Furnishing La Casa on a Budget

Whether you’re moving to your new place from your parents’ place, moving on up from the college dorm, or are ‘just’ moving cities, the more planning you do in terms of furnishing your place, the better. Plus, even a little bit planning will save you money you’ll need to get settled in your place.

I’ve never been a list maker, but for moving related tasks I make an exception. Really, there are so many little furniture items, you’ll definitely forget something if you don’t! Start room by room and think about what you can take with you — if anything — from where you currently are. If you’re moving to an apartment within driving distance, the more you can take with, the cheaper it will be. I call this strategy, ahem, “Everything but the Kitchen Sink.” And, while the big ticket items like couches, tables, lamps might be obvious, don’t discount the saving of not having to buy new plants, pillows, shower curtains etc. If your parents, or your current abode, have extras well…be a bit of a scavenger! Every little bit counts!

If you’re still unsure of what you actually do own, do a walk through of your living space now. It might even make you feel better as you realize that you have more than you think. Additionally, if you are moving further away it’s good to take stock. I can tell you that in my bedroom I have the following. (For ya’ll, I’ve also included the prices for those items I’ve bought/sold on Craigslist so you can have an idea of their resale value.)

Bed – $50-200 (sheets, pillows, pillowcase, casters so the wheels don’t roll, husband pillow)
Windows:(curtain rod, shades)
Rug – $25
Desk – $40-$50 (lamp, chair)
Night table – $25-50 (alarm clock, lamp)
Dresser – $75-150
Wall Hooks(hammer, nails)
Shoe rack -$10
Full length mirror -$10
Extension Cords
AC $50
Alarm clock
Random wall hangings

The price depends on your actual item, the quality, age, and the like, but these prices should be in the ballpark. They also should be a good gauge as to whether it is economical to rent a U-haul or sell and go. As you’ve read in my previous posts, it’s easy to spend as much as $500-700+ on a mattress. If you’re only moving a few hours by car, it’s way worth it to rent a truck. If you miraculously already have matching furniture from Crate and Barrel, same thing. Beyond Craigslist, a great resource is the Salvation Army. If you’re buying, hellooooo cheap! If you’re selling, your donation is tax deductible, which means that when you are filling out your taxes next year, you can subtract it from your income before you figure out the money you owe, making you owe less. Thanks, Uncle Sam!

The thing I like about moving lists, is the way they help me take stock of my life. It’s calming to have a list in front of me while my apartment is in a state of complete chaos, because it gives me direction and makes me feel like I’m making progress. Also, it helps me know how many boxes to buy(!).

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Author My First Apartment

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at Cars.com, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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