If you’re moving into a new apartment or moving out on your own for the very first time, you might be wondering how to afford furniture for your apartment. Furniture can be expensive, and you’re looking at furnishing several rooms, so it can be tough. Here are some tips that will help you make your place look great without breaking the bank.
How to Afford Furniture For Your Apartment
While you might want or be thinking about buying all new furniture, think again. There is no reason not to buy used.
This is especially true when you first move into an apartment.
Start with used furniture, where you can to help reduce the expense, and then you can buy a new piece one at a time when you have the cash.
So, where do you find slightly used, really nice looking furniture that you will be proud to show off?
Here are several places to start looking.
1. Garage Sales
I’ve certainly purchased items from local garage sales before and you will be surprised what you might find.
Keep in mind that not all garage sales are created equally.
I’ve been to some that are basically trying to sell trash.
You want to watch for estate sales or moving sales. This is where you will find all the best stuff.
There are two types of estate sales. One is a living estate sale which means the person having the sale is still alive and might just be downsizing to an assisted living space.
The other type is simply an estate sale. This usually means that the person has passed on and their family is selling all of their belongings.
Either way, these sales are a great way to find nicer pieces of furniture for rock bottom prices.
For example, my neighbor went into an assisted living home and her family sold most of her stuff at a living estate sale.
My mother ended up buying a brand new living room chair that rocked and swiveled for $25 dollars.
It looked brand new.
You might even find some nice antiques if you like that sort of thing.
The other type of sale you want to keep an eye out for is a moving sale.
This means the person selling their stuff is moving, most likely out of town.
They may not be able to afford to take all of their furniture and they will be very motivated to sell.
2. Church Sales
Churches also have yard sales. This can also be a great place to find items at low prices.
Church members have donated almost everything, so the church typically sells things at a very low cost.
There is a church in my town that has a yearly sale. One year I got six mid-century dining room chairs for $20 dollars.
That’s $20 dollars total, not each.
My friend was running the sale and she called me when it was over. She had a few pieces of furniture left and wanted to know if I wanted any of it.
I ended up getting a nice chair for my living room that looked brand new.
I was willing to pay for it, but she gave it to me for free just to get it out of their way.
I’m sure the chair new would have been at least $400 dollars.
So, two tips for you.
One, get to know the people running the sale, and two go to the sale on the last day near the end of the sale.
Chances are if there is anything left that you want, you will get it for a couple of bucks or maybe even free.
It’s a great way to pick up some essential items for nothing.
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3. Thrift Stores
Thrift stores can be hit and miss. You may have to go on a regular basis to find the piece of furniture you are looking for.
Even so, over time you will find furniture pieces that will fit your color scheme and taste.
In the last few years, I have bought a chair and a desk. I paid $7 dollars for each of them.
The chair is really nice with a wicker back and a blue seat. I have it in my bedroom.
The desk came out of a college and is a mid-century piece. (As you can tell, I love mid-century furniture.)
Thrift stores are a great way to add a piece of furniture here and there such as a coffee table, a kitchen table, or even a dining room table, but just don’t expect to walk in and find exactly what you need in one visit.
Having said that, I do know a man who owns an art gallery in South Carolina. He and his wife have a pretty amazing home with all mid-century furniture and they found all of it at thrift stores.
I’m completely jealous, but it just shows it can be done over time.
4. Facebook Marketplace
One place you can find all sorts of things is an online marketplace such as Facebook
This is a great place to find decorative items such as wall art and even affordable furniture.
If you take your time, you could even fill your entire apartment with furniture this way.
And you might find some quality pieces.
The nice thing about looking online like this is you can scroll your way through listings without having to leave your home and go from place to place.
5. Consignment Shops
Consignment shops are another great place to get some deals.
The nice thing about these places is that they have kind of vetted the furniture before you buy it.
It should be clean and free of any critters that you don’t want in your home.
This is a good place to find living room furniture as well.
I’ve bought a number of nice pieces in this type of shop.
The prices are going to be higher than at secondhand shops or yard sale, but they will still be less than buying new.
6. Ask People You Know
People are always looking to get rid of furniture. That’s usually because they want to buy new furniture to replace it.
Ask your friends and family if they have anything they would like to give away or sell for a few dollars.
Chances are they will want to help you out.
Not to mention, it will give them a kick to see their old chair or table sitting in your home.
What Not to Buy Used
If you are on a tight budget, then you might want to buy everything used. It only makes sense, but there are some things I would stay away from.
Here’s a quick list for you.
- A shower curtain
- A mattress or boxsprings
- Throw pillows
- Anything you can’t wash
There are a couple of reasons you want to be careful about what you buy used and that’s hygiene and bed bugs.
You don’t really know where these things have been, so if you can’t wash them, it’s kind of gross.
Secondly, and maybe even more importantly, the last thing you want is to bring bed bugs into your home.
Once they are there, they are practically impossible to get rid of.
To Sum it All Up:
Buying used is a great way to find affordable furniture for your apartment or even a college dorm room. You can find like-new items for pennies on the dollar have the home decor you have always dreamed of without spending a lot of money. Just get out there and start looking. You’ll be amazed at what you can find.