Moving into your first apartment should be one of the most exciting times of your life. No one should have to worry about what they’re going to sleep on or where they’re going to sit when in the living room.
Furnishing your space can be one of the most stressful aspects of moving, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you have a lot of money to spend or a little, with the right tips you can furnish your apartment on any budget.
Keep an Eye on Prices
Prices change all of the time. Sometimes the listing price of an item you see on Monday will be completely different than the one you see a few days later. There is nothing worse than buying an item only to see it being sold at a reduced price a few days later.
To avoid that disappointment, get familiar with the times of year when furniture stores have the best sales. Some days like Black Friday and Labor Day are well-known, but Presidents Day, Fourth of July, and many more also offer great discounts. You just have to know when to look.
That being said, not everyone can wait for specific times of year to shop for furniture. This is when your coupon and discount finding skills will come in handy. Searching for sales during a time when sales aren’t prevalent is hard, but can be done with the right tools.
Try Shopping Online
This is when shopping online extensions like Honey really come in handy. Honey is a browser extension that alerts you when there’s a price drop, finds coupons, and gives you promo codes. It does all of the work for you, so you get the best prices available. Instead of going from store to store for the possibility of a cheaper price, you can do it from the comfort of your home, and with more certainty.
Driving to and from multiple stores in one day is very time consuming and tiring whereas online shopping does not require much from you. All you need is wifi and a reliable laptop. If you do not have wifi there are multiple establishments that offer free wifi, so you can get your shopping done. You can compare prices online easily by opening multiple tabs and clicking on the Honey icon.
Look for Free Shipping
If you are shopping online, try to reduce some of the costs by finding furniture pieces that offer free shipping.
The kind of shipping you encounter will vary from site to site. Some sites offer pieces from individual sellers, so the shipping price on one piece of furniture won’t be the same as another. Generally, you can filter your search, so you only see results for items that offer free shipping.
However, big retail brands usually tend to have one set shipping rate. In this case, you may want to see if you can spend over the minimum price to get free shipping, but do this with caution. Weigh the pros and cons of paying to ship or just getting another piece of furniture to bring you to the shipping minimum.
For example, if shipping is $49 and you are only $20 away from getting free shipping, then go ahead and try to find something you need to bring you over the shipping price.
Ask Family for Unused Furniture
Some people have reservations when it comes to asking others for things, which is completely understandable. However, sometimes it’s in your best interest to put aside your reservations and just ask. You never know what your family and friends have in their homes that they aren’t using anymore.
If you’re worried about having a house full of furniture that doesn’t fit your style, don’t worry. You can always upcycle the furniture to make it fit your personality. You can personalize just about any piece of furniture. A few coats of paint on an old desk or contact paper on an entertainment stand can drastically change the look of the piece and the space it’s in.
Throw a Housewarming Party
This is your first place on your own after all, so asking your loved ones to purchase a few items is expected. Put together a list of things that you need for your apartment, but don’t necessarily want to buy yourself. Be aware that everyone’s financial situation is different. Add things in different price ranges, so people have choices. That way you’re not lowballing yourself, but you’re also not creating a list that’s too outlandish.
Some good items to include on your housewarming list are a bathroom set, candles, or a welcome mat. If you want more ideas there are many housewarming gift guides online that can give you some ideas on what to ask for.
Shop for Necessities
Getting your first apartment is one of the most exciting things you’ll experience in your life. It will be tempting at first to buy every cool household item you see for your home. But try not to give in this temptation since (its a common money pitfall for new grads living on their own). Even though that $200 coffee machine may be calling your name, try to refrain from getting it. You have to prioritize getting things that are absolutely necessary for you to live in your new home.
One of the first purchases you should make is a mattress that is comfortable and supportive. You need a place to sleep in your new home and no one wants to sleep on the floor. Another necessary furniture item you need is a couch. The living room is not only the first place guests see when they enter your apartment, but is also the place that you’ll spend the majority of your time.
No matter what your budget is, with these tips your first apartment will be everything that you’ve ever dreamed of.
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