I've discovered the many uses for dressers, especially the long 6 drawer dressers that are only about 30 inches tall. You can hide all sorts of things in them. In my dining room, I have couple of French Provential dressers acting as "buffets". But instead of storing dishes in them, I'm storing office supplies, scrapbooking supplies and small office equipment. By all outter appearances, they just look like nice curvy, elegant buffets belonging in the dining room.
In my office, I have another dresser that holds various art supplies and some more scrapbooking equipment. Again, it looks like a nice little credenza for my office instead of a bedroom dresser.
And the surfaces are great for holding family pictures, TVs, stereos, or other equipment you use frequently.
For the living room, a night stand on each side of the couch is wonderful for storing the remotes for electronics, extra batteries, magazines, etc. And if you need storage for a blanket, opt for a storage ottoman or bench instead of the usual coffee table.
In my bedroom, I have a storage wicker bench where I hide my clothes hamper. And the surface of the bench can hold the clothes I lay out for the next day.
I also just bought a desk that has six drawers. Two of the drawers are file cabinet drawers, so I'm able to clear out a filing cabinet and utilize the desk drawers, saving space. My new desk is much nice than that old filing cabinet and will serve several purposes as well.
So if you need to declutter and make the most of your space like I do, look for multifunctional pieces of furniture. Watch Craigslist for some nice bargains on some well-made solid wood furniture for cheap. If you buy actual wood pieces, you can paint them or restain them to match your decor. And they'll last forever.
This beautiful piece I picked up for $50 from a wonderful couple on Craigslist. This winter I'll sand it and stain it to match my dining room table. When it was originally made, it was painted a beautiful off-white color with gold trim, but someone painted it white with black trim--not my taste. So I'll fix it later. I bought another piece very similar to it but just different enough to be interesting and it's on an opposite wall. I'll sand and stain it too so they'll match. When I'm done, they'll look new and beautiful.
Nancy, you have the best luck at finding good buys on CL's..I don't belong or subscribe to it. Will have to get somebody to help me get on. I had somebody to set me up with Free Cycle one time and that was a farce..didn't find anything that didn't look like junk to me. Maybe I should try again.
I do Freecycle and Freesharing too and I get some of the best stuff there. You just have to be patient and wait for the good stuff. I got a very nice rubbermaid composter, some bricks to make a patio, some speaker pots (pots that have speakers inside so you can pipe out music to the garden), new carpet for the guest room--brand new, never used--and much more--all for free from FC and FS. Of course those sites are great for getting rid of clutter too. I give away a lot of plants and household items.
With Craigslist, you just go to http://www.Craigslist.org and find your location or a nearby location and register a name and password. Nothing to it. Then you can scan the ads on the site daily and respond to the ones you want. Since I'm home most of the time, I check CL regularly throughout the day so I don't miss the deals.
I got a glider rocker from the same lady from whom I got the dresser for my office. The rocker was only $25 and sooooooo comfortable. I think I could sleep in it! LOL You don't find the bargains if you aren't willing to hunt for them. Somedays it's just a bust for me, but other days it really pays off. It helps too that I'm a fixerupper. So I see things the way they'll look when I'm done with them rather than the way they currently look. So minor damage doesn't bother me since I usually know how to fix it.
If you have a hankering for something unique, Pippi, keep your eye on Craigslist, and check out your local freecycle and freesharing groups. There are a lot of duds, but there are some great deals there too. With Freecycle and Freesharing, you can change your settings to get only the Daily list of posts, instead of getting an email everytime someone posts. So each day you'd get ONE email that lists all the posts for that day. But the problem with that is you might miss out on something because it's already spoken for by the time you get the Daily edition.
I re-purposed an old filing cabinet into a locking storage for hand-tools in the garage; circular saw/drills/jig saw/and hobby tools all fit in there nicely☺ and free up space on the open shelves for projects. (though, being as I am short, I just have rags in the top drawer since I can't see into it - the rags I can just grab without looking ☺)