How to furnish a three bedroom apartment for under a thousand dollars

11.30.07 | Family | 5 Comments

First, as I have told Dick repeatedly in the past couple weeks, next time we move I am packing up every single hanger and spoon, not to mention every ziploc, clothespin, and roll of duct tape. I’m tired of going to Walmart twice a day, six days a week, for essential items like caffeine-free Mountain Dew and special holiday dark chocolate mint Lindt truffles.

At Thanksgiving I was bragging displaying my humility and thrift by sharing how cheaply we were able to furnish our apartment. Cousin Suzy, rather meanly I thought, said I was as bad as Uncle Barry. Horrors! Uncle Barry took me to SeaWorld when I was really young; other than that he’s pretty cheap. And by cheap I mean extraordinarily stingy. As in a real tightwad. And, apparently, I’m coming right along. Except I don’t think I’m as good at saving as he is. I have no idea where all that money I save goes. Probably to Walmart.

Here are a few tips for furnishing inexpensively: 1) Craigslist.com (make sure you type it in right; other similarly-named sites are just scary; trust me, and don’t click on the personal ads. Please.), 2) Local classifieds online; in Utah, that’s KSL.com, 3) garage sales, and 4) (and most important) Let your super-generous family and friends know that you are super-poor and deserving. Also, Freecycle.com is cool if it’s available in your area, as is Salvation Army (or DI, etc), but those places can be really depressing in large doses. Use caution.

Amazing furnishings at Chez Dick and Jane

king-size bed — 215, bedding from Marcy

computer desk — free for hauling it away; cool black paint from Marcy

wood table and five chairs — 65

toddler bed with mattress and bedding — 35

27-inch flat front tv — 100 (could’ve gotten a better deal if we’d held out till after Christmas, but we’re weak).

hutch — from Marcy

single bed — from Mom (I took a bedskirt too; hope that’s okay).

fancy Italian crib — from co-worker in NYC 7 years ago (thanks Leslie!)

two endtables — 35

tv stand/cabinet — 25

couch and chair — 125 (looking for a couch made me long for and really appreciate the leather couches Grandpa Dave gave us in Florida; why didn’t we strap those to the top of the minivan — that would’ve worked, right?)

girl’s dresser and two mirrors — 100

two barstools — 50, computer chair — 50 (the only new items we bought; we’re serious about sitting)

washer and dryer — 250

dishes and random kitchen items — from Mom, Grandma, and M-I-L (thanks for sending my rice cooker!)

miscellaneous items from Walmart and Target — 7 million, 536 thousand dollars and 2 cents.

Dang. We didn’t really make it under a thousand, but, not counting the millions of miscellany, we were just fifty over. Not bad. We did bring our computers and dvd player, ete, from Florida.


I had to sic the kids on Dick to convince him to get a tree before Decemeber. But I’m compulsive about taking it down right away, too. We’re agreed that it has to be a real tree; I got a blood oath from the Christmas tree man to plant five new trees for this one.


That curtain is hiding not-beautiful panty doors. Mostly I just like the color and saw the curtain (still in the package) for $2 at a garage sale. I think we have better pantries and closets in this 1247 square foot apartment than Marcy does in her mini-mansion.


Check out the cool black desk. Dick discouraged me from painting it, but now he loves it!


Those lamp shades feel just as suede-y as the bedspread. Thanks, Walmart!