May 04 2009
Weather you’ve built a garage apartment so you can use the extra living space for an in-law or guest suite or a place for your college student, chances are you’ll want to furnish the space without breaking the bank. Some money saving tips are listed below to help you turn your new garage apartment into a comfortable living space while keeping some green in your pocket.
· Have a plan. Know what items you are looking for and keep an eye out for them in even the most unexpected places. How many lamps do you need? Do you want a small dining table? How many bedrooms does the apartment have? Does each room need a dresser and a night stand? Could you use an entertainment center? What size?
· Think outside the box. Consider how you might refurbish a piece of furniture to give it a new look. Can you repaint a bookshelf or desk? Buy a slipcover for a couch? Sand and stain a coffee table? Purchase a new lamp shade for a lamp?
· Think about how some items might be used for something else. Can a large bookshelf serve as an entertainment center? Will an end table work as a nightstand?
· Check out garage sales and yard sales. Get there early so you’ll have the best selection of items resulting in the best deals.
· Visit thrift stores often. These stores continuously receive new items, so check them frequently.
· Watch the newspaper for estate sales and auctions. Sometimes you can find few pieces of matching furniture such as a bedroom set or sofa and recliner for a modest price.
· Consider items left by dumpsters and curbs, especially at apartment complexes and college dorms. Sometimes perfectly good furniture is thrown away just because the owner is moving and doesn’t have a place for it in their new home. In the case of college students, many just don’t have a way of transporting the furniture to the next place.
· Use eBay and other online stores. Home furnishings on these sites are sold at a dramatically reduced price and are often in very good condition.
· Check you stash of mix matched dishes in the kitchen. Consider moving these dishes to the garage apartment and buying yourself the new set of dishes you’ve been wanting. Or, check with friends and family. Everyone always has extra dishes they aren’t using. If not, thrift stores always have plenty.
· Inspect any items you find secondhand for mold and insects. If you decide to buy the items, clean them thoroughly before using or refurbishing them.
· Watch sale ads at your favorite department stores and consider buying the basic small appliances new when they are on sale. Toasters, coffee makers, etc., can often be found on sale at relatively low prices and you’ll be assured that they will last a while. Do the same for bed linens and bath and kitchen towels.
Remember to use your imagination and a little creativity. With a little thought and ingenuity, you’ll have no problem decorating your new garage apartment without spending a fortune.