Tuesday, October 3, 2017

8 Simple Tips for Furnishing Your New Home on a Budget

Ah, the unique feeling of moving to a new place – a combo of being excited about your new home and the stress that goes with the move.

There’s nothing quite like it – a moment of pure joy followed by a moment of anxiety and stress…all on a constant loop.

The stress can be so overwhelming that it takes away from the experience, especially if your brain has turned into a calculator…doing the math of how much the whole thing is going to cost, every, waking, moment.

How thin will your wallet be before you can finally call your new place a home?
If you’re moving from an old house, you probably have most of your bases covered in terms of the furnishing the new space. Not all the pieces fit just right and it might feel awkward for a while but at least you know where you’ll be sleeping.
On the other hand, if you are moving from a rental into a home of your own, it’s fair to say that the stress is doubling because there’s this new space you have to fill with furniture. You look online and your mind boggles when you see the price of that sofa you like. 
1. Taking a step back – refuse to panic
Most of the anxiety stems from the fact that you have zillion things to think about and the cost just keeps adding up.
Take a deep breath and let this thought sink in, “You don’t have to do it all right away.”
Sure, you’d love to have it all impeccable as soon as possible…only then will you be able to relax, right?
That’s just the kind of thinking that will have your brain tied into a knot and making rash decisions. You will need to leg to of the overwhelming urgency and focus on the fact that you now have a new home. How soon every bit of it will be just right is secondary.

2. Organizing your thoughts
Just when you think that you have it all worked out you think of that one thing that messes up your budgeting and derails your thoughts.
Put it all on paper, or even better, if you have basic computer skills open a sheet to plan for all the costs ahead. It won’t only help you plan more precisely, but it won’t feel like you’re doing it all from scratch every time something new pops up.

Moving on to the specifics

Now that we have an outline of the right attitude to tackle the task with, let’s get to the substance of this guide – some actionable tips of furnishing a home when the money is tight.
3. First things first – sleeping arrangements
Prioritizing is the one “skill” you’ll need. Is that stylish lamp you saw last week while browsing the store a priority? Not likely.
When furnishing a home from scratch, the tasks you’ll want to tackle first will be food and sleep (provided that you have a decent bathroom, which most of homes will have).
The first nights (or months) will be all about settling in and having a decent place to sleep. The choice of a mattress is one of the most important ones in the long term and yet, you need one right away.
The alternative – an air mattress
Instead of just choosing a mattress without thinking it through, approach the sleeping arrangements on temporary basis. Air mattresses and inflatable furniture is the way to go here.
Modern air beds are comfortable to the point that some people choose them as a long-term solution. For a new home, they will be a handy way to “bridge” the hectic period before you can approach the task of choosing your permanent mattress with a clear mind.
You still might end up sleeping on the inflatable bed longer than you initially anticipated, so you’ll want to find that sweet spot in the range of choices.
A twin size air mattress is usually described as the choice for 2-people but that’s not entirely accurate. Even the best air mattresses are often not true to size.
They tend to be a peg smaller and the difference in the price between a twin-size and Queen is too small to justify going with the less comfortable one. For 2 people, a Queen-sized air bed will be your best bet – you can read more aboutmaking the right choice here at TheSleepStudies.com.
Another budget inflatable piece of furniture that deserves a mention here is an inflatable sofa. Similar to the mattress, a sofa is one of those pieces that are a big commitment. Don’t go with the first one that catches your eye, think about postponing the decision by getting a cheap inflatable one. It’s fun, your kids will love it and it costs about as much as a family dinner.
Once you’re settled – you can always use the air mattress for the guest room. It will probably be the best bang for your buck and one of those items that will have you thinking,” I wish I thought of this sooner…”
4. Adding a homely feel without committing - mix it up with removable wallpaper
One of the first things you’ll probably want to do is add some color to the space. You know the tones you like and making a mistake that will cost you time and money in the long run is not likely to happen.
On the other hand, you’ll want to add that “being-lived-in” feeling with touches of pattern. Nothing adds a homely feel and depth to a space like wallpapers.
It’s also one of those decorating elements that people most often end up regretting.
To avoid the feeling of “what-was-I-thinking”, go with removable wallpaper. It will be both cheaper and easier to choose. It’s easier to choose because many of us have a phobia-like fear when committing to the look of a space.
Great time and money-saver right there.
5. The most versatile piece of furniture you’ll ever own - A DIY bar cart
Bar carts find their way into every imaginable style of interior design. In a new home, they will be a multi-purpose piece…they can play the role of coffee or serving table as well as being home to a few stylish liqueur bottles.
The problem is, the better ones tend to be expensive. Instead of just reaching for the credit card, visit a flea market or an IKEA, get a cheap one and then style it upwith some paint.
The easiest way to do it is to spray-paint the piece, give it a touch of your own style and make it work with the new space.
Again, once you’re settled you can either get a new one or spruce it up with a new color or added elements like bar tools or tumbler glasses.
6. The bathroom – making it your own within a day
We already mentioned that most people chase the feeling of making the space feel familiar and “theirs” as soon as possible.
Bathroom is THE room you’ll want to transform as soon as possible because nothing will make you more uncomfortable then dingy tiles that, if they could speak, would say, “Hundreds of people bathed and went number 2 in here.”
Not that that’s true, but that’s how most people feel.
And the thought doesn’t go away even after giving it a thorough rub-down. You can’t make the tiles appear new by cleaning them.
Instead of jumping into a new project head-first and calling the first person in the phone to install new tiles, get some cheap tile-stickers or canvases.
Even the large ones that can cover an entire wall go for about 20-30 bucks and will make the bathroom feel different in an instant.
Might not be the prettiest you’ll see but it’s suddenly YOURS.
7. Plant the seed of change
For the purposes of this guide, it doesn’t really matter if you love plants, because nothing adds life and a familiar vibe to a room than plants.
If you are not a plant person and the chances of the plants staying in the space are low, go with something that you won’t have to think about. Cacti are always a goodchoice in this scenario – they look great (especially paired with bold, colorful bowls) and are very low-maintenance.
One visit to a nearby farmer’s market with as little as 100 bucks in your pocket will liven up your space before you can say Jack Robinson.
8. Tie it all in
Yes, you want to be efficient and yes, you want to do it on a dime but don’t do it carelessly.
Bear two things in mind - each piece that’s “temporary” in your thoughts right now will be with longer than you planned in 90% of the cases.
Two reasons. One, life happens and in this fast-paced world of ours you’ll probably end up postponing the final changes. Two, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up loving the piece and decide to keep them.
So, instead of doing it all randomly and ending up with a confusing space, the least you can do is pick a color that will be an undertone of every choice. Tie in the colors of the removable wallpapers, the tile stickers, the color of your bar cart and your plant bowls…
Tying in doesn’t mean making it all uniform, it means including elements that make it all work. For example, yellow is a good, bold color that does a great job by visually connecting the elements.
The line underneath – let’s go over our numbers
Let’s summarize what we looked at…we talked about an air mattress as your temporary sleep buddy, an inflatable sofa (because who’ll keep your TV company) a DIY bar cart, some removable wallpapers, stickers and plants.
It doesn’t take a physicist to do the math – by putting some of the tips above to work you can get a space “up and running” for just a few hundred bucks…less than you would’ve spent on a single bad decision.

Remember the key points – don’t panic, organize your thoughts and the move will become what it should be – fun.
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