How to Furnish Your Home on a Budget

It doesn’t matter if you’ve just moved into your first apartment or if you’ve finally upgraded to your dream home. You’re looking around your space, marveling at how empty it is. The few pieces of furniture you already own simply aren’t enough, and it’s time to find bedroom, kitchen, dining room, and living room furniture. While you don’t have to buy it all at once, you do need to stick to a reasonable budget. Here are some things you can do to furnish your home without breaking the bank.

Look for Estate Sales

Estate sales are awesome. They’re like yard sales but they’re better because people aren’t getting rid of junk – they’re getting rid of everything. Estate sales occur when someone has passed away and the “estate” is attempting to liquidate all of the assets. Everything in the home usually has to go during an estate sale, including the furniture. You can often find great deals on entire sets if you look carefully enough. Arrive early, make sure you make fair and reasonable offers, and be prepared to haul your finds out right away.

Rental Stores Sometimes Sell

Have you ever heard of Rent-a-Center? This store, and others like it, often rent furniture, electronics, and other home goods on a weekly basis. You either rent it for a specified period of time or you rent-to-own, making payments over time. Sometimes, though, a piece of furniture is outdated or no longer rent able. When that happens, the companies are often willing to sell their furniture for a reasonably low price. Look around your local rental centers to see if there are pieces priced to go home for good.

Look for Floor Models

Have you ever been in a department or furniture store, only to be disappointed because the store is sold out of the model you were looking for? Many stores are willing to part with the floor model and they’ll sell it at a lower price because it’s out of the box, has been abused as a floor model, and/or doesn’t have all of the appropriate paperwork. The store may turn you down because they have more inventory coming in, but many will gladly sell. All you have to do is ask.

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Used, Charity, and Thrift Stores

Local charities, like Goodwill, often have furniture pieces in their store. These charities will accept anything as a donation so that they can turn around and sell it to support their charitable work. This means you can often find gently used furniture pieces in charity thrift stores – usually with very reasonable price tags. Look for thrift stores in your area and take a look at their used furniture selections.


Keep your eyes peeled for both public auctions and antique auctions. You might be able to find special pieces for you home at both. Auction houses may allow you to view their pieces the day before, giving you an idea of what you might like to bid on. Public auctions usually feature pieces that were left behind in storage bins or other areas, and you may be able to view them in advance as well.

You definitely do not have to spend a ton of money to furnish your home tastefully. Focus on one room at a time – or even one piece of furniture at a time. You’ll find everything you need to make your house into a home.

About the Author: Marlin Housh and his wife just purchased a fixer-upper home and are working to renovate it and furnish it on a tight budget. He’s saving for stair nosing, railings, new windows, and of course usable and presentable furniture!

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