How to Decorate Your First Apartment on a Budget

Jasmine Writes
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(Last Updated On: May 14, 2019)

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how to decorate your first apartmenthow to decorate your apartment on a budgethow to decorate your apartment on a budget

Congratulations are in order for you, you independent minx. Good on you for saving your money and being able to get through a major life event with, hopefully, your sanity and your furniture still intact.

Now comes the exciting part: Making your first house your home.

Chances are, however, that between a down payment or, if you’re a renter, the first month’s rent and the other costs of moving, you might be tight on cash. Read on to find out how to spruce up your new space for cheap!

Ask and you shall receive

You may not believe in The Secret, but there’s something to be said about speaking things into existence. If you’re talking to co-workers or friends about your new home, why not also hint that you’re looking to dress up your home on a dime?

The conversation about your move might remind your friend or family member about that one piece of furniture they’ve been meaning to donate or those baskets that don’t work with their remodeled kitchen. It never hurts to ask the folks closest to you if they’ve got any home items that they’re willing to part ways with.

My in-laws were getting ready to toss a very comfy couch around the time we moved last year. When we found out, we asked them to hold off on calling the trash collectors and we’ve kept the couch ever since!

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how to decorate your first apartmenthow to decorate your apartment on a budgethow to decorate your apartment on a budget

Buy furniture used

Furniture is one of those expensive but necessary items that renters and homeowners alike bemoan. Craigslist is a must for furniture bargain hunters. Facebook sales groups are also another great place to find some deals.

Apps like OfferUp, letgo are worth perusing. Wish.com also has some furniture on sale. But Wish can be a bit misleading with pricing so watch your shopping cart like a hawk. Most, if not all, the items from Wish come from vendors in China.

There’ve been many a YouTuber who has had to wait months for their items to turn up in the mail. It might also take some time before your items ship.

I will say though that I’ve had swift returns with Wish when vendors weren’t able to ship an item to my location. Wish was quick to issue a refund without me sending a message and that happened to me four times.

Don’t forget to check Facebook, Craigslist and maybe your local newspaper for announcements about yard sales or garage sales in your area where you could find some sweet savings on big ticket items.

DIY it!

My favorite way to decorate on a budget is through DIY projects. Even if they turn out a little wonkier than what the end-product on Pinterest shows, I still love it because it involved flexing my creative muscles.

Speaking of Pinterest, that’s pretty much become the ground zero for DIYs. You’ll easily lose yourself in the rabbit hole that is home decor pins so be sure you have the phone number of a close friend or colleague nearby so you can call a lifeline if you become obsessed with DIY.

YouTube is also a great resource for home decor DIYs. I recommend The Sorry Girls, The Home Primp and, for you DIYers with advanced skills, Mr. Kate.

If you’ve got the DIY spirit, consider looking at your favorite websites, like Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters or even Ikea, for inspiration. Take note of items like picture frames or mirrors, that you could do yourself.

Once I saw a glitter decor knot on Anthropologie that looked like a ball of twisted plastic that was selling for $18. I made it almost exactly from supplies bought from Home Depot. I made, like, four of them for the same price of one.

Here are some websites that’ll have cute apartment DIYs:

Don’t forget the Dollar Store

The dollar store is a verifiable national treasure. For every item that you come across that you feel is rightfully worth $1, you’re sure to find five more items that you are surprised would cost $1.

When you’re looking to style your home on a budget, you can’t just look at an item and take it at face value. You also have to look for its potential.

With that in mind, your next trip to the dollar store should be one in which you are shopping with your “potential” lens. Filter all the items you see through your “What could this become?” lens and you’re sure to find some winners among the dollar store shelves.

The good news is that some kind folks on the internet have offered a ton of dollar store decor inspiration including these to help us all:

There you have it, a few helpful tips that hopefully inspired you to transform your new space without breaking the bank.

Now go forth and decorate!

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