Everything you need to know about furnishing your first place

Moving out and living alone for the first time is an exciting adventure. One filled with independence, responsibility, decision making and loads of fun.

Furnishing your first place can be a daunting prospect. As a student it’s unlikely you’ll have much money to foot the bill. And you do need to eat. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

Create a budget

How much can you afford to spend on furnishing your home right now? Can you buy everything you need right now or will you have to take the next year to buy furniture? Creating your budget now, right at the beginning, will ensure you’ll only spend money on the essentials.

Decide what’s most important

If you can’t afford to buy everything you want right now, some things will have to be put on hold. For example, you’ll definitely need a kettle now while a new couch can wait. You may think you need that framed print from a local artist but sets of cast iron pots and cutlery are probably more important.

Know where you’ll be living

It may be tempting to buy furniture now. But until you’ve signed the lease, you won’t know what will fit into your new space. There may be space limitations and then you’ll be stuck with a giant TV which doesn’t fit through the door. Or you might end up living in a place which is partially furnished, making your collection of furniture pointless.

Don’t be afraid to buy second hand

You can find some real bargains online, in second hand shops and charity stores. This is especially true for bigger items of furniture – think couches, coffee tables and beds. Buying these items second hand makes sense as you might not know what you want right now. Imagine the frustration of paying off a dining room table for many months after you’ve grown tired of its outdated style. The upside to buying second hand is that every piece of furniture in your home comes with its own unique story.

Remember that the most important part of furnishing your first place is to enjoy the process. Your first place doesn’t have to look like a decor store catalogue. It won’t be perfect right away and that’s okay.