’t work, check out some of these local thrift stores around Philadelphia:
This black-owned community thrift store has been helping Temple Owls furnish their apartments with recycled furniture since 1994. At the end of the summer, Uhuru hosts a back-to-school event. In August, the store offers 15% off and “buy one, get one” on all lamps, mirrors, artwork and simple chairs.
At Uhuru you can find futons, sofas, dressers, tables, chairs, dining sets, rugs, desks, mirrors, bedside tables, kitchenware, art and more – for less than $100. To make it more convenient, they have a digital catalog where you can check for new items. And they go live on Instagram every Thursday at 12:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10:30 a.m., so you can see the piece of furniture, its condition, and its price.
All Uhuru items are donated and proceeds go to the African People’s Education and Advocacy Fund, a non-profit organization that supports black community economic development and self-determination programs such as training doulas, community gardens and women’s health centers.
📍832 N. Broad St., ⏱️Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-6pm, 🌐uhurufurniturephilly.blogspot.com, 📞215-546-9616
Circle Thrift is a Frankford Avenue store run by the Circle of Hope Christian Church. Recliners, new to assemble Ikea furniture, bed frames, cushions, dressers, rugs, mirrors, lamps, record players and keyboards are part of the inventory. The store offers a 15% student discount on Thursdays, all year round. Complement that with its color rotation reduction system, and you can furnish and decorate your apartment without breaking the budget.
Browse furniture and decor on the store’s Instagram, where you can find new items, prices and sales. Circle Thrift will hold your purchased furniture for up to three days, so you’ll have time to pick it up or deliver it to your doorstep.
📍2233 Frankford Ave., ⏱️Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm, 🌐circlethrift.com, 📞215-423-1222
Looking for clothes racks, console cabinets, shelving, fans, outdoor furniture, silverware, sofas and dressing tables? Check out Thunderbird Salvage. This Fishtown thrift store offers new and used furniture to outfit your apartment for as little as $30.
Although they sell in store, you can practically claim items through social media. They use their platforms to display what is available, furniture sizes and prices. If you find something you like, send them a message, pay through Venmo, and pick it up at the store within five days or have it delivered.
📍2441 Frankford Ave., ⏱️Monday-Sunday, 9am-7pm, 🌐Instagram, 📞 267-250-7995
If you live for the aesthetics of your wall art and decorations, The Resource Exchange is a bus stop from the Temple campus. They have eco-friendly and sustainable items that align with their mission to keep useful materials out of landfills.
Although they offer household items such as cabinets, lamps, chairs, and tables for $20 to $200, the shop primarily focuses on recycling art and fabrics. They have paintings donated by local artists, printed posters, picture frames, tapestries, hand-woven rugs, light-filtering curtain panels, and more. Plus, you can get art and movie school supplies, plus $1 binders and pencils in bulk.
You can buy in store or shop online with curbside pickup. Check their social media channels to see what’s new in the store.
📍1800 N. American St., ⏱️Wednesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm, and Sunday 12-4pm, 🌐theresourceexchange.org, 📞267-997-0060
Founded in 2011, this West Philadelphia thrift store is a black, women-owned business. They have kitchen appliances, kitchen utensils, dining table sets, curtains, bed frames, headboards, dressers, sofas, lamps and decor at a fraction of the price of new. . But, since they don’t have an online purchase option, you have to go to the store to buy. While you’re there, take advantage of the free danishes – every Monday except the first of the month.
If you want to get an idea of what’s in the store, check their social media for updates. Currently, they have canapes starting at $45 and pots, pans, and dishes for as little as $3. And if you’re buying furniture that you can’t take home, or if your college campus is far from the store, they offer a delivery service. If you or friends can do the heavy lifting, they’ll drive it to your house for free.
📍5248 Market St., ⏱️Monday-Saturday, 10:30am-6pm, 🌐somethingnewthriftstore.com, 📞215-941-3787
Located less than a 15-minute walk from University City, this Christian faith-based nonprofit has been a place of community savings for 36 years. The store runs on donations, so you might have to dig a little to find what best suits your needs or aesthetic. But their consistent discounts of up to 70% make their furniture school affordable.
Here you can get love sofas, coffee tables, dinnerware sets, office chairs, desk lamps, bookcases, dressers, nightstands, vanity desks, and more. If necessary, the store can keep the furniture for you for a few days, or deliver it directly to your home. Plus, by supporting this local nonprofit, you’re helping it continue to provide a second chance to people who were previously incarcerated.
📍 214 S 45th St., ⏱️Monday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., 🌐facebook.com, 📞215-662-1663
At Philly AIDS Thrift, “aimless browsing is strongly encouraged,” so you can spend hours searching the two-story store for unique furniture and artifacts to decorate your apartment. Additionally, they offer daily discounts, as well as a rotating color-coded monthly discount system to make items more affordable.
Although you can’t get bed frames or futons at this store, they have a wide variety of gifts, such as TVs, stereos, artwork, unique artifacts, plates and mugs , lamps, poufs and chairs. And all of their proceeds go to Philadelphia-area HIV service organizations, including Congreso de Latinos Unidos, GALAEI, and Philadelphia Fight.
📍 710 S. 5th St., ⏱️Monday-Saturday 11am-8pm and Sunday 11am-7pm, 🌐phillyaidsthrift.com, 📞215-922-3186
For people looking for discount appliances and furniture, the Washington Ave. Habitat for Humanity ReStore might be the perfect place. They have a large inventory of gently used items ranging from table lamps to televisions for a fraction of the retail price.
They don’t sell online, but a visit to the store can help you find air conditioning units, heating units, fans, dehumidifiers, sofas, kitchen appliances, cabinets, bookcases, dressers, dining sets and more. Their inventory changes quickly, but you can follow the arrival of new items on their Instagram. Additionally, 100% of proceeds go to building and repairing homes for Philadelphians in need.
📍2318 Washington Ave., ⏱️Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm, 🌐habitatphiladelphia.org, 📞215-765-6000
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