Furnish a First Home with Money to Spare

About the Author:
Caroline Smith enjoys finding thrifty ways to furnish and decorate her home. She runs a website where you can find out more about using slipcovers for chairs to furnish your home on a budget.

Buying a first house can be an exhilarating experience. However, that feeling can quickly disappear when thoughts then turn to furnishing your new home and you realise how little spare cash you have left! Fortunately, there are some easy ways to make that first house a home without compromising the budget.

Before purchasing furniture, there are a few things that should be taken into consideration:

Needs against wants – There’s no need to rush in and get the best of everything from the start. Think about what items are most necessary. For example, a couch, some armchairs, a microwave, bed, table and chairs will most likely be top priorities.

LifestyleIf there are children also moving in, there are some pieces, such as a crib, that will be needed. If you like to entertain often, you may require more furniture, such as extra seating.

Where to find affordable furniture:

Yard/garage sales Still one of the best places to find cheap furnishings for a home. Check the classified sections of the local newspaper, usually about midweek, and look through the listings. Sellers are frequently simply looking to get rid of their goods quickly, while making a little money, and so are more likely to haggle on the price.

Estate sales or auctionsSince the objects are bid on, certain pieces may sell for more than at a garage sale, but there is always the possibility of a steal.

Classified ads These can include traditional newspaper classifieds or modern alternatives such as Craigslist and Freecycle. Great deals can be had in any of the postings. An advantage of newspaper classifieds is the item usually will be found locally, and thus easier to transport, while a wider offering is found with online sources. The big advantage of Freecycle of course is that all items offered are free, and sometimes some real bargains can be found.

Thrift stores Those who do not want to mess around with organizing a garage sale or advertising in the classifieds may simply donate furniture to stores such as Goodwill or The Salvation Army. These stores then clean and sell items to the public at reasonable prices, with profits going to charities.

Relatives Hand-me-down furniture should not be snubbed. As family or friends purchase new furnishings for their homes, they may be willing to part with the older models for nothing. Advantages with these options are knowledge of where the furniture came from and how those people treat their belongings. Just make sure not to accept everything that is offered, especially if it is in poor condition, as your house could end up looking cluttered.

Make it personal:

Buying or accepting second-hand furniture doesn’t have to mean a house full of mismatched items with someone else’s personality.  It can be cheap and simple to give items a makeover and adapt them to your personal taste.

Slipcovers These coverings for couches and chairs come in various sizes to fit all kinds of needs. Slipcovers come in many patterns and colors to fit anybody’s style, and they can make the oldest or ugliest couch or chair look new again. Purchasing a used couch in good condition and a slipcover to go over it will still be much cheaper than buying a new piece.

PaintingOlder tables, entertainment centers or bookshelves can be made to look completely different simply by painting or refinishing them. Staining will also give them a newer appearance.

Filling a new home from scratch on a limited budget doesn’t have to mean giving up on good taste. With a little creativity, affordable furniture can easily be found and changed to fit your individual style, helping your new house really feel like a home.