Low Cost Ways to Furnish Your Apartment

furniture for your apartmentFor many people moving into their first place can be fun and stressful all at the same time. There are so many things to think about such as getting your utilities hooked up, finding good renter’s insurance, finding someone to help you move, and buying furniture and household items that you don’t already have.

The furnishings in my first apartment consisted of a sofa bed that was passed down to me from my mother, my twin bed, and a TV that I had bought as a teenager.

Oh, and one of those 1950 style kitchen tables with 6 chairs that looked like it belonged in a diner. It was actually quite valuable although I didn’t know that until it was too late.

Sometimes a person needs more than a kitchen table and chairs in their first place so they may look at buying things on craigslist or Kijiji. But what if you don’t like what you find there?

Here are a few other ideas of where you can look for nice furniture at a reasonable price.

Estate Sales

Have you ever driven through a residential neighbourhood and noticed a sign that says “Estate Sale Today”? You never really know what you will find at an estate sale but many times it is a great way to find very nice furniture (including antiques) for a very good price.

If a person dies and leaves a lot of assets such as furniture behind, it is the estate executor’s responsibility to liquidate any assets that are not distributed through the will. This is typically done through an estate sale.

When you attend an estate sale you may find that some of the furniture is out dated or too worn out, but at the same time you may find items that are in perfect condition and will fit perfectly in your new apartment.

Estate sales are usually advertised in the classifieds section of your local newspaper.

Moving Sales

A moving sale is similar yet different to a garage sale. By that I mean that people are usually selling larger items, such as furniture and appliances, because they do not want to pay to move their furniture across the country.  While a garage sale may include some furniture, it is usually small items that the person just doesn’t need any more like pictures, vases, kid’s toys, etc.

The first time I decided to move across country I realized that it would cost a bundle to ship my furniture to my new location. I was okay with taking some small personal stuff like utensils, knickknacks, pictures and such, but since I was personally paying for the move I decided to have a moving sale for all the larger items.

When it comes to price, you may pay a bit more for furniture at a moving sale versus a garage sale, but you will most likely find a better selection of furniture. You will definitely save quite a bit of money if you compare it to buying brand new furniture.

Show Home Furniture Sales

Have you ever walked through a show home and wondered what happens to all the lovely furniture once the home is sold?

Personally I never really paid attention to it until one day several years ago when we were driving through our neighbourhood and we saw a sign saying “show home furniture sale this week”.

The sale was being held at a community centre and it was a collection of all the furniture that several builders had purchased and used to furnish their show homes. The furniture is brand new, aside from a few people touching or sitting on it while they tour the home.

Because they can’t return the furniture they sell it at a huge discount.

The one thing about buying furniture at any of these different sales is that you need to find a way to get the furniture that you buy back to your apartment. That is where a good friend with a nice pick-up truck comes in handy. Offer to buy your buddy with a truck dinner, and maybe they will help you get some new furniture for your apartment.



    • WorkSaveLive

      WorkSaveLive 03/19/2012 9:01 a.m. #

      You can find some bargains at Estate Sales! I've checked out quite a few of them and you can buy some really nice stuff at a great discount.

      I never knew about the show home furniture! When we decide to move I may have to look into this. I'm down for any opportunity to get good furniture at cheap prices. It's so expensive to buy new stuff at the store!

    • Marissa

      Marissa 03/19/2012 9:53 a.m. #

      I always relied on IKEA, but garage sales were my second favourite place to find really cool/unique furniture.

    • TacklingOurDebt

      TacklingOurDebt 03/19/2012 5:50 p.m. #

      It's good to have a variety of options where you can save money on big ticket items.

      I do like Ikea furniture. I've bought stuff from there that has lasted me 20 years and is still fine.

    • Modest Money

      Modest Money 03/19/2012 10:38 p.m. #

      Personally I usually check craigslist or else buy new. Unfortunately I'm not good friends with anyone that owns a truck though. So that usually limits my options a lot. I used to buy a lot of stuff through ikea, but it always fell apart eventually. I don't plan on making that mistake again.

    • Kari @Small Budget Big Dreams

      Kari @Small Budget Big Dreams 03/20/2012 9:55 p.m. #

      I've bought a lot of stuff furniture on craigslist in the past. We recently found a CORT store by us. They sell furniture that was in corporate relocation condos, so it's barely used and typically in pretty good condition. We haven't bought anything yet, but are definitely considering buying a few pieces for our new place.

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