How to Furnish Your D.C. Apartment on a Budget

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Ready to Buy Your Furnitures?

Moving into a new apartment is an exciting time. You’re starting a new chapter, getting a fresh start, and ready to take on the world. That excitement can quickly diminish once you realize the costs involved in furnishing your home, though, as prices for shiny, new furniture and decorations can quickly add up.

If you’re looking to furnish your D.C.- apartment without draining all your savings, this blog post is for you. Read on for help making your new place feel like home while staying within a pretty strict budget.

Where to Look for Budget Home Furnishings

  • DC

Stores like Pier 1, West Elm, Crate & Barrel, and Pottery Barn sell home furnishings and décor, but most don’t do so on a budget. Sure, you might be able to find great deals during an end-of-season clearance sale, but it’s otherwise best to stay clear of luxury name brands when you’re on a budget. Here are some other, less wallet-draining options for when you’re looking to furnish your new apartment:

1. Garage and yard sales are your friends.

Pick up a local newspaper or do a quick Google search for garage or yard sales in your new area. Homeowners who advertise sales typically have larger items with which they’re looking to part, meaning you’ll know exactly the types you can expect when you arrive.

Pro tip: Get there early — 10 to 15 minutes before the slated start time — so you can get first dibs on items before other savvy garage sale-goers beat you to them.

2. Do not underestimate thrift or second hand stores.

Whether Goodwill, Salvation Army, or a local joint down the block, secondhand stores are great for finding pots and pans, accessories, bedding, décor, and sometimes even furniture — all for well under new item prices. Best of all, many support charitable organizations, meaning your purchases help the less fortunate, too.

3. Tap into apps.

There are tons of apps — like Letgo, Carousell, Vinted, OfferUp, 5miles — popping up to help people part with the things they don’t need. These digital marketplaces allow users to create accounts, take pictures of the items, list prices, and barter with potential buyers.

Bonus: In addition to finding what you need for your new home, you might also meet some of your neighbors.

4. When all else fails, hit discount stores.

Many people don’t think of Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club, or Costco when they think about home furnishings, but all have basic items that will do for a budget-friendly setup. You might have to put the furniture together using some easy-to-follow directions and a few common tools — or have friends over to help you do so — but such affordable items are sturdier than you think and will last for years with proper care, making the assembly effort worth it.

Pro tip: Most friends will be much more willing to help with assembly if you offer pizza and beverages.

5. Decorate on a dime.

HomeGoods and Marshalls are great stores to visit when outfitting your new place. You’ll find cookware, lamps, linens, throw blankets, decorative pillows, statues, faux plants, organizational items, and even clocks and wall art, all of which will have your new apartment feeling like home in no time. IKEA is another great option, but be sure to block out some extra time before making the trip and keep an eye out for really good deals.

Couple relaxing after moving in
Woman thinking about moving costs

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