Tips for Furnishing Your First Apartment

tips for furnishing your first apartment

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  • Those last two years in college are a dream.

    You’re finally out of the dorms or other university- sponsored housing and into the real-life housing market.

    You get to search for, tour, and lease your very own apartment!

    Once you find your dream (or “good enough”) apartment, you’ll need to furnish it. Dissimilar to the dorms, it’s unlikely that your apartment will come fully furnished—you’ll have to provide the furniture.

    Explore these tips for furnishing your first apartment.

    Ask Friends and Family

    Your friends may have an extra futon they were going to throw away. Your uncle might have an extra desk chair taking up space in his garage. People collect items over a lifetime and have trouble ridding themselves of them without a good cause.

    Asking around to see if anyone you know has extra furniture is a great way to snag some low cost or free items.

    Search the Streets

    Searching the streets may sound a little out there and risky, but there are often tons of great furniture finds on the street—especially around college towns.

    College students move all the time and it’s often more cost effective for them to dump their old stuff than to rent a moving truck.

    Just be sure you’re well versed in ways to give your dumpster couch some new life or a quality cleaning before you bring it into your apartment! 

    Shop the Sales

    There are tons of furniture stores out there and many have giant sales during most holidays. These sales are perfect for college students to get a nice piece of furniture without the hefty price tag that often accompanies it.


    Look into Rentals

    There are many companies that cater to college students who need furniture only for a short while. If you need furniture and don’t mind the price tag or a rental service, there are plenty of options for services that will fully furnish your apartment for a given amount of time, then come take their furniture back at the end of your lease term.

    This is a low maintenance option perfect for the “one semester left” or “transferred mid-year” student!

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    There are many options out there for furnishing your first college apartment. Talk to your roommates before move-in day to ensure everyone knows what they’re expected to bring.

    It’s not uncommon for roommates to accidentally end up with three kitchen tables and no couches or chairs. Also, be sure to avoid the trap of letting one person bring all the furniture—if that person moves out, studies abroad, or transfers, you’ll be left with a very empty apartment!

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