Author Topic: Relocating and refurnishing a home - what would you do?  (Read 1982 times)

laurelei

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Relocating and refurnishing a home - what would you do?
« on: October 17, 2016, 03:29:36 PM »
My husband and I are moving from California to North Carolina this weekend. We are packing our little Honda Civic and driving, as well as packing some larger boxes and shipping out via Greyhound. But most of our furniture and larger belongings are being dumped, donated, or have sold on Craigslist. We lived in a small 400 sq ft apartment for three years, so we didn't acquire much furniture and what we did get was Craigslist or dumpster finds. We did this so we could pay off all our student loans and pay cash for a wedding and honeymoon. Plus, we always knew our time in California was temporary, so it didn't make sense to buy expensive belongings that we would just have to ship later.

So now we find ourselves pretty much starting over and in need of new furniture, kitchenware, a tv, etc. This is our final move - so we're ready to "buy  things for life" at this point. I'm finding myself tempted to buy nicer quality items that will last longer and work better, but I'm also getting sticker shock for prices on things like new couches. I want to go into this with a strategy so we don't just run out to Target and buy everything we need at full price because we didn't have a plan.

So if you woke up in my shoes next week and found yourself in an empty apartment, what would be your strategy for refurnishing the place? (on everything from tupperware to TV's to mattresses)

pbkmaine

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Relocating and refurnishing a home - what would you do?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2016, 04:10:22 PM »
I would figure out what the 5 best thrift stores in the area are. I would scan craigslist. Real wood used stuff, especially from 20 or more years ago, beats new stuff 90% of the time.

For furniture, it depends on your style. I like this stuff:



It's a rustic take on midcentury modern, and is absolutely indestructible. I got a set for free from a relative who was going to chop it up and burn it .

However, North and South Carolina are centers for furniture manufacturing, and people travel from all over to buy there. Ask around once you get there, if you want new.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 04:14:59 PM by pbkmaine »

rockstache

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Re: Relocating and refurnishing a home - what would you do?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2016, 04:28:13 PM »
I would say BIFL in furniture is a bit of a setup. If you do that, you're going to feel attached to it, as if you can't get rid of it. I personally would much rather pay a reasonable price for a secondhand item knowing that if one day it no longer works for me, I won't have any guilt letting it go, even if it's just because I decide to change my style. I think you can get stylish and low cost if you don't approach it feeling like you have to furnish the whole place in the next few weeks. Get one thing at a time, as you really find you need it, and hold out for something that you like. My sister has great luck on buying and selling FB groups, and she is in that area.

AutoZealot

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Re: Relocating and refurnishing a home - what would you do?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2016, 04:36:22 PM »
I personally would much rather pay a reasonable price for a secondhand item knowing that if one day it no longer works for me, I won't have any guilt letting it go, even if it's just because I decide to change my style.

^^^ THIS ^^^

Go out and find nicer things, but few things take a depreciation hit like brand new furniture.  We picked up some nice items on CL when we moved from MKE to MSP.  They are still going strong 5 years later. 

If we decide we are "done" with them at any point, I'll have no qualms about throwing them up on CL and continuing the cycle.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Relocating and refurnishing a home - what would you do?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2016, 04:39:04 PM »
We were in this situation when we bought our condo last year, and our approach was to take it slow and steady and not try to get everything all at once. This was challenging because it meant living without things that most people would deem essential for months at a time. We sat on beach chairs for a while because we didn't want to rush into buying a couch. Eventually found one we liked on craigslist for $300.

There are so many variables in this kind of decision making...what's your budget? Do you have kids? What kind of used furniture/thrift shop options are available to you?

New furniture on Oahu (where we live) is outrageous because of shipping costs, so our response might be different from what's practical for you. But I think some principles hold:

1. Furnishing everything all at once is probably a bad plan, because you might not get the best deals and everything is going to look matchy-matchy and what if your style and needs change? Plus that's a lot of money in one lump sum.

2. Don't buy anything on credit because paying interest for household stuff is just insane.

3. Be ok with not having everything right away. Make a triage list of priorities for what needs to be bought, and what can be done without for a while.


totoro

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Re: Relocating and refurnishing a home - what would you do?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2016, 05:51:00 PM »
I'd do second-hand for the big stuff.  Lots of good quality good condition furniture available where I live for about 1/5-1/10 of the new price.



bogart

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Re: Relocating and refurnishing a home - what would you do?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2016, 08:39:39 PM »
Not sure to where you're moving, but if it's in or near a university town (and it takes some effort in NC to avoid being in or near a university town), I'd probably get the basics but wait 'til late April/early May when the university crowd is moving on and see what deals spring up then -- they can be considerable, particularly if the university in question has not only undergrads but graduate students, post-docs, etc.  You know, people some of whom have incomes, families, etc.

Unrelated (but important) -- you may have heard, there's an election coming up :).  Although voter registration has (mostly) closed, you can vote in NC via same-day registration at early voting sites, see http://www.ncvoter.org/registering-to-vote/#two .  Early voting here is open 10/20 -- 11/5, see http://www.ncvoter.org/voting-in-nc/#two for more information on early voting sites.