So, what about furniture? Your choices will depend on the
size of your budget.
If you have enough money to buy a small, island nation, go ahead and
buy brand-new furniture. (And while you're at it, buy some furniture for
your friends. Otherwise, they may resent you.)
Here are some places to start looking, along with your local
furniture stores and department stores:
- Living.com is
packed with fabulous features, a marvelous magazine, and sensational
strategies for decorating your house or apartment.
has a great selection for your everyday needs and the prices
are reasonable. Check to see if there is
an IKEA near where you live.
However, if you are like most of us, you'll probably want to furnish
your house or apartment without spending too much money. If so, then
try these ideas:
Second-Hand Furniture and Appliances
This is the most effective way to find affordable furniture and housewares.
You can buy used furniture, dishes, and appliances from local thrift
stores, or check your local newspaper, campus and apartment building
message boards, and on-line listings for furniture and appliances for sale.
Around colleges, someone
is always moving or graduating, and most of these people will
want to get rid of their excess stuff as quickly as possible.
So you may be able to buy their appliances and furniture very cheaply.
Yard and Garage Sales
This a quaint American tradition. People with things to get rid
of will hold "yard sales" or "garage sales" in front of their
homes - often on Sundays. They will put cardboard signs
up all over the neighborhood saying when and where the sale will be.
Prices are usually quite low, and you can often enjoy negotiating for
an even lower price with the seller. The atmosphere is generally casual,
friendly, and relaxed.
In theory, renting allows you the convenience of low monthly payments.
Delivery and set-up of the furniture and appliances is often done for you,
for free. Renting appeals to students who only plan to stay for a short
time, and don't want to worry about selling their furniture when they leave.
If you are interested in renting, check out these sites:
is an association of furniture rental professionals.
They list the locations of rental furniture shops around the country.
- CORT Furniture Rental
provides a full line of rentals for home or
office. Previously rented furniture is also available for sale.
gives you lots of choices for renting furniture,
appliances, electronics, or computers.
- For students who live in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa,
Instant Furniture Rental provides several packages and
collections that can make getting a full set of furniture easy.
Tips for Decorating on a Budget