Moving out on your own can be one of the biggest and most exciting times of your life! If it’s your first apartment, you get the thrill of finally being on your own and becoming an adult.
But like most adult things, you’ll quickly realize that there are costs involved – big costs! Rent, food, utilities, parking, etc. And because your income is probably limited and held to a strict budget, the last thing on your mind is probably how you’ll furnish it. However, there is no need to worry. Plenty of college kids and young adults have long figured out how to do apartment decorating on a budget and they’ve been able to pull it off with some great success.
So here are a few ways that you can do the same without having to put yourself into unnecessary debt.
Tips for Apartment Decorating on a Budget:
Ask Friends and Family:
Talk to your friends and family about furniture and other items you’ll need around the house. You may be surprised how many things are offered. A friend may have extra chairs sitting around that they’re willing to give or lend to you. In some cases, people are looking to get rid of old items to make way for the new. This will help you get what you need without dipping into your budget.
Have a Housewarming Party:
It’s never a good idea to be gift-grabby. However, a housewarming party is a great way to get your friends together for a good time, show off your new home, and maybe get some items to decorate or furnish with, as well. This is a great option for those who are moving into their first place and need some help apartment decorating on a budget. Just make sure that you’re not begging for gifts in the invitation. In this case, the items you get are second to the company you’ll have.
Re-Purpose Old Items:
Do you have old furniture or other “junk” items sitting around? Consider re-purposing them for your new home. You can make an old door into a coffee table, or turn that suitcase from your grandmother into a medicine cabinet. The more you’re able to create new items out of old, the more money you’re going to save in the long run. When creating these things, don’t forget to budget for nails, extra wood, and any other pieces you need.
Shop Thrift Stores and Garage Sales:
Furnishing your new apartment doesn’t mean you have to go to expensive furniture stores. You can get a number of things second hand through thrift stores and garage sales. If you’re moving in the Spring or Summer, you’ll be able to find many things for sale at extremely good prices when you hit up the yard sales and garage sales. Here, you’ll find everything from plates and silverware to coffee tables and couches.
Thrift stores tend to be a little more expensive than garage sales, but you still get great prices on items that you’ll need while apartment decorating on a budget. Many thrift stores offer discount prices on new items such as mattresses as well. While you shouldn’t buy a used mattress, getting one at a discount is perfect.
Find Items on Craigslist:
Go to Craigslist if you’re looking for great items for cheap. Here, you may be able to see pictures, get prices, and contact the seller. This allows you to pick and choose what you want. Depending on the area you live there may be hundreds of listings. Make sure to only look at items within your budget. Many retail shops post on Craigslist. Sometimes, you’ll be able to find discounted prices at these shops, but not always.
Head to IKEA:
No matter what you’re looking for, IKEA likely has some options for you. The store is well-known for their storage and shelving items, but they also carry many other home-related products. At IKEA you’ll be able to get everything from a bed frame to kitchen towels. On top of this, the products look great and are relatively cheap. Most of the furniture items they sell are also well-built, making them great options for those who don’t have a lot of money to spend but want their furniture to last.
Decorate with Free Items:
You don’t need to have a Monet on your wall to have your home look put-together. Instead, if you add a few nice touches, you’ll have a great look. Your decorations don’t even need to be expensive, or in many cases cost anything at all.
Pick some flowers and put them in a vase or even a cup. This can brighten a room quickly. Old wine bottles and other interesting glasses can be used as decoration to add an antique touch. Fill a bottle with sand and shells to make an interesting center piece.
Apartment decorating on a budget can be a frustrating process. On the other hand, it helps you become more creative in your decorating. You may even find a style you love that you had never considered before. Remember that if you ever need something new to decorate, feel free to check out these apartments for rent in Winnipeg.
Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Flickr
Lance @ Money Life and More says
A lot of these can be used to decorate houses too! If you own the place you’re living, you do have more options though.
A lot of these would apply to anyone who is trying to be frugal. I would cringe to think of what my place would look like if I wasn’t married.
I have been really wanting to head to Ikea. I have never been! I wish there was one closer.
It’s amazing how many people absolutely love it there and adore their products.
Evelyn Kelly says
I found your #3 tips helpful for me as I have some items, which I am not using and think them as a junk for my home. But after reading your post, got these wonderful tips. Now I have decided to recycle my old items and make them new for reuse. Thanks for giving me this brilliant inspiration.
Budget and the Beach says
I think I’ve done just about every one of those things! It’s amazing if your patient enough how people just end up giving things away that you could use.
Very true! We’re totally guilty of getting rid of some pretty amazing stuff ourselves. If I were 15 years younger and moving out, I’d totally go around and collect hand me downs from everyone I know to furnish my place.
Jeremy Norton says
These are wonderful tips. I love to personally decorate my home using customized items and getting help from IKEA.
Simon @ Modest Money says
Excelent tips. I always believe with a bit of research, creativity and finangling around you can make your apartment or house look classy without breaking the bank. Certainly love Ikea, I guess most of their products are just simple, intuitive, beautiful and with an affordable price tag.
These are great tips! Definitely perfect for anyone who is trying to live on a budget. Here’s a tip: Use contact paper! It can help spruce up old cabinets, furniture, frames, etc. There are tons of free design ideas online!
Reema Marquez says
I love buying stuffs in garage sales especially those classic furniture. Thank you for sharing these tips it is really helpful.