Beauty · Finances

5 Steps for Filling a Home on a Budget

Jimmy, Lily and I are finally feeling “settled” in our new home.

I didn’t feel like I could really enjoy the house until things were unpacked, cleaned, and we had all the basics furniture. We also didn’t budget very much to fill the new house. I am going to be really transparent with you because I have had so many questions about this and I hope I can help others!

We budgeted $1000 for new furniture/decor.

If you have ever moved into an empty house or apartment before, you probably know that $1000 doesn’t get you very far haha. Maybe a sofa. Jimmy and I moved from a house to another house, so that was working in our favor. BUT this house is a little bigger, different dimensions, different layout, different number of rooms, etc.

It became my part-time job to find deals and inexpensive things we needed for our new house. I learned a few tips and tricks, so I want to share them with you!

First, sell everything you don’t want or don’t need.

We had furniture that wouldn’t really work in our new house because of the size, color or style, so I listed all those things on Craiglist and Buy Sell Trade groups on Facebook. I sold a couch, console table, desk, outdoor furniture, kitchen table, dressers, and more!

I also purged every room, closet and drawer to either donate or sell. I sold shoes, clothes, coffee maker, wall decor, etc. I donated books, clothes, baby items and other household items.

First of all, I cannot tell you how good it feels to get rid of stuff. Jim and I are the opposite of hoarders. We are minimalist and try to sell as much as we can.

I made $1,200 from selling things! So, I was able to add that to our $1,000 budget! And for those who have never sold anything on Craigslist or other used selling sites, it’s not a walk in the park. It takes time and patience, but it is totally worth it!

Obviously if I am selling a ton of things, I will need to buy new things :).

Second, make a list of what you want/need to buy and prioritize!

My list looked like this (from most important to least important):

  1. Couch
  2. Couch
  3. Chairs or loveseat
  4. Kitchen chairs
  5. Coffee table
  6. Area rug
  7. Curtains for Lily’s room
  8. Area rug
  9. Plant
  10. Entry way table

So then I started my research to find these things!

Third, start researching the best deals for your style.

I said I did not want to buy a sofa on Craigslist. So I started looking on Wayfair, Overstock, Ikea, Pottery Barn, and other sites. I also went in a few home furniture stores in Raleigh (bought one at HomeGoods that I ended up returning). Of course the sofas I loved were $1000+, so that wasn’t going to work for us if I wanted anything else, ha!

After hours of looking on different sites, I reluctantly decided to start my search on Craigslist. I found a few sofas I loved, emailed to make an offer and the seller said they had already sold. I lost about 10 good couches because I wasn’t fast enough!! So then I up’ed my game.

I started looking on Craigslist for “couch” and “sofa” at least 5 times a day. We eventually found one sofa that was made by the same furniture company in Dallas, TX who made our sectional (sectional is in the basement game room and doesn’t fit in our living rooms!). We almost always offer lower because everyone who knows Craigslist lists the items more than they will take because they know people offer lower. So, we got this beautiful couch that came out of the factory in January 2017, barely used for $250 and paid to have it professionally cleaned for $80!

A couple weeks later after MORE in depth searching, I found another couch for a different room and the guy took our offer for $250 as well. This couch was only 6 months old and still had the tags on it, so I didn’t feel the need to get it cleaned.

Lesson learned: don’t discredit Craigslist. 🙂 But you have to look OFTEN to find the best deals!

Fourth, always search for coupons/deals and price check when buying from large businesses.

I bought two area rugs and two chairs from and

Something I learned from researching is that you can find coupon codes for big companies like these by just googling for it. And for my self-employed friends like Jim and I, Wayfair (and maybe Overstock) has a business discount of up to 25% if you register your business through them first. We did both of those things and got great deals on our purchases!

I also googled the rug that I found on one site to make sure it was the cheapest there and not somewhere else. That saved me a few $$!

I found some cushions for our patio furniture at At Home that were 50% off as well! We kept some of our patio furniture but bought new cushion to make it look and feel new.

Everything else I bought from friends or Craigslist.

I ended up spending $2,140 on everything I needed for the house to feel like home, so with my $1,000 budget and making $1,200 from selling things, I came out $60 UNDER budget!!!!

Fifth, repurpose and rearrange until you have more $$.

There is nothing wrong with wanting nice things for your house! I love my house so much but I am not in love with every piece of decor and furniture, and that’s just the reality of not having endless amount of money! haha! I had to stop somewhere.

For example I don’t love a lamp and side table that we have, but I also don’t want to buy a new lamp and side table when I already have one. So I made it work for now, and the living room still looks so pretty!

Our kitchen table has a bench on both sides and a chair on each end. I would prefer to have more chairs and one less bench, but the bench costs less than three chairs, so it works for now and looks great!

And if you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, you’ll know I have been working through a curtain dilemma. Our curtains for our previous house are too short for this house, but I don’t want to waste these that I already bought! For now, I am using them and I am going to try to sell them. And then I will buy new ones :).

You have to keep rearranging with what you have until you fall on an arrangement you love!

Remember (as I preach to myself): Life isn’t about having the Pinterest-perfect house. Your house won’t win people over. The people in the home is what matters! How you use your home for others and create a loving and hospitable environment.

So my home decor motto is: keep things simple, clean, and pretty and use what you have!

I have also started a Christmas list of more home items on my “wish list” like bedroom pillows, a rug for Lily’s room, and other little things to complete the look!

I hope you have enjoyed a little bit of our moving journey!

What is your must-have piece in your home?


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