Photo: Shutterstock; Design: Rebecca Hoskins/Thrillist
Congratulations, you have a new seat! But now you don’t have a couch?! Furnishing a new apartment can be daunting, especially with limited funds, but that doesn’t mean you have to watch your favorite shows from the floor. There are tons of tips and tricks for finding trendy and affordable pieces to transform your new space into a fully furnished home. To get you started, we’ve put together a few ideas that will surely help you save money, time, and tons of energy.
Think about how much you are willing to invest
When choosing furniture, there are some items you can get cheap, while others will cost you a few more coins – so think about what’s most important to you. For example, you should spend more money on a well-made, quality bed frame (and mattress, of course) than on a coffee table, which you can find at any decent thrift store. Also, consider whether it’s a long-term or short-term purchase: you want your sofa to last, through the wear and tear of people and pets (if you have any!), so it makes sense to spend more on it rather than on it Decor that can be easily changed.
Don’t overcrowd the space
Knowing how much space you need can save you a lot of time and money. Plan what makes sense in your space by measuring the rooms. This is useful when shopping for parts. If necessary, take a tape measure with you! There is nothing worse than bringing home a sofa that is too big for the area you intend to store it. On the other hand, you don’t want to clutter up your space either. Be careful not to overbuy – minimalism is all the rage right now, so use your square footage wisely.
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Start by getting your essentials
When you’re working on a budget, you always want to get the bare essentials first and then work your way down to the more decorative or novelty pieces that you can wait to get your hands on. Think of the furniture you will use most often for each room and make a list. For example, you will definitely need a bed frame, a chest of drawers or something equivalent (this is where it helps to know how much space you have) and maybe a bedside table. Need a bookshelf? Potentially, but your books and knick-knacks will live just fine on your dresser or in a moving box until you save some more money.
Upcycle from your local community
Antiques may sound expensive, but sometimes these stores (and other frugal stores) have trendy and cheap finds. If you want to haggle a bit with shopkeepers, you can lower the price to what you can afford, especially if you have cash. You can also take advantage of flea markets and flea markets; A little research on local news sites or community groups can help you find these hidden gems. Speaking of research, don’t forget to use online marketplaces and social media trading sites to find people who are actively trying to get rid of their stuff. There are also plenty of frugal apps with great finds – even more so if you’re willing to look a little outside of your own neighborhood.
Let people around you know you’re looking for furniture
You never know what people are trying to say unless you ask. Telling those around you that you want to furnish your new apartment opens the door to more potential sellers or even people who want to free up some of their own space. Talk to friends, family and co-workers so they can also keep an eye out for essentials to brighten up your place or scour their own piles of donations for used goodies. Also, talk to your neighbors about the place you’re leaving (if you’re feeling good) – you never know what someone might be willing to part with, maybe even as a housewarming gift.
Try dumpster diving to find quality pieces
There are some things you can’t knock until you’ve tried — and dumpster diving should be somewhere on that list. People throw away quality furniture all the time when they move or redecorate. In New York City and other major cities, there are social media pages dedicated to people discovering takeout furniture on the street, and many communities have “mass” trash days where people are encouraged to take out furniture and other large items dragging objects to the curb. This “treasure hunt” tactic can also be used on college campuses or in off-campus housing. When students return home or graduate, it’s not uncommon for them to throw away everything they’ve accumulated over the years. Your nearest desk might be a curb away.
Shop in big stores during big sales
Don’t miss these big sales when they reach your local stores. Many retailers that sell furniture work biannually – they tend to shift their stock for the spring and fall seasons. When buying indoor furniture, it is best to buy at the end of winter (January and February) and at the end of summer (August and September). That way, you can catch stock before stores move on to the new styles for the following season. Make sure you sign up for your store’s email promotions and watch out for those sporadic sales – savings are often all about timing. You are also moving, so make sure you register your new address with the post office so you can receive a number of Welcome Home vouchers in the mail. They send out a plethora of sweet moving company offers from a variety of furniture stores.