So my roommates and I have signed our lease, and in less than a month, we will be taking possession of our new apartment! Woohoo!
But with a great apartment comes a great responsibility—furnishing it. My roommates and I are all poor students, obviously; we’re even all in programs that will qualify us to be starving artists, basically, when we graduate. So how will we furnish an apartment without breaking the bank? Well, I’ll tell you!
First, we compile a list of all the things we need for our apartment, not including our own rooms (that’s each individual’s responsibility, of course). This list covers furniture, appliances, kitchen stuff, you name it. When the list is pretty much complete, we each start looking around our houses for items we might already have. For example, my family had an old coffeemaker we were no longer using. It still works fine, so now our apartment has a coffee maker. Alex has a dustbuster her parents never use, so now we don’t need to buy a vacuum. (Our apartment has hardwood floors. If yours has carpet, buy a vacuum cleaner. Dustbusters are weak!)
Once our families have run out of stuff they can donate, we’ll ask about anything left on the list with friends, relatives and neighbours. Pretty much everybody has old things they don’t need anymore just sitting around collecting dust, and are usually quite happy to be rid of them, so we won’t be afraid to ask. Though we’ll have to sure to collaborate on this part or we’ll wind up with, like, 10 toasters.
Once we’ve gotten as much as we can for free, we’ll start looking around our neighbourhoods for garage sales. My neighbourhood has TONS of them this time of year, and you can find some really great stuff. I bought two hoop-back kitchen chairs at one the other day for just 10 bucks!
Finally, once we’ve moved in, we’ll look around and see what else we might need. NOW is the proper time to go out and buy new things. You can find some great stuff for cheap at stores like Dollarama and Zellers—they have much lower prices when it comes to kitchen supplies and housing necessities. IKEA is good for bedroom stuff, but their kitchen equipment is more expensive.
One more thing: as students, we know we don’t need to have everything new. In my opinion, everyone should, at one point in their lives, live in squalor, even if it’s just to get through school. It builds character, and sets you up for real life. Especially if you are in an arts program 😉