How To Get Cheap Furniture For Your College Apartment

Many students choose to live in apartments off campus in order to save money on room and board.

The problem with doing this is that unless you get a furnished place, you’re going to have to spend a small fortune on couches, beds and tables.

Or are you?

As a mostly broke college student, I’ve learned about a few places where you can get cheap or sometimes even free furniture.

  • Garage Sales/Moving Sales

Every Saturday and Sunday morning, drive around your neighborhood (or if you live in the city, go to the suburbs and drive around,) and you’ll see a ton of garage sales.

If your community receives some kind of town newsletter or magazine, there’s usually a section where people advertise their garage sales and sometimes even list the items they have. Moving sales are preferable because people tend to sell off bigger items such as furniture.

  • Goodwill or Salvation Army

Things here can be a little hit or miss. However, the merchandise is generally in good condition and they get new donations often so, even if you didn’t find what you wanted one day, you can go back a few weeks later and look through new stuff.

  • Craigslist

When buying from Craigslist please please PLEASE remember the #1 rule: do NOT do business with people unless it’s in person and in cash. That means no money orders, checks or PayPal money transfers, stick to your city and surrounding areas, and ALWAYS bring a few people with you to the purchase.

Do not ever go alone to pick something up from some person’s house. Cheap furniture is not worth putting your finances or yourself in danger.

  • Bulk Pick-Ups

Many communities have something called “Bulk Pick-Up Day;” this is a day when everyone is allowed to throw out large items that waste management won’t pick up otherwise. It might sound like you’ll be rummaging through someone’s garbage, but it’s nothing like that.

Bulk Pick-up isn’t usually on the same day as regular pick-up, so the furniture won’t be out on the street with a pile of garbage on top. It’s usually placed in front of the person’s driveway and you’re free to take whatever you want.

I recommend finding out the dates for bulk pick-up in really fancy, upscale neighborhoods and hitting them up at around 10:00 p.m. I wouldn’t go any earlier simply because people might still be coming or going from work or school and they wouldn’t have put anything out yet.

  • Friends/Family

I guarantee there is someone in your group of friends or family members that is trying to get rid of an entertainment unit or a bookcase. There’s nothing more inconvenient than trying to get rid of a large piece of furniture so, they will be thrilled when you tell them you’re willing to take whatever they don’t want anymore.

Furnishing your new apartment doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult as long as you’re realistic about your options.

Remember: this is just your college apartment, it’s supposed to be kind of mismatched and weird; it’s not your dream home or your bachelor pad or anything remotely fancy. Treat it as such and you won’t be disappointed or in debt!

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Mercedes Espinoza

Mercedes Espinoza

Mercedes Espinoza is a senior at Florida Atlantic University pursuing a degree in Multimedia Journalism. Although reading is her first love, writing is a close second and she can usually be found with her nose in a book or hunched over a laptop typing away. Outside of school and work, she’s interested in all things fitness as well as continuing to grow an already massive nail polish collection.