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

It’s Time to Furnish Your New Home

Moving into a new apartment in Washington DC is exciting. You’re starting a new chapter, getting a fresh start, and ready to take on the world. Congrats!

That excitement can quickly diminish once you realize the costs involved in furnishing your home.

If you’re looking to furnish your DC apartment without draining your savings, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s how to make your new place feel like home without breaking the bank.

Where to Look for Budget Home Furnishings

When you looked at furniture online or in stores, you probably saw price ranges in the thousands.

Couple relaxing after moving in

Now, if you’re wondering how you could possibly afford to furnish your new apartment like that, you’re not the only one.

Don’t worry. It is possible. You may just be looking in all the wrong places.

Sure, you might be able to find great deals at those places during an end-of-season clearance sale, but it’s otherwise best to steer clear of luxury name brands.

There are plenty of other ways to find furniture, and many of them offer incredible deals.

Here are some other, cheaper 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.

You can often find yard sales advertised on craigslist, and you may even be able to get an idea of what is up for sale. That way, you don’t waste your time if the sale doesn’t have anything you want.

Homeowners who advertise sales typically have larger items they want to get rid of. Check out their listings before you go. You’ll know what to expect when you arrive.

The trick to a successful yard sale haul is to get there early.

Show up at least 10 to 15 minutes before the slated start time. You’ll get first dibs on items before other savvy garage sale-goers beat you to them.

But if you’re looking for the best prices, show up near the end. Often sellers are desperate to get rid of everything, so they may be more willing to bargain.

When you find an item that you like, look it up on resellers like eBay and Craigslist. Compare the prices so that you know you’re getting the best deal.

Don’t be afraid to bargain. Yard sale hosts are probably expecting it. As long as you’re fair and respectful, you’ll come out on top.

2. Don’t Underestimate Thrift or Secondhand Stores

Don’t be surprised if some of your favorite furnishings come from a thrift store. Sometimes, they can be gold mines.

Many people would rather donate their old furniture than throw it away. Most of the time, it’s still in good condition.

Whether Goodwill, Salvation Army, or a local joint down the block, second-hand stores are great for cheap finds.

Stock up your kitchen with pots and pans. Grab a sofa that perfectly fits your living room. And find unique and quirky decorations to liven up your space.

The best thing about these stores is that money often goes to charitable causes. Whether you’re helping the homeless or feeding stray animals, you’ll feel good about the money you spend.

3. Tap Into Apps

As you probably could’ve guessed, there are tons of apps out there for people to sell their old furniture.

Letgo, Carousell, Vinted, OfferUp, and 5miles can all help you with your furniture hunt. So free up some storage space and start downloading.

Once you have them, shopping becomes as easy as unlocking your phone.

These digital marketplaces allow users to create accounts, take pictures of the items, list prices, and barter with potential buyers.

And as an added bonus, when you find what you need for your new home, you might also meet some of your neighbors.

4. Shop Online

Amazon, eBay, and Wayfair all offer easy shopping experiences. Most of the time, you can get free shipping.

Not everybody loves online shopping, but these three sites offer verified reviews. With enough research, you’ll get some peace of mind about your purchases.

Many reviewers also post photos of the buys once they get delivered. You can see what the product actually looks like instead of the promotional images.

Their prices are much better than you’ll find almost anywhere, but you may have to assemble some items yourself.

So, put your builder’s hat on.

5. When All Else Fails, Hit the Discount Stores

When you think of furniture stores, you might think of Pier 1 Imports or Pottery Barn. What you probably don’t consider is Walmart or Target.

But both of these have essential items that will do for a budget-friendly setup.

Find large furniture items – like sofas or bed frames, – at incredible prices.

And, of course, no budget furniture list would be complete without Ikea.

Just make sure you carve out enough time for the trip. After all, you know you’ll probably spend at least an hour trying to pronounce the names of everything.

You might have to put the furniture together using some easy-to-follow directions and a few standard tools — or have friends over to help you do so — but such affordable items are sturdier than you think.

And with proper care, they will last for years to come, making the assembly effort well worth it.

6. Decorate on a Dime

HomeGoods and Marshalls are great stores to visit when outfitting your new place. They have items that match every style, so go in and explore.

You’ll find cookware, lamps, linens, throw blankets, decorative pillows, statues, faux plants, organizational items, and even clocks.

When it comes to wall decorations, don’t be afraid to do-it-yourself. There are hundreds of DIY guides online.

All you have to do is find one you like and get to work.

Best of all, DIY is always much cheaper than buying decorations. Stock up on arts and crafts items and create to your heart’s content. And when you’re ready for new decorations, you’ll have all the supplies to start from scratch.

Ready to Move In?

Woman thinking about moving costs

Now that you know how to furnish your apartment, are you ready to sign a lease? Daro Apartments offers incredible apartments located in the heart of DC. So come in for a tour and let us show you why our apartments are right for you.

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