How to Furnish Your Apartment on a Budget

With some serious bargain hunting, it’s possible to get furniture on a budget—it just depends on how much work you’re willing to put into the search. 

Shopping the clearance aisle at Marshalls is one way to do it, but there are other no-brainers worth exploring:

Figure out what you currently have and what you need

If you currently own stuff that doesn’t meet your needs, decide to sell, donate or responsibly dispose of. Then, write down a list of things you will need for your place and organize it by room—kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, office, laundry room, etc. Be strategic about buying, because you don’t want to end up with a bunch of useless stuff.

Ask your family and friends nearby if they’re planning on getting rid of stuff

Don’t purposely go out of your way to shake down your loved ones, but if they’re preparing to move, buy new furniture, etc. you may as well take the opportunity to ask them if you can take their old stuff off of their hands.

Check out yard sales in your area

When people host yard sales, they are serious about getting rid of their stuff. Whether they’re moving to a new place or simply downsizing, their goal isn’t to make money, it’s to declutter their lives—most items for sale should be ridiculously affordable, as well as negotiable. You can find listings of yard sales in your area if you just Google them.

Do not underestimate Craigslist

It’s possible to find great antique treasures on Craigslist, but please, please, please bring someone with you! I have my own cautionary tale… 

Be willing to get your DIY on

As lucky as you would be to find something in brand new condition, that’s probably not going to be a common occurrence—you’re going to get furniture and knick-knacks at a great price, so it’s worth stopping at the hardware store for paint or polish to personalize your new pieces to your liking. I’ve been really happy with the way my DIY home projects turned out, especially the antique steamer trunk and the dresser.

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A Francophile based in coastal New England

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