Monday, October 11, 2010

How to Furnish a Home on the Cheap

I have to admit, one of the reasons I was really hesitant about moving out of our motor home was our lack of stuff. Don’t misunderstand me, we had stuff alright. Too much stuff for our 31 foot RV that had been our home for 18 months, but not nearly enough stuff to furnish a home or even cover the basic necessities. So, what is a family desperately trying to stick to a budget to do when you find yourself in need of household furnishings?

1. Word of mouth- let people know what you need and don’t be too proud to accept what is offered to you! A dear friend offered to allow us to borrow a table and chair set until ours can be retrieved from storage. I was tempted to simply respond with thanks but no thanks, and I’m so happy that I placed my pride aside. Having a table where we can gather for family meals makes our home seem so much ‘homier’.

2. Join a Freecycle group in your area. Freecycle is an online group that basically offer items free of charge to those that can use them rather than throwing them away and filling our landfills with items that are still very usable. I’d heard about this network several years ago but never took the time to investigate it. When a friend mentioned that she was able to furnish her home with Freecycle I was really interested.

In the past week, we’ve been blessed with a complete mattress set (mattress, box springs, rails, mattress cover and sheet set), a cute futon like couch and a washer. These items were free to us- all we had to do was pick them up in a timely agreed upon manner. I’m looking forward to acquiring many more items this way and when I have items to pass on you can bet I won’t forget the generosity of this network.

3. Frequent thrift stores. I don’t make any secret of the fact that I LOVE THRIFT STORES! In fact, that’s how I’ve furnished and decorated my living room.

4. When all else fails, shop sales and use coupons. Buy the best quality that you can with the money you have allotted. Sometimes you need something right away and it’s easier to buy the cheapest item that fits your needs rather than do without. Personally, I’ve found that I’m better off waiting and purchasing higher quality items when they are on sale so they don’t need to be replaced as frequently.

5. Finally, realize that you don’t need everything. I used to think “I NEED this,  now I think WHY do I need this?”

There you have it, five of my best tips for furnishing a home on the cheap. What secrets do you have when it comes to furnishing a home on a budget?


  1. We put LOADS of stuff on Freecycle - stuff that is way too good to go for free really, but I prefer it to the alternative of just throwing it away. I love Freecycling stuff - it's nice to know my unwanted things are appreciated once more and going to a good home. I have stuff here now that needs to go on Freecycle (you just reminded me), will get hubby to do it after the holiday.

  2. My husband cannot believe the stuff that we've gotten- all of it really was too good for free! In fact he's a bit leary of me requesting anything else because he's afraid next time it will really be junk. Of course we aren't obligated to take it just because we respond but when you're showing up to get something for free is it rude to tell them you don't want it? LOL I'm still on the lookout for a few more items, but for the most part by the time I retrieve our personal affects that are in storage we'll be set.

    Speaking of holidays, I can't wait to hear about your cruise! I'm sure hoping you had a better experience than we did! :)


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