With Indiana University’s fall semester officially beginning later this month, many students are going on their own for the very first time. Whether furnishing a dorm room or a first apartment, here are some Bloomington treasures to add personal touches to make the new space feel more like home.
Surplus store UI
IU Surplus is located at 3050 E. Discovery Parkway and is open weekdays from noon to 5:30 p.m. The store can be reached at 812-855-2475.
The IU Surplus store is stocked with Indiana University items that the administration has declared surplus. The store sells a variety of products, including computer monitors, coffee makers, microwaves, and lamps. For those looking to build their own office setup, the store offers a wide range of chairs and desks. The store also has a few options for regular furniture, with a generally limited supply of low-priced sofas, shelves, and dressers. The store only accepts credit and debit cards for payment, and its inventory changes regularly along with new shipments. For updates on coveted items as they arrive, visit the store’s Facebook page.
Organizer Garage Sale on Saturday
Garage Organizers’ retail store is at 3470 W. Third St. while its furniture warehouse is at 3133 Westbury Village Dr. Unit 4. The store can be reached at 812-636-5906.
Shoppers can get great furniture at discounted prices through this local consignment store. Bloomington-based company Garage Organizers uses a personal team to organize and clean their clients’ space, such as a garage or storage unit. These customers often turn unwanted items over to garage organizers to sell at their outlets or online for other shoppers to purchase.
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While smaller items like pillows can be found in their main retail store, larger furniture is stocked in a warehouse on Westbury Village Drive. Furniture selections range from practical — desks, drying racks, and dining tables — to unique, like a pinball machine. Currently, furniture must be purchased through Facebook Marketplace or at Garage Organizers’ bi-weekly warehouse storefront from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. select Saturdays.
During the in-person sale, buyers can browse the furniture selection where they can purchase an item for later delivery or take it home that day. Garage Organizers is a place where the price is negotiable.
The next sale will take place this Saturday, August 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is located at 850 S. Auto Mall Road and is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The store can be reached at 812-331-2660.
Like the IU Surplus store, Bloomington’s Habitat ReStore has a constantly rotating inventory of sundries, which have been donated by members of the community. Used furniture abounds here in the form of recliners, nightstands, bed frames and bookshelves. This month, dining chairs, artwork, mirrors, lighting, and bed frames are 50% off their already discounted price. The ReStore uses a colorful labeling system to easily display the discounted price of each item, and it runs frequent promotions and sales each month.
All profits from ReStore sales go directly to the community, covering the expenses of building affordable homes for local families in need.
Citywide Junk in the Trunk will take place next Saturday
Bloomington’s annual “Junk in the Trunk” event will take place on Saturday, August 20, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Switchyard Park Pavilion, 1611 S. Rogers St.
Throughout Junk in the Trunk, the Switchyard Park pavilion will feature several garage sale vendors selling furniture, books, dishes, and other household items. Shoppers are encouraged to come refreshed and restocked – food and drink are the only things guaranteed not to be sold on sale. Free parking will be available in the Grimes Lane and Rogers Street parking lots.
Bloomington, Monroe County Facebook Pages
In addition to the hugely popular Facebook Marketplace, many locals in this area have turned to Facebook groups to advertise their used furniture. One of the most popular groups, Monroe County, IN – Buy/Sell/Trade, describes itself as an online garage sale, where buyers can check out the best local deals without leaving their homes. The group is usually updated daily with posts from its members selling items such as mini fridges, cabinets, futons and kitchen appliances. It’s a private group, so you have to be a Facebook user to access it. Another Facebook group, Monroe County Area Mutual Aid, is a space where people donate what they don’t need and where applicants can post what they want. This group is public, but you must have a Facebook account to post messages.
There are two other popular groups — Monroe County, Indiana Buy, Sell or Trade, and Monroe County Gifting Economy — that offer similar deals. These are private groups, and you have to request entry before you can view the posts.
Generally, within these groups, once two people have agreed on a transaction, it is up to the parties to decide how to deliver the item. If it is a bulky and resistant item, the seller often asks the buyer to pick it up himself.
IU Classifieds is where current students and alumni can sell directly to other members of the IU community. These offers may take a little longer to find what you’re looking for because its “inventory” depends on what individual sellers have listed. Sought-after furnishings, which have usually already been used in a dorm or first apartment, such as hardwood dressers and convection ovens, are sold for a fraction of their original price.
The classifieds are frequently updated with prices―often with the disclaimer of “or best offer”―listed for each item. On each publication, the seller usually leaves his e-mail or telephone number. You must have an Indiana University email address to access the online classifieds portal.