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How to Buy Cheap Furniture & Accessories for Your Home

By Christy Rakoczy

furnitureBuying a home can be a dream come true, as it gives you the chance to put your personal stamp on your space and to create a haven for yourself and your family. Unfortunately, buying a house can also be extremely expensive, and can leave you without a lot of remaining money for furniture and accessories.

However, if you are struggling to make your home look nice due to a lack of funds, you do have several easy, low-cost options.

How to Furnish & Accessorize Your Home for Less

Shop Used

One of the best and easiest ways to decorate your house without spending a fortune is to shop for used items. There are a number of resources available that allow you to do this:

  • Craigslist. Craigslist is a free online classified service where people can buy and sell furniture, home decor items, and antiques, among many other things. When you shop on Craigslist, be sure to check for common misspellings of the items you are looking for – for example, “Broy Hill” instead of “Broyhill,” “dinning” table instead of “dining” table, or “marbel” instead of “marble.”
  • eBay. eBay is extremely popular, so it can be hard to find bargains. To get the best results, look for misspelled items in the titles of auctions, or search for auctions that end late at night with few bidders. You can also restrict your eBay search to local results for large items. However, before you buy on eBay, you should have a good understanding of prices to be sure you get the very best deals.
  • Goodwill. It is possible to browse Goodwill by using shopgoodwill.com, an auction site where prime items from Goodwill stores across the country are listed. This can give you a chance to find more unique pieces than are available locally. Typically, this works best for smaller home decor items rather than furniture, due to the fact that not all pieces of furniture can be shipped – and if an item can be shipped, it is likely to be very costly.
  • Estate Sales. Unlike garage sales, estate sales typically are held only when someone is moving or when someone dies. A whole house, or most of the items in a house, are generally sold at estate sales. You can check your local newspaper to locate upcoming estate sales, or use an online site such as EstateSales.net. Sales usually last for several days – if you go on the first day, you may get the best selection, but if you go late in the sale you may get as much as half-off the listed prices.
  • Thrift Stores. Local thrift shops can be a great place to find items. Look for stores in the best neighborhoods and ask the staff on which day new items are placed on the sales floor.
  • Consignment Stores. You can often find great pieces when looking for furniture at consignment stores, as baby boomers are downsizing their homes as they grow older.

If you see an item you like, you need to be prepared to pounce right away. To be sure you are ready to act, you must have an idea of the measurements of the spaces in your home in which you want to place furniture or other items. Consider jotting down these measurements on a piece of paper, or record them in your phone. To keep colors in mind, you can also paint Popsicle sticks the colors of the rooms in your house and carry those as well.


Try Some DIY Projects

Shopping for used items can greatly help you to furnish your home on a budget, but it may not fill all of your needs. Fortunately, with a little creativity, you can create one-of-a-kind accessories and furniture. Best of all, there are many projects that don’t require you to have advanced sewing, carpentry, or crafting skills, and there are numerous resources that can provide you with great ideas that match your skill level.

  • Use¬†Pinterest for Inspiration. Both the “DIY” and “Home” sections of Pinterest are filled with crafts and projects of varying degrees of difficulty. You may be surprised to learn what you can make with old doors, windows, wine bottles, or even used toilet paper rolls.
  • Re-purpose Cheap Accessories. The website Dollar Store Crafts teaches you how to take items you find from the dollar store and turn them into unique one-of-a-kind home accessories.
  • Think Outside the Box.¬†An old coffee table can be covered with foam and fabric to become an ottoman. An unwanted dining table can be cut down at the legs to become a coffee table. A pretty cloth napkin can be framed and hung on your wall. If you find items at the store or have items in your home that you can’t use in the traditional sense, consider other ways they may be incorporated into your home.

If you aren’t afraid to experiment, the Internet can provide a wealth of information on DIY projects, from building furniture to creating art. Don’t be afraid to try – the items in your home may mean much more to you if you’ve made them yourself.

Final Word

Decorating your home on a budget can be a challenge. However, it can also be exciting, as finding, creating, and re-purposing items can be a fun process. If you find something close to what you are looking for, don’t hesitate to buy if it only needs a few tweaks to be perfect. Just be sure you have a clear idea of how you want your home to look and feel so that everything comes together.

Where have you found your best home decor bargains?

Christy Rakoczy
Christy Rakoczy earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester and her Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law. She is currently a full-time writer who writes both textbooks and web content related to personal finance and the law. She and her husband and two dogs split their time between Florida and Pennsylvania.

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  • http://www.prosperitycoaching.biz/ Suzanne

    Good advice. There’s a consignment shop around the corner from my condo where I found a leather sectional for 1/3 the price of new. Sure it looks “lived in” but it’s gorgeous! As a society we are too focused on buying new when there are plenty of bargains out there that are used.

  • Personal Finance Journey

    Nice article. Very direct in giving tips especially when you are really on a tight budget. Using the social media to get suggestions how many “how to tips…” really helps, with much information you are good to go on making your house look nicer even on a budget.

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