Okay honestly, I’m sure there are a few of you who wonder how I can afford to buy furniture and decor for my home(s) at my current age– and current unemployment status (help). The truth is, my investments in my home have taken place over time. Since college, I have spent the majority of my disposable income on my apartment(s) because it’s what truly brings me joy (*ahem* Marie Kondo) and is what I’m passionate about. I’m not a huge drinker, I rarely eat out and really don’t buy clothes all that often. Once you accumulate some pieces it becomes easier to slowly grow your belongings because you now have capital to work with.
I have developed a bit of a strategy over the years on how to hustle my way to a styled home. I wanted to share some of my top tricks with you all today. To start…
1. Never buy full-priced
My reasoning for this is that if you always wait for a markdown on an item, you can sell back when you redecorate down the road for the same price you purchased it. This will appear like you are offering a deal to buyers when in reality you are simply recouping your funds. If you ever need to lower the price of an item if it isn’t selling quickly, this strategy helps cut your losses as well.
Speaking of reselling–
2. Utilize Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and other reselling avenues
Every time I want to replace something in my home, I make myself sell the item before purchasing the replacement and I use the money from that sale to purchase the said replacement. Something that has helped me with resale is the fact that I don’t mind putting furniture together. To many, it is a plus that they are able to buy something pre-assembled. Another thing that has helped with resale? The fact that I don’t purchase anything full-priced so I’m always naturally providing a deal as already explained.
To date, I’ve sold about 50-60 things between Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. It’s almost entirely how I fund my redesigns. Make sure to keep the money from your sales separate from your “normal” money so you can keep track of how much you have to buy new things with so you never spend any extra or unexpected money out of pocket.
I do feel obligated to remind you all to always be safe when selling. I used to give buyers the address of a condo building a couple down from mine near the road so nobody knew my exact address. People always appreciated this because they didn’t have to expose themselves to a stranger’s home and it made it easier for them to load things into their cars. Be wary of selling after dark and make sure someone is aware that you’re meeting up so they can expect you back within a certain timeframe to ensure your safety.
3. Be resourceful
I currently have a scheme going on eBay that involves me selling a “coupon” to a well-known retailer that does not typically deliver coupons or discounts to their store other than through their referral program. People are just buying my referral, which gives them a certain percentage off of their first order at this retailer. I don’t pretend to be anything I’m not and I think people are simply unaware of the referral program and are looking to get whatever deal they can find. My “coupon” is listed for $0.99 on eBay (the lowest you can list an item) but I’d give them away for free if I could! Each time someone buys something with my referral, I get $20 to the retailer. I’ve made $350 since September doing this and it’s allowed me to buy small knick knacks and decor pieces that I wouldn’t have otherwise spent my money on.
4. Plan ahead (or expect to be patient)
You have two options when it comes to redecorating an entire space on a limited budget. You can either plan ahead, prepare your purchases and accumulate slowly or wait until it is time to redecorate and have to purchase everything all at once while still being held down with the old items you aren’t into anymore. Additionally, sometimes good deals take time. For example, Wayfair’s pricing always fluctuates so when I find a piece that I want to buy, I bookmark it and watch it for a few weeks.
A great example of this strat is my media console in my living room— I originally bookmarked it at one price and a few weeks later it dropped significantly, then rose again to the original price and then rose to an even higher price. I freaked out a bit and found that on AllModern (another Wayfair company), the console was selling for the original price so I took the plunge. I was okay with this decision because I felt like I had educated myself on the selling value of the piece.
After purchasing, don’t forget to follow up because companies like Wayfair have adjustment periods where they will honor any price drops within a certain timeframe of delivery. The price of my console dipped again within a week of me receiving it and I was able to get a price adjustment after I had already purchased and assembled it.
Another example of planning ahead paying off was my other media console that I have in our bedroom. I wanted the IKEA Stockholm buffet for our new place and after weeks of thinking about it, I ALMOST went to go buy it full-priced at IKEA against all of my better judgment. Not sure why I didn’t go when I had planned to but I’m so glad I didn’t because the following day I got a Craigslist alert in my email that someone IN MY TOWN was selling the exact piece. Me and Charlie rounded up and we rolled out the next day to go get it. We nabbed it for almost half off AND didn’t even have to assemble it. Patience is valuable!
5. Always try to upgrade (never downgrade)
If your goal is to work your way up to pieces in your home that you plan to keep around for awhile, then you should always keep in mind: upgrade always, downgrade never. I implement this by buying pieces that I know are of better quality than the item I sold them for and if I have to, putting a tiny bit of money into the piece out of pocket so the investment slowly grows over time.
My hope down the road is to start a successful design business and I know a few of you have reached out asking for assistance designing and decorating your spaces. I would LOVE to help you determine your style and hand pick pieces for your home. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.