Furnishing on a Dime

Posted On Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
Filed Under: Uncategorized

Aside from the physical act of moving all of your worldy possessions from one location to the next, furnishing your pad can be just as stressful. You want to get settled right away but after plunking down first month’s rent and security, your checking account is most likely running on E. Though some items tend to cost a pretty penny and can be looked at as an investment since you’ll have them for years, you can still save big time!

My first solo apartment was completely furnished courtesy of Ikea. I couldn’t resist their $200 Klippan sofa or the $100 wardrobe chest. The stuff was cute and affordable. But if you’re not interested in having your place look like an Ikea showroom, there are other (just as, if not more affordable) options.

Thrift stores
Thrifts are my go-to shops for everything! Not all offer furnishing but when you find one that does, check out their stock frequently. From dining room tables to dressers to televisions, they can hook you up. You may be out of luck if you’re looking for something ultra specific like a fire engine red sofa to match your curtains, but maybe you’ll find a sturdy sofa in a hideous color or pattern. Just get it reupholstered in a fabric of your choice and you’ll be able ot say you have a custom-made piece. *If you’re purchasing an electronic, be sure to test it out in the store*

For a year I slept on a pull-out sofa in my tiny Harlem apartment but it wasn’t until a friend sent me a message over Facebook that my back got some much needed relief. She was giving her bed away. I could have easily dismissed the mass message thinking the bed must have been old and broke down, but I’m so glad I didn’t! It took two seconds to email her and found out the bedframe was only a year or so old and in perfect condition. Always let your friends know if you’re in the market for some “new” furniture. Maybe they’re getting rid of items or they can even alert you to garage sales in their ‘hood. The summer season is great for this, as people are moving and would sometimes rather sell or give things away instead of hauling them to the next place.

Ah, why did it take me so long to find out about this mecca of goodies? I know someone who furnished her ENTIRE living room courtesy of the folks on the site. You simply sign up to receive emails from other users in your area who are giving stuff away. Maybe you’ll be alerted someone is giving away old issues of Cigar Aficionado (blah!) or maybe someone’s unloading unused Ralph Lauren paint or a mint condition suede sofa (score!). However, as there are tons of people on the site, you may not snag the coveted item if someone else responds before you.

Maybe you won’t find everything you want right away and at one location but at least you’ll have some eclectic pieces and will be able to afford your utility bills.

This morning the Today Show had a segment on ways to pay less for furniture (warehouse and estate sales, floor samples, etc). Check out the video below!

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

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