Moving out and renting your first apartment is an exciting and big step in your life. It comes with new challenges and responsibilities, but also opportunity. Plus, it’s a place you can call your own.
While you want to make your first home Pinterest-worthy, if you’re like most college students you’re living on a tight budget. Here are a few tips and ways you can decorate your new space while also saving money.
LOOK FOR HAND-ME-DOWN FURNITURE
Ask your family and friends if they are getting rid of any furniture and are willing to donate or sell to you at a cheap price. You can also check local charities like Goodwill, search online on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, or shop local yard sales.
Some furniture you may need that can be found second hand include:
- Couch or living room furniture
- Dining table and chairs
- Bedroom furniture
- Bookshelf or other storage
If you’re trying to get your kitchen in order, look for kitchen appliances, dishes and glasses, and cooking utensils on sale at your favorite retailer. You can find especially great back-to-school deals or Black Friday specials, or you can check online clearance sites.
MAKE IT PERSONAL
You can find a variety of apartment decorations and items to make your space your own, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money.
Showcase your personality through:
- Removable wall decals or wallpaper
- Paintings or prints
- Throw pillows, area rugs, or other room decor you love
You can even ask your landlord if you’re able to paint, and choose a color that suits you. You may have to repaint it before moving out or lose part of your security deposit, so decide whether the accent walls outweigh the cost.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO BUY NEW
Some things you’ll need for your new apartment are better when bought new, such as sheets, towels and mattresses. You can shop local discount retailers to try and get a better deal than purchasing full price, but don’t be afraid to spend a little more on higher-quality linens.
SKIP THE UNNECESSARY FEATURES
You probably don’t need a coffee table, china or display cabinet, filing cabinet, or end tables. Most of the time these furniture pieces just gather clutter and take up valuable space. If storage is an issue, get one unit that serves multiple purposes instead of having separate pieces of furniture. Consider the size of your room and what you’ll actually use the furniture for, and if you don’t need it, don’t buy it.
GET GOOD LIGHTING
Appropriate lighting, especially near your desk or work space, is very important for your eyes. Poor lighting can put unnecessary strain on your eyes and can lead to problems like headaches and visual fatigue. Try a mix of fixtures, like overhead lights, wall sconces, floor lamps, and table lamps. You can even find lamps and lampshades to fit your personality and other room decor.