Author Topic: Starting over - Please help me move  (Read 1480 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Starting over - Please help me move
« on: December 28, 2018, 09:25:44 AM »
Hello fellow mustachians,
I discovered MMM about year ago, a few months after my marriage fell apart. Although I was just a lurker all this time, this forum was so helpful to get me through some bad times. I have always been frugal but MMM helped become more mindful of everything I spend. Thanks to this forum I discovered that I had so much going on for me, I was saving with a vague idea of retiring someday, but I realized I could easily FIRE in 5 years when I am 45.
I have FU money but I like my job. So the FU will sadly be to my failed marriage. I am ready to move out, please help me make a plan.
I have 3 kids so I will be renting a 3bdr/2ba, and I will need to get everything in terms of furniture: living room, dining room, 1 king size bedroom, 1 queen size bedroom, 1 bunk beds bedroom.
The bad news is, I have no support system at all, so everything I need done, I will have to pay someone to do it. Good news is, I can afford it, I just want to do it the mustachian way.
My first thought after reading MMM was to get everything on craigslist. I found 2 issues with that:
1.   For now I am still browsing but my search for furniture yield very little results. Even when I search for sale by owner, half the results are the flyers for a furniture store. I donít know how common that is but that store gamed the system here and is flooding all search results.
2.   I would need to hire someone each time to go pick up the stuff. I live in the suburbs and will stay here for my kids schools, and finding stuff on CL will mostly be in the big city 30 miles away. It could get expensive pretty fast.
My second option is to get everything new, which will include delivery. But I still need to hire someone to put the furniture together. I am wondering if in some instances it may take longer to put new furniture together than pick up already built pieces.
Do you have any advice/suggestions for me? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Starting over - Please help me move
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2018, 09:38:59 AM »
I'm sorry for your divorce, but you seem to have gotten through it with your finances intact, which is a major accomplishment.

In terms of purchasing furniture, do you have any consignment stores in your area? I've purchased nice, lightly used furniture from these types of places. Many offer delivery as well. For small items light night stands you can keep looking at Craigslist, Facebook and NextDoor if there is a group in your area. There's also nothing wrong with using things like card tables and patio furniture as a stop-gap.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Starting over - Please help me move
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2018, 10:07:39 AM »
Best wishes to you with navigating this stressful time in your life. This will be a challenge, but you are right that having some FU money will give you more flexibility and options.

Re. your comments on frustration with Craigslist and sourcing furniture inexpensively, I have a few suggestions.
1. There is a button in the Craigslist search refinements box (that panel on the side of the screen to the left of your search results) where you can narrow your search results to only show items listed by the owner rather than a dealer.  Right under the header "furniture," there should be a line showing the words "all," "owner," and "dealer." Select the word "owner" and you should be able to filter out a lot of the crappy furniture store ads clogging up your search results.
2. Another easy way to filter out junk posts on Craigslist is to refine your search results by a minimum price greater than $1, since that is what lots of dealers put in their ad to gum up the works when you sort your search results to be from low to high in price.
3. Are you a member of your local Freecycle group? I love Freecycle even more than Craigslist, because it's free (duh), and at least in my area, I find folks to be a bit less flaky.

Finally, I'd encourage you to think hard about what your priorities are and look for those furniture items first.  Furnishing a house isn't something you need to do all at once! And trying to do so will likely make things more stressful and expensive for you than if you give things time.  Prioritize getting all of your family a decent place to sleep (this could even be a mattress on the floor temporarily), and the rest is honestly just icing on the cake.  The last time I moved, I ate sitting on the floor for a month before my schedule/car availability/etc. aligned for me to go buy a dining table.  Honestly, it wasn't that bad.  Keeping morale up is a more important consideration with kids, and obviously you want to work towards having a "normally" furnished home, whatever that means to you, but it's worth remembering that things like end tables for the living room aren't an emergency.

Rather than thinking in terms of rooms, think through what your top priorities are and focus your energies on sourcing those items items.  For example, maybe your shortlist would look something like this: a bed or at least mattress for each person, one kitchen table and enough chairs for everyone to sit at it together to eat and do homework, some basic storage items like hangers or a free-standing garment rack to keep everyone's clothes off the ground, a lamp for each room if there's no ceiling light built in, and maybe a sofa.

I hope that helps.  Good luck! You can get through this.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Starting over - Please help me move
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2018, 10:15:54 AM »
I'm sorry you're going through this. I can relate as my marriage fell apart a frw months after finding MMM. I had to start over as well but thanks to the great advice I found here I was able to fall on my feet.
In terms of furniture, when I moved into my new place I had absolutely nothing and not enough saved to buy it all at once. So I took it step by step, buying large items slowly so as not to deplete my savings. It was annoying not moving into a fullt furnished place but my kids didn't care so I learned not to. Craigslist was a godsend for good quality wood furniture. I negotiated a great price for a mattress from a local dealer. Wayfair had great sales on beds and Target has good quality but cheap linens.
Good luck and I wish you all the best!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Starting over - Please help me move
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2018, 10:39:10 AM »
I'm all for saving money and being frugal, but it sounds like you have a lot on your plate. I think you should make your apartment furnishing process as easy and stress free as possible - that's the benefit of having FU money. Think about the cost-benefit of sourcing individual items through CL, thrift shops, and consignment shops. Is it worth your time? In the end, maybe you save a few hundred dollars doing it this way. Also, there is a lot of cr*p on CL that people sell for a lot of $$$ because they feel like it's worth it. Unless you genuinely enjoy searching for furniture this way, I would buy your basic furnishings from the many budget-friendly online retailers - Target, Walmart, Ikea, Hayneedle, Wayfair, Walmart, Amazon, etc.

Focus on getting the essential items first: beds, tables, utensils, pots/pans, linens. The rest you could buy over time, even on CL.

Once your items arrive, hire someone on CL for the gig - I've done that, and it's worked out well. Or use Task Rabbit. Or see if your vendor offers delivery and assembly at an affordable price.

P.S. I would recommend you only buy new mattresses. Ikea has some great, inexpensive options.


  • Stubble
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Re: Starting over - Please help me move
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2018, 11:10:31 AM »
I've found that less people around where I live are using Craigslist less and using Facebook marketplace more. When I sell something, I will post to both. But when I'm buying I typically find much more options on FB marketplace.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Starting over - Please help me move
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2018, 01:45:15 PM »
Did I mention I love this forum? You guys are really awesome, so many good ideas, I am so glad I posted. I just started looking for a house so it will be a few weeks, I am looking at all options so I can make a plan.
I can probably afford to order everything new and have it delivered. I was just thinking that looking at used items, maybe I could find higher quality items at a better price. So my goal is more to get the best value for what I spend.

draco44 - Thanks for the tips on the craigslist search. In my case the store also shows up under "owner", hopefully the price filter you suggest will improve things.

leavesofgrass - You are right, I need to make the process the least stressful as possible, and I guess buying new will accomplish that. I will just have to avoid cheap new junk.

mommymustachian - Great to hear from another mommy. It helps to be reminded that the kids will be ok. I agree they are resilient. I am sure they would be fine with just a mattress at the beginning, but luckily I can have a little more.

Thank you everyone!


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Starting over - Please help me move
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2018, 01:48:32 PM »
Another great option is to see if your neighborhood has a Buy Nothing group on Facebook.  Buy Nothing's philosophy is to be hyperlocal, and often people giving away furniture are in the process of moving, so they might be willing to drop it at your place with the truck they are already moving with.  Or someone might be willing to help you move stuff in the immediate area. 

Another option would be to buy a cheap truck or station wagon to use for the next few months while you get resettled, and then sell it for roughly what you paid for it.  If you know cars you might even be able to make a bit of money.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Starting over - Please help me move
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2018, 04:29:51 PM »
If you live near a university, especially one with graduate professional schools, there will probably be some great stuff available in late April or early May...both abandoned items and things for sale.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Starting over - Please help me move
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2018, 05:09:13 PM »
I would only buy used furniture that is wood because of bed bugs.

Miss Tash

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Starting over - Please help me move
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2018, 12:06:33 PM »
Buy new mattresses from Tuft and Needle or Casper.  I love my T&N mattress and it came delivered in a box.  If you don't like it within 100 days they refund your money and a local non-profit comes and picks it up.  Kind of a win-win.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Starting over - Please help me move
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2018, 11:55:38 AM »
I've rented a fully furnished home while I look for a home to buy, that may be an option?

I don't feel comfortable as a single woman going to Craigslist places and find good bargains on Amazon, Overstock, target etc eg from Target I bought a turquoise cube storage unit for my Daughters room for $24 delivered!  She put it together (good educationally).  I bought a new mattress in a box from Amazon $600 (most were in the thousands of a similar nature - organic latex) and a desk and bookcase for about $120.  All delivered to my door and sort of easy to put together :)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Starting over - Please help me move
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2018, 12:01:45 PM »
My mom used to shop a used furniture consignment store that delivered. Something like that might be ideal for you.  None of the Craigslist hassle or risk, but still advantage of variety, less cost than new, better for environment and delivery!


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Starting over - Please help me move
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2018, 04:56:21 PM »
Are you or any of your kids handy?

I'd suggest:

- ask friends and family/ put out the word on Facebook as to what you're looking for. Lots of perfectly good stuff goes to Goodwill and craigslist. Somebody you know may know someone with a bunkbed (I see these on CL often) or other items you need.
- if you're at all handy consider making platform bedframes. I slept most of my long marriage on a platform bed my ex made in grad school. Saves money because you only need one mattress (instead of mattress and box spring) and the plywood bottom would firm up even cheaper softer mattresses.
- Goodwill and garage sales may be a good place to find nightstands/ end tables/ lamps/ kitchen items artwork etc. Consignment furniture shops may be good for dining tables, sofas.
- Dressers are in short supply everywhere and the cheap assemble-them- yourself kind are a huge amount of work for lousy quality.
- a young friend of mine furnished his entire apartment with stuff from freecycle
- you can rent a pickup at Home Depot for $20 for an hour.

If life is just too hectic and you don't have time, I'd buy the beds and mattresses new, and take your time finding deals on the rest.