When I moved to Australia, Michael and I knew it was only going to be for the one year. Because of this we didn’t want to go all out and spend a ton of furniture we knew we were going to have to sell at the end of that one year. In the past both of us had furnished places from pretty much solely Ikea, however, when you stop to think about it Ikea is actually kind of expensive. Of course the basic range of things are relatively cheap, but that’s what you get– basic. Instead we approached furnishing this apartment totally differently and I learned so much and I’m totally doing the same thing when we relocate to the UK in a couple of months.
Here are a few ways to acquire furniture that will save you money in the long run.
- Gumtree: A lot of people look down on Gumtree, and I can see why, it’s a little weird to go to someone’s house and buy something but there is a ton of really great stuff in really good shape on there that people are selling at ridiculously discounted prices just to get rid of it. The downside to this is normally you have to get it yourself, but if you’ve got a couple of friends it’s totally doable.
- Op shops/charity shops: These are a treasure trove of amazing, unique (and cheap) things. One of the problems with Ikea is that, well, frankly, everyone ends up having the same stuff. And sometimes you don’t want your apartment to look like an Ikea advertisement, I know I don’t. We still have Ikea staples like a lack table and such, but almost everything else was acquired somewhere else.
- Wait to buy it: Bed frames and mattresses are probably one of the biggest buys you’ll make, other than the sofa, and because of this they’re usually pretty expensive. The bed prices we saw when we first got here at stores were insanely high and on top of all of our other relocating costs we really couldn’t afford it. Instead we bought a cheap air mattress and slept on that for a few months until we found a great deal on a fantastic, almost new, bed. The same thing applied for the TV and dining table set, all things we waited to buy until we found a good deal because they weren’t a necessity.
- Shop around: So many people just go and buy something from one place without ever looking around at other places. Lots of shops and stores charge completely different prices for the same thing, so a quick online search could end up saving you a fair chunk of money. Searching for the best price consistently will also give you a good idea of what stores or shops are continually cheaper and can save you shopping around in the future.
Just by doing these few things we were able to save a lot of money that we then could put towards decorating, traveling or anything else. You’ll also end up with a far more unique selection of items and it’ll also be stuff that you really love, not just settling for. Now that I’ve chosen this way to furnish an apartment I have to say I won’t ever be doing giant Ikea shops again. Although let’s be honest, Ikea is awesome and I’ll go there for meatballs alone so I’ll probably end up buying some stuff anyway.