I have enjoyed hunting for the free items you can pick up along the way. the inkwell on fire cat alley, the jar in haunted cave, books on unicorn alley, ladder in excavation chamber in krokotopia, sledgehammer in pallice of fire, tall pumpkin next to Rani in hall of champions, there is a large ruin in Karanmen Barracks, rope in spiro entry Marleybone, green food cart in Digmoore station. Does anyone know of anything that I have missed? You are allowed one item. Let me know please.
If you go to wizard101central, do a search on housing items and you should be able to find a list of things that you've missed. Since they really don't like "spoilers" then I'm not going to tell you what I know you've missed. Take a look there and I'm sure you will find if very helpful in your 'freebie' hunting.
P.S. Besides DS and GH, I have picked up all the freebies along the way too!