Whether it’s your first apartment or you are starting over in a new city, furnishing an entire apartment can be an expensive, if not overwhelming process. You may already have some idea of what you’d like your space to look and feel like, but your bank account is not quite ready to support your vision; we have a few solutions for that as well. The most common mistake is leaving the big purchases to the last minute. Planning for the essentials early affords you time to find, save, shop and possibly order what you really want.
Thankfully, others have been where you are, made the mistakes and shared their valuable hindsight. Give yourself a 3-month lead, and in three easy steps, you’ll be on your way to first apartment heaven.
With the large and small essentials out of the way, you can relax on the finishing touches. Take your time finding the perfect wall art, accent tables, and other decorative touches. Give yourself time to curate accents that reflect your unique taste and personality. Better yet, if you or your friends are crafty or artsy, create a few one-of-a-kind pieces yourself. Below we offer a few nationwide locations for inspiration and fixer-upper finds.
Keep in mind, you don’t need to start with all of the essentials at move-in, if you own a mattress, but don’t have a frame – furniture stores carry metal bed frames starting around $50, and platform bed frames can be ordered for about $100.
Estate sales happen for a variety of reasons, downsizing, debt, divorce, or in some cases, the passing of a loved one. While most estate sales are run by professionals who know the value of the items being sold, occasionally you either find something that you feel is undervalued, or worth every penny they are asking for it, and you considered it a steal. Opening day at estate sales are very busy, many local antiquers, and even dealers, will visit hoping to score a treasure or two. You can expect to pay full price for the first and possible second day of an estate sale. By the third day, discounts usually ensue, if an item has not sold. You can expect prices to drop 25% on the second or third day, and 40 – 50% on the last day. If you find you have fallen in love with an item, you can ask the professional in charge to be placed on a sort of last call list. If the item has not sold when they are wrapping up the estate sale, the professional will start the call list for the remaining items. It helps if you establish a relationship with an estate sale professional.
Flea Markets are Gold Mines
Sometimes in the most literal sense, you are just as likely to walk away not having found anything as you are finding the perfect fixer-upper. But the sheer amount of creativity, ingenuity, and variety behind the vendors at open markets is hard to find. You never know what you’ll see, and it is probably different every time you go. For many of the vendors, this is a full-time job. Their time is spent acquiring and curating the best finds. It is possible you’ll find a seller that matches your taste to a tee, and you’ll find yourself visit them for years to come. The great thing about these small businesses, they are hunting for new items all the time. If you share the piece, treasure or concept you’re looking to execute, they might just be able to find it for you or point you in the right direction.
Industry insiders refer to it as the resale industry. You may also hear it called goodwill hunting, consignment cruising and bargain hunting. Regardless of the name, you might be surprised that 1 out of 6 Americans goes thrifting a year. On the hunt for a good deal and perhaps you want to contribute to a good cause, you can find new and used clothing, shoes, electronics, washers, dryers, furniture and exercise equipment at thrift stores across the U.S. Research estimates there are around 18,000 reseller stores across the nation, bringing in revenues over $12 billion annually.
Donations to these stores come from all walks of life. Often, they are the recipients of yard sale leftovers, emergency move-outs or relocation, estate sale leftovers or upgrades. Donators receive charitable donation receipts for the value of their gifts. There is really no telling what you might find at a thrift store. TV shows like Baggage Battles, American Pickers and Storage Wars publicize locating rare and valuable treasures in peculiar places. Thrift stores are among the hiding spaces of these items.
Are you hunting apartments in Lafayette Louisiana? Do put Lafayette Gardens Apartments on your must-visit list.
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