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Furnish Your Place - Cheaply
by Tatiana Ringenberg

So now you've done it. You've finally gotten your own place! Mom and Dad have finally lost their grip on you and you've left the nest for good. But what next? Well, if you're like me, you probably aren't renting a pre-furnished apartment. Although nice, pre-furnished apartments can greatly increase your monthly rent. Let's face it, as a college student, you can't afford to throw money around or charge left and right so how are you supposed to decorate your apartment without putting yourself in debt? Drawing a blank? No worries! Below are some fairly common, but often overlooked, ways of finding exactly what you may be searching for.

Estate Sales
If you don't mind going used, estate sales are a great way to get some amazing deals! You can find estate sales in your area by checking the local flyer/paper or by going to estatesales.net.

The Flyer
Although sometimes tedious and uneventful, going through the weekly flyer is a good way to find some great deals in your area on everything from a couch to a refrigerator. Just be aware that not everything that looks great in an ad is going to look great in person; check everything out thoroughly before agreeing to anything and remember bargaining is not a crime.

E-bay
We've all heard of the wonders of e-bay, but you may not have considered it as a source for apartment supplies. The great thing about e-bay is you can basically choose what you want to pay for something. Think an item is too expensive? Well then bid on the same item from a different seller! The selections are endless. This is a great option if you're looking for something very specific or if you're just browsing.

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure
Some may think this option a little strange, but driving around your neighborhood and looking to see what furniture the neighbors have thrown out is a great option. Just because they're throwing it out doesn't mean its trash. Some people just don't want to have to deal with selling their old furniture, so they just toss it. Although you may not always have luck with this option, it's certainly something to consider.

Store Closings and Clearance
Store closings and clearance sales are always a great way to find deals on furniture and other apartment needs, especially if you're not one for used goods. Just remember, if what you're looking for is too expensive now, just wait. Most clearances items are reduced every 30 or so days.

The best advice anyone can give about furnishing an apartment is to set a budget, have an idea of what you're looking for and what you need to accomplish and allow yourself time. Although all of the above are helpful tools in furnishing an apartment cheaply, they all take time and patience. Chances are you're not going to find exactly what you're looking for the second you start searching.


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