Using Craigslist To Get Free Yard Work & Labor!

Original BackyardHere’s a tip – use craigslist to get your yard work done for free.

Our backyard is beautiful, we can’t lie. Beautiful enought that we got married there. But with that craziness over, it’s not worth the trouble to maintain – trimming bushes, weeding gravel pathways, etc. Plus our ferocious eight pound puppy would appreciate more room to hunt bugs.

So, we’re making it all grass… beautiful, beautiful, already-have-the-mower-out-for-it-anyways grass.

Our first challenge was getting rid of all the stuff in the way – bushes, pathway, etc. And we hate to just throw all that stuff away, especially since I just put new pea gravel down 3 months ago for the wedding.

Enter craiglist. Sherry posted a listing Tuesday morning at 9:30 with this picture, offering the bushes for FREE. I never thought it’d work.

But by 10:30 our driveway was filling up with people armed with shovels and pick-axes. And when I got home from work there was barely anything left… except for a couple sweaty, shirtless strangers still digging. One guy even gave us 100 beans to steak his claim on six big bushes!

Backyard DestoryedWe repeated the experiment on Wednesday morning with the pea gravel. Sure enough, by that evening virtually all of it had been raked, shoveled and wheel-barrowed out of our yard. “Free” is definitely the universal language.

We didn’t lift a finger – except to deliver some water to aforementioned sweaty strangers – and now our yard looks a little bit ravaged, but a lot more ready for grass seed.

PS: We’re going to try to save the arch and move it elsewhere in the yard. We did get married under it, after all.


  1. rosieswhimsy says

    Eeek ! I loved it the way it was. Looked so nice. Guess I will have to stayed tuned for the grassy meadow version. You are brilliant with the Craig’s list idea …..I’ll keep that listed under kosher “bag of tricks”.

  2. YoungHouseLove says

    Yeah, that’s the typical response. We loved our lush & manicured backyard, but all the care it needed to stay lush and manicured made it lots and lots of work (we’re talking about 30 hours a month!) so after making sure it looked perfect for our backyard wedding, it was time to say goodbye. Stay tuned for updated photos of our new green and grassy backyard- and thanks for the comment!

  3. says

    New comment on an old post (I just found your blog today & read the whole thing…..then saw the following during an unrelated Craigslist trawl…)

    An ad for a rocking chair:

    “Bonus – if you take this chair AND the two stupid fans that broke during the ginormous heatwave of recent memory, we will knock $10 off the price. Yes, the fans are broken.. we are clearly too lazy to take them to the dump. So if you have some place to put them.. say, perhaps, in a cannon that you plan to fire into the sun .. that would certainly be worth getting $10 less for the chair. It’s a long shot, but hey.. it’s out there. Rock on!”

  4. Erin says

    Hi YHL!

    Just wanted to comment on this old post to tell you that we took your advice on the Craigslist free labor. We were VERY skeptical at first, but are now firm believers. We bought our first home about 2 months ago. To say there is a lot of landscaping is an understatement! Over the past 2 weeks we’ve gotten bids from landscaping companys to remove most of it and put down grass. Bids ranged from $2500-$8000!!!(No Way) We posted the ad on Craigslist Saturday morning for free pea gravel and limestone rocks from the pond. As an added bonus we put that “ask about free plants and bushes”. Within the day about 40% of our landscaping was gone!!! We had 31 calls total. Anyways, we are now completely underway with out budget friendly landscaping remodel and couldn’t be happier. I am taking pics as we go and cannot wait to submit our first “Reader’s Redesign” to you when it’s all completed!

  5. JaffyAnn says

    Just want to convey to you how much I have enjoyed looking though…. Your photos, your blog… EVERYTHING!!! I LOVE your decorating style .. so clean and fresh! You have brilliant ideas and everything looks GREAT!
    Thanks for sharing!
    ps…. I have used craigslsit for sooo much! Recently I sold a vintage buffet table (that I found on the side of the road, and had used for 6 years) for enough cash to buy the one I wanted!!! Exciting stuff! :-)

  6. Holland says

    Someone just sent me your blog and I am sitting here obsessively reading way past my bedtime. My poor husband won’t sign on to doing our own do-it-yourself blog (our home has an extensive DIY list as well) because at the rate we are going, it would have one post a quarter, ha!

    Love the idea of free labor, I have some serious monkey grass that has got to go!

  7. says

    I just came across this post, and I have to say – this is brilliant! I’ve been wanting to declare “landscaping bankruptcy” for a while now so we can start over with an easier-to-maintain design. This may just be the way to do it!

  8. Wendy says

    I know this post is super old, but it’s also super helpful! I remembered ya’ll talking about doing this in a more recent post. We’re redoing our front yard and knew getting rid of the 5 big shrubs in our yard wouldn’t be easy. Craigslist to the rescue! I couldn’t believe the response we got. I’m sure it would have cost us a couple hundred dollars (at least) to have it done, so we saved a pretty penny. Plus, I love the thought that the bushes get to stay alive in someone else’s yard :) Thanks for the tip!!

  9. says

    I have used craiglist for so many different uses. I have sold things, bought things, also found part time jobs using CL:) I am very thankful to CL.

  10. says

    I too use Craigslist for various things. In fact I met my wife through CL:) I also found many part time jobs via CL. I think since there are less number of spam there, it is very user friendly. It is also easy to use since the requirements are posted depending on the categories.

  11. says

    Me too find the CL very useful for me I am a freelancer and found many jobs by CL. I am very thankful to CL to keep it user friendly and spam free.

  12. says

    I use CL for many uses. Mostly I use it to find part time jobs. I find many genuine ads in CL but there is some spam also. Apart from fining jobs I also use CL to find baby sitters and different classes for my daughter.

  13. says

    For me CL is everything. I find most of my requirements from CL. My job, baby sitters, second hand Ac, and most of the things I bought form CL. I have also sold most of my things also on CL. placing ad is also very easy in CL.

  14. says

    I think CL is very useful to most of us here. I too have been using it for a a lot of uses. But one thing I notice is that there is a lot of spam in CL too. I hope they take some steps to control this. Then the number of uses also will increase and many more people will be helped out of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *