Being a “distant nomad” was a lot enjoyable — till it wasn’t anymore.
I’d spent a month in Spain, three weeks in Athens and numerous hours behind the wheel of my beater, meandering across the States.
I used to be taking full benefit of my freelance writing profession by working wherever I needed. However quickly, “wherever I needed” modified.
I discovered myself wishing I knew the identify of even one barista by coronary heart and reminiscing about having a working library card. I waxed lyrical in my journal in regards to the bulk-sized shampoo bottles they’d in a sublet the place I used to be staying — the sort you pump as an alternative of squeeze.
I didn’t need to acknowledge it, but it surely was true: My wandering ft had been rising weary. I needed to remain in a single place for some time.
Which is how I ended up “simply wanting” at flats in Santa Fe, which led to 1 fateful afternoon tour of a unusual adobe three strolling minutes from the city’s hip railyard district. I ran my palms alongside the counter tops, stared at my reflection within the toilet mirror. It was pricier than I’d hoped, however all of the utilities had been included, and it even had an apple tree in its spacious yard.
Earlier than I knew it, I used to be sitting in entrance of the lease, pen in hand. However first, final and safety is already a hefty funding. And since I’d been touring so typically (and crashing in my dad and mom’ defunct RV within the interim), I didn’t have a scrap of furnishings to my identify.
How was I going to afford it?
How I Furnished My Condominium for Much less Than the Value of a Fancy Mattress
I might have made my life a complete lot simpler by searching for a furnished condo. And I did take into account a pair.
However what I used to be actually craving was an area that was actually mine — a spot I might fill with objects that made me really feel an plain sense of house.
I needed to nest… despite the fact that nesting might be costly.
However with persistence, flexibility and a little bit little bit of negotiation, I used to be in a position to furnish my complete condo for lower than $1,000.
Right here’s how.
Bed room: $370.99
Jamie Cattanach for The Penny Hoarder
After I signed the lease, the mattress was my largest fear. I knew I might simply drop a grand on the mattress alone — which is why I requested some courageous Penny Hoarders whether or not or not it’s price it to go together with an uber-cheap on-line mattress buy. (Spoiler: It’s.)
I purchased a queen-sized Zinus mattress for simply $229, and I bought one of many model’s minimalist frames for $116.99 on Amazon. I completed out the room with a easy nightstand, which I discovered for $25 on Craigslist. (Arguably, it’s not likely a necessity, although it’s good to not must rise up to show off the lights after I’m completed with pre-sleep studying.)
Eating Room: $80
Jamie Cattanach for The Penny Hoarder
This was considered one of my most rushed furnishings purchases — and, full disclosure: it’s my crappiest piece. Though it appears respectable from a distance, the desk is manufactured from completed particle board, and many of the chairs’ legs have been used as pet chew toys.
However the entire set was solely $80 (one other Craigslist discover), and having a spot to sit down down and work was my largest precedence. The earlier homeowners even agreed to ship it to me at no further price!
Studying Nook: $286.57
Jamie Cattanach for The Penny Hoarder
In my home, a sofa is negotiable — and I actively keep away from a tv set.
However a spot to cuddle up with a very good guide or three? Completely essential. (As was a spot to retailer all these books, which had been shortly piling up on each obtainable flat floor.)
My cutesy little aspect desk is tremendous fancy, and its earlier proprietor handled it with some type of bulletproof wax stuff, which makes cleansing it a breeze. I’d had my eye on it for a number of weeks at its unique $120 Craigslist asking value and was ultimately in a position to discuss the vendor all the way down to $80.
The papasan chair is a little bit of a convoluted story. I acquired the cushion for $47.71 on sale at Pier 1 after discovering a rocking papasan body on Craigslist for $10. However because it seems, whereas each papasan chairs and rocking chairs are comfy, the mix… isn’t. So I stored the cushion, bought the body for $10 (once more, on Craigslist) and waited till an everyday body went on sale for $58.86 at World Market.
Lastly, my bookcase price $100. It took me ages to search out one I actually appreciated — one which match under my window and featured strong wooden building. The proprietor wouldn’t let me discuss her down from the unique asking value, but it surely was attractive and mainly model new, so I took it anyway.
Media Console: $80
Jamie Cattanach/The Penny Hoarder
After I supplied $80 for this piece, which the proprietor had listed on Craigslist for $100, she was tremendous blasé about it and immediately accepted — which implies I most likely ought to have gone decrease. (Additionally, this can be a SUPER pointless piece of furnishings which I actually simply bought to cover my router and modem.)
I’ve undoubtedly spent that a lot on *simply* a mattress earlier than.
Need to Discover Low cost Dwelling Decor You Really Like?
In fact, I spent greater than $817.56 on the entire challenge of home-ifying my condo. Though my mom despatched me a comforter and a set of sheets (thanks, mother!), I did must purchase pillows — and a case for the fancy reminiscence foam physique pillow I splurged on. I additionally purchased a mattress protector, a full-length mirror (on steep sale at Walmart) and various candle holders, houseplants and knick-knacks.
I acquired all of my kitchen stuff for about $40 from an incredible thrift retailer out right here referred to as Savers, together with a roasting pan, forks and plates. I already had a forged iron skillet and one sharp knife, and truthfully, I’m fairly easy in terms of cooking.
All advised, I’d estimate I spent possibly one other $300 on these little touches… which implies I nonetheless spent much less, altogether, than I might have on this one Anthropologie mattress body. On sale.
And now, I’ve an area that feels uniquely my very own, stuffed with items I lovingly (and truthfully, considerably painstakingly) curated from a slew of failed Craigslist interactions.
For those who, too, are out there for new-to-you house furnishings and need to get them as cheaply as humanly doable, right here’s my finest recommendation.
Be affected person.
Except for the mattress, which I ordered as quickly as I signed the lease, my condo was just about empty for a couple of weeks. Certain, I had books piled on the ground, and I needed to sit on my mattress cross-legged for a couple of meals… however who cares? It’s higher to attend for the suitable deal than to purchase stuff you don’t actually like, even should you’re getting it cheaply. Plus, the time it took to make these finds gave me an opportunity to earn again the funds I’d spent on signing the lease within the first place.
Craigslist is your buddy.
Whereas I undoubtedly trolled the consignment retailers round city, Craigslist constantly supplied the most effective pricing — and the simplest negotiations. Your mileage might range relying on the place you reside, in fact, however non-public sellers are normally a complete lot extra motivated to do away with stuff than a enterprise, even when that enterprise is a thrift retailer.
One of many causes I had a lot success on Craigslist was that I made a ritual of checking it: as soon as within the morning and as soon as at evening, each single day. Stuff comes and goes on the non-public market shortly, so that you need to soar on potential finds as quickly as you see them!
That stated, you’re undoubtedly going to come across some duds alongside the best way. However if you do, no worries – simply let the vendor comprehend it’s not fairly proper, and drive off realizing the suitable nightstand (or bookcase, or no matter) is on the market. You simply haven’t discovered it but.
Completely satisfied searching, and pleased homemaking! Though it takes time, effort and a few cash, it actually is an excellent feeling to know there’s no place like house… exactly since you took the time to make it that method.
Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) is a author whose work has been featured at Fodor’s, Yahoo, SELF, The Motley Idiot, Roads & Kingdoms and different retailers.
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