Furnishing your new apartment is easy as pie…maybe less tasty though.

After deciding where you want to live, the next step in your exciting new apartment adventure is deciding how you’ll be furnishing your grand villa. Or, you know, somewhat smaller abode. I remember signing the lease to my first apartment, buying myself a congratulatory milkshake, and then walking further down the street to a local furniture shop; I remember thinking how easy it was all going to be. Until I saw the prices. First hand furniture is expensive, YO.

Here’s what you’re gonna do.

1) www.craigslist.com . Check the furniture section – and I have no doubt that you’ll find deals and weirdness a plenty. I’m currently in the market for a TV stand and in my search, came across a 300 year old Moroccan chest. Um, what?! Just be sure not to infect your new apartment with bed bugs!! **There is a huge bed bug infection in New York right now, so for items that can attract bugs, like mattresses, and fabric couches, do yourself a favor and go the IKEA route. Leather couches are okay fyi.

2)Take a walk around your neighborhood! I recently found a dresser sitting on the curb all by its lonesome. How sad for the lil guy – but how lucky for me! I enlisted my boyfriend who, when out of work this fall, moonlighted as a mover, and that baby is now residing in my bedroom helping to keep me organized. **Make sure all street items work properly before lugging them into your apartment. Only 3/7 drawers of this dresser work properly. . .oops.

3) Salvation Army is our army. The salvation army/resale shops get all sorts of donations through the year and are a great resource, especially for wooden items that last for years. Be sure to find one near you and check out their supply. The one in my last neighborhood regularly had bookshelves, kitchen tables, sofas, and go-go boots (in their clothes section).

4) Ask the rents. Mothers have this weird thing with re-decorating. What, too sexist for you? Okay, fathers have this weird thing with getting the hugest TV set possible. But, yeah, when I told my mom I was looking to get a couch for our sunroom, she was like, oh, you should just take the ones from the living room. I’ve been wanting to redecorate for a couple years now! This, btw, was the couch I wasn’t even allowed to read the NEWSPAPER on growing up, lest the ink bleed. She was now just – giving it away. Ah-mazing.

If anyone has any other ideas, feel free to share!

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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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