5 Ways to Furnish Your New Apartment on a Budget

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Minimalist Furnishings

Okay, so you’ve finally gotten a new place to live – a space to call home. But now comes another daunting question: What am I going to fill that space with? Furniture is essential to every home. It gives you a place to sleep, lounge, and dine in comfort. It also helps create the atmosphere of your home. Unfortunately, purchasing new furniture can be an extremely expensive and overwhelming process. Luckily, there are many different ways to artfully furnish your new apartment on a budget.

Large Furnished RoomMake A Plan
Before you even think about obtaining some furniture, you should start making a detailed plan. It can be easy to make impulse buys or purchase items that appeal to you immediately. However, this is how you can end up with furniture that doesn’t work well together or pieces you simply don’t need.

Take the time to sit down and plan out what kind of furniture you’re looking for. If you need to match them with other pieces you currently own, bring some photos along. This will help you determine whether a piece is truly good for the room you’re looking at. After all, just because you’re furnishing on a budget doesn’t mean your apartment has to look cheap!

Reclaimed FurnitureBecome a Master Thrifter
One of the best places to start searching for affordable furniture is by raiding thrift shops and yard sales. Becoming a thrifting master is essential to building your perfect room on a budget. You can find some great (and affordable) furniture at Goodwill, particularly if you’re going for a more vintage aesthetic. It is the perfect way to get eclectic pieces that are tied together by a time period or particular vibe. If you want a more coordinated look, then thrifting becomes a little bit more challenging. But it’s certainly not impossible to create a matching room with thrift shop and yard sale furniture.

Craigslist FurnitureRaid Craigslist
Always remember that in the modern world, thrifting doesn’t have to be limited to your local stores. Checking out Craigslist for furniture is similar to thrifting, as you’ll be checking out used pieces that have been previously used. This can be a great way to get quality furniture at incredibly cheap prices and is by far one of the best ways to furnish on a budget. If you live in a larger city, many people will sometimes put furniture up for sale right before they move, meaning that their prices are pretty negotiable. If you use the Craigslist method, always remember that not everyone is honest. Never agree to purchase something that you haven’t seen in person and always bring someone with you when you go check out the goods.

Dumpster DivingDon’t Be Above Dumpster Diving
Your initial reaction to this headline is probably something along the lines of “Ew,” “That’s disgusting,” or “What have you been smoking?” But believe it or not, you can find some really great pieces this way for free. This doesn’t always mean that you have to get your arms elbow-deep in dumpster muck. You can even drive along and pick up furniture people leave on the side of the road. Some people throw out their old stuff – even if the furniture is perfectly functional – when they decide to update style of their house. This means that your next comfy reading chair could be sitting out on a curb only a few miles away. The dumpster diving opportunities are virtually endless if you live in the city, where people are constantly coming, going, and changing.

Burlap CushionGet Crafty
If you’re a crafty person (or someone who is willing to try), then furnishing your apartment on a budget gets exponentially more simple. There are many different ways you can create furniture out of simple supplies. For example, you can create floor pillows out of hand-picked fabric and higher end stuffings. This is a great option for creating an eclectic or bohemian home with limited funding. Also keep in mind that getting hand-me-down furniture doesn’t always mean that you have to settle with a color or style. Thrifted or dumpster-salvaged furniture is a blank canvas. Feel free to paint, tinker, or deconstruct the pieces you get as you see fit. Add new threading to pillows or decorate old chairs. The customization options are truly endless!

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Photo Credit: Cocontest, Kris Moran, The Glam Pad, Sawdust & EmbryosNew York Times, Krrb