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Furniture and other items on the cheap!

Updated on April 25, 2016

How to furnish your new place without busting your budget.

You've found a new location, perhaps your first home or apartment, or maybe not your first. In any event, you may have decided that taking some of that big, heavy, furniture to your new place wasn't worth it. You may have also decided to get rid of other items and start fresh at your new place.

You look at the furniture stores and notice that dressers and coffee tables and bookcases are at least $200 and up for each item. And you noticed you don't really have much room at your new place, especially if it's a small home or apartment.

But there are cheaper ways, if you don't mind doing some assembly or mild cleaning.

For things like dressers, bookcases, lamps, coffee tables, and other furniture, take a look at self assembled furniture, especially in stores like Target, Big K, Walmart, and others. Yes, you will have to assemble these items. But the good news is that the instructions are detailed, yet easy to understand and are not as complicated as it may seem. The furniture is also cheaper. Much cheaper .

Nearly all the furniture I have is of this type. No item among my self assembled furniute cost more than $100, and most were considerably less. Among these are my dresser, nightstand, several bookcases, two TV stands, a CD case, a computer work station, and several lamps.

The advantages of these items are several.

  • The cheap price.
  • Mostly easy and quick assembly, oftentimes needing no tools.
  • lightweight once assembled.
  • They look good and hold up well. I've had mine for over 4 years.
  • A wide variety of items are available.

For items like bar stools, TV trays, and many other items, you can also try flea markets and garage sales. I looked at TV trays in the stores. On average, a set of wooden TV trays (4 trays and the stand) averaged $39.00. Then I visited several garage sales and, lo and behold, I found the same exact set! They were selling the set for $15.00. I offerred $10.00 and they said OK! Yes, the trays were a little worn, but in generally good shape, and with a little cleaning on my part, they look great! And I saved $29.00!

At a Goodwill store, I picked up a CD holder (100 cd capacity) for $3.00!

So, the items don't have to be new, nor do they have to be big or name brand. They can still work out great while costing much less.

Now, there are some things you should not buy used, unless you know the person or place you're buying it from very well. These would include:

  • Clothing - if you don't know where the items have been or if they've been cleaned.
  • Anything fabric such as pillows, bedding, towels, fabric covered furniture - for same reasons as above.
  • Plugin electronics, such as stereos, computers, VCR's, DVD players, TV sets, and other appliances - Not knowing why the item is being sold, it may have defects that could cause a short or even an electrical fire.

Also, check out coupons you receive in the mail and notices of sales that offer real deals. They do happen sometimes. I bout my new bed and a better headboard for less than I paid for my old bed and headboard 14 years earlier!

Lastly, try to decide beforehand if you really need the item or if the item is practical. The item may look great and appealing when you see it in the store, but when you get it home, you might find yourself asking yourself why you bought it. Or it may be impractical for your situation. The most common example I've seen is people who have large bulky furniture in small homes or apartments. I find that this makes a small living room seem even smaller and more cluttered.

I myself have a folding director's chair with a small fold out shelf, and a small rocker with an ottoman. Each can fit into a car and is light enough for me to carry alone. When I have guests, I bring out the computer chair from my bedroom and folding chairs from my closet.

So, furnishing a new place doesn't have to break the bank or make your new abode seem overstuffed. If you don't mind assembling a few things and doing some light cleaning of garage sale items that you buy, you can save a bundle!

Good luck!

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