Moving into your first apartment is an exciting time. It’s a milestone moment that you may never forget, but decorating it can be expensive. These days, every dollar has to be stretched as far as it can. Here are some tips for how to find affordable furniture and home decor to furnish your first apartment on a budget.
Choose function over fantasy
It can be easy to let your imagination, and credit card, run wild when you move into your first apartment. Resist the temptation to buy everything you can think of – focus on function first. What do you really need, and how much do you need to spend? A quick list of the essentials you’ll need: a place to sleep, a place to sit comfortably (they could be the same piece of furniture, more on that below), a place to eat, a place to work (this space could be combined, too), dishes, cooking utensils and some storage space. That should be enough to get you started. Once you’ve got these things covered, you can concern yourself with all the extras for your home decor that make your place, your place.
Get on social and save
Before you shell out big bucks for brand new stuff, be sure to get online to look for cheap furniture that’s in good condition. Check out sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay. You can find pretty much anything you need, from budget furniture to kitchen supplies. It may require some extra time, but your patience can pay off. You can save your search on eBay and get an email when any of your wishlist items show up for sale. Social media is also a great source of inspiration for those of us not-so-design-inclined. Have a look on YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest for great ideas to furnish and decorate your space on a budget.
If you’re a student, there’s lots of inspiration online for decorating your student apartment.
Upcycle and save
Those same social media sites are a great resource for tips on how to upcycle the stuff you already own, or the budget furniture you find in thrift stores, garage sales or flea markets. If you’d rather venture into home decor stores, Ikea is a great source for affordable furniture, especially cheap sofas, and Ikea hacks are a great way to transform something basic into something beautiful and unique. Bed frames can be expensive, but you may be able to build your own with a little help from YouTube and some salvaged wood pallets that big box stores are often willing to part with for free.
Much of your home furnishings can be more than capable of doing double duty. A futon, for example, can be both a bed and a couch. A dining table can double as a desk. A coffee table can serve as a storage chest. A little creativity can save you a lot of money.
We hope these tips for how to furnish your first apartment on a budget help make this time in your life an exciting and affordable one!