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The Daily Tar Heel

Local shops, programs offer cheap choices

Finding apartment furniture is easy


Many students turn to PTA Thrift Shop in Carrboro when shopping for furniture for their houses or apartments. Proceeds benefit local schools.

If you need items to furnish or decorate your apartment, look no further than local businesses across the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area. They carry one-of-a-kind used items and basic amenities for any apartment.

Most students tend to stay on a budget when looking for apartment furniture. Cassie Ball went shopping for her space with money in mind.

“It’s important because I’m working out a budget for college and all of this is coming out of the same fund,” Ball said.

Although cheap is convenient, free is better. The nearby Orange County Solid Waste Management Department’s Salvage Sheds are a great local resource for random knickknacks to fill an apartment. The sites can be found on Eubanks Road and Ferguson Road in Chapel Hill.

Muriel Williman, education outreach coordinator, encouraged those pinching pennies or gambling for the best deal to check out a Salvage Shed site.

Williman stated that one can find a range from antiques to houseware items. For those wishing to support an environmental effort, Williman noted the advantage of the reuse community.

“It keeps useful items still in circulation rather than putting them in a hole in the ground where it’s not going to serve anybody,” Williman said.

Before students visit a site, Williman offers a few words of caution.

“It’s really catch-as-catch-can,” she said.

Another option for bargain shopping can be found on campus. Tar Heel Treasure, a two-year-old program, holds an annual sale on the Saturday after commencement.

The program’s goal is to offer donated items at a discounted price. It promotes recycling while supplying affordable amenities for students. In turn, the program prevents items from reaching landfills.

Larry Hicks, director of Housing and Residential Education, described the items a student can find at the springtime event.

“We get hundreds of items ranging from carpets to refrigerators to toys to microwave ovens and bookcases. Anything you can find in the resident hall you can find at Tar Heel Treasure,” Hicks said.

For those who are looking for necessary kitchen items, the program is an affordable resource.
“We’ve sold refrigerators for ten to fifteen bucks,” he said.

Tar Heel Treasure gives any proceeds back to the school and community. The first year the program benefitted the Eve Carson Scholarship Fund and the UNC Children’s Hospital. Last year’s funds, which amounted to ten thousand dollars, went to Habitat for Humanity’s Build a Block program.

“It’s just a good place to find some items to help furnish your apartment,” Hicks said.
If UNC students are feeling adventurous, they can wander over to Carrboro and explore the PTA Thrift Shop.

Barbara Jessie-Black, executive director of the shop, noted a broad range of items including linens, decorative collectibles, dressers, coffee tables, sofas, dinette sets and small appliances.

The shop hosts an art gallery that includes prints, paintings, frames and posters. Students can purchase original art, pottery and track lighting.

Jessie-Black summed up the customer experience.

“Typically we have cool and interesting stuff,” she said.

For students who are not looking for unique items, the thrift shop also carries practical items.

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“We have customers that shop with us on a regular basis who say, ‘I furnished my entire living room with things I got here at the thrift shop,’” Jessie-Black said.

PTA Thrift Shop is a nonprofit that supports Chapel Hill-Carrboro city schools. By shopping, UNC students can give back to the community.

“When you shop with us you get a good value for your money.”

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