You can expect to spend over $8,000 to furnish your new home. That's a massive expense. After a downpayment or security deposit, few families will have the savings to afford new furniture at retail price.
Thankfully, you have options. You don't need to spend thousands of dollars to make your home functional. With the right knowledge, you can make use of hidden discounts and family connects to furnish your home on any budget.
Want to know how to furnish a house for pennies on the dollar? This guide will cover some simple ways to start furnishing a new home.
Use The Internet
The marked-up furniture store down the street isn't the only option for furniture shopping anymore. Direct to consumer furniture makers and online retailers offer the same furniture at lower prices.
You'll be surprised at how much you can get for not a lot of money; with a little research, you can find a plethora of affordable furniture options.
While it can be scary buying furniture sight unseen, user reviews do a good job of ensuring you that you are spending your money wisely. Often times, the largest concern that online furniture shoppers have is that they cannot get a feel for the furniture's exact color from looking at pictures online. If you aren't worried about the potential of the shading being slightly different from the online pictures, shopping for furniture online can save you some serious money.
Prioritize the Necessities
Let's face it: You can't furnish your home all at once. A sofa or mattress alone is expensive enough to break the bank. That's why it's important to prioritize while furniture shopping.
Start by figuring out your monthly furniture budget. Then prioritize your must-have furniture items. For example, you need a mattress if you're currently sleeping on a hand-me-down beanbag.
Once you have your essential items, it's a good idea to focus on the rooms you use the most. This might be the living room, so you'll want a sofa, coffee table, and an entertainment stand. Or, instead, you might need the components of a computer room, such as a desk, chair, and bookshelf.
Attend Yard Sales
There are many thrifty venues to find furniture items — if you know where to look. Yard sales are an excellent place to find smaller items like chairs, tables, and decorative set pieces. Though with some luck, there's a good chance you'll also stumble into a suitable computer desk and storage solutions.
Learn when yard sales pop up in your new neighborhood and keep an eye out for the advertisements. You can also check out local thrift stores from time to time, but these items tend to be a tad more expensive than what's found at a yard sale.
Keep an Eye on Craigslist
Another great option for free or discounted furniture? Craigslist. It's a more productive option than heading to a yard sale and hoping they have what you're looking for.
But it's more competitive, too. You should bookmark the page and check several times a day so you don't miss a deal. For larger items, remember that you need to handle the transportation yourself.
You might need to have a friend on-call, as well as a truck, to make sure you can haul your newfound furniture away.
Although thrifty deals are wonderful, don't forget about hygiene. You should avoid getting sofas, mattresses, and similar items for sanitary reasons. Nobody wants to bring bed bugs into their new home.
Tell Friends and Family You're Furnishing a New Home
What's better than discount furniture? Free furniture. Many couples get their first home furniture with the help of relatives.
Once you've made the move, don't be shy. Let everyone know you're still in the process of furnishing your new home. Many people will be quick to offer some old items they no longer have use for.
It's a win-win. You're helping them clear out space, and they're giving you free furniture. Of course, only take items that you'll truly use and enjoy, because otherwise, you'll wish you never accepted it.
Buy During the Off-Season
January and February is a great time to snag great deals. This is when furniture stores receive their new inventory and need to sell last year's remaining items. The second best time to shop is during July and August when you can find the Fourth of July and college dorm sales.
For even more savings, look for a furniture store that offers outstanding furniture deals.
Save money on furniture by making the most of what you already have. Minimalism is in. And minimalism means less clutter, less fuss, less stuff.
Don't buy furniture just to have it. If you don't think you'll use an entire sofa, then don't get one. Perhaps your living room only needs a Papasan and side table to be functional.
Take advantage of less clutter and simple furniture. A small splash of color can go a long way in a minimalist design. You can wow yourself and your guests — without breaking the bank.
Take Your Time
You shouldn't buy all your furniture at once. Not only is it prohibitively expensive, but it's wasteful. You won't know what furniture you truly need until you live in your new space for a good amount of time.
Give yourself at least a month to get accustomed to how you use your new home. You might find that you don't need a living room at all. Instead, you'd rather use those funds for outdoor patio furniture.
Plus, the more time you give yourself, the more likely you'll stumble into a good deal. Take it slow. It's common to still have unfurnished space after your first year.
And that's not a bad thing.
Home Furnishing on a Budget
Furniture is expensive. But furnishing a new home doesn't have to be. You can find thrifty deals at yard sales, craigslist, or even discount furniture stores.
Don't see a deal for an item you want? Then be patient. It'll come around, and you'll have more time to gauge if you really need that extra end table.
With a bit of patience and legwork, these tips can lead to some massive savings. The hard part is getting everything to match -- but a can of paint can fix that in a jiffy.
Need more home advice? Visit our home blog for more ways to keep your home looking its best inside and out.