Five Steps to Thrifty Decor

Five Steps to Thrifty Decor

You don’t need a trust fund to change your surroundings. With a little ingenuity, you too can redecorate with pennies on the dollar!
These days, we’re all stretching our dollars, trying to make ends meet, so when it comes to redecorating, this usually gets put on the back burner. Unless you’re a trust fund baby, expenses such as ten-thousand-dollar lamps and custom-made drapes remain impossible. Yet also returning day after the long workday to the same tired furnishings and accessories can also be a drag on your spiritual account.

What to do? Well, you could buy a lottery ticket, hope that some sainted elderly relation leaves you millions in their will, find a wad of cash in a forgotten pocket, or perhaps rethink your preconceptions about the sources from which you can find beautiful home decor.

Following are five resources that may have fallen under your radar.

eBay. By now virtually everybody has visited the eBay site in search of something special and sometimes found an exact replacement for an item lost to ages or broken years ago. With some time and patience, an internet connection, and the will to bargain, you will be surprised at what bargains await you amidst the sea of listings. If you are looking for a real bargain (and aren’t afraid to enter into some friendly bidding wars) it’s possible to score some really great home items at a fraction of their original cost.

Craigslist. If you’re looking to save money on shipping and aren’t afraid to get in your car to meet the seller of your item in question, this is a great source for virtually anything needed in a household. Case in point: An Ashley furniture leather sofa in pristine condition, originally listing for over $2000, sold in the Chicago Craigslist furniture section for $300! A suggestion for Craigslist, especially if you’re picking up furniture, bring a strong friend, preferably with a truck. Some sellers will deliver your item for an extra price.

Thrift stores. Stores such as Goodwill, Savers, Value Village, and the Salvation Army hold within their walls a veritable Aladdin’s cave of gently used treasures. If you have the least bit of product knowledge, some time and patience, and perhaps a bottle of wood glue at home, some of the best (read: not prefab) furniture and decor can be purchased for fractions of their original prices. One recent visitor to the Yorkville, Illinois Goodwill Store found a solid wood dresser, complete with dovetailing and intricate woodwork, for less than $10. A word to the wise: Steer clear of upholstered furniture to avoid introducing bedbugs into your home.

Rummage sales. Those blue-haired ladies at your local church’s rummage sale know how to put on a sale! Culling items from households in the community, it’s virtually impossible to walk away from one of these marvelous shopping sites without at least one Super Bargain Buy in hand. Not to mention great home-baked goods and the added bonus of knowing your purchase helped fund community activities.

Freecycle. The Freecycle Network, available online in probably most larger (and a lot of smaller) cities throughout the States, is a virtual community of like-minded individuals all aiming to keep items from landfills and alerting neighbors to “curb alerts,” where some generous folks have discarded some very useful household items at the side of the road. You can sign up through Yahoo! and before you know it, you too may sport a free (only slightly used) end table to grace your home.

See, without breaking your personal bank it is possible to update your home, adding some sparkle and shine just waiting to greet you at the end of your day. Expand your decor-hunting horizons and you’ll be amazed at what you find!

Ricarda Rutter

*Ricarda Rutter is a Ten News reporter. She’s an award-winning and Walkley nominated journalist. She has worked at the SBS, ABC, and Triple R.Rutter is a mother and a wife.

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