We don’t really have to buy everything brand new. When we got our first house, everyone gave us furniture, desks, sofa, dinning tables etc. This save us lots of money. Every year, we purchased something new. Something we looked for as we wanted the perfect item. One year, was a new sofa set, another year was a dinning table with buffet and hutch. Another year was a home desk system with high end office chair.
After a few years, after I decided to stay home, we downsized and moved cross country and had to sell a lot of our furniture. It was devastating, It felt like it was part of our story as a couple that we had to get rid of. Until I realized that it was only stuff that I was getting rid of. We had each other and that is all that mattered.
When we were ready to set up home again, we had no furniture except for a few tables and mattresses. I went on Kijiji and Craigslist to furnish the house. At this point we had a small home and needed specific sized items. I think I spent about a month looking and eventually found everything I needed.
All in all, we purchased a double bed, a trundle bed, a bunk bed, 4-5 shelving units, 2 desk, dressers, couch, dinning table and 6 chairs, storage bench for under $500. Compared to the brand new leather couch we purchased 20 years ago for $3000.
Our first purchase was a shelving unit listed for $5. When we got there, she wouldn’t accept any money. She said that if she put it for free, people would ask her to deliver etc., she didn’t want the hassle. So we got it for free. The love seat, the lady was on the 3rd floor of an apartment walk-up and she said that she would give it free to anyone who would moved it out. We got an Ikea amour and dresser for $30. The only trick was fitting it into the back of our friends van. I purchased a CD player with speakers and found out that the seller was moving out of the country and he gave me the laundry basket and a clothes hanger. You never know what you can find online or on the side of the curb. I found a shelving unit in my neighbours driveway, that I have put in my mud room. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
Be open to the options. If you don’t want to use someone else’s couch, don’t. There are products out there for cleaning and sanitizing fabric, I used that for my fabric couch. I had young kids so I didn’t stress if they soiled the couch as it was Free. For the bench, I replaced the cushion and made a new cushion cover. Shelving just needs a good clean. I bought an Ikea cube shelf what came with the drawers. We didn’t need it so I resold them and all in all the extra large shelving unit ended up costing me $60, which was brand new $250 plus all the drawers, it would have been over $300. Be creative.