Whether it’s a college apartment or your first grown-up pad in a new city, moving into your own place is one of the best things about life as a twenty-something. However, more often than not, the joys of decorating our new spaces are quickly quelled when we realize that our monthly budget barely allows for decent food, let alone pricey home decor.
Fear not, my dears! There are plenty of ways to make the most of your new home without breaking the bank:
1. Find a local thrift store.
Thrift stores are great places to find unique odds and ends that will help turn the four white walls of your new abode into a warm, vibrant living space. Look for small vases that you can use for storage or to hold fresh flowers. Find a cool mirror or picture frame that can spruce up boring walls. Try to think outside the box, and you’ll often find hidden treasures for pennies on the dollar. TheThriftShopper.com even lets you search for thrift stores in your area!
2. Learn how to use Craigslist effectively.
While Craigslist’s usefulness in fostering healthy relationships is questionable at best, it is a wonderful resource for finding furniture and other home decor nearby. I would suggest starting with the “free stuff” tab and see what you can find there (because no price is better than $0). If that’s not helpful, use the search bar to narrow your search and set a price range that fits in your budget. Another hint – select the “pic” option so that you can see exactly what the person is selling. You’ll be surprised by how many amazing things you can find for very cheap prices.
3. Let your artistic flag fly.
I’d like to think of myself as a moderately creative person, but even those of you without a single artistic bone in your body can create artwork for your new space. Print silhouetted nature pictures from your computer and frame them, like this. Turn interesting pictures from old books or magazines into home decor (basically, once you frame something – no matter what it is – it counts as art). Pinterest, also known as the holy grail for finding ideas about everything, has countless ways for you to make art for your new place (including this one, which is surely going to be my next art project. JustWaitOnIt.).
4. Don’t be afraid of paint.
Painting old furniture or decor is a surefire way to restore a worn-out piece and completely change the look and feel of the room. Start by tackling a small paint job, like repainting a thrift store vase or mirror. Once you have that down, move up to bigger jobs, like repainting a piece of furniture. Be warned: this can take some time and a lot of patience, but it’s definitely worth it. If you have questions or aren’t sure how to get started, stop by your local home improvement store and ask for help. Also, many stores sell paint samples for around $3, so you can create your new masterpiece while spending next to nothing on paint supplies.
5. Keep clutter to a minimum.
An important trick for making your space feel bigger and more welcoming is to keep your space as organized as possible. Making organizing fun by finding small vases, bowls, containers, and even trays to organize your stuff. Again, your local thrift shops and dollar stores are great places to look for inexpensive storage ideas that add personality and character to your home.
Don’t let limited funds prevent you from creating a space that truly makes you feel at home! Get creative, think outside the box, and design a personalized place that you can be proud of. Have more budget-friendly decorating ideas or tips? Leave us a comment below!