Furnishing your first apartment can bring both excitement and stress. You know what you want, you start shopping around and soon find out that all of the expenses add up quickly. You start to tally everything up and all too quickly you're way past your budget. The alternatives seem cheap and not even close to what you want to make your apartment your home.
While I have had an apartment before, I never have had to furnish an entire apartment by myself. I found myself in this exact situation, stressed, and searching the internet aggressively to find the best deals while keeping up the aesthetic that I desired. Instead of purchasing new, expensive furniture, I sought out other ways to remedy this issue. In the end, I was able to furnish my entire one-bedroom apartment for less than $1000!
Here are my tips and tricks to save big while furnishing your home.
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1. Use what you already have
As I mentioned, this is not the first time I have moved, just the first time moving to an apartment where I furnished the entire apartment by myself. From my first apartment, I had a side table and a stool I had DIY'ed. I made sure to account for these pieces while designing and dreaming up my new apartment.
My parents still had my furniture from my childhood room as well. I decided to take advantage of this and utilize a dresser and a desk that still were in very good condition and happened to match the style I was going for in my new place. While these pieces were not 'ideal' - a brand new desk and dresser would have been amazing - these pieces fit well and are super cute regardless.
Money spent - $0
Pieces - Accent table, stool, dresser, desk
2. Ask your family and friends
This is by far the best thing I did while planning out my apartment. I let everyone, I mean everyone, know I was moving and was looking for furniture. Nearly everyone perked up and said they had something to give or gave me a lead for a sale, etc. I was able to get a (really nice) couch, a side table, a rug, a dining table and chairs, pillows, a stool, a HUGE mirror, and a mattress this way. Using this tactic can lead you to get some free and some highly discounted items. You might even be able to barter using your time to help someone around the house instead of paying!
Money spent - $100 (Mattress)
3. Check Facebook Marketplace
Okay, I actually did not have to do this but I do have some friends that used this to furnish their apartment very affordably. Make sure to check out what you buy first - look for any defects, bed bugs, mold, etc. Try to negotiate, you might just get an even better price! You can find some awesome, even new, pieces on Facebook. Just be safe about it!
A lot of the items that I mentioned above, I actually did a DIY out of them. This is a great way to take a $3 stool from a garage sale and make it a stunning piece. If you have the time, this is a great way to get a good bang for your buck. This is also a great way to take any type of furniture and turn it into your style. Almost anything can be transformed with some paint, new upholstery, or new hardware.
5. Shop around for sales
While I was able to get a lot of my furniture from my friends and family or antique shops, I did decide to buy a few new pieces. I was unable to find a coffee table so I searched Amazon for an affordable one. I also purchased a rug, a bed frame, a tv stand and a bookshelf/cabinet. I definitely splurged on the last two items and did not NEED to do that. But I was able to get 20% off Amish made furniture that is solid and will last me basically forever. So I thought it would be worth it even though it did cost me a little more. This just goes to show that you could spend even LESS on your furniture than I did!
The biggest take away from this post is that you should make a budget and stick to it. If you use these tools you should be able to find wonderful items to furnish your apartment for way less than you think!
Be creative, have a vision but be willing to make sacrifices, and stick to your budget!